Walking into Circadia, the downtown restaurant I review in our May issue, feels instantly vibrant—and as you settle in you realize why: It’s full of color. Champagne banquettes and teal wall coverings with textural embellishments across the spectrum of those complimentary hues play very nicely together, at once serene and festive.
And unabashedly un-Seattle. As it’s developed over the decades, the Seattle Look in restaurants has tended toward the coolly industrial, with woodsy naturals and all those famous shades of gray. (And enough exposed ductwork overhead to evoke a sort of factory chic.) Matt Dillon and Renee Erickson vaulted farmhouse whitewash to fashion—see Sitka and Spruce, see the Whale Wins—and a throwbacky Mad Men aesthetic has ushered in a midcentury neutrals vibe.
But some restaurants just boldly declare their colors, and it’s refreshing.
Consider the reds of Dahlia Lounge; the butternuts of Lola. The perpetual golden sunset of Toulouse Petit. The bright oranges and yellows of Poppy, the Santorini blues of Omega Ouzeri, the imperial red against placid blue at Lionhead, the deep-sea tiled blues of Barnacle.
Blues and greens, indeed, appear to be on the ascendancy. Kedai Makan with its vivid green-blue walls. Manolin’s cerulean subway tile. The seaworthy greens saturating Bar Melusine. Stateside’s symphony of seafoam.
Are we seeing the start of something?