The wait is over. One of Seattle's most anticipated restaurant openings this fall has arrived: Kamonegi will officially, unabashedly open this Friday, October 13—our lucky day.
Chef Mutsuko Soma, who's been on a hiatus from the dining scene since leaving Miyabi 45th last year, announced this summer that she'd be opening a restaurant of her very own. Loyal soba-slurping fans damn near lost it—and for good reason. Soma handcrafts from scratch nihachi-style soba.
At Kamonegi, you can find the noodles in dishes like ikura bukkake, chilled soba noodles topped with smoked salmon, daikon, and cucumber; fukagama seiro (cold noodles with warm dipping sauce) or nanban (hot noodles in hot broth), served with manila clams, black garlic oil, and leeks. Or, go for the titular kamonegi, also in seiro or nanban, made with duck and leek—the very classic Japanese pairing—alongside mitsuba, a wild Japanese parsley.
If it's not soba you require, there are snacks like foie gras tofu with sake poached shrimp, "apps" like a beef tongue oden, with daikon and egg, and tempura made with a Edomae-style reverence, employing heirloom vegetables and a bit of whimsy: One is called "uni shiso bomb." Um, yes please.
Of course, in a small restaurant that will be attuned to the seasons, such dishes may shift and change.
When the Art of the Table relocated just about a block down the street, the humble-yet-hallowed dining den was up for grabs. "It feels like fate that we were able to get this space," says Soma. "I knew that Kamonegi had to happen." A few fresh coats of paint later, with new furniture and ceramic ware and beautiful shoji screens installed, Soma indeed made it happen. "I remember thinking about ways to make Kamonegi feel like a neighborhood restaurant. But after the support and all the hands-on help we got these past few months, it seems like it already is."
If that's not enough testimony to get yourself to Fremont, well, more soba for me, I guess.
The grand opening on October 13 will be from 4 to 11pm; Regular hours thereafter will be Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11pm, and closed Sunday and Monday. There will be a happy hour at the bar with deals on beer, wine, and sake. And Kamonegi's proper address is 1054 North 39th Street.