Chef Tyler Moritz (right), with Aleks Dimitrijevich, at their restaurant La Bête in 2010.
Chef Tyler Moritz (right), with Aleks Dimitrijevich, at their restaurant La Bête in 2010. Kelly O

First, some news that I hate to report: Yesterday, local chef Tyler Moritz died after his fight with stage 4 bladder cancer. Moritz was best known as the chef and co-owner of Capitol Hill's La Bête (which he opened with Aleks Dimitrijevich), but he was well known (and well loved) in the restaurant community, having worked in the kitchens at Union, Lark, Stoneburner, and the Zig Zag Cafe. I know many people who are reeling from the loss of their humble, soft-spoken, and talented friend, all of whom have expressed gratitude to Moritz's family, who invited them to visit him and say a final good-bye. Deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Now Open

• Chef Cheng Biao Yang has many fans, and they’ve followed him as he’s moved around over the years, from Seven Stars Pepper in the ID to Szechuan Chef and Spicy Talk Bistro on the Eastside, then back to the ID at Uway Malatang. At Country Dough, a small stand that Yang opened about a week ago in Pike Place Market, you can see Yang hand-pulling the noodles for which he is famous, but you can also get guo kui, stuffed Szechuan flatbread that is rolled out by hand, griddled, baked, and then stuffed with chili sauce, pickled cucumber, cilantro, and fillings like cumin-sauce beef and stewed pork. (Miraculously, they cost just $5.)

Shingletown Northwest Pub & Eatery, from the owners of the Ballard Loft, evokes the feel of old, turn-of-the-century Ballard and its thriving cedar mills with a decor featuring lots of cedar shingles and antiques saws. There are plenty of local craft brews on draft (many made at nearby breweries such as Maritime, Hales, and Stoup), and the menu of Northwest pub fare includes Penn Cove mussels and clams, an oyster po boy, and other meaty sandwiches.

Montis Grill just might be the neighborhood bar and grill that mid-Beacon Hill has been waiting for. While it’s owned by Juan Montiel, who also owns the nearby excellent El Quetzal, which serves Mexican antojitos, Montis serves decidedly American comfort food like hamburgers, sandwiches, pastas, salads, and (on the weekend) brunch. On Tuesdays, happy hour lasts all day in the bar.

Now Closed
• On Capitol Hill, Po Dog has served its last wiener and its neighbor, sports bar Auto Battery (also owned by Po Dog owner Laura Olson) has closed as well. The closures come just two months after Olson's other Po Dog location in Ballard shut its doors. But the Capitol Hill spaces won't be empty for too long: CHS reports that popular Portland restaurant Sizzle Pie will open their first Seattle location there.

Closing
• The long, bumpy ride of downtown's Vespolina is almost over: The Italian restaurant (which first began life as the Spanish-influenced Aragona in 2013, then changed to Vespolina in 2014, then endured the abrupt departure of its chef, Jason Stratton, earlier this year, and added a daily lunch service just last month) is closing its doors after a final dinner service this Friday, July 24. According to a statement, the owners intend to find jobs for some staff at their other restaurants Spinasse and Artusi on Capitol Hill. Here's hoping that includes Katie Gallego, who was named Vespolina's head chef in March after working her way up through the three restaurants since 2011.

Stateside Featured in the New York Times
Capitol Hill restaurant Stateside, which I reviewed in April and loved, got a nice nod in last Sunday's New York Times. Chef and owner Eric Johnson's "commitment to achieving a depth of seasoning was evident in a variety of dishes," writes Catherine M. Allchin.