One of my favorite things about food is the anticipation. Sometimes that means the five hours and three risings it takes to make my family’s potato dough orange rolls, or all of the phyllo-buttering and chicken-braising and sauce-making required for the Moroccan Chicken Rolls, both of which routinely elicit oohs and ahs from all who try them. But that’s just it, isn’t it? Although I love seeing how all of the pieces assemble themselves into a tasty end product, the best part is the anticipation of sharing that end product with family and friends.
This won’t surprise you at all, but another one of my favorite things to do is to introduce those same people to restaurants I think are fantastic, or have some interesting element that has to be experienced, or somewhere I haven’t tried yet but want them with me to explore it. So when I see signs of new places opening, or hear tell of new restaurants and bars on the horizon, my ears are always perked. Last weekend I toured around to several of the spaces I had been hearing about, to check on progress:
My first stop was Capitol Hill, specifically Melrose between Pike and Pine. Brasa’s Tamara Murphy is apparently going small plate with her new restaurant, Terraplata. This space is in the same block as new Capitol Hill locations for both Sonic Boom and Velouria, and down the street from Chapel. There are a couple of spaces still being developed in the same building so it could also be the smaller one down the way, but I hope that it’s this cool triangular corner spot.
From there it was a short hop to the new Marjorie on E Union near 14th. It’s just beyond the area where most of the restaurants on this end of Capitol Hill are clustered, but if you’ve made it as far as Spinasse or Poco Wine Room you’re nearly there. This interesting space -- which may well be much further along in the week since I took this photo -- is the new incarnation of Donna Moodie’s former restaurant of the same name in Belltown, though older Seattleites might also remember her from Marco’s Supper Club.
Up to 34th Ave in Madrona and home of the former Cremant, down the block from overcrowded brunch favorite Hi Spot Cafe, and the less crowded and breakfast-fabulous Café Soleil. The owners of Queen Anne’s Portage are opening another restaurant in this space that has been vacant for some time, which I hear will be more Vietnamese-influenced than French-focused Portage.
Over to Madison Park, specifically where Martin Luther King Jr Way runs into Madison. The sign for Luc, on a corner space up the street from Café Flora, has been up for ages. Opening Spring 2010, we’re told, so I suspect that chef and owner Thierry Rautureau has been able to take his time with this new venture just doors away from his flagship restaurant, Rover’s.
Home to Queen Anne, which seems to be a-buzz with new restaurants. The addition of Emmer & Rye was particularly good news, and now I see that Tenoch Mexican Grill will be moving into the spot at the north end of Queen Anne Ave formerly occupied by Vincenzo’s. Tenoch is currently in the International District so I assume that this is an additional location, but don’t know about that one. Let’s just hope that it fares better than the last Mexican restaurant to move into Queen Anne, the ill-fated Gorditos that occupied what is now Betty on the opposite end of the string of businesses and restaurants on the top of the hill.
Nancy Leson is my frequent source for these tidbits of information, probably because she seems to find as interesting as I do all of the relationships between people and who is doing what, where. Because of her long career as a food critic of she has access to all sorts of information and I love to hear what she hears. Though I haven’t seen anything on her blog about what’s moving into this spot on Queen Anne Ave at Blaine. Tiny space, though I see posted an application for a liquor license: the sign of much promise.
What better combination: The anticipation of interesting new restaurants with the anticipation of good times spent investigating these places with friends, new and old. Can’t wait!