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Zhu Dang

Now open, Zhu Dang offers "updated Chinese food" using Pacific Northwest ingredients and flavors from all over China. There are many items to choose from on the family-style menu which was designed by co-executive chefs Pat Chang and Ken Lee. Pat graduated from Seattle Central Community College's culinary school and has cooked at Café Campagne, Brasa, Joule, Revel and Nell's. Ken grew up in Cambodia and Thailand and was raised on Southeast Asian and Southern Chinese cooking. He developed his own Pan-Asian cuisine and shared it at his restaurants, Provinces and Shallots Asian Bistro. He was also Din Tai Fung's master trainer. Their menu includes small plates like Shen Jian Bao (pan fried dumplings with chopped chicken) and General Tso's Veal Sweetbreads; Hot & Sour, Duck Noodle, Lion's Head Meatball soups and claypots; mains like Spiced Anderson Ranch Lamb Skewers, and Five Spice Crispy Quail; and wok items like Ma Po Tofu (hand cut), Gulf Prawns (Chinese celery, spaghetti squash, toasted garlic oil, Hawaiian sea salt), and Kung Pao Frog Legs. Whenever possible, they support local farms, ranchers and fishing vessels.

 Photo courtesy of Zhu Dang: red-braised pork shank with tea smoked egg

Steve Cheng is the owner and GM and a Seattle native. He also graduated from SCCC's culinary school and worked at TASTE and Urbane. Zhu Dang is a large space, 7500 square feet, with a main dining room that seats 150 including the bar and covered patio. They also have a private back room that can seat 100 or more.

Currently they are open from 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 Friday and Saturday, and closed Mondays. Zhu Dang is located at 1715 E Olive Way on Capitol Hill. 206-535-5544, www.zhudangrestaurant.com

The Market Hall Seattle

We add "Seattle" because there are four Market Halls opening nearly simultaneously: Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco and us. The concept is a grocery, restaurant and specialty foods emporium. As Seattle is in a smaller space, there will be more prepared foods and less fresh foods (if any). There will be a restaurant, espresso (of course), cheese, charcuterie, a pizza oven, and more.

Jaime Partners (program, project and construction management services) are managing the national expansion. Seattle will open mid-spring 2015 at 809 Olive Way in the Olivian Apartments. Residents are going to be pretty stoked about this, we're sure.

Café Juanita

Café Juanita is doing a three-month remodel in Kirkland, so Chef Holly Smith will be doing a pop-up version of CJ in the old Lark space on 12 th Avenue, Capitol Hill. She will serve only tasting menus for $135; no a la carte as the kitchen is so very small. Wine pairings: $65 or $95. First dinner will be served on February 4, and it's back to Juanita in early April, right before the Café's 15th anniversary. Dinner will be offered Wednesday through Sunday and reservations require both a credit card and an up-front cash outlay for the base menu cost. The restaurant started taking reservations via OpenTable on January 1. 425-823-1505 in Juanita. www.cafejuanita.com

Bell + Whete Chef Pop Up Series with Local Chefs

Showcasing local chef talent is what it's all about and there will be five dinners at Bell + Whete in collaboration with B+W Executive Chef Stew Navarre. Each dinner has a multi-course menu with beverage pairings; prices vary per dinner. Reservations are required and tickets can be purchased in advance on the B+W website under "events." Dinners:

Monday, January 26, 6:30 p.m., Mario Hevia + Baruch Ellsworth of Canlis present: A night out with Cascade Brewing

Mario (Canlis sous chef) and Baruch (Canlis pastry chef) will include mackerel sashimi, black cod, brisket and more. Pairings will be from Cascade Brewing in Portland, known for their sour beers. Bell + Whete will also have an additional wine pairing. $65 per person includes food and beverage, excluding tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, February 3, 6:30 p.m., Executive Chef Manny Arce of Poquitos presents: Italian American 2.0

This casual, family-style dinner will highlight Italian American dishes and flavors. $45 per person includes food and pairings, excluding tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, February 10, 6:30 p.m., Chef Deb Taylor + Bartender Scott Ross present: A French inspired evening

Former executive sous chef of Canlis, Chef Taylor will be presening a one-night only French-inspired menu featuring expert beverage pairings from her husband and Intermezzo Carmine bar manager, Scott Ross. $70 per person with beverage pairings, excluding tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, February 17, 6:30 p.m., Chef Sabrina Brzusek of Serious Pie Capitol Hill presents: Contemporary Italian

Hors d'oeuvres will be followed by a seated four-course dinner with beer pairings from Bell + Whete's extensive inventory. $55 per person with beverage pairings, excluding tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, February 24, 6:30 p.m., Bell + Whete's Chef de Cuisine Amy Beaumier + Sous Chef Chris Medina present: Modern French-Asian

This dinner will pair Amy's classic technique with Chris' modern twists in a six-course French-Asian inspired menu with cocktail pairings by bartender Jenn Akin. $80 per person with beverage pairings, excluding tax and gratuity.

January 2015


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