Three new restaurant and bar projects in The cottage at St. Edward State Park is slated to open this weekend in Kenmore, under the leadership of former James Beard Best Chef: Northwest winner Jason Wilson. The new 84-room The Lodge, housed in a former seminar building, will house its farm-to-table bistro Cedar + Elm, with (when the state increases the capacity) 125 seats inside and 40 seats on the patio near the trails. The property will feature a chef’s garden and an apiary, so expect edible flowers and honey to be incorporated into the dinner menu later this summer. You could even pick your own greens from the garden for your salad.
Attached to this restaurant is Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar, which seats 27 people and focuses more on casual fare, including pizza. The hotel will also house Tonsorium bar with cocktails and bites on the ground floor. This is familiar territory for Wilson, who was the leader of the now-closed Miller’s Guild located next to the Max Hotel in downtown Seattle. He is also at the origin of the culinary program of The lake house and the Civility & Unrest cocktail in downtown Bellevue.
Speaking of Eastside, this region was in the midst of a Chinese restaurant boom before the pandemic hit. There were concerns that COVID-19, along with the anti-Asian sentiment resulting from this pandemic, could frighten Chinese investors. The opening of Famous cuisine, a promising Cantonese restaurant in an Issaquah mall, is a good sign that it may not be. Located at the back of Pickering Square, this barbecue restaurant has been a big hit for its cracked roast pork and honey-glazed char siu.
Also in Issaquah, the Laz’s tacos truck parks around 25 NW Gilman Blvd.
In the news of the Kirkland shopping center, the highly anticipated Silverlake Ramen, which was a hit in Southern California, eventually opened to The village at Totem lake. Expect long lines for this one. The mall, which aims to be a major food court, will have four more restaurant openings by the summer, including Seattle’s Eastside debut. Bok a Bok fried chicken in July.
Kirkland Urban has landed Vinason Pho & Grill, which drew large lunch crowds to its restaurant near the Amazon campus before the pandemic. Also open at Kirkland Urban is Plant superfoods, an herbal cafe serving acai bowls and burgers. In May, the vegetarian restaurant will offer a 20% discount on food and drinks. In Juanita Village is the place of burgers Deja Moo, investors behind Tipsy Cow.
Bellevue openings: the very popular soup dumpling chain Paste area opened on Main Street, taking over the Swiftwater Cellars space. Their xiao long bao still reigns supreme, though the chain has found a new legion of fans for its Shanghai-style Q-Bao buns, which have a soft cotton top to contrast with a crispy bottom. One of the most successful pivots of the pandemic for Chinese restaurants has been frozen dumplings, and no one sells frozen dumplings to take out more than Dough Zone on weekends.
Donburi Station Bowl, investors behind Fremont Bowl and the Donburi Bowl in Georgetown, has expanded northeast of Bellevue, focusing on meat and seafood rice bowls. Chakra bring the Kadala curry, mutton biryani and crab masala to Crossroads Shopping Center.
In Sammamish, Big Fish Sushi Restaurant does, in addition to its eponymous cuisine, ramen and teriyaki chicken.
In downtown Bothell you can order croissants, kouign-amann and macaroons thanks to the early days of French bakery Pastry Aeipathy pastry chef Danyel Vertin, who was part of the pastry team at Wayfare Tavern and the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. The Eastside Channel Mercurys Coffee Co., which just opened in Redmond, has also expanded to Bothell.
In Edmonds, restaurateur Shubert Ho, who operates five restaurants within the city limits, landed two more: Potlatch Bistro and Shore Pine Coffee and Gelato, both housed in the new Edmonds Waterfront Center. But the first real estate is what is 10 feet in front of the entrance to the bistro: a restored waterfront. Ho will be offering a beach hut-inspired take-out menu featuring fish and chips, mashed burgers and fish tacos, all served in compostable boxes for swimmers to take to the beach. Two miles southeast of these two waterfront projects lies Delicious teriyaki and fried chicken (yes, more Korean fried chicken).
In Renton, a handful of newcomers: Taco Dudes & Caribbean, which offers street tacos and pork sandwiches, debuts next to Uwajimaya. Rice-N-Curry sells rice bowls near the Renton transit hub. El Muchacho Alegre, which specializes in Mexican seafood dishes, debuts near Renton Municipal Airport. And Chick-fil-A expands to Rainier Avenue South and Renton Center Way.
In Auburn, Four seasons pizza takes a round-the-world approach to pies, from a tandoori paneer-inspired version to a Greek feta cheese pizza.