Brian Clevenger's Capitol Hill concept, Contadino, is done after just six months, Seattle Met says. The restaurant initially replaced Ernest Loves Agnes, and was a symphony in two parts: a casual pizza joint and one of Clevenger's signature prix fixe experiences, side by side. He quickly converted it all to one restaurant offering an a la carte menu reflective of both, as the dual concept apparently wasn't working. I'm sad to see it go, as I know the kitchen dudes from Rough Draft—Aaron Wilcenski and Erik Jackson—were manning the kitchen, and I was really excited to see what they would do in the context of a conventional restaurant. I'm guessing, given the talent behind this thing, the quality of the food wasn't the issue.
While I wasn't a huge fan of Ernest Loves Agnes, Contadino's ill-fated predecessor, it also wasn't out of place for its hood, and the pizza was just fine. Perhaps 19th is a bit saturated, restaurant-wise? I cut my teeth at Monsoon, back when Kingfish Cafe was the only other fancy joint around, and the neighborhood seemed to have an insatiable appetite for $10 appetizers then. Maybe with Tallulah's going strong and a massively expanded Monsoon, there are just too many fine dining seats in the neighborhood to sustain a third?
The Masonry Expands to Fremont
The popular Lower Queene Anne beer and wood-fired pizza bar just announced its second location, in Fremont, reports Hot Tipper (and Stranger cannabis columnist) Lester Black. He knows his way around beer, and says he's always "blown away" by their taplist. Their pizza also looks pretty dope, so this is very good news indeed. No word on an opening date, but the space appears to be locked down, so it shouldn't be long.
Mean Sandwich Got Robbed
Literally, someone broke in to their space and stole their cash drawer.
The homies out at @meanseattle were broken into and their cash was stolen. GO BUY A SANDWICH YA FREAKS! 💰💰💰 #Repost @meanseattle (@get_repost) ・・・ Aaand somebody broke into the restaurant and took all of our cash 😢. Everyone is safe and we're making the necessary changes to make sure this never happens again! We'll be open for business as usual today, but we'll be accepting credit cards ONLY until we get a new cash drawer! 💸
That's fucked, but I guess if you're shitty enough to break into a business, you're shitty enough not to care that the business you're breaking into is a small, independent sandwich shop. Some fucking Robin Hoods you are, crusties.
B-Side Foods Makes it Official
In better news, B-Side Foods, the breakfast and lunch cafe adjacent to and affiliated with Analog Coffee, is officially open. They were operating out of a grab-n-go window beneath Analog, and that was sufficient to make me fall in love with their fish toast, but now they're a real restaurant. The window is no more and now you can actually go inside. Congrats!
The Saint's Kitchen Shuts Down
“We have really hardworking, talented people in the kitchen,” owner Quentin Ertel tells the Met, “The challenge, however, is that we need more people like them.”
They're closed for a month as of the 3rd, and will reopen after a renovation intended to turn up the lounge vibe. Afterwards, there will be some sort of salty snack still available, but the focus will shift to their booze. Given their selection of mezcal, that ain't necessarily a bad thing. And hey, there's always Tortas Condesa if you're craving some midnight Mexican food.
Sun Liquor Will Still be an Oasis of Liquor
Specifically, the owner of Oasis Tea Zone and Eastern Café, I-Miun Liu, will take over the Pike Street space to open a bar/restaurant with Asian-inspired food and tea-themed cocktails, Capitol Hill Times reports. It'll be called East Trading Company, and he expects to open "in the next few months."
City Ties Up Loose Ends on Restaurant Composting
We've had mandatory biodegradable to-go containers for awhile now, but straws and utensils were exempt from that requirement, reports Q13 Fox. The exemption was intended to let compostable manufacturing technology catch up to the city's rules, and it expires July 1, 2018. We won't be renewing it, and restaurants will be switching to compostables or reusables. Yay for small progress!
The Rain City Chef Alliance is the Real Deal
Composed of Jeff Vance, Perfecte Rocher, Maximillian Petty, Heong Soon Park, and Alex Barkley, this new pop-up collab promises to impress. Their restaurants are, respectively, No Anchor/Navy Strength, Tarsan i Jane, Eden Hill, Chan/Bacco, and Manolin. Proceeds will go to benefit Big Table, an awesome non-profit that helps chefs suffering from issues with substances and work-related stress. Lord knows those are issues in the industry, so any dollars you spend on RCCA dinners will be dollars well spent. Looks like they'll be holding them at Rocher's place, Tarsan i Jane, so they'll be in a pretty sublime space to boot. The first dinner should be sometime this month, so keep an eye on our events calendar for more details.
OMFG IDGAF About PSL
It's that time of year again, when consumers flock to Starbucks in search of saccharine-sweet, artificially pumpkin-flavored beverages. If the Pumpkin Spice Latte is your raison d'être, you might care to know that the rollout has been a bit uneven this year. As Eater reports, you can't believe everything you read on social media. Also, if you're reading this, you almost certainly live in Seattle, a city rife with artisan, independent, third-wave coffee shops. Support them.