Eric Donnelly's soaring house of underheralded proteins officially arrives on Monday, October 24, after this weekend's soft opening. No, really. Promise.
Back in May 2015, the owner of RockCreek in Fremont announced some grand plans and got busy converting a furniture store on Greenwood Ave into a restaurant that takes the same approach to meat that RockCreek does with fish. Donnelly prizes leaner, gamier meats, from bison ribeye to elk loin and knows what each of these cuts requires to be its best self on a plate. What Donnelly does at RockCreek is so impressive—no wonder the buzz started stacking up for FlintCreek Cattle Co.
Opening a new restaurant—especially in an old building—is fraught with potential delays. But even the relatively minor damage inflicted to the 1926 brick building set one of Seattle's most anticipated restaurants back significantly. Though Donnelly kept perspective, pointing out that his unopened business didn't yet have employees who might have been in the building, and hey—the handmade tables and chairs weren't even there yet.
Now the gold lettering is on the windows, the neon sign beckons out front, and Donnelly's still looking on the bright side: "As shitty as everything has been, opening with these kind of dishes right now, in the fall, is better than in July."
Indeed, it's squash season and Donnelly has a penchant for deep, warming braises. He's particularly excited about the wild boar shoulder that gets roasted overnight in FlintCreek's wood oven ("it goes in at the end of service, then prep comes in the morning and pulls it out") and a dish called "buck and brandy"—a venison loin served with a rosemary and peppercorn crust and parsnip puree with a reduction of brandy, cranberries, and veal stock.
It bears repeating, FlintCreek is definitely not a steak house (the name shouts out to a Montana stream where Donnelly likes to fish, its surrounding hills filled with grazing cattle). The menu will be similar to RockCreek, says Donnelly, leaning toward share-friendly dishes—like, say, some lamb sausage with raclette and pickled green tomatoes—rather than the traditional "meat-veg-starch" composed plates.
The restaurant opens at 4pm daily for dinner. Eater Seattle has some photos of the space, from the yellow-tiled bar to the very RockCreek-ian mezzanine.