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Gracia Aiming to Open in Ballard in Early February

Chef Chester Gerl is bringing the cuisine of central and southern Mexico.

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Chef Chester Gerl is almost ready to complete his triumphant return to Seattle with the opening of Gracia in Ballard. The former Matt's in the Market chef has been in New York helping restaurateur Marc Meyer open Mexican restaurant Rosie's in the East Village, but now he's back home and ready to launch Gracia in early February.

Gerl is centering the restaurant around the cuisines of central and southern Mexico, with a focus on bringing in heirloom corns from the region's small plot farmers and making masa in-house, a unique (and labor-intensive) process for a Seattle restaurant.

Gracia is opening in the space formerly occupied by JhanJay Thai restaurant at 5313 Ballard Ave. Here's a look at a sample menu, which Gerl says is subject to change:

Gracia Seattle

Stay tuned for an official opening date announcement.