Matthew Lewis, the Matt of Where Ya At Matt, has already had a few setbacks opening his new restaurant, Roux, in the former Buckaroo space. Now, he's got an even fishier problem: how to get a hold of some crawfish for his annual mudbug boil.
We do them in the summers. The issue we had this past year is Wildlife and Fisheries all of the sudden decided to enforce this law—which I didn't even know about, but supposedly has been on the books for the last three or four years—that says you couldn't bring in live Louisiana red crawfish because people were releasing them into ponds, which pushes out our local blue crawfish. What happened last summer, about a week before our boil, they started cracking down and confiscating all the crawfish at the airport. They confiscated like 900-pounds the weekend before we were going to do our big crawfish boil.
Lewis had to put his boil on the back-burner, but is determined to bring it back this summer:
It's hard to say what we're going to end up doing this year. California has the same species, so we're going to see if maybe we can bring that up this year. There's something about boiling them live that, I don't know, I just grew up doing that and I think that's the way it should be done. I don't want to bring up a frozen crawfish. It just doesn't have the same feel to me.
The last few crawfish boils have been at Nectar in Fremont:
The hard part is trying to coordinate Seattle's weather with crawfish season. February and March is kind of high season for crawfish and it peaks probably around April or May. Our weather doesn't really break until June or July, so it's always a gamble on how much crawfish are going to be available once our weather breaks. But this year, we may just have to suck it up and everybody's going to have to do their typical Seattle dress-in-your-Gortex-and-come-to-the-crawfish-boil type of thing.
And a Roux update for the road:
Sometime in March is a good target date for opening. It's been life lessons, but it's all coming together. It's been a lesson in perseverance and overcoming pretty much all the obstacles, but everything seems to be back on track. We're in the final stages of what we need to happen. I think March 2013 is going to be our month!