As the temperature drops, the desire for comfort food rises. This credo rings especially true for us in Seattle as we enter November, our wettest month, already soaked from the rainiest October on record. Thankfully, fall’s lineup of just-opened and almost-open restaurants is stocked with warm, comforting fare to keep away the chills. That means hot clam dip, General Tso’s fried chicken, oven-roasted duck confit, and chicken stock to go. Here’s your game plan for new bites to battle the cold-weather blues.
New Luck Toy, West Seattle
New Luck Toy — the West Seattle stalwart that shuttered 10 years ago — has been reborn as a chef-driven dive bar thanks to two Seattle restaurateurs: chef Mark Fuller (Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whiskey) and Patric Gabre-Kidan (Rhino Room). Chow down on Fuller’s Chinese fare, a mix of Americanized — General Tso’s chicken and salt, and pepper shrimp with Old Bay seasoning — and spicy Sichuan — cumin lamb ribs and ma po tofu. Slurp frozen neon craft cocktails from a quartet of boozy slushy machines and tasty Rice Krispies treat-flavored soft serve. In keeping with the “this is a bar, not a restaurant” theme, amuse yourself with karaoke and pinball machines.
White Swan Public House, South Lake Union
On the southern shore of Lake Union, White Swan Public House boasts an enviable waterfront locale. Pair their fish-centric fare with views of boats, seaplanes, and seagulls swooping by. Like at owner-chef Dan Bugge’s Radiator Whiskey, the menu at this seafaring spot is full of hearty, well-executed dishes. Enjoy warm clam dip with house-made scallop chips, bone marrow topped with smoked oysters, and poutine o’ the sea — littleneck clams, fries, bacon, and chowder sauce. With craft cocktails and local microbrews, White Swan Public House brings the bonhomie of an outdoor patio indoors.
Flint Creek Cattle Co., Greenwood
After wooing Seattleites with his fish-centric Rock Creek, chef Eric Donnelly has moved onto meat. Flint Creek Cattle Co. showcases responsibly raised game from small-scale farms and sustainable ranches. Savor fennel-braised wild boar shoulder, bison short ribs, and lamb tartare in the stylish space, a historic building with soaring ceilings and wall-to-wall windows. In spite of opening delays caused by a natural gas explosion next door, Flint Creek Cattle Co. has been packed since its Oct. 24 debut.
Southpaw, Capitol Hill
James Beard Award-winning chef John Sandstorm is revamping his old Lark space into a casual pizza joint. The name is a nod to all things unorthodox — batting left-handed, a left-handed boxer’s stance, and wood-fired pizzas that are somewhere in between Neapolitan and New York style. In addition to pizza, vegetable sides and salads will be offered, with some of the produce being plucked from Lark’s rooftop garden. Simple desserts will include co-owner JM Enos’ famous salted chocolate chip cookies — now available at Sundstrom’s Slab sandwich shop — and soft-serve ice cream.
Vine & Spoon, West Seattle
West Seattle finally fills its upscale void with this new spot by a trio of chefs: Bryan Ogden, Larkin Young (Tilth, Canlis, Golden Beetle), and Christopher Jensen (Maison Tavern). The menu will feature grass-fed meats and locally sourced ingredients from farmers and foragers. At Alchemy, the chemistry-themed bar next door, award-winning mixologists will be concocting cocktails in test tubes, lab beakers, and the like.
Marmite, Capitol Hill
Seattleites are rejoicing at Bruce and Sara Naftaly’s imminent return to the restaurant scene. The former owners of Le Gourmand and Sambar are opening a daytime café and nighttime cocktail bar in the industrial chic Chophouse Row. Expect salads, sandwiches, and soups made from Bruce’s famous stocks, which will also be sold to go, to the delight of home chefs. Sara will supply her scrumptious baked goods and breads, which she crafts at her Amandine Bakeshop next door. She’ll also curate the cocktail list at the back bar, Spirit in the Bottle. In keeping with Chophouse Row’s community ethos, Marmite will offer apprenticeships via Seattle Central’s culinary program.