With spring comes new beginnings. In this case that means an all-day cafe in Downtown from chef Brendan McGill. By the sounds of it, the forthcoming Cafe Hitchcock will combine the meaty goodness of his Hitchcock Delis with the luscious vegetable and braised plates of Hitchcock and the freshly pressed juices of Verjus on Bainbridge Island. This culinary union will all go down in the Exchange Building at the corner of First and Marion St.
Mornings here can be about grabbing a hot cup of Caffe Vita or a brightly hued cold-pressed juice at the counter alongside pastries and yogurt cultured in house. But oh, the breakfast possibilities. Stay in and dig into a croque madame of bechamel and Hitchcock smoked ham or a biscuit sandwich, which McGill assures will be “a dope, rock-solid breakfast.” The biscuits are made with butter as well as leaf lard rendered from McGill’s Mangalitsa herd of hogs on his Shady Acres farm, which then envelop your choice of Hitchcock Deli cured and smoked meats, be it ham or bacon, and a fresh egg.
Come lunchtime, there will be soups and deli favorites like the Cuban porchetta, the BLT, and the beloved pastrami on rye. But it’s not all about stacks of meat for McGill, who says, “People think that I'm some sort of meat-crazed carnivore because I raise heritage breed hogs.” At Cafe Hitchcock he wants extoll the virtues of quality meat while offering the types of wholesome food he likes to eat on the regular: smoked sockeye tartine with herbed creme fraiche and pickled onions, mad hatcher chicken, brined and roasted nice and crispy, plus hearty grains, seasonal salads, and vegetable dishes.
Inside the art deco building, McGill’s carved out 2,000 square feet of restaurant space, designed by the prolific Atelier Drome; you may recognize their work from Salare, Flatstick Pub Pioneer Square, and many an Ethan Stowell spot. Table service starts at 3, as does the happy hour, which gloriously extends from 3 to 7; find oysters on the half shell, charcuterie, and small plates. Then dinner, from 4 to 9, includes dishes like braised lamb osso bucco.
The hope is a springtime opening, but stay tuned for more updates as we have them.