Welcome back to Eater Seattle's Something for the Weekend column. Every Friday, you probably ask the same question: Where should I eat and drink this weekend? Covering brunch, dinner, and everything in between, here, now, three places to try.
March 25, 2016
shaker + spear
Rockstar chef Carolynn Spence has landed at Shaker + Spear in Belltown's trendy Palladian Hotel. But this feels so much more like a place for locals than a hotel restaurant, thanks to a small, warm space and a menu with local inflections. Spence hasn't completely overhauled the menu, but even the holdover dishes are well executed by her team. She says she's just getting started, so it will be exciting to watch things evolve here after a promising start. Right now, go in for the pink scallops special, wherein three dainty Puget Sound pinks are expertly cooked and gorgeously arranged. These special bites are native to this region, hand-harvested by divers, and available for the first time in 20 years. And then there's Spence's signature coconut cr
can can kitchen & Cabaret
The Can Can is dinner theater in hyperdrive, involving a subterranean burlesque show of five dancers gyrating in a space only slightly larger than a Capitol Hill microapartment. Somehow, magically, dinner materializes from an equally minuscule kitchen and is served by staff ducking under swinging limbs amid a flurry of glitter and feathers. New chef John Gilbert has revamped the menu, which features plenty of ingredients sourced from Pike Place Market just above the theater. The cocktail menu is well done, too, and it all combines for one hell of a evening.
Kraken Congee adds sex appeal to its eponymous rice porridge, a humble dish of breakfasts and hangover cures, by dressing it up with the likes of pork belly adobo and sake-cured salmon. This underground Pioneer Square restaurant also does killer pinch buns and a range of intriguing wok dishes like octopus and kimchi fried rice and Wagyu beef with noodles drenched in a rich Philippine kare-kare sauce. Even if you're not a congee fan, Kraken Congee is doing a lot of dishes very well.
March 18, 2016
Warm, welcoming Stock in north Ballard is setting itself up to become a neighborhood favorite. Chef and owner Chris Blanco has a small but well executed menu, half of which pays homage to his love of Asian flavors, with the rest centered around American comfort food. At first it seems a strange pairing, but it all works thanks to Blanco's attention to detail and commitment to high-quality, local ingredients. Breakfast works especially well, with pho and congee to warm you up on rainy mornings to filling hashes that make wonderful use of pickled beets and carrots. The prices are surprisingly low for the quality of the ingredients, portion size, and the immense effort that goes into every dish here.
brimmer & heeltap
Brimmer & Heeltap had big shoes to fill when it took over the space long occupied by beloved Le Gourmand. But the team has perfected every aspect needed to create the ideal restaurant: it's infinitely hospitable and welcoming, the sort of place where the bartender remembers your name and where you want to both celebrate special occasions and drop in for a casual drink after work. And chef Mike Whisenhunt is doing impressive work with bold flavors, thanks to his background working at Revel and Joule. He's sourcing local meat and using the whole cow, but he hasn't forgotten the importance of making vegetables shine, either. His creativity in these realms borders on wizardry, with current dishes like an Asian twist on steak tartare and brined broccoli topped with dehydrated miner's lettuce, nutritional yeast, and popped quinoa.
Barrio's slightly upscale twist on Mexican flavors has become a Capitol Hill favorite. Head there for brunch (it's wise to make a reservation) and fuel your weekend with dishes like carnitas and pancakes, pork belly benedict, and a whole bunch of tacos and burritos, washed down with a prickly pear Bellini or spicy Bloody Mary.
March 11, 2016
It's time you hit Renee Erickson's adorable doughnut shop on Capitol Hill if you haven't already. Pro tip: Go early, as there's not much seating and the surprisingly airy but generously-filled doughnuts don't tend to last much past 1 p.m. Right now there's a killer pear and lemon marmalade, plus favorites like the vanilla custard and lemon curd.
The kitchen inside Interbay's Number Six Cider is now being run by the fine folks behind Citizen Cafe on Queen Anne, and they're really nailing it. Big bold flavors borrowed from Korean and Mexican cuisine cross the streams for mind-blowing dishes like bulgogi beef tacos, double-fried wings, and fries topped with bulgogi beef and sriracha mayo. It all goes great with the dry cider, which drinks more like a nice champagne. Boom.
Sweet Bounty Kitchen, which opened in June, seems to be off to a solid start on Queen Anne. The rustic-chic decor matches the farm-to-table menu, where breakfast is hearty but healthy, with breakfast bowls, filling toasts, scrambles, and more. The juice selection is hard to resist; vibrant options include Beet Down (beet, ginger, apple) and Turmeric Tastic (turmeric, orange, carrot).
March 4, 2016
Rooftop Brewing recently released a killer coffee-infused pale ale in partnership with Caffe Ladro Roasting. The brewery is running a Cascadian Dark Ale on nitro, also worth checking out, and fan favorite Makeda Coffee Porter is sticking around. The lovely deck is heated and sealed for winter, so don't let the rain scare you away.
Capitol Cider is quietly turning out some very good food, all of which is gluten-free, though you'd barely notice anything is missing. The bar manages perfect fish and chips and gnocchi, all without wheat — and the portions are enormous. Brunch is equally enticing, with cider mimosas and dishes like banana bread French toast and short rib hash.
Though primarily in the business of selling bottled beer, Bottleworks also has a few taps for in-house drinking. The knowledgeable staff carefully curates these beers, so there's always something exciting, especially if you're into offbeat brews. The selection rotates fairly often, too, so there's always something new to sample.