Coastal Croissants

Canlis Alums Bring Two New Projects to Seabrook

Rising Tide Tavern and Vista Bakeshop (plus a popular fried chicken popup) join a critical mass of legit dining on the coast.

By Allecia Vermillion August 17, 2021

Vista Bakeshop sells croissants, cruffins, and mini pies (and has great taste in wallpaper).

A wintertime dinner in a Canlis yurt has paid unexpected summer dividends more than a hundred miles to the west. Two couples with a history at the storied restaurant debut new establishments—a bakery and a tavern—on the coast this season. More specifically, at Seabrook, the planned community of pedestrian-focused cottages on the Olympic Peninsula.

Back in November, Canlis cellarmaster Paul Coker was working the restaurant's wintertime yurt setup. He got to chatting with a guest at one of the tables—Seabrook town founder and CEO Casey Roloff. “If you know of any bakers in Seattle,” Roloff mentioned offhand, “we’ve got a great opportunity.” Funny enough, Coker did know a great baker (more on that shortly). But not long after, Coker and his wife, Emily Edeen—a fellow member of Canlis’s wine team—found themselves striking out for the coast as well.

The couple will open Rising Tide Tavern in the weeks before Labor Day, drawing on Coker’s previous experience as a cook and general manager to give Seabrook a casual destination for fish and chips and smash burgers. But the level of sourcing speaks to the couple’s background in high-end dining. All seafood comes from the nearby Quinault Indian Nation—"It’s out-of-this-world good,” says Coker.” Seasonal produce from Sky Island Farm in Hoquiam rounds out the menu.

Recently, workers hoisted half of an 18-foot cedar boat into place on the wall in the front dining room. A century ago, that vessel rowed cargo from larger ships back to shore; now it’s the centerpiece for one of Rising Tide’s two dining areas. A second room in back has its own bar and a more adult-centered vibe. Currently the town has limited options for cocktails, says Edeen, “We wanted to offer something of an adult experience later in the evening.” Canlis head barman James MacWilliams gave his blessing to put his Almost Perfect cocktail on the menu—a rum- and amaro-based concoction that’s a favorite of the couple’s.

Coker and Edeen’s original plans for a takeout popup quickly evolved when another operator fell through in the long-planned tavern space. Now, given the size of the 112-seat space, “We’ll be the second-largest employer around,” says Coker. His wry tone contains more than a trace of disbelief.

Nearby Vista Bakeshop opened over Fourth of July weekend, a quiet holiday in Seattle’s dining landscape, not so much on the coast. “They call it the Super Bowl around here,” says owner Grace Bryan. “It’s the biggest weekend of the year.”

Croissant dough anchors sweet and savory creations at Vista Bakeshop.

Bryan is the baker that Paul Coker put in touch with Team Seabrook after that fateful yurt dinner. She and her husband, Kameron Kurashima, met working at Canlis. He was a sous chef who cooked previously at Danny Meyer’s the Modern in New York. Meanwhile, Bryan’s resume reads like a tribute to Seattle’s best destinations for laminated dough, from a stint at Sea Wolf Bakers to the opening team for the stunning Temple Pastries in the Central District.

Now, the duo runs this impressive bakery and coffee destination in Seabrook’s town center. Here, ferns twine up the wallpaper and a La Marzocco espresso machine pulls shots of Fulcrum Coffee Roasters.

Croissant dough informs much of the menu, from the cinnamon rolls to seasonal cruffins—“the one thing we really can’t keep on the shelves,” says Bryan. Vista has no shortage of actual croissants, either. A recent harvest of snap peas from Seabrook’s homeowner community garden made it onto a savory version, also topped with herbed soft cheese and bacon. Mini pies appear on weekends.

After the summer rush, Bryan and Kurashima will expand into the space next door to add a deck oven and bread program.

Vista Bakeshop and Rising Tide Tavern are part of a mini-wave of Seattle arrivals. Cookie’s Country Chicken, a favorite in the city’s latest wave of popups, set up a residency here in July. A trailer will serve fried chicken through the end of the year.

But they’re also part of a critical mass of dining that’s as intentional as every other aspect of the community, says Casey Roloff, the town CEO. About three years ago, he decided it was time to make food a priority in the new urbanism vacation community he designed, now up to nearly 500 houses.

Dining is, increasingly, an important part of travel, he says, but you need enough people in place first to support them. “It’s an evolution.”

Seabrook’s evolution already includes Frontager’s pizza, a Latin restaurant called Koko’s (with a Cactus alum in the kitchen), and the Stowaway wine bar. A few food trucks service the beer garden. A fine dining restaurant will break ground in the fall, eventually offering ocean views and 150 seats right at the entrance to Seabrook.

Ultimately, Roloff envisions maybe 10 restaurants here. “People come for the ocean,” he says. “Now they are coming for the town. But we all follow our stomach, right?”

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