Remember last week's flurry of new spots that opened over the holidays? This week promises to be just as eventful.
On Wednesday, January 9, Nikki DeGidio starts serving elegant, comfort-heavy food that just so happens to embrace vegetables and eschew common dietary obstacles: no dairy, grains, gluten, refined sugar, soy, or canola oil (but yes to meat and nuts). DeGidio's an alum of Stoneburner and impressed her former boss so much that Jason Stoneburner partnered with her on this all-day cafe near Golden Gardens, along with Big Gin owners Holly Robinson and Ben Capdevielle. Days kick off with a menu of takeaway smoothies, then progress to wintry dishes like veg-heavy pot roast bowls, sweet potato and cauliflower falafel. The brunch menu looks excellent as well. Terms like "mindful eating" and "free of gluten" don't exactly inspire tsunamis of clicks and Shake Shack–level internet buzz, but Lucky Santo has the potential to be one of the year's most exciting arrivals. Increasingly, talented chefs across the country are turning their attention to come-hither meals that don't punish your body, and it's nice to have DeGidio representing that movement in Seattle.
Bang Bang Kitchen
Miki and Yuki Sodos, the sisters behind Cafe Pettirosso and Belltown's breakfast burrito mecca, Bang Bang Cafe, now ply denizens of the Othello neighborhood with tacos, frito pie, sopapillas, and vegan pozole. Their new spot at 4219 S Othello St is family friendly (aka there's a kids menu) and feels like the spirit of Bang Bang Cafe, expanded into a full restaurant with a bar. The Sisters Sodos are Albuquerque natives, so be assured Hatch chile sauce plays a significant role on the menu. The new Bang Bang seems to hit that much-needed middle ground of restaurants that feel like a genuine outing, but let you eat, drink, and walk out the door without incurring a triple-digit tab.
Oaky's Tex Mex
This is proving a banner month for food that hails from America's southern border. This Tex-Mex concept from the folks behind the Central District's excellent Wood Shop BBQ debuts Friday, January 11 inside Batch 206 Distillery in Interbay. Matt Davis and James Barrington hatched the plan for Oaky's on various barbecue research trips, so it's no surprise smoked meat plays a significant role on a menu of brisket chili and tacos and burritos stuffed with barbacoa or carnitas; even the albondigas are smoked. When I spoke to Davis about Oaky's back in October, he professed a love for queso rivaled only by his affection for his wife and dogs, which gives me high hopes for the white cheddar version served here in nacho and chips-and-queso form. Like its predecessor, Windy City Pie, Oaky's menu of a few large plates is designed to accompany cocktails from the Batch tasting room. A pleasant surprise amidst the hearty roster of chimichangas and loaded fries: A trio of legit salads. And churros, Texas sheet cake, and fried ice cream for dessert.
Windy City Pie
It's a bit of a musical chairs situation: The Chicago-style pizza operation outgrew its home at Batch 206, making way for Oaky's. Now, owner Dave Lichterman is readying a full-on restaurant version of Windy City Pie at 5918 Phinney Avenue North. Look for pickup orders any day now, he says. The whole sit-down pizza experience will take a bit longer, but he hopes to have the dining room up and running within the next two weeks. When Windy 2.0 is fully operational, Phinney will boast a neighborhood pizza parlor complete with booths, a bar, and some really effing incredible deep dish pizza. Keep an eye on Facebook for status updates.