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Maria Hines's version of pub food. Image via Young American Ale House.

This E Jefferson house of nouvelle cuisine via Northwest seafood is open as of this week with a trim menu of entrees (in the French sense, meaning smaller plates) like foie gras with sea urchin mousse, or a raddichio salad garnished with lardons and a vinaigrette of cider and chicken jus, plus a trio of full-size plats. Natural wines dominate the drink list—grown organically and made without traditional additives like yeast and sulfur, which help a winemaker control the finished product. So...adventure abounds. But if you go in these very early days, remember that restaurants often need a little time to find their stride.

Chef Brian Clevenger exported Vendemmia's winning combo—seafood, housemade pasta, even more seasonal vegetables—to his own neighborhood; his West Seattle restaurant has a bigger lineup of pastas, and the same family friendly vibe. It's the sort of place where you can have a $14 plate of bucatini with lamb bolognese and glass of wine, or go big with a $70 chef's tasting (by reservation at the counter). The early word on Raccolto is good...and noisy.

Young American Ale House
Maria Hines has turned her Ballard restaurant, Golden Beetle, into a casual gastropub, where her hardcore organic standards now apply to dishes like chicken pot pie, poutine, and a house burger made with Skagit River Ranch's grass-fed wagyu. As the name implies, there's also lots of local beer, and happy hour runs from 4 to 6pm every day.

FlintCreek Cattle Co
So far the meat-eating populace is loving Eric Donnelly's new restaurant in Greenwood. This sibling to seafood-focused RockCreek celebrates lesser-loved or gamier cuts like lamb tartare, a venison loin crusted with peppercorns in a brandy-cranberry gastrique, or a shoulder of wild boar that roasts overnight in the wood oven. Throw in a soaring 1920s bricked space that was once a furniture store and one midcentury-hip tiled bar and you've got yourself a night out.

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