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Levant to Fry its Final Halloumi New Year’s Eve; Vegan BBQ Cart Homegrown Smokehouse Goes Brick-and-Mortar

Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up and down the Pacific Northwest corridor.

Dina Avila

SOUTHEAST—Late 2015 has been something of a cloudy downer for fans of quality food. First Pizza Maria shuttered, followed by Cocotte, The Farm Cafe and The Dime Store. Grüner will serve its last meal on New Year’s Eve. And on Friday, we learned that Levant, chef Scott Snyder’s Israeli-inspired restaurant, will do the same. At the end of the day Friday, Snyder told The Oregonian his restaurant wasn’t busy to keep open, and that he wasn’t willing to sacrifice quality to try to do so. Diners who haven’t had a chance to check out a spot that got shaky reviews at first but that quickly found its footing will have until December 31 to give it a final try.

NORTHEAST—Carnivore-turned vegan Jeff Ridabock has long operated his Homegrown Smoker vegan BBQ food cart on N Mississippi Avenue. As of this month, he’s getting in on the brick-and-mortar action, with the opening Homegrown Smokehouse & Deli at 1628 SW Jefferson Street, where vegans and the simply curious can see if vegan roast beef sandwiches and Philly cheesesteaks can cut the mustard. Just don’t expect a late-night spot, as Homegrown’s hours resemble a banker’s: It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:30 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

NORTHEAST—The folks behind AtaulaCristina Báez, Emily Metivier and the Michelin-star-toting chef José Chesa—indicate that they’ll be opening their new NE Broadway spots, 180 (a churros and hot chocolate joint) and Chesa (tapas and paella) very, very soon—this month for the former, in one to two months for the latter. In preparation, they’ve brought in some culinary ringers: former Remedy Wine Bar chef Ingrid Chen to oversee all three restaurants’ operations, and bartender Tony Guardian (formerly of Imperial) to oversee the spirits program at Chesa, with an emphasis on Spain’s popular “it” drink: the Gin and Tonic.