Restaurants Created a Neighborhood. Someonemust’ve occupied the Pike/Madison/Broadway Triangle before 38,000 restaurants colonized it this year—but that southernmost sector of Pike/Pine now feels like a bonafide brand-new neighborhood. Think Lark, Meat + Bread, Slab Sandwiches and Pie, and Bitter/Raw in the Central Agency Building. Optimism Brewing Co. at Broadway and Union. Chop Shop, Kurt Farm Shop, Amandine, and Bar Ferd’nand in the lovely Chophouse Row. Soi at Tenth and Union. And now the Renee Erickson trifecta of Bateau, Bar Melusine, and General Porpoise.
Kaiseki Arrived. Before Naka opened its doors in June, Seattle’s only taste of higher-end Japanese food came from chef’s choice omakase in our better sushi houses. Now we have Naka, enshrining the traditional, multi-course, rigorously seasonal Japanese style of eating known as kaiseki—and it’s but one example of Asian cuisines gaining more sophisticated representation in this town. Naka offers varying levels of kaiseki at differing price points; you can even dine a la carte. But what distinguishes all of the dishes is freshness, robust flavor, and breathtakingly artful platings.