Deming Maclise and James Weimann, the duo behind Bastille, Poquitos, Macleod's, and the queue-inspiring Von Trapp's are about to open a 120-seat restaurant in the new Hotel Ballard. The decor is sparse—almost austere—with just a few old Sonics posters tacked haphazardly on the walls.
I kid, I kid. These gents are known for amassing items from around the globe to put together some pretty spectacular restaurant spaces. And Stoneburner surely carries on that tradition. This is the first project the guys have done in a new space; Maclise and Weimann say imparting their aesthetic was actually much tougher here than in an old building. But it's easy to forget this structure didn't exist a year ago (and that there's a hotel on top) when surrounded by all the reclaimed fir, pressed-tin schoolhouse ceilings, repurposed factory windows, and some envy-inducing light fixtures. The back wall of the dining room is clad in wood from a decomissioned Italian embassy in Buenos Aires. You know, no big deal.
However all this ogling shouldn't distract you from the things you might eat and drink here. Chef Jason Stoneburner and wine director James Lechner will split their time between Bastille and the new restaurant (Weimann and Maclise say the best way to hang on to talented employees is making them partners in new ventures; naming a restaurant after the chef doesn't hurt, either). A beautiful stone hearth oven is visible from the front door; when the restaurant opens on June 25 it will be filled with spicy lamb meatball pizzas and roasted chickens, to be served with black kale and golden raisins.
The menu interweaves Italy and the Northwest; other plates mentioned in the official release include grilled pea vines with wild oregano and pickled onions, marinated clams, mussels, and spot prawns served with Sardinian crackers, and lots of handmade pastas like caramelized cauliflower agnolotti and ravioli filled with sheep's milk ricotta.
The wine list will focus on the Pacific Northwest, naturally, as well as Spain and Portugal. The lovely Dawn Smith will be dining room manager and lead somm, and Erik Carlson designed the cocktail menu. Oh, the restaurant will also do the food and drinks for the fancy Olympic Rooftop Pavilion space upstairs.
Stoneburner opens Tuesday, but is sticking to lunch (11 to 2) for that first week, and brunch (10 to 3) on Saturday. After a day of rest on Sunday, full service begins July 1. Have a look around in the photos above—I tried, with only limited success, to keep my chandelier envy in check.