Welcome to November! As we usher in a new month, the Seattle area gets two new buzz-worthy destinations for sushi with the openings of Bamboo Sushi and San Kai, and the beloved Korochka Tavern and Niche Gluten-Free Cafe and Bakery bid farewell. Read on for all the latest updates in the food world, plus weekend plan ideas, like Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival and The Whisky Extravaganza. For more ideas, check out our list of places to eat and drink pumpkin in Seattle, our guide to Seattle Restaurant Week, and our full food and drink calendar.
If you’d like to nosh on nigiri with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your seafood was sourced sustainably, look no further: This sleek Portland-based chain advertising itself as “the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant” opened its first Seattle location in University Village on Wednesday, October 30, according to a press release. The 4,700-square-foot outpost features indoor seating with a sushi bar and a takeout window for pick-up orders, which will become available in November.
Belltown denizens have a new place to snag the German-style Turkish street food favorite that is doner kebabs. The owners of this casual joint, which recently soft-opened and will have its grand opening on Saturday, November 2, note on Yelp that they are “not just another shawarma or gyros place down the street” and proclaim on their website, “There’s nothing more German than a big, fat, juicy doner kebab.” Guests can grab specialties like chicken or lamb/beef kebabs and falafel.
Incline Cider House
This family-owned and -operated cider taproom, which soft-opened in Tacoma’s Brewery Blocks in mid-September, will host its grand opening on November 2. The location is the company’s first retail tasting room and serves “one of the largest draft cider selections in the South Sound,” with over 16 ciders on tap, as well as beer and wine. As for food, guests can nosh on pretzels from Rhein Haus, bar snacks, and meat and cheese plates, or bring in outside food.
This sushi restaurant from acclaimed chef Ryuichi Nakano, who is known for starting the restaurant Kisaku (which happens to be participating in Seattle Restaurant Week right now), opened last week, giving us all a new incentive to trek to Edmonds. Co-owned by Shubert Ho and Andrew Leckie (who also own the popular Bar Dojo and Salt & Iron, both of which are participating in Restaurant Week, as well as Market), the pint-sized spot offers seasonal omakase and presumably stellar seafood.
This Russian-themed tavern in Lake City, beloved for its cocktails, beer, dumplings, pickles, and, as Meg van Huygen recently put it, “cozy, unpretentious chill,” closed without warning over the weekend after lease negotiations with the bar’s landlord failed. However, all is not lost: Owners Kendall Murphy and Lisa Malinovskaya told The Stranger that they had preexisting plans to start a satellite bar in Wallingford and are discussing leases with a landlord there. The two have started a GoFundMe page and hope to re-open in Wallingford in January or February if enough money is raised.
This gluten-free bakery , which won a loyal following with offerings like waffles, bagels, and club sandwiches, officially closed its doors on Halloween after four years. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, a new bakery project will take over the space. Owner Toby Matasar will continue to churn out baked goods at her other business, the non-gluten-free Crumble and Flake.
OTHER FOOD NEWS
Upcoming self-service wine and beer bar headed to Capitol Hill
A self-service wine and beer bar and cafe is poised to take over the space vacated by the recently closed Roy Street Coffee (a.k.a. the “stealth Starbucks”) on Capitol Hill, with an opening tentatively estimated for March or April. The project, which has not yet been named, comes courtesy of entrepreneur David Clawson. When it opens, patrons will be able to help themselves to over 100 types of wine and beer on tap by swiping a pre-loaded card to dispense drinks. It’s not a free-for-all, though: The technology will limit the amount of alcohol a customer can drink before needing to have their card reactivated by staff (who can evaluate intoxication levels). There will also be espresso drinks, breakfast and lunch, and evening bites.
New chef and owners at Lionhead
Now that chef Jerry Traunfeld has closed down his iconic Capitol Hill restaurant Poppy and moved to Palm Springs, new owners Garrett Doherty and Benjamin Chew have taken over at his neighboring restaurant, the Sichuan-inspired Lionhead. Doherty, known for starting the erstwhile Kraken Congee in Pioneer Square, previously worked as executive chef at the restaurant and will add his signature congee to the menu. Lionhead will also get a subtle makeover and a new happy hour, and host some new programs and events—just this week, the restaurant hosted legendary British cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop for a lunch inspired by her new release The Food of Sichuan.
Winery opening tasting room in Woodinville
Washington’s well-respected Maryhill Winery plans to open a tasting room and bistro inside the Woodinville landmark Hollywood Schoolhouse on November 16. The spot, which will be the winery’s fifth taproom and its first location near the Seattle area, will feature “an enhanced small plate menu” with options like charcuterie, pizza, and Dungeness crab cakes. Curious oenophiles can attend a grand opening event from November 16-17, with wine tastings and live music from Matt Brown.
The Pantry announces winter classes
Ballard’s cooking school and community kitchen the Pantry, home to highly sought-after classes that are known to sell out within minutes, has announced its lineup of winter 2020 classes, which will go on sale on Monday, November 4 at 4 pm. On the itinerary: French-style cassoulet (January 18-19), Montreal-style bagels (January 17-18), sourdough bread (January 19-20 and 21-22), Russian piroshki (February 18-19), and much more.
FRIDAY, NOV. 1
Cocktail Beer Day
Instead of choosing between beer or cocktails, opt for Lucky Envelope’s newly released batch of cocktail-inspired beers, including “blackberry margarita gose,” “seabreeze mosaic IPA,” “Mai Tai hazy,” and “mulled barleywine.”
The Whisky Extravaganza
This slow-sipping bacchanal promises over 100 whiskies from distilleries around the Northwest, which you can try on their own or mixed into cocktails. Don’t worry, there will also be things to eat.
Jellyfish Anniversary Party!
To commemorate their first year of business, local craft brewery Jellyfish Brewing will tap a firkin of their new Cerveza de los Muertos made with tequila-soaked oak and pink peppercorn and unveil a bevy of eclectic beers, including the “Oh My Figgin’ Quad” (a barrel-aged Belgian quad), “Saison Sexy” (a barrel-fermented saison with fresh Cascade and Chinooks hops), and “Party On Garth 2” (a Flanders-style sour red). On Saturday, Patrick Rifflin and Skeletons With Skin On Them will provide live music and Smokestack Lightning BBQ will sling smoked meats.
Nightmare on Wall Street
Continuing a spooky-season tradition started last year, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength will temporarily transform into a “fully immersive haunting experience,” with libations inspired by horror films like Friday the 13th, The Babadook, Midsommar, The Ring, Pet Sematary, and more. They’ll switch out their usual kitschy drinkware for vessels like pumpkins and Jason Voorhees–masked tiki mugs, and employ ingredients like “candy corn orgeat.” Frightening horror-film soundtracks will contribute to the spine-chilling milieu.
Sumo + Sushi
Hawaiian-born Japanese Samoan Sumo wrestling legend Konishiki will explain the rules of the game to you before taking on fellow athletes in a few rounds. The best part: You get to eat delicious sushi all the while.
SUNDAY-THURSDAY, NOV. 1-7
Seattle Restaurant Week Fall 2019
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 185 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. Three courses cost a mere $35, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $20. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross some otherwise spendy establishments off your food bucket list, including critically acclaimed restaurants like Tilth and Adana.
SATURDAY, NOV. 2
Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival
Look, any time is a good time to drink local craft beer, and now, as temperatures are dropping and the cloud cover is picking up to a deep and fluffy gray, there aren’t a whole lot of events where you can try a bunch of seasonal beers by different breweries all in one festive place. Enter the Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival, in which Ballard-area breweries (Bad Jimmy’s, Hale’s Ales Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Lucky Envelope Brewing, Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, NW Peaks Brewery, Obec Brewing, Peddler Brewing, Populuxe Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, and Stoup Brewing) offer tastes of two winter beers each—and one of those will be released for the first time ever at the festival. Proceeds benefit Bellwether Housing, touted as Seattle’s largest private, nonprofit affordable-housing provider. LEILANI POLK
Cherry Bombe Jubilee Seattle
Women who work in the food industry (and anyone interested in finding out more about how it works behind the scenes) are invited to the Seattle edition of Cherry Bombe Jubilee. Originally launched by Cherry Bombe magazine back in 2014, the conference gathers women in the industry—bakers, restaurateurs, chefs, food photographers, writers, food producers, et al.—for a day of “conversation, connections, and, of course, great food and drink.” Local guests will include Seattle food giants Renee Erickson, Makini Howell, and Rachel Yang, and a renowned out-of-towner in Angie Mar (NYC’s the Beatrice Inn, author of Butcher and Beast), plus a keynote conversation that finds Seattle area food stylist, blogger, and cookbook author Aran Goyoaga interviewing New York Times and Bon Appétit columnist Alison Roman, who has a new book out (Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over). DAVID LEWIS
Día De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
Join the Growler Guys for live mariachi music, traditional Día de los Muertos bread and pastries, Mexican food from La Riviera Maya food truck, Mexican cerveza on tap, a sugar-skull crafting table, and a community ofrenda (altar) for pictures of deceased loved ones and pets. Get your face painted like a skeleton at the face painting station, and you’ll receive a free loaf of pan de muerto (the “bread of the dead”).
National Learn to Homebrew Day
If you’ve always wanted to brew your own beer at home, dip your toe into the hobby with brewing demonstrations by seasoned brewers, who will show off their equipment and techniques and field questions from newbies.
Oyster New Year
The apotheosis of the Pacific Northwest’s unofficial regional pastime, slurping oysters, is the eco-friendly Oyster New Year at Elliott’s Oyster House. The all-out briny bash features more than 30 varieties of bivalves shucked to order at a 150-foot oyster bar, a fresh seafood buffet, and local microbrews and wine from more than 60 wineries. Be a little superficial and cast your vote for the People’s Choice “Most Beautiful Oyster,” and don’t miss the oyster luge, in which a shucked oyster glides down a frozen slide in an ice sculpture, into your mouth, and down your gullet.
Sagra di Radicchio
Cheers for chicories! Inspired by the Italian tradition of the sagra (a festival usually celebrating local food), this weeklong event dedicated to the refreshingly bitter radicchio kicks off with a tasting event with experts, farmers, and chefs.
Polish Bazaar 2019 | Fall
At this annual bazaar, learn about Polish culture and customs through food (like pickle soup, borscht, pierogi, and cabbage rolls) and live entertainment. Plus, shop for holiday gifts like Polish crystal and pottery wares.
SUNDAY, NOV. 3
Julia Wald: Teatotaler
Illustrator Julia Wald uses India ink to explore the cultural significance and history of tea-drinking. At the opening reception, enjoy food by Alder Brothers BBQ, including, among other treats, “shortbread gobs” with smoked pineapple and strawberry whipped cream and green tea and passion fruit mimosa.
The Normans of France experience the same soul-sucking fall weather as Seattleites; they remedy the situation with lots of cream, apples, meat, and calvados. This ninth annual tradition—which used to take place at the Boat Street Café—promises a night of warming-up in the Norman style: An oyster and cider reception, followed by a four-course meal prepared by chefs Renee Erickson and Breckin VanRaalte.
MONDAY, NOV. 4
Author Talk: South by Sean Brock
Chef, restauranteur, James Beard Award winner, and cookbook author Sean Brock is a maestro of Southern cuisine, which started with him using “authentically” Southern ingredients (everything originating below the Mason-Dixon Line) and food grown in his own garden at his South Carolina venture Husk in 2010. He went on to open seven more restaurants (including three more Husks). Last August, he stepped away from Husk, making his departure permanent this past spring as he focuses all his attention on building a new empire in Nashville dedicated to the food he grew up eating in Virginia’s Appalachian coal country. He also finished his second cookbook, South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations, with recipes of reimagined Southern classics. For this Book Larder–hosted event, he’ll be chatting about Southern cuisine and the deep and varied food culture of the region with Seattle’s own Warren Etheredge. Admission includes a copy of South. LEILANI POLK
Fowl & Offal + Left Bank at Juicebox
Savor nose-to-tail nosh from guest chef Evan Leichtling of the pop-up Fowl and Offal, made with fresh produce sourced from Dear Produce and foraged mushrooms from Forest Frolic and paired with natural wines from the South Park bottle shop Left Bank.