If you're in search of hygge, look no further than this new Scandinavian-inspired cafe in South Lake Union, which celebrated its grand opening on December 11. The cafe serves specialty coffee from Hagen Coffee Roasters and has its own exclusive coffee line, as well as family-recipe pastries, "brunch selections by a Michelin star chef" (according to their website), snacks, beer, and wine.
South Lake Union
Sam Choy's Poke to the Max
The James Beard Award-winning Hawaiian celebrity chef and restaurateur Sam Choy, a.k.a. the "godfather of poke," opens a location of his island-themed eatery Poke to the Max inside Sea-Tac Airport today. In addition to the company's regular menu, which includes garlic chicken, spam musubi, and poke (of course), this new outpost also sees the addition of a breakfast menu, a first for the chain. Guests will be able to grab Hawaiian-inspired breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, and loco moco.
Hillman City's Peruvian chicken joint, which The Stranger's Angela Garbes wrote about in 2015, will close after its final service today, December 13. According to Eater Seattle, a "small business" with a "strong following" is poised to take over the space.
Full Tilt Ice Cream
Capitol Hill is down another ice cream option: Just after last week's announcement that beloved ice creamery Kurt's Farm Shop will close on December 31, the beloved pinball/ice cream shop chain Full Tilt announced that it too will close its Capitol Hill location at the end of the year. On Facebook, owner Justin Cline wrote, "It is not the right area for us. We knew the cost of rent when we went into this space, but we thought we would have the traffic to support it. That did not happen." He noted that the Capitol Hill employees will go to work at other locations, and that "other projects" are in the works for the business.
The controversial grocery chain New Seasons has been acquired by the South Korean company who owns Metropolitan Market and will close its Ballard location and abandon its plans to anchor a Central District development. Metropolitan Market will take over the chain's Mercer Island location by mid-2020.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Chengdu Taste prepares to open in Seattle
The super-popular Sichuan chain Chengdu Taste, which started in Los Angeles and has locations in Hawaii, Houston, and Las Vegas, is finalizing preparations for opening its Seattle location in the International District's Publix building, which currently houses Dough Zone and Hood Famous Cafe and Bar. The outpost is currently slated to open in early 2020, possibly by February.
In-N-Out draws nearer
In-N-Out has opened a location in Keizer, Oregon, its closest outpost to Seattle so far—meaning just 217 miles stand between you and those animal-style fries.
Fogon plans to open a bar
Capitol Hill's convivial, beloved Mexican restaurant Fogon will open a sister bar called La Josie's Mexican Bar, named in tribute to owner Noel Cortez's late nephew and business partner Jose Ambriz, in the former space of nearby East Trading Co. The bar is set to open in early 2020.
Feast Portland founders update Taste Washington event
According to Seattle Met, Carrie Welch and Mike Thelin, the founders of the popular festival Feast Portland, are stepping in to tweak the annual food and wine festival Taste Washington. The lineup so far includes some of Seattle's most prominent culinary stars: Ethan Stowell, Edouardo Jordan of Junebaby and Salare, Rachel Yang of Revel and Joule, Brady Williams of Canlis, Shota Nakajima of Adana, Brian Clevenger of Le Messe, Melissa Miranda of Musang, Logan Cox of Homer, Mitch Mayers of Sawyer, and Elisabeth Kenyon of Rupee and Manolin. This year will also add Pacific Standard, a night focused on seafood, and several collaboration dinners hosted at "legendary Seattle restaurants," which may or may not include big-deal chefs from elsewhere in the country. The full schedule will be announced on January 13, and tickets will be available on January 17.
No Passport Required episode highlights Seattle
In a new episode of No Passport Required that airs at 9 pm on PBS tonight, chef Marcus Samuelsson examines Seattle's Filipino food scene and visits local favorites Oriental Mart, Fou Lee Market and Deli, Hood Famous Cafe & Bar, Knee High Stocking Co., Archipelago, Barkada, and the now-closed East Trading Co. and Ludi's. In a post on Instagram, Melissa Miranda of Musang shared that Samuelsson had joined her and her parents for an intimate conversation over dinner at her home and wrote, "Thankful that all of our community could come together and show him Filipinx hospitality and our stories in our own words."
Seattle contestant on Great American Baking Show
In other TV news, contestant Bianca Johnson will be the first Seattleite to compete to be named the country's best amateur baker on a special holiday edition of The Great American Baking Show (the American version of Great British Bake-Off). Bianca works at the local startup Pro.com as a user experience designer and runs her own home baking business Bianca Bakes.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13
Bisickle Brewers' Reserve Bottle Release
Take home some Bisickle Wheat Wine Brewers' Reserve to age in your closet and try some on tap.
Open Vault: Rare & Holiday Aquavit Night
Skål will pluck some bottles of hard-to-find aquavit (a Scandinavian distilled spirit) from their cellars, including various holiday flavors to get you in the Yuletide spirit and varieties from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Midwest.
Perennial Abraxas Release Party
Chuck's Hop Shop has pledged to maintain a steady flow of "viscous and boozy" beers to keep drinkers warm this winter, and Perennial Artisan Ales' Abraxas (an Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks) is no exception. They'll release it in bottles and pour the 2017, coffee, and vanilla versions, too.
Miracle on 2nd
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. Now the pop-up has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world and will be returning to Belltown’s Rob Roy this year. The specialty cocktails are no ordinary cups of cheer: Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels (a drinking mug resembling Santa’s mug, for example), bedecked with fanciful garnishes like peppers and dried pineapple, and christened with irreverent, pop-culture-referencing names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F**r,” and the “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.” New this year: At nearby Vinnie's Raw Bar, there will be a spin-off holiday-tiki-themed pop-up called "Sippin' Santa," which asks you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine." Drinks include the "Kris Kringle Colada" (dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime and pineapple juice, and cream of coconut) and the "Christmas Eve of Destruction" (dark overproof rum, herbal liqueur, nutmeg syrup, lime juice, and Angostura bitters). JULIANNE BELL
This holiday-tiki-themed cocktail bar pop-up (a spinoff of Miracle on 2nd) invites you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine." Drinks include the "Kris Kringle Colada" (dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime and pineapple juice, and cream of coconut) and the "Christmas Eve of Destruction" (dark overproof rum, herbal liqueur, nutmeg syrup, lime juice and Angostura bitters).
DECEMBER 13-28, FRIDAY-SATURDAY
Instead of gazing at a virtual Yule log video, take your tea beside an actual roaring, crackling hearth at Hotel Sorrento’s Fireside Room, a Mad Men–worthy old-school vision in opulent ochre mahogany paneling. You can nosh on posh teatime fare—like freshly baked butter croissants, lemon scones, and chocolate beignets; cured salmon with alfalfa sprouts and herb cream cheese; and smoked ham with pimento cheese and pickles—as you sink into a squishy high-backed leather chair and enjoy sounds played on a baby grand piano. If you’re lucky, you might even spy the ghost of Alice B. Toklas, who is said to roam the halls of the hotel.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
Artisan Donuts with 9th and Hennepin
Justin Newstrum of the Tom-Waits-inspired farmers market fixture 9th and Hennepin, which fries up seasonally inspired doughnuts to order, will lead this class on how to make raised doughnuts and fritters at home and fill and glaze them with tasty fruits and flavors.
Barrel Aged Lion Tamer Bottle Release (2019)
Ravenna Brewing Co. will debut wax-dipped bottles of their Lion Tamer Vanilla Porter, aged in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels.
Beer & Chocolate Celebration
Fremont's fair-trade chocolate factory Theo Chocolate is releasing a new collection of "beer confections," including a pate de fruit made with Reuben's Brews Hazealicious IPA. To mark the release, Reuben's will offer a trio of their beers paired with the pate de fruit and two other Theo treats.
Danish Christmas Fest
Warm up with Danish winter treats (like æbleskiver, gløgg, and Christmas cookies) and sips (like Nordic brews, ciders, and aquavit) while you shop for vintage goods from a pop-up market.
Deck the Brew Hall
Browse a holiday market for locally made gifts, try holiday-infused beers on tap, and meet the "Santa Claus Yeti." Dogs and kids are welcome.
Fremont Ugly Sweater Bar Party
Pull on your ugliest sweater (or zip/button up your ugliest sweater if you plan on rocking one of those split-snowman motifs) and run around with your fellow Fremont freaks to neighborhood bars for holiday merriment and drink specials.
Hama Hama Oyster Happy Hour
Sip natural wine and gulp slippery bivalves from Hama Hama.
Holiday Drinks that Don't Suck
As the site of the cocktail wonderland Miracle on 2nd, Rob Roy is an ideal place to craft a tasty holiday beverage. Paul Clarke, editor of Imbibe Magazine and author of Cocktail Chronicles, will teach you to make some of your own while you sip drinks made by Rob Roy owner Anu Elford.
Lager Day Schwarzbier
Lucky Envelope will reprise their fan-favorite schwarzbier black lager on tap. Try it in a flight alongside their Lucky Envelope Helles Lager, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, and Vienna Amber Lager.
Locust Holiday Party!
Tug on your tackiest knitwear and receive $1 off your first pint of Locust Cider, served hot or cold. Even more merrymaking will ensue in the form of ornament decorating.
Italian Chesnut Roast and Art
Eat Italian-imported chestnuts roasted on an open fire and buy paintings by local artist Amanda Hulbert. Also on deck: sausage sandwiches and wine by the glass.
Enjoy natural wine (wine made with minimal intervention) along with snacks and music at this pop-up that Stranger contributor Jordan Michelman called "a roaming series of natural-wine bottle parties with an experiential, interactive bent," this time taking place at Dacha Diner.
Oysters+Bubbly no. 2
Celebrate the felicitous pairing of oysters and sparkling wine with bivalves from Hama Hama and bubbles from Bottlehouse.
Serafina & Cicchetti Holiday Bazaar
Need a gift for the foodies in your life? This fifth annual market hosted by beloved Italian sister restaurants Cicchetti and Serafina will offer such Seattle-specific delights as infused olive oil, spice blends, tomato sauce, and cookies, plus other gifts like essential oils. The kitchen will be shelling out bites and the resident sommelier, Sal, will be pouring small tastes of wine while you shop.
Tessellate: 3 & Tessellate: 4 Release
Urban Family Brewing will unveil two of the beers in their Tessellate series: Tessellate 3, a full-bodied beer "exploding with dark berries and a cherry pie nose," and Tessellate 4, a French oak barrel-aged brew reminiscent of "childhood candy" with "fuzzy peach, a punch of bright strawberry, oaky vanilla, and a touch of cinnamon." Complement them with pan-fried noodles, pork buns, dumplings, lotus leaf sticky rice wraps, and potstickers.
Tiki Tidings at The Nest
If you're a sun-worshipper longing for summer, look no further than this beachy rooftop bash at the Nest, complete with fruity drinks, coconuts, beach balls, and entertainment by Valtesse.
West Seattle Santa Pub Crawl #7
Don Santa's fleecy red suit and amble from bar to bar in the West Seattle Junction, participating in Christmas present raffles at each stop. To really get in character, bring a small toy as a Toys for Tots donation to spread some cheer.
Wink Doughnuts Pop-Up Shop
Start off your Saturday with gluten-free, organic, and plant-based doughnuts from Wink and hot coffee from Broadcast Coffee Roasters.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
Annual SODO Holiday Tasting
Join the Grinch, Santa, Victorian carolers, and a festive mariachi band at this wine tasting.
De La Soil and Stoup Brewing Collaborative Warehouse Dinner
Lecosho executive chef Cody Westerfield, who runs the "hyperlocal" farm-to-table pop-up De La Soil on the side, will team up with Stoup Brewing co-owner/brewer Robyn Shumacher (the first woman in Washington to receive her cicerone certification) for a multi-course dinner. DJ DJCIDE will provide tunes.
Fish Skool with Fishmonger Ryan Rector: Uni & Oysters
Roll up your sleeves and learn how to clean local uni (sea urchin) and shuck oysters in this hands-on demonstration with Pike Place fishmonger Ryan Rector.
Holiday Edible Gifts
Since the best gifts are those that are handmade and can be consumed immediately by their recipients, you should earn big points with your loved ones by giving them nut-free Mexican wedding cookies, caramels (either chewy or crunchy), chocolate truffles, and mulled spice bundles made by you.
Holiday Makers Market and Cookie Exchange
Stock up on last-minute gifts and baked goods at this market featuring vendors like the bakery pop-up Ben’s Bread, the Vashon-based cidery Nashi Orchards, small-batch artisan caramel and chocolate maker Meg Maggie Margaret Chocolates, the floral studio and garden Fortunate Orchard, and more. Plus, bring a batch of your favorite cookies to share for a chance to trade them with other participants.
Dig into a family-style dinner revolving around lobster in a myriad of forms, including lobster salad, lobster bruschetta, lobster bisque, grilled lobster, roasted lobster, lobster pappardelle, and lobster risotto.
Urban Homestead Brunch Feast
If you’ve been seeing chickens in people’s yards for years but have still never tasted an urban egg, now is your chance. City homesteaders are holding a brunch to raise money for Planned Parenthood, and for the price of admission ($15) plus a $75 donation to PP in Mike Pence’s name, you can enjoy a seven-course brunch of backyard foods ranging from whole roasted cauliflower with lemon tahini sauce to toffee apples to braised pastured eggs with leeks and za’atar. After the meal, you are invited to feed grubs and cracked corn to the resident hens and geese. DAVID LEWIS
Wreath Making with Woodford Reserve!
Sip a Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktail while crafting a fresh wreath to grace your front door.
Xmas Party & Holiday Bake Off
Bring your festive fruit cakes and bread to this holiday bake-off to meet Santa and drink your fill of barleywine.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 16
Delancey Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian American supper featuring seven kinds of fish or seafood, usually served before midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. This lavish spread from Delancey promises the freshest catches the Ballard pizzeria can procure, with albacore crudo, handmade Il Corvo pasta with lobster, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, anchovies, roasted oysters snatched from Delancey’s roaring wood-fired oven, and a steady flow of wine throughout. They’ll finish with some delightful-sounding butterscotch pots de creme for dessert.
Getaway Scar Release Party
Try Elysian's limited-release Getaway Scar, a session IPA brewed with Belma, El Dorado, Huell Melon, and Enigma hops and the third installment in their Singles One Batch series. Peach crisp will be served, and the first 30 people to show up will snag free swag.
Guava Malasada Pop-Up
For one day only, revel in malasadas (a kind of Portuguese doughnut dusted with crunchy granulated sugar) stuffed with a juicy pink guava filling at Columbia City's Hawaiian-Asian fusion spot Super Six.
Punch Hunger In The Face
At this fundraiser, you're invited to deal a violent blow to hunger by ordering Seattle Cider's new Punch Bowl flavor, as well as their canned dry and semisweet ciders and Two Beers Wonderland Trail on draft, and participate in raffles. Proceeds will benefit the local nonprofit Food Lifeline, which provides food to more than 300 food banks, shelters, and meal programs across Western Washington.