When owner Jason LaJeunesse announced the closure of Ernest Loves Agnes last week, he alluded to something new moving into this most charming of spaces on 19th Ave, long the home of Kingfish Cafe.
That something new, it turns out, is chef Brian Clevenger, owner of Vendemmia, Raccolto, and East Anchor Seafood Market. He's splitting the space at 600-602 19th Ave E into two restaurants: Contadino Restaurant and Contadino Pizzeria.
At Contadino: A mix of handmade pasta, local seafood, and seasonal vegetables that should look familiar to anyone who's eaten at Vendemmia or Raccolto. A four-person chef's counter will do a $70 tasting menu.
Next door: Pizza! Eight of them (pork sausage and escarole, pepperoni, and clams with white sauce...) plus a daily special and what the press release terms "a smattering of sides."
This combination of concepts sounds not unlike Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco. Clevenger worked at Delfina before coming to Seattle, and is bringing up a Pizzeria Delfina alum named Nelson Whitmore to oversee both kitchens, with a special emphasis on pies.
Both places are shooting for a February open, which means the remodel will be brief...so hopefully those charming rooms will remain much the same; LaJeunesse will stay on as a partner. More details as we have them.