The newly opened, new Lark.
  • Zack Bent
  • The newly opened, new Lark.

Behold, a bounty of new restaurants to explore this weekend:

Manolin Bar & Grill
Open since last Thursday, Manolin—run by Rachel Johnson and Joe Sundberg, veterans of Renee Erickson’s Walrus and the Carpenter and the Whale Wins—features a wood-fired grill and an emphasis on seafood. Things that look especially good: scallop ceviche with coconut, carrot, and cashew; chicken thigh with radicchio, daikon, and dried shrimp bernaise.

Reservations: Manolin does not take reservations. Surprisingly, things have been relatively quiet so far (but, I suspect, not for long). “So,” says owner Rachel Johnson, “feel free to walk on in!”

The beloved Seattle restaurant has moved from its original Capitol Hill location on 12th Avenue to an expansive new space in the nearby historic Central Agency building. The menu features classic Lark dishes like hamachi crudo with preserved lemon and green olive, along with new items. Things that look especially good: romanesco bagna cauda, buckwheat cavatelli with wild boar neck, charred octopus with bomba rice, piquillo peppers, and smoked jowl.

Reservations: As of noon today, there are only late reservations available for Friday and Saturday night (9 pm and after), but there are more options for Sunday evening.

Located in the mezzanine above Lark, Bitter/Raw features a raw bar serving oysters and caviar, as well as charcuterie and cocktails. People will likely hang out here while waiting for a table at Lark, but with a heavily amaro-influenced cocktail list and tiered, chilled seafood towers(!!), this is a great destination in and of itself. Things that look especially good: the La Perla cocktail (mezcal, Amaro Meletti, apricot liqueur), Lummi Island uni with crispy garlic and cucumber, and the Fresh Sheet, which features items like Kumamoto oysters, Cherrystone clams, and spot prawns with lemon brown butter.

A new French/Vietnamese restaurant from Eric Johnson, whose credentials include working under big-name French chefs Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York (as well as Jean-Georges restaurants in Paris and Shanghai). Things that look especially good: sardines escabeche, chili cumin pork ribs, and cha ca la vong (black cod marinated in turmeric and galangal).

Reservations: As of noon today, Stateside has no reservations available until Sunday, December 14. Just take your chances walking in.

Tray Kitchen
Korean-influenced, dim-sum-style food (small plates are wheeled around on shiny carts) from Chef Heong Soon Park (who owns downtown’s Chan and Bacco) in Frelard. Things that look especially good: butter poached broccoli, fish sauce, Thai chili; Szechuan-style Kung Pao corned beef tongue; and "Loco Moco"—chicken fried kalbi patty, short-grain rice, pork miso gravy, and fried egg (brunch only).

Reservations: As of noon today, Tray has a few reservations for tonight, with more availability tomorrow night.

You can now attempt to eat this in two locations.
  • Kelly O
  • You can now attempt to eat this in two locations.

Also newly open:
Katsu Burger Bellevue
The Georgetown restaurant, under new ownership, has opened a second location on the Eastside.

Cantina Leña
The newest restaurant in the Tom Douglas empire, “inspired by the rustic cooking of Mexico.” The kitchen is built around a wood-fired pit and grill and features fresh, housemade tortillas.

Serious Pie Pike Street
Yet another Tom Douglas restaurant (and the city’s third Serious Pie outpost) serving up pizzas cooked in a 600-degree applewood-burning oven. This location is housed inside the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.

Weekend Drinking Tip
For a limited time, Georgetown Brewing has a few winter releases (aka big, strong beers) on tap and available for purchase by the growler at the brewery. There’s Hansen Brothers Imperial Black IPA and Lovely Reida Imperial IPA, but my heart belongs to the Oharav Russian Imperial Stout. They describe it as a “a drinkable ebony brew, warming the frigid days like a ray of black sunshine,” and I can only concur—think roasty, toasty, deep, dark coffee, and chocolate notes. (Sure, the temperature this weekend is predicted to be well above freezing, but just go with it.) Lauren, the friendly and knowledgable Georgetown Brewing employee I talked with this morning, says it's hard to know how long supply will last (they made 60 barrels of Oharov, and 15 each of Hansen Brothers and Lovely Reida), but notes that "Growlers last two weeks unopened. So come on down!"

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