As vaccine availability increases this week, the Seattle food scene is starting to regain its optimism, and restaurants continue to reopen and announce new plans for the future. This week, Queer/Bar opens its doors again for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and RockCreek Seafood & Spirits returns. Plus, the new Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant Shewa-Ber has opened in the Central District, and the Los Angeles-based chain Silverlake Ramen is coming to Kirkland next week. Read on for all that and more culinary updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide
NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
The Tipsy Cow, a burger spot in Redmond and Woodinville, has opened this similarly bovine-themed (but more laidback) offshoot in Kirkland. The house "Deja Moo" burger features beef, Beecher's flagship white cheddar, Bibb lettuce, tomato, onion, and "tipsy sauce." Other options include the "Backdraft" (pepper jack, roasted jalapeños, Bibb lettuce, tomato, moo sauce, and roasted habanero) and the "Mother Clucker" (crispy chicken strips, pickles, red onion, shredded romaine, and "moo sauce").
Pickup, delivery, or limited indoor seating
The Space Needle's lofty Loupe lounge reopened last Friday. Deep-pocketed visitors who have $200 (or more) to drop on the pricey reservations can enjoy views of the city from the rotating bar, plus liquid nitrogen Negronis and Kusshi oyster seafood towers.
Limited indoor seating
A new veggie-heavy cafe called Plantiful soft-opened in the Kirkland-Urban mixed-use development last Saturday. Offerings include toasts, plant-based burgers and pizzas, açaí bowls, smoothies, and drinks.
Pickup or limited indoor seating
After being closed since the beginning of the pandemic, the LGBTQ club will make a triumphant return at 5 pm today. The spot has undergone renovations and will feature open-air dining, plus a new outdoor patio. A limited-capacity RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party hosted by resident queen Kristie Champagne is also planned for 8 pm tonight.
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating
RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
Eric Donnelly's lauded sustainable seafood restaurant has returned after a hiatus with a newly revamped outdoor patio and some new menu items, such as New York strip steak.
Pickup, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating
This Ethiopian restaurant and Eritrean restaurant has opened in the Central District, serving crispy kitfo rolls (crispy injera rolls filled with ground beef and cooked in Ethiopian herbal butter), qategna (a traditional Ethiopian appetizer with toasted injera filled with berbere and butter), vegetarian sambusas (triangular pastries stuffed with lentils and peppers), doro wat (spicy chicken stew), and other popular Ethiopian dishes.
Pickup, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating
This Los Angeles-based ramen restaurant will open a new outpost inside Kirkland's Village at Totem Lake shopping center next Friday, April 23.
Kraken Bar & Grill
When Seattle gets its official NHL team this fall, it will also get a new themed flagship restaurant, complete with a chandelier fashioned out of hockey sticks. The Kraken Bar & Grill will open on the premises of the Seattle Kraken's Northgate training facility and will feature pub grub like burgers and poutine from Mick McHugh, former owner of the Pioneer Square bar F.X McRory’s.
Locust Cider and Brewing Company
According to a press release, the rapidly growing gluten-free cider chain Locust Cider and Brewing Company is expanding with a new production facility in Gig Harbor, set to open in the former space of Heritage Distilling Company's flagship distillery this summer. The business has outgrown its production space in Woodinville, which will also receive a facelift and introduce some new experimental flavors. Meanwhile, Heritage Distilling Company is expanding production at its Tumwater facility.
According to West Seattle Blog, the in-demand Taiwanese bubble tea chain Sharetea will open a location in the Jefferson Square mall in May.
Trade Winds Tavern
Owners Anu and Chris Elford plan to transform their quirky, nautical Belltown beer bar No Anchor into a sports-focused bar called Trade Winds Tavern with a midwestern '70s vibe in May. Along with the rebrand, they'll be offering a more casual menu of pub grub like smash burgers and cheese curds, and they'll have TV screens for watching games.
Seattle's iconic coffee shop Bauhaus permanently closed its Ballard location, which was open for seven years, after service on Thursday. In an Instagram post, the business stated, "Our lease is up and after this rough year it is no longer sustainable. I'd like to personally thank every single one of our customers for your support and positive attitude." The Capitol Hill location will remain open.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Takeout booze gets extended for two more years
Looks like to-go cocktails aren't going away anytime soon: On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law to extend the relaxed laws for takeout alcoholic drinks for two more years.
POP-UPS AND EVENTS
Bakers and Makers Against Racism Outdoor Craft Market
Peruse baked goods and wares from over 10 local bakers and makers, including Gray Seas Pies and Inferno Creations, raising funds for anti-racist organizations. Donations for Ballard Food Bank are welcome.
Ballard, Saturday, 12-4 pm
Capitol Hill Farmers Market Homecoming
Join the Capitol Hill Farmers Market as it celebrates settling into its new nearby permanent home in a plaza across from Capitol Hill Station, in addition to Barbara Bailey Way (Denny Way) between Broadway and 10th Ave E. The new larger space has been in the works for over 10 years and will allow the market to host more vendors (though it's at half capacity right now due to COVID).
Capitol Hill, Sunday, 11 am-3 pm
Milk & Leaf Ice Cream Pop-Up
Sample tea-infused ice cream flavors, including vegan maple hojicha, popcorn oolong, Moroccan mint chocolate chips, and coffee and donuts, from the pop-up Milk & Leaf Collective. Advance orders are required for pickup.
Distant Worlds Coffeehouse, Sunday, 11 am-2 pm
Seattle Restaurant Week 2021
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. In the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry, this year's proceedings are going to be a bit different: Businesses will not have to pay a fee to participate, food trucks and pop-ups can join in on the fun, and restaurants can sign up whenever they'd like during April. Though three-course prix-fixe meals will still be available, the participating restaurants (over 200 this year!) will also have more flexibility over what specials and deals they'd like to highlight, and takeout and delivery will be emphasized more than before. Plus, with a new "Buy One, Give One" option, diners can now choose to donate $10 to the King County nonprofit Good Food Kitchens, which provides local funds to help restaurants and community kitchens (like Musang and That Brown Girl Cooks) prepare meals for those in need. This year's lineup of participating restaurants include acclaimed spots like Salare, Kamonegi, Mamnoon, Haymaker, and more.
Various locations, April 16-30
If warm days have you nostalgic for childhood treats from the ice cream truck, the naturally leavened pizza shop on Capitol Hill is serving up fudge pops, chocolate cake pops, and rhubarb basil pops.
Pickup or delivery
Sweet Nothings and More
The bakery pop-up Sweet Nothings and More is baking up a croissant called the "Monster" with chocolate mousse, bourbon caramel, potato chips, and pretzels, available this weekend.