Lauded chef Renee Erickson’s latest madly anticipated endeavor, Italian restaurant Willmott’s Ghost, is planning to serve its first rectangular Roman-style pizzas and elegant aperitivi inside the Amazon Spheres in Denny Triangle this month. An exact opening date is still TBD, but Erickson’s Sea Creatures restaurant group promises in its newsletter and on social media the opening will happen within the next 10 days — aka by Thursday, November 1.
Willmott’s Ghost marks the chef’s first full-fledged foray into Italian cuisine, though it seems to be a natural evolution of Barnacle, her little Italian aperitivo bar next door to her renowned Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard. Erickson studied in Rome in college, and has said she’s drawing inspiration from the country where she first fell in love with food.
Erickson’s Instagram has been a great place to see previews of items that will show up on Willmott’s menu, including the aforementioned Roman-style pizzas, with toppings like mortadella, onion, savory, chili flakes, and pecorino; Italian pastries; and green tomato and rhubarb jam. Other promised items include hand-pulled mozzarella, cheese-stuffed fried rice balls (arancini), fire-roasted Northwest vegetables, and fish and beef.
The restaurant will serve daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour, including fried bites and cured meats from Italy’s aperitivo tradition to go with spritzes, vermouths, and other Italian classics.
Willmott’s Ghost will join Erickson’s dramatic cocktail bar Deep Dive, which opened to the public in the Amazon Spheres in August. Erickson’s other Amazon Spheres venture, Rana e Respo, which includes a General Porpoise doughnut cafe, a salad counter, and a sandwich shop, is available only to Amazon employees.