The century-old Sorrento Hotel is going for a dining comeback. This first hotel on First Hill has transformed its Fireside Room lounge and swapped out the Hunt Club for a new restaurant christened the Dunbar Room, which debuted yesterday.
Hotel owners Barbara and Michael Malone told The Seattle Times that the 76-room classic Sorrento had reached "a turning point." "We needed a refresh," Barbara said. "We have a vision for the hotel and its place in the community." That vision came to life with management company Magnetic/ERV, who had the goal of instilling "a magical mix of different eras," in the Sorrento, according to partner Jared Lovejoy.
How has it shaken out? Per The Seattle Times's Bethany Jean Clement: "If the old Fireside Room seemed put together by a wealthy grandmother on Valium, the new one has the sensibility of the stylish, well-to-do bachelor uncle who has dabbled in hashish during his travels."
Concerning the new Dunbar Room (which has the same name as the Sorrento's 1960s restaurant) she writes: "The pomp and frump of the dining room has been supplanted by the feeling of a European bistro in a building with a storied past, with Moroccan tiles lightening and brightening the space ... Its adjoining bar is now a place for scheming instead of snoozing, where cocktails like the Old Cuban feel earned by the atmosphere instead of like trendy impositions."
The Dunbar Room has Seth Caswell (Stumbling Goat, Lummi Island's Beach Store Café) in the kitchen and sticks to a fairly standard hotel-restaurant menu with some local and seasonal sourcing. Read The Times' full take here.