Rejoice, Madrona: Brian Clevenger's much anticipated Vendemmia (1126 34th Avenue) is almost here. Doors to the 1,300-square-foot, 36-seat Italian restaurant open at 5 p.m. next Thursday, May 28, for happy hour and dinner.
Clevenger (formerly of Staple and Fancy, Tavolàta, Serafina, and Cicchetti) says that the sample menu he posted on the restaurant's website last month remains fairly accurate, with different sections for vegetables, pastas, and entrees, all designed to be shared family-style. The only change is that plates will be heavier on spring veggies while they're in season, with plans to bring in Meyer lemons and blood oranges later. One exciting new development is the chef counter coming off the open kitchen, a focal point when you enter Vendemmia. This reservation-only counter seats five, and $50 gets you a menu handwritten by Clevenger each day with four courses and multiple items per course.
One exciting new development is the chef counter coming off the open kitchen. This reservation-only counter seats five, and $50 gets you a menu handwritten by Clevenger each day with four courses and multiple items per course.
Happy hour from 5 to 6 daily is another draw, featuring half-price pastas and other menu plates, as well as four or so wines by the glass at discounted prices. Alena Harbin (former general manager at Maria Hines' Agrodolce) will head up the bar program, so throughout the night, expect 10 wines available by the glass, eight house cocktails, and more.
Per Clevenger's style, Vendemmia's décor will take a minimalist approach, maintaining the space's concrete floors and exposed concrete ceilings, and adding lighter wood to soften the effect. The whole front face of the neighborhood spot is open, optimizing its great sun exposure. Once Vendemmia opens next Thursday, regular hours will be 5 to 10 p.m. daily, possibly extending to 11 p.m. on weekends eventually. Reservations are available through OpenTable, and highly recommended for the petite restaurant.