When Ballard's legendary fine-dining restaurant Le Gourmand closed in 2012, it was the end of an era in Seattle. Pioneering owner Bruce Naftaly and his wife Sara had helped usher in a whole generation of farm-to-table, seasonal Northwest restaurants with their restaurant, which Bruce opened in 1985.
But running a restaurant is tough stuff, and Bruce retired when he closed the restaurant. Sara has since opened Amandine, a bakeshop in Capitol Hill's Chophouse Row development, and Bruce has been teaching cooking classes under the Le Gourmand moniker.
Now comes word via Seattle Met that Bruce is ending his retirement and the couple will open a two-fer in the Chophouse Row space vacated by Ericka Burke's recently-shuttered Chop Shop. The venue will include a restaurant, Marmite, and a cocktail bar, Spirit in the Bottle. Both are aiming for a December opening.
The concept will involve lunchtime salads, sandwiches, and soups, the latter of which will have their genesis in the restaurant's namesake French stock pot. Baked goods will be crafted by Amandine, and there will be a take-out window for to-go options. Brunch will be offered out of the gate, as will light evening bites, with a full dinner menu coming later.
Sara will have a hand in the cocktail space in the back of the restaurant, overseeing it as she did the Le Gourmand lounge space, Sambar. And the final satisfying detail of this glorious comeback story is that Bruce plans to sell his stock through the restaurant and will also relocate his cooking classes to the new venture. Stay tuned.