Hanna Raskin digs the cocktails at Little Water Cantina, but gets aggravated by servers' "habitual carelessness." The Eastlake's restaurant's famed patio "has an alluring resort feel, especially when the clouds dissipate." Owners Shannon and Laura Wilkinson "invested a tremendous amount of foresight in the project," with LEED platinum certification and beautiful design: "The Wilkinsons didn't just hang a sombrero on the wall and call it a día."
Bar manager Thomas Bondesson has a "smart list of Latin-influenced drinks" and nails the classics too. "What's wrong with the restaurant is what lies between the bar and the back deck." In other words, the dining room:
Perhaps reasoning that patrons are lulled into complacency by the setting and strong drink, Little Water's staffers don't bother with details like proffering repeatedly requested glasses of water or cooking proteins to the correct temperature. Promised tortillas never arrive, and sandwiches are served on stale bread. When my party of four asked for small plates to supplement a spread of various appetizers, our server plopped three entrée-sized plates on our table.
Raskin did enjoy a "cleanly fried" empanada, "stuffed with velvety sweet potatoes," a "picnic-ready" grilled chicken and the escabeche. While "overcooking is the most common problem at Little Water," she saves some choice words for the seasoning as well:
I'm guessing the final step of every recipe at Little Water, the one which usually instructs cooks to "season to taste," would be "shrug." Nearly every plate bears the signature of someone who couldn't be bothered—sometimes in extraordinarily unappetizing fashion.
To sum it up: "The view really is stellar, even if the restaurant isn't." [Seattle Weekly]
Bethany Jean Clement writes a review, as it were, of Sunday's Burning Beast. Despite the rain, "Seattle's greatest chefs served their multifarious meats off the grills" at this annual event, the brainchild of chef Tamara Murphy. One big hit: Ethan Stowell's goat on pita; the chef's team "later shared grilled goat testicles with the curious." The event's less-than-tragic drawback: "portions overall were arguably too large." [Stranger]