A new Chinese restaurant called Plenty of Clouds opens today at 5 p.m. in the former home of Anchovies and Olives at 1550 15th Avenue. The Sichuan- and Yunnan-leaning menu comes from chef Travis Post, who recently led the kitchen at Ethan Stowell’s Bramling Cross. Post and partner Lisa Zack purchased the space from Stowell, who put Anchovies and Olives and adjacent restaurant Bar Cotto up for sale in September.
Plenty of Clouds aims to strike “a balance between numbing spices and fresh, bright flavors” as it combines influences from the two Chinese provinces. The menu will change with the seasons, but Post says to expect a modern twist on dishes like Sichuan pork dumplings, salt and pepper shrimp and squid, and a play on the classic, spicy Sichuan tofu dish called “Not Your Ma Po’s Tofu.” He’ll encourage diners to share dishes family-style.
The restaurant’s name, too, references the menu’s combination of Sichaun and Yunnan influences. Sichuan Province is referred to as “The Land of Plenty,” and Yunnan means “Below the Clouds.” It’s also a nod to Seattle’s commonly overcast skies.
All that spice will be washed down with a selection of original cocktails, Northwest beers, and wines to complement the menu. Post and Zack are also planning to serve baijiu, a Chinese spirit that’s the drink of choice for festivities like weddings and Lunar New Year celebrations. It’s the most widely-consumed alcohol in the world, but a rarity on Western drink menus.
Meanwhile, Stowell’s Bar Cotto is still operating and still for sale; perhaps another of his employees will be inspired to buy it.