More sidewalk cafes and curbside dining areas cropped up throughout the pandemic as businesses sought safe ways to serve patrons and remain operational; changes by the City Council in June 2020 made it easier for restaurants to apply for Safe Start permits. Previously, businesses could spend thousands of dollars to apply for outdoor seating permits, but the temporary Safe Start permits waived fees and streamlined the approval process. Over 250 businesses have taken part in the temporary program so far. With those permits set to expire May 31, 2022, the Seattle Department of Transportation worked with Mayor Bruce Harrell and City councilmember Dan Strauss to extend the Safe Start permit program through January 31, 2023.
Chopped Winner hosts intimate dinners with Seattle chefs
Coming from her recent win on Chopped: Casino Royale, Kaleena Bliss, executive chef at Conversation at downtown Thompson Hotel, plans on hosting more relaxed events in the near future. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, chef Jenessa Sneva of Taurus Ox and Bliss will host an intimate evening of food and drink at Conversation. The six-course dinner will feature Sneva’s Lao dishes like Soop Pak, with Yu choy, local mushrooms, ginger, and sesame; yellow coconut curry with shrimp; and main dish Thom Khem, with caramelized pork belly, tamari cured soft egg, scallion, pickled fresno chilis, and pork rinds. Reservations can be made online.
Bliss will also host a wine dinner at 6 p.m. on March 10, featuring wine pairings from Delmas Wines. The five-course dinner includes champagne and hors d’oeuvres, potato gnocchi, and duck breast.
In April, Bliss will team up with Melissa Miranda — owner and chef of Musang and James Beard Award semifinalist — for dinner at a date to be determined.
Li’l Woody’s announces Seattle chef collaborations for Burger Month
Seattle burger chain Li’l Woody’s kicks off its 8th annual Burger Month in March, featuring four burgers designed by local chefs. Offerings include Bombay Joe’s from Meesha chef Preeti Agarwal, the Longgorosa Burger from Archipelago’s Aaron Verzosa, and the Romesco Burger from The Courson Building’s Emily Crawford Dann.