Opening Dispatch(es)

2 Restaurant Openings Are Happening This Weekend

Former chef de cuisine for Thierry Rautureau debuts Petite Galerie, a French-influence brasserie in Madison Valley. Over in Belltown, Babirusa is reborn in larger digs.

By Rosin Saez March 16, 2018

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Roast pork collar, celery root, pear slaw, pickled celery, charred leek...all of which that are likely calling to you.

Image: Babirusa

Rob Sevcik has been working to open his own restaurant since 2016. Alas, the potential location for his restaurant, then named Galerie 23, fell through on Capitol Hill. Since then the former chef de cuisine at Thierry Rautureau's Rover and then Loulay stayed sharp with private in-home dinners and cooking classes. At long last, Sevcik will open his brasserie, Petite Galerie, in Madison Valley in the erstwhile Oh Chocolates space at 3131 East Madison.

Petite Galerie opens March 16 for lunch (Monday through Friday, 11–2pm) and dinner (Tuesday through Saturday, 5–9:30pm).

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A peek of what one might see at Petite Galerie.

Atop crisp, cream linen–bedecked tables find Sevcik's menu of "petite cuisine", meaning small plates, will come from four different sections: Land, Sea, Earth, and Heaven, which is meat, seafood, vegetables, and dessert, respectively. His so-described French-influenced New American fare might look like Iberico pork loin with brandy confit pear and couscous, sea scallop with sweet pea flan, or a pan-seared foie gras with baked apricot and spice honey. Lunch will skew decidedly more comforting—think openfaced sandwiches, soups, seasonal quiche, and salads.

Meanwhile in Belltown a resurrection is happening: Babirusa has finally swung open its doors on Second Avenue. 

Charles Walpole and René Gutierrez's restaurant softly opened this week, but as of March 15, is official ready for you, Seattle. After closing its original Eastlake spot last December, the reborn Babirusa will combine its small plates bar concept with the tasting menus of Blind Pig Bistro, its sibling restaurant that shuttered back in 2016. Those tasting menus, crafted by Walpole alongside former executive chef at Damn the Weather Ryan Miller, will be omakase style. In other words, leave it to the chefs. But overall the menu here will be bigger and more flexible. “You want to have the tasting menu at the bar? You can do that,” said Gutierrez told me recently.

The menu's a la carte only at the moment, but come next week look for the tasting menu. At Babirusa (proper address 2319 Second Ave) dig into such plates as roast pork collar, charcoal-grilled octopus with tomato harissa, pork cracklins with gochujang glaze, bavette steak with beef fat roasted fingerlings, and whatever else issues forth from the Belltown restaurant's open kitchen. On the drink end, Gutierrez has classic cocktails on hand, plus some sherries that he plans to roll out, too. See Babirusa's Facebook page for more details on reservations; hours are Monday through Wednesday, 4 until midnight, Thursday 11:30 until midnight, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 to 1am, and Sunday, 11:30 to 10. 


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