There's much to celebrate this week: former Canlis chef Brady Williams has debuted his highly anticipated new White Center restaurant Tomo, hallowed DIY hangout Cafe Racer reopens in its new location on Capitol Hill this weekend, and acclaimed Meesha chef Preeti Agarwal is opening her new restaurant Kricket Club in Ravenna in October. Read on for all of that and more of the latest food news, plus events for this weekend, like Plate of Nations. For more culinary inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.
NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
Here's some welcome good news to start off your weekend: The beloved DIY music temple Cafe Racer, which closed its iconic University District space in July 2020, reopens in its new location in the former Barça space this Saturday, next to Vermillion Gallery & Bar. The venue will celebrate with a grand reopening party, featuring performances from Velvet Q, Taylar Elizza Beth, Moroccan Dog, Mt. Fog, and DJ Marvelette. Dave Segal has more details.
This spot offering dishes from various Asian cuisines (including Burmese, Japanese, and Taiwanese) alongside free board games opened in Redmond in mid-August. The menu includes kimchi pork belly bowls, oyakodon, fried chicken wings, sushi, and more.
La Esquina Cafe
This Mexican coffee shop serving pan dulce, pastries, aguas frescas, tamales, and burritos has its grand opening in Tukwila today and tomorrow.
According to a press release, this restaurant opened on the ground floor of Hotel Interurban in Tukwila on Thursday. The space features a large bar and outdoor patio with fire pits, and the upscale menu includes graze boards, hibachi skewers with braised pork belly, dry-aged steaks, tiger prawns, fried chicken, and Wagyu burgers, as well as craft beer, cocktails, and wine. There are also a few show-stopping desserts with novel elements, such as the "Berries & Bubbles" (sea salt meringues, macerated berries and Pop Rocks™ served with a glass of brut Champagne), Thai bananas foster flambé (served in a cast-iron skillet with a tableside pour of ginger-infused rum), and campfire profiteroles (cream puffs with apricot crème and dark chocolate mousse and served under a clear glass cloche, which is lifted to reveal activated charcoal smoke).
Former Canlis chef Brady Williams, who departed the renowned fine-dining restaurant in February, has at last debuted his highly anticipated project Tomo, which opened in White Center on Thursday. The 28-seat restaurant, which is named in tribute to Williams' grandmother Tomoko Ishiwata Bristol (as well as the word for "friend" in Japanese), features two five-course tasting menus (including a vegetarian option) for $68 each and a weekend lunch service. The menu takes inspiration from Williams' Japanese heritage and chef de cuisine Diana Mata Garcia's Venezuelan heritage in addition to Pacific Northwest ingredients, resulting in dishes like katsu-style albacore tuna, arepas, and kakigori with melon, blackberry, and lemongrass. Intriguingly, the bathrooms play whale sounds, and the servers are equipped to regale guests with knowledge about orca whales. Tomo is already fully booked through October, but a waitlist is open.
Local chain Anchorhead Coffee will open a location in the former Stumptown Coffee space on 12th Avenue this winter. The cafe will also feature a bakery in the basement, serving pastries, sausage-fennel scones, bacon biscuits, cardamom buns, and “quaffles" (a croissant-waffle hybrid).
This local company specializing in small-batch "beverages informed by old-world traditions, mixed cultures, [and] expressions of seasons," such as jun (a fermented drink similar to kombucha, made with honey and green tea), announced on Instagram last week that it will has signed a lease on a space in Wallingford and will be opening a community taproom this fall.
Chef Preeti Agarwal, who's racked up acclaim for her modern Indian restaurant Meesha in Fremont, will be taking over the space vacated by Salare in Ravenna for a new "refined but casual" restaurant called Kricket Club, serving her interpretation of Mumbai and New Delhi street food in addition to other dishes and desserts. The spot is currently set to open sometime in October.
Red Mill Burgers
After a decade, the family-owned burger joint Red Mill Burgers has closed its unique Totem House location in Ballard. Another well-established local staple, Pagliacci Pizza, plans to move into the distinctive space by spring 2022.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Canlis hires sommelier Linda Milagros Violago to lead wine program
For the first time in its 71-year history, Seattle's premier fine-dining establishment Canlis will have its wine program led by a woman. The restaurant has hired lauded sommelier Linda Milagros Violago to replace former wine director Nelson Daquip (who now works at Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles). Canlis also hired its first female executive chef, Aisha Ibrahim, in July.
Don & Joe's Meats is for sale
It's the end of an era: The beloved butcher shop and Pike Place staple Don & Joe's Meats is now for sale after over 50 years of business. Owner Don Kuzaro Jr. broke the news of his retirement on the business's Facebook page on Labor Day, writing, "After 50 plus years at Don & Joe's Meats (the last 35 as the sole owner), my wife says she needs help with the Grandkids."
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
In Store Event: Bake Away by Sahana Vij
Teen author and baker Sahana Vij will discuss her new book Bake Away, sign copies, and demonstrate a recipe. 100% of the author royalties from book sales will be donated to No Kid Hungry.
Book Larder, Saturday, 11 am-12:30 pm
Brats, Brews & Bands Festival
True to its name, this outdoor fundraiser hosted by Gateway Rotary Club of Thurston County boasts sausages, beers, and live music in spades. Your ticket gets you five tastes of beer, wine, and cider, plus access to performances from a dozen bands, including Mas Tequila (a Sammy Hagar tribute band) and Elton/Joel (an Elton John-Billy Joel tribute act). Local food truck vendors will provide additional nourishment.
The Hub at Lacey, Saturday, 1-10 pm
Negroni Week 2021
For this yearly event sponsored by Imbibe Magazine and Campari, bars all over the city will mix up everyone's favorite bitter crimson cocktail to raise funds for charitable organizations. Participating venues can stick to the classic version made with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth or whip up their own unique variations.
Various locations, September 13-19
Plate of Nations
For two weeks, over 20 independently owned restaurants across Southeast Seattle will offer $20 and $35 shareable plates. This year's lineup includes Bananas Grill, Cafe Ibex, Foo Lam, Huong Duong, Momona, Rainier Restaurant, The Original Philly’s, Taco Street, Cafe Red, Big Chickie, Little Chengdu, Tacos Chukis, Othello Wok Teriyaki, Amazing Thai, Comfort Zone, Corte Fino, Willie’s Taste of Soul, Amy’s Mercato, Buddha Bruddah, and El Quetzal.
Various locations, through September 26
General Porpoise Doughnuts
Summer isn't over just yet. Renee Erickson's doughnut and coffee shop has introduced two dreamy new seasonal flavors: huckleberries and cream (made with Tonnemaker Valley Farm huckleberries) and nectarine bay leaf jam (made with fresh nectarines from Collins Family Orchards).
Capitol Hill, Laurelhurst, Pioneer Square
Layers Sandwich Co.
The playful food truck invites you to "rock out with your brocc out" with its newest seasonal sandwich special, which features roasted broccoli, a Northern bean smear, pickled fennel, radicchio, and basil vinaigrette on toasted ciabatta.