Nirmals brings upscale Indian dining to Pioneer Square.
Nirmal's brings upscale Indian dining to Pioneer Square. Nirmal's

A few notable restaurant openings to start the new year:

Upper Bar Ferd'nand
Like its sibling Bar Ferd’nand in Melrose Market, Upper Bar Ferd'nand, located in Capitol Hill's Chophouse Row complex, is a wine bar and bottle shop serving small-batch wine from family-owned wineries around the world. The project of wine director Marc Papineau and chef Matt Dillon (Sitka & Spruce, Corson Building, Bar Sajor, the London Plane), Upper Bar Ferd’nand pairs its wines with dry-aged meats, seafood, and vegetables prepared in its wood-fired hearth and smoker.

Harvest Beat
From Jan and Aaron Geibel, two of the former owners of the beloved (and now closed) vegan restaurant Sutra, Harvest Beat serves a five-course, prix-fixe entirely vegan menu each night. Because all the food is as seasonal/local/organic as possible, the menu changes regularly. Offering a set menu “that respects food of the moment” helps Harvest Beat meet its goal of creating as little food waste as possible.

Seattle has little in the way of upscale Indian food, but that may change with the arrival of Pioneer Square's Nirmal's. Accomplished chef Nirmal Monteiro, who studied traditional regional Indian dishes and techniques, serves a range of cuisines from his home country. You’ll find familiar dishes such as tandoori chicken and palak paneer, but also lesser-known specialties like Goan fish curry (cooked with fresh coconut, chilies, and tamarind), avial (tropical vegetables including yams and green bananas in a coconut-yogurt-cumin sauce), and Kashmiri goat rogni, slow-roasted with black cardamom and cinnamon.

Downtown/South Lake Union's Marination is the fifth Hawaiian-influenced venture from Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison, the women behind the Marination Mobile food truck, Capitol Hill’s Marination Station, West Seattle’s Marination Ma Kai, and Columbia City’s Super Six. The location offers Marination classics such as miso-ginger tacos, kimchi fried rice, and Spam sliders, as well as newer items like the Korean cheesesteak and “aloha tots”—tater tots topped with Kalua pork, kimchi sauce, Japanese mayo, and a fried egg. There are also four rotating local beers on tap.