We've been keeping tabs on all the restaurant openings in Downtown Ballard in the first few weeks of the year, and with word that The Amber Den is set to open in a few weeks in the area, Ballard lays early claim to the hottest neighborhood for restaurants in 2012. Owner Nick Simonton says that the inspiration for his new Ballard wine bar came to him, when he went wine tasting with his mother. He noted that she seemed initmidated by the setting: "The tasting room environment made her apprehensive, with paragraphs of tasting notes and posh rituals. I thought, 'wine is older than civilization. It shouldn’t be so exclusive'."
Simonton has hired Ryan Boehler to steer the Spanish/Mediterranean menu. Expect to see meat and cheese plates, small plates such as albondigas, seared garlic shrimp with chorizo and peppers, and stuffed mushrooms.
· All First Word Coverage on Eater Seattle [-ESEA-]
[Photo: The Amber Den/Facebook]