Esteemed vegetarian restaurant Sutra may have closed in October to make way for an apartment complex. But as one door shut, two others opened. The former owners have split up and moved on to spearhead two new, separately run ventures — both of which will be making an appearance on the Seattle dining scene this weekend.
Vegan Prix Fixe
On December 18, half of the old ownership team, Jan and Aaron Geibel, will open vegan restaurant Harvest Beat in the former home of Satay, just down 45th Street from Sutra’s old location in Wallingford. The experience will feel familiar to Sutra fans: one seating a night for a five-course, $50 vegan set menu that will change regularly to "respect food of the moment." For the first weekend, offerings will include chestnut and celeriac soup, sunchoke cakes with porcini mushrooms and saffron, and an eggplant roulade.
The new space is luxurious by Sutra standards, with room for up to 60 diners, an open kitchen, and a patio in the back. There are plans to sell prepared food to go, such as soups and sauces, and to feature live music on some nights. The Geibel's are also holding an open house on December 23rd from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to introduce themselves to the neighborhood.
Fancy Vegetable-Centric Pop-Up
Meanwhile, this Saturday the other half of the old Sutra team, Amber Tande and chef Colin Patterson, will transform the three-story atrium of the Belltown kitchen furnishings store SieMatic into a 30-seat pop-up preview of their new restaurant, Mana. It'll feature an eight-course, $95 menu that aims to take the Sutra formula to an even more ambitious level. Courses on this Saturday’s menu include black trumpet mushroom on quinoa "couscous" with saffron-mirin-tomato sauce, and smoked ancho chiles stuffed with carrot-cashew cheese. There are still a few seats left, but if you miss this round, there's another pop-up scheduled for the same location on February 13th, and in May they plan to open at a permanent address across the Cascades in Leavenworth — giving a distinctly new flavor to the Bavarian-themed town.
The biggest change in approach is that menus will not be strictly vegan. "We’ve been noticing that the footprint for some vegan ingredients, such as nuts and coconut milk, is bigger than we’d like," Tande says. "We’re trying to be as local as we possibly can. We’ll still be pretty much vegan, and there will always be the option for a totally vegan meal. Any fish or meat will only be a course or two on the menu, in small portions, and it will be wild and local and super-sustainable."