Chef Jeffrey Kessenich brings a keen sense for cooking local to his airy new waterfront restaurant, Birch, opening July 21 at 1001 Fairview Avenue N, next to White Swan Public House in South Lake Union. Prix fixe or chef’s choice tasting menus center around seasonal Northwest ingredients — king oyster mushrooms with summer greens, duck egg tagliatelle with summer squash — in a minimalist space with white walls, modern light fixtures, wood floors, a large stone fireplace, and views of Lake Union and the Space Needle.
Kessenich honed his skills at Magnolia’s former “fisherman-to-table” restaurant Tanglewood Supreme and as chef de cuisine at Brasa, the former Belltown restaurant from locavore chef Tamara Murpy (Terra Plata). He’ll bring those sensibilities to Birch.
Diners have two options at Birch: a three-course prix fixe menu for $50 that includes choices for antipasto, primo, and secondo courses, plus a dessert add-on for $11; and a seven-course chef’s tasting menu for $70, which puts diners in the hands of the kitchen. Kessenich promises locally sourced, sustainable ingredients with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options.
Sample dishes, subject to change before the opening, include king salmon tartare with fennel crackers and frisee; wagyu carpaccio with pea sprouts, shallots, and chives; ricotta gnocchi with chard and tarragon; and albacore crudo with summer lettuce and snap peas. The full menu is posted below.
Sommelier Zach Olson oversees a comprehensive wine list, the details of which are still being finalized.