Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi are days away from opening Trove, their aptly named quartet of concepts that share a space at 500 E Pike. That shorthand description makes it sound like the couple behind Revel and Joule are opening some sort of food court, rather than a supremely stylish four-chamber space designed by the guys at Electric Coffin. Only one ice cream truck was harmed (with chainsaws) in the making of this restaurant.
Yang and Chirchi sent official word that their "culinary fourplex" opens for reals September 14. The Trove website should fire up shortly, but until then, here's a quartet of opening dispatches to guide you on your way.
Despite the 4,000-square-foot restaurant space, Trove still spills out onto the Pike Street sidewalk in the form of a custom-painted ice cream truck–esque parfait window. After the concept was decided upon, the folks at Electric Coffin bought a 20-foot-long truck, parked it outside the studio, and brought out the power tools. (Rumor has it that the winner of a game of rock-paper-scissors got to break the windshield.)
Eat: Parfaits loaded with toppings often found in Korean patbingsu: everything from caramel and candied peanuts to black sesame and miso, all coming together in sweet-salty-creamy-crunchy harmony (but not watery: Yang chose frozen custard instead of the more traditional shaved ice because she didn't like how melting ice diluted the flavors).
Drink: Melty frozen custard from the bottom of your bowl—one of three rotating handles will always be a "crazy" flavor, with a couple of traditional options to back it up.
Sit: On the curb. All orders must be made at the outside window.
Bonus Intel: Custom ice cream cakes will be available with 72 hours' notice. The parfait window will be open from 11am–11pm (read: primo drunk food material).
Walk through Trove's door and you'll immediately encounter the noodle bar; Mark Schroder, the chef de cuisine for all things Trove, promises the white-tiled space up front will be loud and rowdy, the Revel to the barbecue restaurant's more sophisticated Joule.
Eat: Fresh pasta, be it extruded, rolled, or made of rice. Though the lineup of four or five dishes will change almost daily, the noodle bar is all about fusion, putting out dishes like curry rigatoni served with cauliflower, chickpeas, and yogurt, or fennel noodles with manila clams and housemade five-spice sausage.
Drink: A beer or two. The beverage options are limited here. (All is not lost. See: Trove Bar.)
Sit: After placing your order at the counter.
Bonus Intel: Lunch service runs 11-2, dinner from 4 to 11.
Just behind the noodle counter sits Trove's charred-wood bar. The beercentric bar program was designed with pairing in mind, and a modest cocktail lineup will feature housemade root beer and Rainier lager syrup.
Eat: Noodles, ordered through a window between the two stations.
Drink: A local beer from one of six craft taps that dare to deviate from the typical microbrew lineup, or choose from a bevy of international bottles and cans that have been chosen to pair well with Trove's culinary offerings.
Sit: At the cool wood slab bar tables that appear to hover against the wall.
Bonus Intel: Electric Coffin created a large-scale mural of an erupting Mount Rainier for the bar's backdrop. If the team's bar work at Westward is any indication, it'll be spectacular.
Here, behind the bar, the noodles, and the sawed-off ice cream truck—and beneath one hell of a ventilation system—dwells the restaurant Yang and Chirchi have envisioned since they arrived in Seattle eight years ago. Diners will summon thin slices of raw meat to their tables, grill them up, and eat them by hand, wrapped in lettuce and tricked out with sauces and banchan.
Eat: Yang is embracing the traditions of Korean barbecue, though her classic French culinary training means she couldn't resist tinkering with some of the cuts and techniques. Sauces and banchan are made in house. If, for some reason, the idea of grilling your own meat then eating it with your hands does not entice, consider a plate of roast meat, like kalua pork belly with bean paste, or a small, shareable plate like octopus with white beans, kale. Perhaps you peruse the entire section of the menu dedicated to superbly fried foods. There's talk of something called "trotter tots."
Drink: A glass from a short but well-chosen wine list...or a libation from Trove Bar.
Sit: At one of the eight tables with built-in grills so you can watch your grassfed coulotte steak or pork short ribs sizzle.
Bonus Intel: The hand-screened wallpaper depicts Godzilla closing in on the Space Needle. Hopefully nobody will paw at it after handling a bunch of meat. Trove BBQ opens at 5pm for dinner seven nights a week.