Ever wonder what a meatball hero would taste like if it were made by Jerry Traunfeld? Seattle will soon get a chance to sample the Poppy chef's talents in a markedly different setting from his Capitol Hill restaurant. Traunfeld, who won a James Beard Award during his 17 years at Herbfarm, consulted on the menu for forthcoming University Village restaurant Grace Kitchen, producing an array of large and small plates that draw upon his earlier days as a chef. Not to worry, there's still a hint of Poppy thrown in for good measure.
Traunfeld said the project appealed to him because he had a similar menu during his days cooking at the Alexis Hotel. "It's also the kind of food I cook at home," he says. The restaurant's owners told Traunfeld they wanted "updated comfort food" that appealed to people who frequent the upscale shopping center. In other words, nothing too intimidating, but nice enough to appeal to a demographic that wouldn't be caught dead in a food court.
The starters include a grilled artichoke, ham and cheese croquettes, and (trend alert!) deviled eggs with smoked salmon, a recipe out of one of Traunfeld's cookbooks. Pommes frites comes with dipping sauces, including a black pepper and lime sauce and an aleppo pepper sauce.
On the salad list: a caesar; spinach salad; a house salad with green goddess dressing; and a lyonnaise-style salad with lardons and a poached egg. Traunfeld says his favorite comfort food is linguini with clams, and Grace Kitchen's version uses all sustainable seafood. Heartier fare includes a four-cheese macaroni and cheese livened up with oregano and sage, a flatiron steak with chimichurri and a grilled chicken sandwich that "has a little bit of bahn mi influence."
Grace Kitchen, by the way, is planning to open later this month.