It’s a big, new apartment building, across from the Northwest Rooms at Seattle Center, named Expo. On the Republican Street side, there’s a charming courtyard. Taylor Shellfish is moving into the space to the east, and a delightful, new wine bar named Triumph is already open to the west, at 114 Republican St. Sit at one of the window tables and you get a view of the Space Needle.
Triumph offers an astonishingly deep wine list, particularly strong and varied when it comes to Italian whites, so it’s well worth your while to split an interesting bottle and make your way through the bar menu (cold cuts, oysters, a dozen imported cheeses, plus full dinner items like lamb osso buco). Or just drop in for a snack and a glass of wine during the nightly, 3-to-6 p.m. happy hour.
Triumph’s chef, South Carolina native Jonathan Doar, loves playful platings: One evening, his special was a (deconstructed) pig’s head: ears, cheeks, “head cheese,” lardo.
Around the corner from Triumph (same sidewalk, same building) is a restaurant called Roaring Bowl (516 First Ave. N.), featuring a concept called shabu-shabu. This is a Japanese style of meat fondue: You swirl very thin slices of Kurabota pork or Wagyu beef in hot broth for a few seconds until it’s cooked. In addition to the meat, there’s a big platter of vegetables and a selection of dipping sauces. No flames; induction cooktops are built into the tables.
The number of shabu-shabu choices is staggering: half a dozen proteins (pick one), half a dozen broths (you pick two) or do something entirely different: a robota grill, for example, or a gamjatang bowl.
Owner Sean Kaywood discovered shabu-shabu on his travels to Japan and figured it was the perfect interactive cuisine for Seattle.
The property was once home to a QFC, now redeveloped by Seattle real estate mogul Bob Burkheimer and a California outfit, Essex Property Trust. If this sounds familiar, it’s perhaps because Burkheimer was also behind the redevelopment of the QFC on Broadway.
At any rate, no fewer than four eateries are slated to be part of the 300-unit Expo project. In addition to the three already mentioned, there’s Agave, a Mexican spot, also scheduled to open in late March.
On Capitol Hill, Liz Dunn (who developed the Melrose Market complex) is readying a new spot called Chophouse Row — restaurants, bars and housing at 1424 11th Ave. Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Cafe will become the anchor tenant with two stores: One spot will be called Chop Shop Cafe & Bar; the other, Chop Shop Juice & Provisions.
Another tenant will be Kurt Timmermeister (former owner of Café Septième; current owner of Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island), opening his first retail outlet: a tiny cheese shop.
Comings and goings
Elsewhere around town, these newcomers: Cassis, the charming French bistro run by Jef Fike, which closed its outpost on Capitol Hill a few years back, returns in fine form — to West Seattle; the address is 2820 Alki Ave. S.W.
Belltown’s newest watering hole is Twisted Pasty, the pasty being a half-held savory pie much loved in England and Australia. It takes over the space vacated by Henry & Oscar’s Supper Club (2525 Fourth Ave.); the operators are a mother-and-daughter duo Cassie and Christie Ulrich.
Pioneer Square’s getting a lot of new eateries, including the eagerly awaited London Plane, now serving elegant lunches in the former bank building at 300 Occidental Ave. S.
Also in Pioneer Square, Il Terrazzo Carmine (411 First Ave. S.) is planning a new storefront, Intermezzo, on the First Avenue side of the Merrill Place building.
(Side note: Some 20 years ago, Il Terrazzo “traded” locations with Duke Moscrip, who had a chowder house in Madison Park. Nothing is left of either spot today: Carmine’s became Nishino; Duke swapped Pioneer Square for Alki.)
In the meantime, Blind Pig Bistro (2238 Eastlake Ave. E.) is expanding into the neighboring space occupied by a teriyaki shop, which will be named Babirusa.
In Ballard, the former Belle Clementine (5451 Leary Way N.W.), will become Porkchop & Co.
And a final farewell to Marché, originally known as Campagne, in the courtyard of the Inn at the Market (86 Pine St.). It’s is calling it quits after a quarter-century.
RONALD HOLDEN is a restaurant writer and consultant who blogs at Cornichon.org and Crosscut.com. To comment on this column, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.