Husband and wife duo Jake Kosseff and Jeanie Inglis have been busy with their plans to bring an unabashedly fine dining restaurant to downtown Seattle later this year. They've secured a prime location—the original home of Belltown's El Gaucho and, recently, Vessel—and some heavy-hitting culinary talent to join them. Now they're busy building Circadia, with a menu and a space Kosseff and Inglis say answer a need for some Pacific Northwest glamour...but without the austerity generally associated with a fancy meal.
"At Miller’s Guild I see people dressed up all the time,” says Kosseff, a sommelier and partner at Jason Wilson's nearby steak house—and a veteran of the downtown restaurant industry for over two decades. “I see people dressing up and coming out to our casual restaurant and I thought that’s different in Seattle, that’s not our stereotype.” And while casual Miller's Guild is still a pretty high-end place to drop in for drinks and dinner, Kosseff believes Seattle's booming downtown is ready for some truly elevated dining. Something that reflects the increasingly cosmopolitan feel driven by the growth in areas like South Lake Union. Circadia has already piqued the interest of top technology investors who also have a taste for the restaurant scene.
This being Seattle, the Circadia team is aiming for fine dining minus all the stuffy stereotypes.
"We want to bring glamour but in a very comfortable way,” says Inglis, who has worked extensively with wine and luxury goods startups in the past. “Where it’s not so austere that when you step inside you can’t touch anything, you have to behave in a certain way."
The menu promises classics from around the world with “interactive” twists. Executive chef Garrett Melkonian (who worked at Mamnoon prior to this) is working on dishes such as “King Pho,” a play on the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup where diners receive a boiling mushroom consomme at the table and have raw king oysters and king oyster mushrooms shaved as they watch. Brunch ideas include servers bringing a hot skillet and cooking eggs tableside, emphasizing the restaurant's goal of engaging diners in an experience, rather than just giving them a plate of food. We can also expect some fancy champagne and wine pairings, courtesy of her and Kosseff's backgrounds in the wine industry.
A departure from the starkness of the Vessel days, Circadia’s design will be all lush textiles, inspired by the opulence of 1930s Hollywood and New York eateries. The room has main dining areas—a lounge, a bar, a reservation-only chef’s counter, and a main dining room.
Circadia is slated to open at the end of summer at 624 Olive Way. Updates can be found on the restaurant's Facebook page.