Food News

The Week in Five Bites, from a New Hello Robin to a Dick's Takeover

Plus, a new identity for Ethan Stowell's Staple and Fancy.

By Allecia Vermillion September 21, 2020

Behold, the seasonal "Snack Attack" cookie. Available at both Hello Robin locations.

A Salty-Sweet "Snack Attack" Cookie at the New Hello Robin

Right now the glass case, the white wainscoting, and the three-sided "cookie theater" counter tiled in blue and white remain off limits, but Hello Robin has opened the walkup window at its new location in University Village. Here, a tiny lawn away from the similarly new Shake Shack outpost, fans were lining up over the weekend for Robin Wehl Martin's signature mackles'mores and birthday cake cookies, plus scoops of Molly Moon's and build-your-own ice cream sandwiches. Martin, a woman who approaches cookies at a level that's downright scholarly, even saw into my dreams and turned her attention to the whole salty-sweet cookie movement. The shop's seasonal special, the Snack Attack, packs potato chips, dark chocolate, brown butter, and lots of sea salt into a cookie that's topped with a tiny pretzel. Hours are 12–8 daily.

An Edouardo Jordan-ified Deluxe

Mark your calendars for the upside-down food event of the year: Edouardo Jordan’s three-day Dick’s takeover. The chef behind Salare and Junebaby will install a special menu at the Queen Anne Dick’s on October 16–18. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, September 24. (It’s a whole Resy/Amex promotional thing, with well known chefs doing similar classic takeovers across the country, so cardholders get early access). Jordan’s menu involves cajun fries and a spiced sweet potato cookie shake, but really, you had me at “pimento cheese deluxe burgers.” Speaking of which, Jordan's Salare has a new, pimento-riffic burger on the menu.

Staple and Fancy Steak

On Friday, Ethan Stowell reopens the Ballard restaurant that feels like his spiritual flagship. Except, like so much else these days, Staple and Fancy looks a bit different than it used to. Stowell and co. have rechristened this place as a steak house. Unlike Red Cow, his bistro in Madrona, this menu skews very American, with a wedge salad, loaded baked potato, and creamed spinach rounding out the hangers, top sirloin, and rib eye. Here's the full menu; note the dungeness crab salad that harkens back to the Union days, and the fried oysters that were a signature of the original Staple and Fancy. Stowell's team says the steak house shift isn't necessarily permanent, but seemed a better fit than Staple's signature tasting menu format. Consider it a bit of a test balloon, to see what makes sense in the future.

Underheralded Aperitivi at Artusi

It’s nice to see Artusi reopened for dine-in after a remodel that reconfigured the bar layout a bit, though I will forever remember when the restaurant first opened, and then-chef Jason Stratton explained that the swirly, almost zebra-stripe stain on the wood was a subtle ode to tripe. Stuart Lane has a new menu to match the newly remade digs, and takeout is definitely still an option.

One Final, Sorrowful Pastry at Amandine

This week, Sara Naftaly’s French-Briton bakeshop announced it will close at the end of September, taking with it my memories of many hours logged in that great secret upstairs workspace, not to mention way too many Carambar cookies.

Side Dish

And then there were three—Shake Shacks.

Soi, Capitol Hill’s nightlife-tinged Isan restaurant, has officially opened its second location in Kirkland. And it looks pretty stunning.

Marination says goodbye to its Capitol Hill storefront, Marination Station; back in 2011 it was part of this heady movement of food trucks going brick and mortar.

Some musings on delivery.

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