A&A Cafe and Organic Tamaleria Cider House
Capitol Hill has a new spot for tamales: Everett's A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria has opened a location in the former space of the recently closed poke joint Aloha Cup Bap on Broadway. The family-run, family-friendly spot uses tamale recipes handed down by co-owner Ali Carbajal's great-great-grandmother, who grew up in Mexico City, and the Everett spot is known to sell out daily. Eventually, the restaurant will serve cider from Everett-based Soundbite Cider alongside the handcrafted, husk-wrapped delights.
Meet Korean BBQ
An upscale Korean BBQ restaurant called Meet Korean BBQ, from the owner of Chan and Bacco Cafe, will have its grand opening in the former space of Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi's Trove on Tuesday, February 11. If you're expecting a laidback KBBQ joint where you can grill your own meats, think again: The restaurant will focus on premium meats like American wagyu beef, prime Angus beef, and Kurobuta pork, and staff will cook the proteins to order on tabletop grills for diners. Each cut is then served with a selection of sauces chosen to complement its flavor. An "array of local and seasonal fermented items," including a seasonal rotation of banchan (side dishes), will also be served, as well as Korean and local beer, a Pacific Northwest-centric wine list, and specialty Korean cocktails made with soju and spirits.
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly Korean BBQ option, take heart: The popular Korean barbecue food truck Seoul Bowl soft-opened its first brick-and-mortar location on Wednesday and will continue the soft opening stage through tomorrow, February 8. (Funnily enough, it, like A&A Cafe, is also housed in a former Aloha Cup Bap location.) Like the truck, the restaurant serves customizable bowls. Guests can choose from a choice of white, purple, or kimchi bacon rice as a base; Korean bulgogi beef, slow-cooked soy-pork, Korean spicy pork, Korean BBQ chicken, or organic fried tofu as a protein; and toppings like sweet Asian corn salad, pickled radishes, kimchi, caramelized onions, smashed potato salad, and a "cheese fall" (an ooey-gooey river of cheese poured over your meal for an extra $1.50). There's also a bulgogi cheese sandwich, "chee-balls," and mandoo (potstickers). The sit-down location will also add the option of drinks, like soju and Korean beer. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, Seoul Bowl provided catering for the wildly popular K-pop group Seventeen when they visited for a performance last month.
The Attic Alehouse
Madison Park's low-key alehouse and eatery, which has been in its current location since the late '60s, closed unexpectedly on February 2. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to support the now-unemployed staff members and notes that a local group "is in current negotiations to take over the lease and reopen The Attic," though securing a new liquor license will take at least two months.
Restaurateur Matt Dillon, who closed down his iconic Capitol Hill restaurant Sitka & Spruce at the end of 2019, has now closed his Chophouse Row wine bar Bar Ferdinand. He plans to hand the reins over to former Damn the Weather chef Eli Dahlin and sommelier Ezra Wicks, who will take over the space and open it as a new wine bar and shop selling charcuterie and cheese later this spring.
Thai Curry Simple
The Chinatown-International District staple Thai Curry Simple, beloved for its affordable and delicious Thai food, has closed temporarily after a fire. No one was hurt, and the restaurant should be up and running after a few months of repairs.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Locust Cider & Brewing Co. plans a taproom for Vancouver
The swiftly growing local chain Locust Cider & Brewing Co. plans to open an outpost in Vancouver, Washington, at the end of this month. The taproom will be family-friendly and feature flatbread pizzas, a kids' corner, and a selection of 16 beers and ciders on tap.
Big John's PFI moving this spring
Sodo's wondrous imported-good emporium Big John's PFI, which purveys cheese, wines, pasta, olives, olive oil, and any other specialty food items you could dream of, is moving to a nearby location due to construction. While an exact date has not yet been set, the company says it may be late March or early April.
Aki Kushiyaki coming to Capitol Hill
A new Japanese restaurant called Aki Kushiyaki, specializing in skewered and grilled meats and vegetables, is set to open in Capitol Hill in early summer. The spot will also feature French dishes, sake, whiskey, beer, and wine. In other skewered-meat news, Adana chef Shota Nakajima's Osaka street food-inspired eatery Taku is still under construction and plans to open sometime early this year.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7
Aphrodisiac Happy Hour Class
Famed sociologist and sexologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz will dish out love life advice as you sample small bites and learn to craft titillating libations.
International Dumpling Crawl
Discover Chinatown-ID history through local dumplings on a one-mile tour combined with tasty lil' starch pillows. As the organizers explain, dumplings tend to crop up around Lunar New Year in great quantities, as they "represent wealth, looking similar to ancient gold ingots in some Asian Pacific cultures." With 48 hours' advance, they can accommodate vegetarians and many people with food allergies.
Soul of Seattle
By now, you’ve probably heard of chef Edouardo Jordan, the James Beard Award–winning mind behind acclaimed Ravenna restaurants Salare and JuneBaby, and newer venture Lucinda Grain Bar. For this cultural and culinary event, he’ll be teaming up with the Urban League of Seattle to showcase the tasty talents of 10 Seattle-area chefs of color who “embody the diverse fabric of Seattle’s food scene.” Among them are Makini Howell of Plum Bistro, Trey Lamont of Jerk Shack, and Kristi Brown of That Brown Girl Cooks. Also on tap: a multicourse VIP dinner by Jordan, a reading by James Beard Award winner Toni Tipton-Martin from her new book, Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, and a silent auction. All proceeds go to organizations that support youth of color. LEILANI POLK
The historic Vietti Winery, located in Piedmont in the northwest corner of Italy, dates back to the late 1800s, and the Vietti family has been making wine there for four generations, achieving such notable accomplishments as producing one of the first-ever Barolo crus in 1965. Today, the winery is run by married couple Luca and Elena Currado Vietti. Elena is paying a visit to Cuoco for a dinner showcasing some of the winery's most outstanding wines, and Cuoco chef Ron Anderson will concoct a swoon-worthy supper to match, inspired by the flavors of northern Italy.
Julia Nourney, Glenfiddich's official "Whiskey Taster of the Year," will chat about the distilling process and provide background about local distilleries Cadee, Copperworks, and Heritage as you try flights and tasters. To really make you feel like you're savoring the finer things, F.K. Kirsten Pipes will offer a selection of cigars to pair with each whiskey.
Li'l Woody's Burger Month
As part of their yearly Burger Month collaboration, Li'l Woody's has assembled a crack lineup of four local chefs to each create their weekly burger specials for February. This year features the "Good Old Burger" with fry sauce, American cheese, and yubeshi onions from chef Brady Williams of Canlis (Feb 4-10); the Puerto Rican-inspired "Boricua Burger" with two picadillo patties, Sazon, plantain chips, and sauce from chef Eric Rivera of Addo (Feb 11-17); the "Homersapien" with a lamb patty, chanterelle mushrooms, whipped garlic, zaatar-spiced Tim's potato chips, and date ketchup from chef Logan Cox of Homer (Feb 18-24); and the "Manolin Sandwich" with a breaded pork cutlet, onion, and a sweet bun from chef Liz Kenyon of Manolin and Rupee Bar (Feb 25-March 2). Through March 2.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8
BeastMode Barbecue's Family Feast Pop-Up
Try BeastMode Barbecue's "Tex-Mex-Viet BBQ" cuisine in an "interactive BBQ dining experience" before the business, which "combines elements of different culinary traditions," officially launches.
Jack’s BBQ’s First Anniversary in SLU
The glorious Central Texas–style smoked-meat mecca that is Jack's BBQ, started by former Microsoft employee and bona fide barbecue nerd Jack Timmons, is celebrating the first anniversary of its South Lake Union location. To mark the occasion, they're tossing an entire alligator into their smoker—truly a strange sight to behold—and distributing free samples all day, along with house-made sauces for dipping. All beverages will be half-off throughout, including two special cocktails: the "Swamp Cooler" and the "Bog Marsh." Sounds refreshing.
Optimism's 4th Anniversary Party!
The Ballard taproom will celebrate four years of life with four new beers (a hazy Imperial IPA, a strong Belgian ale, a bold Imperial ale, and a "strong sipping ale") at this birthday party and fundraiser for Plymouth Housing Group. Enter raffles, score some free stickers, and try to be one of the first 300 people in the door to get a free "craft master glass."
Valentine's Bourbon & Chocolate Tasting
Sip Woodford Reserve's Double Oaked Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, complemented by infused chocolate truffles and pots de ganache.
Chocolate Beer Week
The Beer Junction will assume the role of a hops-loving Willy Wonka with a selection of chocolate-inspired beers. Order a sampler tray with at least four of them to receive a free side of assorted chocolates, and you might just receive a "golden ticket" to redeem for a prize..
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Dive headfirst into chocoholic bacchanalia with 10—count ’em 10—drink tickets in tow at this annual pre-Valentine’s Day bash. Indulge in libations from local breweries, cidermakers, wineries, and distilleries, and sate your sweet tooth with confections from Fran’s Chocolates, Theo Chocolate, Joe Chocolate Company, indi chocolate, and more. When you need to cut your sugar rush with something savory, there will also be bites from local restaurants like Honest Biscuits and Tankard & Tun. And know that all your hedonism supports a good cause—proceeds go to Long Live the Kings, a local nonprofit working to restoring wild salmon and support sustainable fishing practices in the Pacific Northwest.
Pioneer Square Chili Cook Off- With Wine!
Do your Sunday afternoon right by tasting various bowls of chili and drinking some fine wines from Browne Family Vineyards, Foundry Vineyards, and Locus Wines. You can vote on your favorite via Facebook and Instagram.
Pop-Up: Lady Grey Cakes Seattle
Browse cookbooks and snack on slices of cake in flavors like buttermilk cake with maple buttercream and blueberry cinnamon compote, brought to you by the pop-up Lady Grey Seattle.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Seattle’s Filipino Food with Chef Marcus Samuelsson
KCTS 9 welcomes celebrity chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, who you likely know from his appearances on shows ranging from Top Chef Masters (he won the competition in 2010), to Chopped (on which he’s a regular guest judge), to his PBS food and travel show No Passport Required. Seattle’s Filipino food scene (and places like Hood Famous Bakeshop, Knee High Stocking Co, and Archipelago) was featured in the season two premiere of No Passport Required that aired in December. In a recent interview with The Stranger, Samuelsson said he'd been to our city countless times but had no idea that almost 3 percent of our population is Filipino until he started filming. "With the show, I'm always learning about new communities," he said. This event celebrates the Seattle Filipino community’s food and culture, with Samuelsson in a round table discussion with the chefs and restaurateurs who were featured in the episode, a Filipino Night Market, and Filipino food tastings. LEILANI POLK