Damn, Seattle is hot with hotel restaurants. There is already Thierry Rautureau's Loulay in the Sheraton, Jason Wilson's Miller's Guild in Hotel Max, Caprial Pence's Bookstore in the Alexis, and Jose Andreas' Bazaar restaurant planned for the Fifth and Columbia Tower in 2017.
Now, what happens when one of our city's leading restaurateurs, known for his no-frills neighborhood spots, sets up in one of the country's leading upscale hotels? The newly named Goldfinch Tavern, scheduled to debut by mid June.
Ethan Stowell (Anchovies & Olives, Mkt., Staple & Fancy, and many more) calls the new Goldfinch "a refined version of one of ours," where one will find the professionalism the Four Seasons has built a name on, with an approachable, friendly atmosphere. Table settings will be minimalistic with no linens and the 115-seat dining room will be natural feeling, with Edison bulbs and a lot of hardwood. There are 44 additional seats in the bar area, plus two private dining rooms with space for 16 people in each.
Menu-wise, expect an extensive raw bar and shellfish program (oysters, Dungeness and king crab, and more), appetizers, entrees, and a hearty beef section of the menu with Painted Hills steaks, some upper end Mishima Ranch Wagyu steaks, and a Wagyu burger. Per Ethan Stowell style, servers (who will no longer wear the uniforms and nametags that have been standard at the Four Seasons) will encourage diners to share dishes around the table family style. Mkt's Joe Ritchie will head up the kitchen.
"It's been totally fascinating, blending the two companies," Stowell says. "I've really enjoyed it and really like the team [at the Four Seasons], who is very smart. Our style of service has been different and part of our task is to instill our culture into their organization."
Stowell says it's also been a (interesting) new challenge to train a new staff on preparing and serving three meals a day, plus room service. The Goldfinch, named for Washington's state bird, will be a sight to see next month.