Just in time for Lucinda Grain Bar’s opening on Saturday, December 8, renowned chef Edouardo Jordan has revealed the finished space and a number of the enticing heirloom grain-based dishes he’ll be featuring at his third restaurant — or his first bar, as he thinks of it. Every dish the restaurant serves will showcase some kind of heirloom grain, like einkorn, whether the ancient form of wheat is in savory form underneath smoked trout and salmon roe or sweetened as ice cream atop steel-cut oat and red quinoa porridge.
It hasn’t been long since Jordan announced Lucinda, but the anticipation is high for his latest project, no surprise given the roll he’s on — just this year he won two coveted James Beard Awards and made Bill Addison’s final list of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants, for example. Adjacent to Junebaby, Lucinda is named after Jordan’s sister and great grandmother, and it’s both related to and a bit of a departure from his first two businesses.
Most notably, with only 20 seats, Lucinda is significantly smaller than Junebaby and Salare. The bar has just four stools, and there are several smaller tables along with more stools for window seating. In fact, the space is intended to serve in part as a waiting area for guests eager to dine at Junebaby next door or Salare down the street. The kitchen is also meant to increase capacity for Jordan’s pastry chef and allow for improved catering opportunities.
Lucinda is also more casual, functioning primarily as an afternoon cafe and nighttime bar. Director of operations Elmer Dulla envisions the space as a neighborhood bar where industry folks can hang out at night. Dulla has yet to unveil Lucinda’s first drink menu, but it ought to be simple and straightforward, with single pours of grain-based spirits neat or on the rocks, a limited selection of wine, cider, and funky Floodland Brewing beers, and kombucha and bread soda (or kvass) made on-site.
But the food is meant to be an extension of the ancient grains Jordan has always highlighted in some capacity at Junebaby and Salare, like the Geechie Boy Mill blue corn grits from South Carolina in his fried catfish dish. Jordan says Lucinda’s menu will change seasonally, consisting of some type of bread basket, two or three bar snacks, three pressed sandwiches, four grain bowls, and two desserts, each of which will showcase some form of heirloom grain.
There are crackers made from oats, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, rye flour, whole wheat flour, and teff flour, served with hearty dips of hummus, beets with yogurt and sumac, and baba ganoush. There’s braised lamb shank with delicata squash and Brussels sprouts tossed with freekeh and Mayocoba beans. A smoked ham and braised radicchio sandwich will be served on bread featuring mixed grains alongside grain salad.
Jordan says he’s inspired by and working with Washington State University’s Bread Lab, which is making big waves locally and nationally with its work improving the sustainability and quality of the local foodshed. If anyone can make unique grain varieties shine in a restaurant setting, it’s Jordan together with the team at the Bread Lab.
Lucinda Grain Bar will be open Wednesday through Sunday 4 p.m. to close.
Correction: December 5, 2018, 9:10 a.m.
An earlier version of this article misspelled the word radicchio.
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