Westward/Stoneburner [Photos: S. Pratt]
I appreciate the break from the de rigueur cold alliance of steel/concrete/wood that we've come to expect from our hippest restaurants. I also appreciate that while Westward is designed to beckon diners with its proximity to the lake, even the views are understated.
...slightly more than the food:
The pairing of expertly prepared dishes with accompaniments that don't quite do them justice becomes a recurring theme throughout my two dinners here. Clearly, Westward has chosen a Mediterranean-influenced menu—the wheelhouse of chef Zoi Antonitsas, formerly of Madison Park Conservatory. And when it works, it works beautifully...
In the end, she declares Westward "a restaurant that's shaping up to be one of Seattle's seafood standouts."
Following the leads of The Stranger and The Seattle Times, Seattle Met critic Kathryn Robinson dishes on Stoneburner, but unlike her predecessors, she busts the "meh" trend wide-open by gushing about her experience at the Hotel Ballard restaurant:
A special main dish of Neah Bay black cod arrived on a bed of spring onions, chanterelles, and whorls of Romanesco broccoli, crowned with a mess of arugula. Every element indispensable, no flaws in execution. It was a corker.
Most notable, she says, is chef and muse Jason Stoneburner's knack for fitting a ton of veggies on the menu:
On a populist menu like this—with snacks (for the pulsing bar), small plates, veggies, green and grain salads, pasta, pizza pies, and large plates—I'll even call it thrilling.
Rejoicing in the fact that the chef is "better here than he was at Bastille," a lot of her credit goes to the two men behind the flashy restaurant, James Weimann and Deming Maclise, who made the place approachable, "The fact that the food is so terrific is a swell surprise."
· Westward: Hip to Shore [Seattle Weekly]
· Stoneburner Sets the Stage [Seattle Met]
· All Week in Reviews [~ESEA~]