Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has paused Seattle’s reopening plan, restaurateur Ethan Stowell is in expansion mode. In mid-September, the second location of his popular Mediterranean spot How to Cook a Wolf will open in Madison Park, and a third outpost to the Italian mainstay Tavolata aims to follow shortly thereafter. The projects had been in the works since last year.
At 3,000 square feet, the new How to Cook a Wolf outpost will be a bit roomier than its Queen Anne sibling (roughly (50 percent larger) and feature an outdoor patio for additional seating. The food should be familiar to those who visited the original, with a menu focused on seafood and pasta, such as scallops with Walla Walla onion purée, hamachi crudo, spaghetti with anchovy and garlic, and campanelle with pork cheek. Even with limited dine-in services available, takeout options will be prominent, including selections from the a la carte menu, three-course meal packages, and to-go cocktails and wine.
Then, later this month, a new Tavolata will open in Wallingford, following the locations in Belltown and Capitol Hill. Taking over the space formerly occupied by Stowell’s closed Mexican restaurant Super Bueno, the 4,000 square-foot Tavolata outpost will have two covered sidewalk patios, with plans to add a communal table whenever COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The menu will include longtime favorites, such as the rigatoni with spicy sausage, tomato, marjoram, and parmigiano-reggiano, burrata with macerated fig, and grilled octopus with fennel.
These new openings will be part of a continuing shakeup for Ethan Stowell Restaurants. At the end of 2019, the chef closed down three spots: Bramling Cross, Marine Hardware, and Super Bueno. This came after the restaurateur inked a deal with the Seattle Hospitality Group to free up more cash and indicated his intention to expand with existing concepts, not one-offs. Last year, the chef opened his first New York City outpost of How to Cook a Wolf (called simply Wolf), and had a downtown Tavolata location in the works — as well as restaurant projects in the Amazon Spheres-adjacent building Via6 — before COVID-19 scuttled plans.
During the pandemic, several of Stowell’s properties shut down temporarily, although most are now open at least for takeout during phase two of Washington’s “Safe Start” plan (with indoor and outdoor seating at half capacity). There’s also been a recent series of pop-ups at various locations, including the lobster roll-focused Pinchy Bois (held in the former Bramling Cross space) and the New Orleans cuisine influenced Big Feasty (at Mkt). And Stowell’s Capitol Hill pizzeria Rione XIII has taken advantage of the new street closure permits for outdoor plazas, expanding seating onto E Harrison between Malden and 15th Ave.