The grand opening of the new Fonte coffee bar/wine at the Four Seasons is scheduled for early August. But Fonte’s truly devoted (several diehard Fonte drinkers here at Seattle Met among them) can try to sneak in next week during the soft opening.
The bar will be open from 7am to 10 or 11 at night, and will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Jason Wilson of Crush is in charge of food. I mean, what? This place is going to rule.)
Once it is up and running, expect full-on breakfasts with fresh eggs from Vashon Island. “You should see these eggs,” says Paul Odom, owner of Fonte. “The yolks are orange instead of yellow. Jason will be using all the same ingredients he uses at his restaurant.” The menu will be far simpler, however, than the gorgeous elaborations at Crush—lots of apps and snacks, according to Odom.
Dismas Smith, who owned shuttered Stickman Coffee in Fremont, will be the lead sommelier. He’ll draw steam at an espresso machine that Odom had custombuilt in the Netherlands. “It’s the espresso machine I’ve always wanted—old-school methods married with new technology” said Odom, growing giddy.
Drip coffee will come from Fonte’s Special Selection menu and coffee freaks can indulge in cuppings—the coffee equivolent of a wine flight—and learn to contrast origins and roasting methods.
In charge of wine is Tysan Dutta, who left The Herbfarm for this project. Dutta, who made sure to say nice things about The Herbfarm, did admit that she was thrilled to be back working with the wines of the world. (Herbfarm is strictly PNW) and experimenting with little known varietals.
“We wanted to give people a chance to try things they’ve never had before,” said Dutta, who checked with her purveyors to make sure she wasn’t overlapping with the beveys on offer both at Art restaurant in the Four Seasons and Ethan Stowell’s Union across the street.
There will be 12 wines by the glass and 21 bottles (including, at the high end, ’82 and ’86 Pichons, oh my). Hale’s seasonals will rotate on tap along with two other further-away beers (currently a kölsch from Cologne and Ephemere ale from Unibroue in Quebec). They are also offering a champagne service of Pabst 40s, served with chilled glasses. Funny.