Local 360 Has a New Chef
Local 360 has a new chef: Scott Emerick, most recently of Restaurant Nora in the other Washington. Restaurant Nora was the nation's first certified organic restaurant, so he fits right in at Local 360, whose mission is to use as many organic ingredients as possible and to source as many of those as possible from within 360 miles.
He plans to put his mark on the restaurant with his food, of course, but also by making his own salt and starting a root cellar to see them through the winter, according their press release. Speaking of his food, he's planning to add some ember-roasted eggplant with wild mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, as well as a pappardelle with Carlton Farms pork ragu. Sounds tasty.
I stopped in Friday to see how things are going so far, and while I didn't have any of his new signature dishes, the kitchen is definitely doing God's work under his tutelage. When it's well-executed, Local 360's unfussy take on contemporary Northwest comfort food is hard to beat. They aren't trying to outfox anyone with esoteric dishes you have to Google to appreciate, they're just trying to make the best damn beef tartare you've had in awhile.
Beyond the perfectly classic beef tartare, the treviso salad we had was dressed in some sort of wonderfully zingy, slightly creamy dressing, and our bison steak frites was about as spot on as it possibly could be. I didn't understand why the excellent deviled eggs we started with needed a little log of crab leg on top, other than to justify the $11 price tag for three, but I'm not one to turn my nose up at any deviled egg. And crab is kind of like the bacon of the sea—it's not always necessary, but never unwelcome.
La Panadería Extends its Life
The temporary Mexican cafe pop-up, housed in the PACCAR Pavilion at Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, will be sticking around a little longer. More importantly, it will now be serving up its panini and tamales seven days a week, from 10am-3pm. The pop-up launched as part of SAM's partnership with local nonprofit Ventures, which fosters minority-owned businesses. I haven't been, but Bethany Jean Clement, at The Seattle Times, loved the place. Hopefully this translates into more permanent success for the brother/sister duo that runs it!
Along With a New Chef, RN74 Gets a New Happy Hour
RN74 recently announced a new chef, Michael Mina Group veteran Thomas Griese. Apparently, he's already shaking things up, as they've switched up their happy hour to a very alliteration-heavy concept: Burgers, Baguettes, Burgundy, and Beer.
What that means is that happy hour now consists of three burger preparations, three baguettes with different toppings, three "bites," three burgundies for $7 apiece, and three $5 beers. There are also three versions of feuille de brick, a take on the Vietnamese spring roll, including a duck confit option. Teased items from the alliterative all-stars of the menu include a french onion burger with gruyere, caramelized onions, and porcini butter; pastrami cured salmon baguette with fromage blanc, pickled red onion, and dill; and duck fat frites.
As if that doesn't give you enough ways to ball on a budget, there's also a progressive oyster happy hour, with bivalves starting at a ludicrously low $1.50 each. from 4-5pm and rising to $2.50 each from 5-6pm.
It's like this, basically:
Copper River Salmon Pioneer Jon Rowley Needs Your Help
On a more serious note, you might not know who Jon Rowley is, but he needs your help. If you've ever enjoyed Copper River salmon, you owe him a debt of gratitude, as he popularized it. Beyond that, he's been a general force for good when it comes to Northwest seafood, and was heavily involved in helping Taylor Shellfish and Olympia Oyster Company. Again, debt of gratitude.
Not to bum you out too hard, but he's also dying. He was recently diagnosed with a terminal disease and, given the current realities of the American healthcare system, his daughter Megan does not have the resources to manage the care that he requires. As depressing as it is to write these words, given how not funny the culinary industry's reliance on GoFundMe has become, here's a GoFundMe page.
If you want a less depressing way to help Rowley out, and one that would probably make the man for whom "the oyster is his world" very happy, Ray's Boathouse is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the Shigokus and Sumo Kumos they've brought in from Taylor Shellfish for the sad occasion. A half dozen is $19 well spent.
Skillet Ballard Is Reopening on the 2nd
The northern outpost of the popular Capitol Hill
artery clogger restaurant closed in July due to flood damage. Their neighbor, Parfait, reopened recently as well. The new Skillet will be pretty much the same, according to MyBallard, albeit with a slightly expanded patio.
Munch Cafe Closes
Eater has the scoop on the Greenwood cafe's demise:
"Greenwood’s Munch Café (8576 Greenwood Ave N), which often ran food next door to customers at Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, is closed; a handwritten sign on the storefront says, 'Coming soon! Japanese sushi and food.'"
If you live in Greenwood and love Japanese food with your craft beer, stay tuned, I guess? We'll keep you posted.
Populuxe's Rings in Fresh Hop Season with Their New Taproom
The popular Ballard nanobrewery has had an expansion in the works for a bit now, and finally unveiled it this weekend.
MyBallard also reports that they're ringing in fresh hop season with a couple releases: a fresh hop citra pale and a "Scandinavian-style" fresh hop farmhouse ale. If you are unfamiliar with the magic of fresh hop beer, wherein hop flowers go directly from harvest to the brew kettle, you should stop by Schooner Exact, Two Beers, Reuben's, or really anywhere to educate yourself. The hops just came down, so nearly every brewery worth their salt is putting one up on the taplist.
We Made It on the Taste America Tour Again
It can be very easy to complain about the city's new money, but all the fancy food that people be affording nowadays has really put us on the map. We're one of the 10 cities selected by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) for its Taste America traveling dinner/event series, which means they think we're really doing something really right. Representative of the culinary fabric of America, to borrow a line from event organizer Dick Stephens. Chef Maximillian Petty's media preview dish—a ludicrously tender 9-day marinated brisket with mole and fermented corn—certainly corroborated that.
Anyway, if you're someone who is enjoying the city's culinary delights and maybe also a $90,000 salary right out of college, there are still a few tickets left to the big fundraiser dinner at the Fairmont Olympic. In terms of value, the $275 ticket is actually kind of a steal, as the cocktail reception alone includes four items from four different hot chefs, as well as a cornucopia of "experiences," from beef to shellfish to the sweet flesh of ethically raised, hyperlocal unicorns. Okay, they only do the unicorn flesh at the $375 VIP level, but still, it's gonna be a lot of good stuff before you even sit down for dinner.
If you're not making that inflatable-ball-chair money, JBF is also hosting two free cooking demos at Sur le Table Kirkland, with Matt Dillon and Rachel Yang. All you have to do is RSVP, which you can do beginning on the 29th.
More Great Writing on Race and Food From Eater
Food is never just food, it's a mirror for society. Eater's been breaking out the Windex.