There's no such thing as a free lunch, the cliche goes, but that is not keeping some Seattle restaurants from delivering value menus that come close to challenging that assumption.
Restaurants as established as Wild Ginger, in business for over 25 years, as new as Stateside, open since last fall, and in between, as Volterra, which will turn 10 in April, launched lunch menus this month.
Wild Ginger this week opened Tiffin, a walk up lunch service window adjacent to The Triple Door, Wild Ginger's music and dining venue under the Downtown Seattle flagship restaurant. Named after the British slang for lunch or light meal derived from Hindu culture tracing back to British Colonial India, Tiffin is open weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm.
The Triple Door ticket office has been converted into a walk-up window where guests drop their lunch order and Wild Ginger proprietor Rick Yoder promises the steaming bowls of Asian specialties will be delivered in less than 60 seconds six yards away on the other end of the former ticket window. Tickets to Triple Door shows are now sold exclusively online.
The build-your-own lunch menu at Tiffin offers Indonesian beef (slow braised shoulder for $8), Malaysian chicken ($7) or the vegetarian Thai Monk Curry (squash, sweet potato, tofu and eggplant for $6) served over guests' choice of rice, noodles or salad.
Capitol Hill's new dining destination Stateside opened for lunch last Thursday, offering traditional Vietnamese comfort food at comfortable prices, including beef brisket pho for $11, lime leaf, lemongrass and tofu over rice vermicelli for $10, hearty banh mi sandwiches for $9 and Pho'rench Dip ($11), Stateside's version of the French Dip, a tender pulled beef sandwich served with Pho broth on the side for dipping.
Stateside is open for lunch on weekdays from 11:30 am to 2 pm.
Volterra in Old Ballard started lunch service this week featuring a two-course tasting menu for $16 with most of the dishes also available a la carte. The menu is dotted with chef Don Curtiss' classics such as oil soup, tagliatelle in lamb ragu, fettuccine prawns and roasted eggplant pouches, among other regional Italian specialties.
Volterra serves lunch from 11 am to 3 pm on weekdays. The regional Italian restaurant also serves happy hour specials (cocktails for $4 and $5, house red and white wines for $5, draft beers for $4 and food specials) from noon to 6 pm on weekdays, 3 to 6 pm on weekends, for guests opting for libations to complement their lunch and beyond.
Contributed by Chris Nishiwaki.