This week, the new neighborhood bistro Samara brings wood-fired fare and biodynamic wines to Ballard. Samara via Facebook

This week brings wood-fueled fare and biodynamic wines to Ballard and superlative smoked meats to South Lake Union. Read on for more of the latest Seattle food news, plus tasty weekend plans like Root Pie Day and a pop-up preview of Jewish deli Zylberschtein's. For more ideas, check out our list of places to watch the Super Bowl and our food and drink calendar.

OPENINGS
Jack's BBQ
The SoDo-based Texas-style barbecue joint Jack's BBQ, which recently added a location inside the Columbia Tower food court, has opened a location in South Lake Union, serving the same menu of brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, sides, and more, with breakfast tacos available in the morning.
South Lake Union

Mr. Saigon
This Vietnamese eatery serving affordable banh mi sandwiches made with fresh house-made baguettes and homemade ingredients, which opened a location in the Central District last May, officially expanded with a downtown location (which we reported was upcoming in December) and had its first Yelp review on December 31. The downtown location features an expanded menu, with items like croissants, salads, and spring rolls. Mr. Saigon's website also notes that a third location in Pioneer Square is "coming soon."
Downtown

Samara
Chef Eric Anderson, who previously spent time at Higgin's and Besaw's Cafe in Portland, opened this new "wood-fueled neighborhood bistro" serving seasonal wood-fired fare like charred onigiri and Dungeness crab this week in the former space of Rain City Video. To drink, there's biodynamic wine and seasonal batched cocktails.
Ballard

CLOSURES
Birch
Chef Jeffrey Kessenich's waterfront restaurant Birch appears to be temporarily closed "for spring break" and says it will re-open in summer, with pop-up happy hours and dinners throughout the spring.

Dad's Diner A Go Go
Earlier this month, this Anacortes-based diner (once praised by Governor Jay Inslee for its superlative buttermilk pancakes) closed its Eastlake outpost, which opened in the former space of the original Babirusa in September. The owners wrote in a Facebook post, "We hoped we could continue the magic that built our reputation and success in Anacortes, but we failed. There is no one else to blame. Not our management, our staff, or our landlord. Just us. We had a lot of circumstantial setbacks, hurdles, and mountainous roadblocks to overcome that we could not surmount, but ultimately we take full responsibility. We hope we left you all with a taste of who we are and some delicious food. Thank you all for your love, support, criticism, and honesty. We will continue to strive to be our best and overall, be good people."
Eastlake

Sweet Bumpas
Former Poppy pastry chef Matt Bumpas, whose ice cream was once described by The Stranger's Angela Garbes as "so profound, it's almost transcendent," announced via Instagram that he has left Seattle to move back home to the East Coast to be with family.
Various locations

OTHER FOOD NEWS
Manolin owners opening Sri Lankan bar
Manolin chef Alex Barkley, who has been head chef at the Fremont restaurant since 2014, is leaving to relocate to Arizona—former sous chef Alvin Tsao will become the chef de cuisine and chef Liz Kenyon will serve as executive chef. Following the news of Barkley's departure, owners Joe Sundberg and Rachel Johnson announced that they will be opening a bar called Rupee in Ballard, serving an interpretation of Sri Lankan fare, later this year.

Mr. West plans to open second location in University Village
Mr. West, the downtown bar and cafe from the owners of Bottlehouse in Madrona, will open a location this summer inside the former space of the University Village cooking store Mrs. Cook's, which closed in December after 42 years. The menu will include espresso, wine, beer, spirits, charcuterie, egg sandwiches, avocado toast, and more, while the space will feature a patio with a fireplace and a wine bar inside.

Capitol Hill restaurant Chavez will become Violet
Chef William Belickis, who closed his downtown restaurant Mistral Kitchen in January 2018 after eight years, is returning to Capitol Hill Mexican restaurant Chavez to oversee its transformation into Violet, a new project that will open by Valentine's Day. Belickis is updating the restaurant with an entirely new cocktail menu, tasting menu, bar menu, and wine list and will keep the space largely the same as before.

Métier announces partnership with Homegrown
Métier, the upscale bicycle shop and training center on Capitol Hill, has announced it will partner with local sustainable sandwich and salad chain Homegrown to update its cafe, which will also serve beer from Métier Brewing.

EVENTS
FRIDAY, FEB. 1
Latinx Street Food Pop-up at Scuttlebutt Brewery
Try a snack, main course, and dessert from chef Jose Garzon's menu along with a flight of three brews.

SATURDAY, FEB. 2
Belgian Fest
Brewing beers with Belgian yeast yields a range of ales with a distinctive fruity flavor. This festival featuring more than 100 Belgian-style beers crafted by Washington breweries is the perfect opportunity to taste them all, including funky lambics, tangy saisons, dubbels, tripels, abbeys, and wits. If you work up an appetite, food trucks like Dante’s Inferno Hot Dogs and Buddha Bruddah will be on-site slinging hearty fare.

National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
Break out your comfiest sleepwear to observe Ice Cream for Breakfast Day with Full Tilt, who'll be scooping up limited-edition breakfast-themed flavors and serving coffee and waffles a la mode for the occasion.

National Tater Tot Day - Adobo Totchos
In honor of the holiday dedicated to crispy, squishy, cylindrical potatoes, nosh on a Filipino take with tater tots, adobo, cheese sauce, sour cream, and green onions.

Root Pie Day
There's a fun bit of Belltown lore behind this unusual event: Years ago, the owners of the Belltown Café would provide food in exchange for art from hungry artists, which resulted in the creation of the Belltown Pan, a bell-shaped copper pan that could be used as a sign outside the cafe as well as a baking tray in a commercial oven. Each year on Groundhog Day, it would be taken inside to be washed, stuffed with tons of hearty root veggies and baked for a "root pie" feast, before it was returned to its usual place outside the door for the rest of the year. Now, the tradition symbolizing nourishment and community coming together to feed one another in the darkest part of winter lives on, as new reproductions of the original Belltown Pan go into circulation among local restaurants. Grab a free root pie pass under the canopy in Bell Street Park between 2nd and 3rd Ave to try root pies created by ten different restaurants, each with their individual interpretation.

Year of the Pig Celebration
Eat Chinese Lunar New Year pastries—including dumplings shaped like little pigs—paired with tea. 

Zylberschtein's Jewish Deli Food Truck: "Menu Preview #2"
Be among the first to try pastrami, soup, pickled items, and more Jewish fare from Standard Bakery owner Josh Grunig's upcoming Jewish deli and bakery Zylberschtein's before it opens, along with kosher brews from Brooklyn-based Schmaltz Brewing Company.

SUNDAY, FEB. 3
addo Themed Brunch (February): Smørrebrød
Partake in the Nordic-style delicacy of smørrebrød (open-faced toast) on rye bread from Ballard's Tall Grass Bakery.

Grand Opening and Super Bowl Party at Zeeks' New Capitol Hill Location!
Zeek's Pizza has a new location on Capitol Hill, and they'll celebrate by hosting a Super Bowl watch party with pizza, beer specials, happy hour pricing "on most of the menu," and live commentary from local sports broadcaster Mitch Levy.

Super Lechoncito Bowl
Trade in your usual game-day spread of nachos and tots for Puerto Rican-inspired bites from Chef Eric while the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams go head to head.

Tea Tasting at the PNA
Join the Phinney Neighborhood Association each month for a pinkies-out tasting of three different high-grade teas and learn how to describe flavor profiles using a flavor wheel.

MONDAY, FEB. 4
Author Talk: Cooking Scrappy with Joel Gamoran
Joel Gamoran, the star of the A&E series Scraps and the national chef of Sur La Table, will share his clever hacks for making the most of the ingredients and tools in your kitchen, from cooking with apple cores, shrimp shells, and pickle brine to repurposing your cast iron skillet into a pizza stone. He'll demonstrate a recipe from his new book, answer questions, and sign copies purchased at Book Larder.

TUESDAY, FEB. 5
Plenty of Clouds Lunar New Year Dinner at Stoup Brewing
Kick off the year of the boar with a porky family-style dinner courtesy of Capitol Hill's Sichuan-style Chinese restaurant Plenty of Clouds, featuring red-braised pork, lion's head meatballs, sichuan pork dumplings and more paired with five Stoup beers.

FEB. 1-28
Oyster Event
Ray's Boathouse and Cafe will seize the opportunity to enjoy oysters in their prime during the colder months, with a rotation of special pairings of chilled oysters and crisp sparkling wines from around the world all month long. Oysters are available individually, in pairs, or by the half dozen, with bubbly wines by the glass, half bottle, and bottle.