James Beard Award-winner Jason Wilson has signed on with the future W hotel in downtown Bellevue for his next project. The chef behind Miller’s Guild and the former Crush will be opening his new restaurant and bar (yet to be named) come summer 2017, all a part of the Lincoln Square expansion.
The inspiration, says Wilson, will be fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, including regions around Washington, like the San Juans and the Cascades. He terms it the “modern Northwest farmhouse,” evoking the way Wilson likes to cook—simple, clean, and fresh.
Wilson has been working on four seasons’ worth of menus. Each is driven by the seasonal produce, and although the guy behind meaty Miller’s Guild certainly isn’t opening a vegetarian restaurant, the menu will focus on fresh vegetables and fruits.
"It's a newer approach for myself and a nice, fresh approach for Bellevue and the Eastside in general," Wilson says. He plans to work with the farmers he developed relationships with at Crush and Miller's Guild, plus some new ones.
Wilson wants the space’s cocktail bar to have a speakeasy vibe, a secretive retreat in the bustling zone of Lincoln Square where people between their 30s and 60s can order a quality craft cocktail without feeling like they are at a club. The bar menu of small bites, which Wilson is so fond of from his catering days, will take its cues from the tailored mix of drinks on the cocktail list.
Similar to Miller's Guild, the restaurant will service the hotel but won’t technically be part of the W.