Capitol Hill classic Coastal Kitchen didn’t change much when brothers Dan and Jonathan Tweten bought it in 2016, but after a driver crashed a car through the restaurant’s entrance in May 2022, the owners took the opportunity to redesign the interior and rethink the menu. The 29-year-old fish house and oyster bar reopens with its attractive new look today, boasting a new sign and black exterior, dark booths inside offsetting bright white walls and white-tiled floors, bar tops of dark wood and light marble, and a vibrant mural by artist Becca Fuhrman.
In the kitchen, chefs Felipe Prieto (an alum of Mamnoon, among other places) and Tanner Smith are doubling down on Northwest and Pacific Coast seafood like oysters, halibut ceviche, wild Alaskan salmon with black trumpet mushrooms and salmon roe, and shellfish risotto. Small-batch natural wines, local draft beer, and cocktails dominate the drink menu, including a spiced persimmon hot toddy and the Tahoma, which shakes up gin with yuzu liqueur and egg white.
Coastal Kitchen serves dinner daily; options beyond fish include a wagyu burger with caramelized onions, butternut squash cassoulet, and a beet salad with house-made ricotta, while Saturday and Sunday brunch offers some of the small plates from dinner alongside entrees like pumpkin-spiced pancakes, biscuits with mushroom gravy, and a croque-madame on Saturdays and Sundays. You can walk in or make reservations online and catch happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily.
Emerging from an even longer hiatus sparked by the pandemic, Bang Bang Cafe, Belltown’s vital supplier of the Hatch chile-driven cuisine of New Mexico, reopened in late November. Sisters Miki and Yuki Sodos, who own Bang Bang along with its Othello sibling, Bang Bang Kitchen, also used the time to renovate and revamp, adding a new bar, HVAC, chef, and menu items like baked goods made in-house.
Since they closed their beloved Capitol Hill business, Cafe Pettirosso, early this year, the Sodos sisters have brought chef Derek Castro from Pettirosso to Bang Bang Cafe, where he oversees an expanded menu. Prior winners like meaty or vegan burritos smothered in “Xmas” (red and green chile sauces) now coexist with further New Mexican dishes like posole, tortas, queso, and house-baked treats including biscochito shortbread cookies, conchas, and green chile cheddar scones.
Right now, the cafe is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but plans to expand its hours soon, which makes sense given that you can get wine, beer, and cocktails here in addition to Lighthouse Roasters coffee drinks.