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Aerlume

Market fresh

What makes more sense than seasonal, regional cooking at the Pike Place Market? It's the home of fresh veggies, seafood, fruit, meats. The restaurant overlooks Elliott Bay in dramatic fashion and that's while the viaduct is still in place. Just wait until that is gone. Aerlume benefits from that post-viaduct waterfront access and Pike Place Market's expansion.

Connections between the restaurant and Pike Place Market's vendors and local farming partners inspire Aerlume's menu, highlighting flavors of the Pacific Northwest. Executive Chef Maggie Trujillo and Chef Jason Wilson are the dynamic duo behind the menu; Maggie says her style of cooking is "clean, comforting, and creative." On the opening menu, King Salmon Gravlax and Roe with Tarragon Crème Fraiche and Grapefruit Mustard (a very long name for instant gratification), is a wonderful example. You taste salmon, so fresh, with spikes of flavors that blend beautifully. While eating in restaurants is not always your healthiest choice, it is meant to be a treat. Dishes like Cauliflower with Golden Raisin and Caper Salsa, Red Curry Yogurt and Fresh Herbs hit a wonderful balance. What's in there you shouldn't have and don't love? You'll find items like seared jumbo sea scallops with kale shrimp dumplings, pumpkin curry, chile, lime, and mint. And there are total treats like Bacon Fat Roasted Potatoes and Chocolate Espresso Tart. Menus are subject to change, but you get the idea. Fresh, interesting, delicious.

Within Fire & Vine Hospitality there are 'syndicates' like the Wine Syndicate and Spirits Syndicate. Lonnie Anderson runs the Spirit Syndicate for Fire & Vine and is also the Captain and Spirits Director for Aerlume. His interest is creating cocktails that take a look back at history while using fresh, local ingredients, clearly a theme at Aerlume. Take a look at the ingredients for Lonnie's English Milk Punch: Bacardi Gran Reserva 10 year, El Dorado Silver Rum, Plantation Overproof Rum, Four Roses Bourbon, Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Lucid Absinthe, lemon juice, muddled pineapple, Sencha Green Tea, cinnamon, coriander, clover, clarified milk, and a Creative clear ice cube. Something you probably would not make at home; all the more reason to head into Aerlume for a taste. The wine list is extensive with about 20 whites, plus sparklings, and over 60 reds, with a good number by the glass.

King Salmon Gravlax and Roe

Some details: dinner is served daily with happy hour Sunday-Thursday. Lunch and weekend brunch are planned for 2019. Be aware that a 20% service charge is included on each check. Aerlume keeps that amount; the team is paid industry-leading compensation and sales commissions, plus receives health insurance, 401K, and education and training to enhance their careers. Public parking is available in the Marketplace Building (no validation), and on the street.

So much talk is about the Elliott Bay view, which is fantastic, but the entrance to the restaurant is dramatic and welcoming also. Set back from the sidewalk, you enter past greenery and benches, pulled toward the wall of windows leading into the restaurant. Bar, with indoor fire table (seating up to 20), wide open kitchen to the left which is across from the private dining area (two glass-enclosed rooms), and straight into the dining room with that amazing view. Lighting is perhaps a little dim to read the menu easily, but so pleasant while you're dining. While the space is very open, it still manages to feel intimate. Every seat has that view. When appropriate, front windows open so guests can savor Puget Sound breezes. A patio in front is set back from the sidewalk, and a western-facing deck may become one of the most sought-after seats on the waterfront.

You may know that Fire & Vine Hospitality is a company that includes Mackay Restaurants and Chef Jason Wilson properties. Aerlume is the first independent project from Fire & Vine, led by CEO Chad Mackay and Chef Jason Wilson. Fire & Vine handles operational leadership, culinary expertise and product sourcing, and marketing and technology for each of the properties in the company: El Gaucho (Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Portland), Inn at El Gaucho, Aqua by El Gaucho, Civility & Unrest, The Lakehouse, Miller's Guild, Eritage Resort, Crossbuck Brewing, and Walla Walla Steak Co. You would expect something great from them looking at past successes, and you will find it in Aerlume. You would also expect an expensive experience and you will find it here. Mackay and Wilson have always created high-end experiences with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients, creativity, and top-of-the-line hospitality. Fire & Vine's mission is to source the very best in the world. Go and enjoy.

Chef Maggie Trujillo

Aerlume
2003 Western Ave, Ste C
Seattle, WA 98121
206-539-2200

www.aerlumeseattle.com

Photos courtesy of Fire & Vine

Connie Adams/February 2019


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