Capitol Hill has seen a ridiculous amount of openings and closings in the world of Grub and Grog this summer, but this week witnesses the birth of not one, but three new major food enterprises, plus a craft distillery! The most exciting, in my opinion, would be Bako, a modern Cantonese eatery next to gay fave Poppy on North Broadway in the old Jade Pagoda building. Eater Seattle has pictures of the beautiful space which quietly opened its doors Wednesday night. Along with its food and drink menu, the space was inspired by the 2000 movie In the Mood For Love, “because it contains so many contrasting elements: east and west; old and new; rough and sleek.” Drinking starts at 3 pm (they call it ‘foursies’), with dinner from 5 til close everyday.
Directly across the street from Bako, Altura features an upscale Italian menu from chef Nathan Lockwood, who according to the restaurant’s website, helped earn San Francisco’s Acquerello a (gasp!) Michelin star. Walking by the place on Tuesday night, I stopped to take a look at the menu, when someone stepped out the front door to tell me that “Seattle has never seen anything like this – the chef is from San Francisco!!” Awkward promoting aside, the food does seem to capture the rustic, seasonal sensibilities for which both Italian and Pacific Northwest cuisine are known (Squab and Pheasant Agnolotti, Tagliatelle with Sea Urchin and Dungeness Crab… hell yes). The website encourages you to do either a three, four, or five-course menu, though ala cart ordering is also available. Dinner hours are 5:30 – 10:30, closes on Sundays and Mondays. Alongside neighbors Poppy and gastronomic destination Olivar, Bako and Altura are helping northern Capitol Hill become a gourmet hotspot.
On the other side of the hill, Momiji also opened this week in the Dawson Plumbing Company building on 12th Ave. Perhaps you’ve seen the build-out walking by in the past few weeks, especially the stunning chandelier clearly visible from the street. Momiji comes to the ‘hood via Steven Han, owner of Belltown’s perpetually packed Umi. The menu seems pretty affordable for what sounds like delicious Japanese dishes (the most expensive plates are $15 tartares) and they also features an extensive sake menu for all you Japanophiles out there. Momiji is open every day starting at 4 pm, with Happy Hours from 4-6 and 11-1 am Sundays – Thursdays.
Also opening this week, Oola Distillery on East Union is one of Capitol Hill’s first boutique booze makers! Popular neighborhood blog Capitol Hill Seattle previewed the place today, which makes small-batch gin and vodka. Go in this weekend and support your local liquor economy!
So there you have it, Seattle gays, a plethora of new bites and libations to be had on the hill this weekend! Just be sure to make a reservation!