Admittedly, a cell phone pic is a rotten thing to do to a dish this pretty.

On Wednesday the elegant dining room tucked behind Almquist Family Vintners at 198 Nickerson St reopens as Hommage, the new name accompanied by a new menu and a slightly new look.

There's a capable new chef in the kitchen, Nico Borzee, born in Alsace with an Orion's Belt worth of Michelin stars on his resume. His food and technique are more overtly French; plates aren't quite as composed as the ones his predecessor had on Book Bindery's menu, but they're equally as meticulous. 

When previous chef Shaun McCrain announced he was leaving to open his own place, Book Bindery owners Mike and Sumi Almquist decided to unbutton things a bit. They closed the restaurant down for a few months, hired Borzee (then sous chef at Artusi), and slightly rebuilt the dining room. Not too much—it was already one of the loveliest in Seattle. The wainscoting is now robin's egg blue and a few new light fixtures draw attention to the rough, natural wood ceiling. Perhaps the biggest change is the banquette-style seating in the greenhouse, making an already absurdly charming space even more so.

Sumi Almquist says she wants people to feel comfortable bringing their kids to dine at Hommage. Not that it serves kid-style food, but during a friends and family trial run this weekend a few little people were engaging with the dish of smoked salmon perched atop an orb of shredded and fried phyllo dough; within dwells an egg with a perfectly runny yolk. Hommage's menu is still being finalized, but this dish seems a likely favorite.

The Hommage website is still in progress, but the official reopening happens Wednesday October 1. 


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