This week brings a second chance for some previously closed restaurants: The ever-popular Babirusa, which broke a lot of hearts with the closure of its Eastlake location last December, is officially back in business in Belltown as of yesterday. Plus, RPM Pizza and Records opens again under new ownership. Read on for all of that and more food news you need to know, like the next round of James Beard finalists, new weekend hours for Westman's Bagel & Coffee, and St. Patrick's day specials at places like Salt & Straw and Cupcake Royale. For more ideas, check out our complete food & drink calendar or our restaurant listings.
The beloved Babirusa, which closed its Eastlake location in December, opened its doors at its new location in the former Kushibar space in Belltown this Thursday. While sibling restaurant Blind Pig Bistro is not returning, Babirusa will reprise Blind Pig Bistro's nightly six-course tasting menus.
This new Turkish restaurant features authentic dishes like stuffed pides (flatbreads), lahmacun (Turkish pizza), and baklava, with dough made in-house daily and fresh ingredients. It's been garnering enthusiastic reviews on Yelp since March 5.
A rustic Italian restaurant called Pasta Casalinga, serving freshly extruded handmade Italian pasta, is set to open on Tuesday, March 20, in the former space of Pike Place Market's Honest Biscuits (which moved to Pike Place's Marketfront expansion). The establishment is co-owned by cooking instructor Michela Tartaglia of the Italian cooking school Cucina Casalinga.
Chef Rob Sevcik's restaurant featuring contemporary French and New American small plates, which was previously available by reservation only, is officially open for business on Friday, starting with dinner service.
RPM Pizza and Records
The vinyl-themed pizzeria, which shuttered in December 2017, is back under new ownership, according to Eater. Previous owner Harvey Ward Van Allen (of Casco Antiguo) sold the business to Richard Cano, who will keep much of the aesthetic and menu of the restaurant the same but plans to introduce a new pizza dough recipe and expand the establishment's record collection. RPM is now open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is expected to open for expanded hours starting next week.
Stampede Cocktail Club
Bartender Paul Shanrock, who's previously spent time at the Sexton, Rocco's, Joli, and Rider, is opening this craft cocktail bar in the former space of the Helm, which closed in late 2017. According to the Seattle Met, Shanrock hopes to open by April 19th but says the bar may more realistically be open in May.
Beer bar Trailbend Taproom, which features "42 constantly rotating taps from local, national and international breweries and cideries" alongside "pizzas, salads and tasty vittles," is softly open in Ballard, according to the Seattle Met.
Urban Luxe Cafe
This "minimalist eclectic" Mediterranean coffee house, which had its soft opening earlier this month, serves a menu of light tapas and small plates, sandwiches, pastries, larger plates, and desserts, with coffee, wine, and beer.
Bluebird Ice Cream
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the "microcreamery" is offering a little "lick o' the Irish" for a limited time with a verdant vanilla-mint Shamrock ice cream, naturally colored light green from plant dyes. It's available in scoops, shakes, and pints through the weekend or while supplies last.
The cupcake bakery has "Pot o' Gold" cupcakes for the holiday: chocolate cupcakes infused with Two Beers Brewing Jive Espresso Stout, filled with Jameson Whiskey buttercream, and topped with whipped Irish cream buttercream and shamrock sprinkles. They also have the Grasshopper, a mint-chocolate confection with peppermint buttercream dipped in chocolate, and a Whiskey Maple-Bacon flavor, available just for March.
Molly Moon's Ice Cream
Molly Moon Neitzel's local ice cream parlor chain's current sundae is the Pub Snack Sundae, featuring their malty chocolate Optimism Fudge Porter flavor created in collaboration with Optimism Brewing, drizzled with cold Theo Chocolate milk chocolate sauce and sprinkled with a pretzel crunch topping (and whipped cream and a Chukar cherry, of course).
Salt and Straw
Love sugary cereal milk? The Portland-based ice creamery will have a technicolor "Pots of Gold and Rainbows" flavor made with Lucky Charms sorted by hand, featuring a whole grain cereal-steeped base with marshmallow "charms" folded into it—just in time for St. Patrick's Day.
To celebrate turning a decade old, the gourmet cupcakery has created an over-the-top Tenth Anniversary cupcake: funfetti cake adorned with a macaron, lollipop, marshmallow, meringue kiss, white chocolate-dipped pretzel, circus animal cookies, donut holes, and a collection of Trophy blue candies. For St. Patrick's Day, they also have a Chocolate Guiness Stout flavor topped with Irish cream buttercream and a lucky green shamrock.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Guy Fieri comes to town
The mayor of Flavortown himself tweeted that he was in Seattle scoping out a few spots for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
James Beard finalists announced
The 20 Washington-based semi-finalists for the James Beard awards (an honor often likened to the Oscars of the food world, named for the legendary late cook and cookbook author) have been winnowed to four finalists: JuneBaby for Best New Restaurant, Canlis for Outstanding Restaurant, and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi of Joule and Eduoardo Jordan of Salare for Best Chef. The winners will be announced on May 7 in Chicago.
In addition, Bill Addison of Eater is up for a Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award for his review of JuneBaby, and Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya of Modernist Cuisine are nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award for their book Modernist Bread. In other local news: Filmmaker Andrew Gooi has been nominated for Visual and Technical Excellence for his Food Talkies films and podcaster Rachel Belle has been nominated in the podcast category for Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle.
Jason Wilson and El Gaucho crew announce plans for new restaurants
James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson and the El Gaucho team, who partnered up to form the restaurant group Fire and Vine in February 2017, have announced four new projects in the works, including a Pike Place Market restaurant with ingredients sourced from the market (slated to open sometime this summer). The group also plans to open three establishments in Walla Walla: a steakhouse called Walla Walla Steak Co., a brewery called Crossbuck Brewing. (housed inside a former train depot), and Eritage, a luxury resort and restaurant (due to open in early May).
Poquitos expands to Bothell
Upscale Capitol Hill-based Mexican restaurant Poquitos is set to open a new location in Bothell in a shared apartment complex and commercial space called the Junction. The Capitol Hill menu appears to be carrying over to the Bothell location, which will open Monday, March 26.
Safeco Field adds new food offerings
The ballpark is expanding its food options for the upcoming 2018 Mariners season to include bites from Din Tai Fung (alas, not the famous soup dumplings, but pork wontons, wonton soup, and steamed bao buns) and Georgetown's Jack's BBQ, reports Eater. In addition, fans can look forward to an updated menu from Ethan Stowell's Dynamite Chicken stand; sweet treats from On Deck Donuts; new sandwiches from Sultan of Sandwich; lobster rolls with garlic-celery aioli from Sound Seafood; and long-bone beef ribs from Holy Smoke BBQ. Plus, Chateau Ste. Michelle's 14 Hands Wine will be available by the glass or carafe at stands and restaurants throughout Safeco.
Starbucks debuts new gin barrel-aged cold brew
Starbucks is offering a sparkling nonalcoholic gin-barrel aged cold brew exclusively at its Capitol Hill Starbucks Reserve Roastery location for a limited time. The drink is made with a Rwandan coffee concentrate aged in gin barrels from local craft distillery Captive Spirits and mixed with tonic, lime, and ice.
Westman’s Bagel & Coffee adds weekend hours
Monica Dimas and Molly Westman's New York-style bagel shop announced via Instagram that they are expanding their hours to include weekends, starting this Saturday, so you can now pick up an everything bagel or a BEC (bacon egg and cheese) and coffee to linger over on leisurely mornings.
16th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal
This hedonistic festival celebrating the "biggest, boldest brews born between Bellingham and Belgium" (and elsewhere) will feature over 70 strong barleywines over the course of four days, with 30 dedicated taps and a new selection each day.
FRIDAY, MARCH 16
A5 Wagyu Beef Event
For one night only, Ten Sushi will offer Wagyu beef sashimi that they promise "will literally melt in your mouth," with meat produced by Japanese artisan farmers.
Arthropods and Absinthe Cocktail Party
Learn all about insects from Don Ehlen of Insect Safari, who'll have an array of preserved and living buggies for you to discover and make friends with (be gentle with our segmented friends!). Your ticket will include two cocktails or non-alcoholic drinks or wine.
Beer Release: Moon Path
The Beanfish food truck will join Urban Family Brewing Company for the release of their Moon Path, a fruity "blend of wine barrel aged saisons and golden sours that were married together in our foudre with a portion of fresh saison" re-fermented with blackberries and black currants.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17
Author Talk: How to Taste by Becky Selengut
Sure, tasting might sound easy enough, but truly honing your palate is actually a learned process that can help elevate your cooking to the next level. Luckily, local food writer Becky Selengut's new book How to Taste, based on her popular class of the same name at The Pantry, shows you how to do just that. The book explains the scientific principles of how salt, acid, sweet, fat, bitter, bite (heat), aromatics, and texture combine to create a flavor and teaches cooks of all levels on how to rely on their taste buds to tweak dishes, with kitchen experiments and recipes (sweet potato soup with chile and lemongrass, anyone?) to demonstrate the lessons of each chapter. At this event, Selengut will do a demonstration to illustrate some of the concepts from her book and sign copies purchased at the Book Larder.
Cookie Pop-Up with Salt and Other Vices
Pop-up Salt & Other Vices will peddle fresh-baked cookies in flavors like Vanilla Bean Salted Chocolate Chip, Coconut Macaroon, Ode to My Youth, Olivia's Peppermint Patty, and their signature Everything Cookie.
The Feast of St. Patrick
BottleNeck has been throwing their St. Patrick's Day bash for over a decade. This year, the festivities include "Chef Arnie's famous corned beef sandwich"; green Rice Krispy Treats for kids; and ice cream stout floats, Irish whiskey, and specialty cocktails for grown-ups. Plus, a lineup of Irish-style brews like Boundary Bay Irish Red, Iron Horse Quilter's Irish Death, Diamond Knot Slaine's Irish Red, Lowercase Dry Irish Stout and Double Mountain Black Irish Stout (on nitro).
Mulleady's Eighth Annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner
Mulleady's will serve a prix-fixe dinner menu with dishes like pork belly with wilted cabbage and pickled shallots and corned beef with parsnip-yukon potato mash, with toasted lemon meringue parfait for dessert. It's likely to sell out, and Mulleady's won't be open after 2 p.m. otherwise (because they "have no desire to be overrun with 'overly festive' guests"), but they will open at 9 a.m. for a $20-per-person brunch, which will include corned beef and cabbage, house-made scones, and bloody Marys.
Oysters + Bubbles No. 5
Sip bubbly and slurp bivalves and enjoy live music.
Reading Rainbow: CD Ice Cream Edition with Jeffrey Cheatham II
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and books at this free family-friendly event. Jeff "Jay" Cheatham II, founder of the Seattle Urban Book Expo (SUBE), will read from his award-winning children's books and host activities, and sweet treats will abound. Plus, there'll be raffle for a $15 Central District Ice Cream gift card and a signed copy of a book by Cheatham.
St. Pat's Parade O' Pints
Raise a glass of Populuxe's Soda Bread Stout, a "dark and toasty" classic dry Irish stout on nitro with "creamy chocolate and coffee notes." Plus, husband and wife duo the Blaas will play Irish reels, jigs, polkas, and waltzes, and at a special Celtic edition of baby ketten karaoke, you'll get $1 beers for performing a hit by your favorite singer of Irish descent, like Sinead O'Connor, Shane McGowan, or the Cranberries. (Enya is verboten, however.)
Sweet Alchemy St. Patrick's Day 2018
For St. Patrick's Day, receive a naturally dyed green pizzelle cookie with purchase of an ice cream or coffee. You can also get a cone of Sweet Alchemy's seasonal "Lick of the Irish" flavor (Irish cream base, with a Guinness ganache chocolate swirl).
Vegan Tamale Cooking Class
Non-dairy eaters, rejoice: El Centro de la Raza's La Cocina School will teach your how to make vegan tamales from a pro tamalera. Hear a brief history of the dish before diving into the cooking process.
Bacon Eggs & Kegs
This boozy brunch bacchanal features tastings of over 80 different beers and ciders, a 30-foot Bloody Mary bar with "deep fried, pickled, fresh, meaty and cheesy toppings," Irish coffee, mimosas, adult root beer floats, dueling pianos, lawn games (including "giant Jenga" and "life-size Yahtzee"), sweet and savory bacon-studded brunch dishes, and more.
SUNDAY, MARCH 18
Beef & Burgundy
Following the format of their popular Lamb & Rose dinner at the Whale Wins and their Normandy dinner at the Walrus & The Carpenter, Renee Erickson's Sea Creatures restaurant group presents Beef & Burgundy at Bateau, a celebration of red wines and red meat. They'll feature grass-fed beef, butchered and dry-aged in house, paired with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines "from the Cote d’Or to Macon."
Brunch with Musang: Spring Pop-Up
Get thee to the spring edition of Bar del Corso chef Melissa Miranda's Filipino pop-up, which will feature dishes like tortang talong (eggplant omelette and garlic fried rice).
Caffe Vita Public Brewing School
Take your at-home coffee game up a notch with this free class, which will teach you brewing techniques like French Press, Chemex, Bonmac Pour Over, and Aeropress.
Coffee & Cameras
Fuel up with coffee and doughnuts before exploring downtown Seattle with the Top Pot team and your camera.
Lechoncito: Puerto Rican Dinner
At this sought-after pop-up, addo chef Eric Rivera cooks a five-course meal exploring Puerto Rican cuisine, inspired by the lechoneras (outdoor restaurants with whole-roasted pigs) of Puerto Rico.
Marie-Agnes Herout at L'Oursin
French cider-maker Marie-Agnes Herout, the woman behind the rare, "minerally" French ciders of Hérout, Cidres & Calvados, will make an appearance at romantic French bistro L'Oursin with tastings of her ciders paired with Normandy-style dishes. Guests will get a chance to try her newest Calvados barrel-aged cider, Coup de Foudre.
Pisco Patrimonio Launch Party
For the launch of the new book Pisco Patrimonio by photographer Adam Weintraub, sip craft cocktails made with the Peruvian spirit by Jay Kuehner ("the best pisco barman north of Lima, Peru") and snack on Peruvian appetizers.
MONDAY, MARCH 19
Hérout à Auvers Cider Tasting Dinner
Feast on six courses of French farm-to-table cuisine, with a special focus on Normandy dishes paired with Hérout à Auvers ciders, cider vinegar, and Pommeau de Normandie AOC.