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As of July 18th, 2013, Spur Gastropub in Belltown will have been an eatery in our neighborhood for five years. We’re glad to have this unique and innovative gastropub right around the corner. To express our appreciation for their culinary novelties and excitement for their Seattleite bites, we’re putting the attention on them for this month’s Belltown restaurant spotlight!

Spur Gastropub was the first of Chef and Co-Owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough’s group of eatery creations. After Spur, they have gone on to open Tavern Law on Capitol Hill and another Belltown restaurant, The Coterie Room. They’ll also be opening a new restaurant near Tavern Law in a few months called The Old Sage. Oh, and look for Spur’s spring cocktail menu rolling out soon!

McCracken and Tough started Spur as a chef-driven restaurant. They were interested in the gastropub concept that was all the rage in Europe, and bringing that to the forefront in Seattle. “It was about moving the kitchen out into the bar, and having the same talent in the bar as was in the kitchen,” says Spur’s manager Anne Magoon.

Spur’s name came about as a ‘spur of the moment thing’ – Brian’s mother was a regular cowgirl, and growing up, he remembered seeing a spur in his home.

The Belltown restaurant does major menu changes each season, but menu items are constantly changing. “Some local farmers and foragers will just drop things off at our back door, and we get to figure out how to incorporate it into a special for that night,” Magoon says.

According to the Spur website, McCracken and Tough “Are proud advocates of New American cuisine— creating interactive and seasonally pure plates to share.” Relish Magazine recently listed Spur as one of the top 10 must-visit gastropubs around the country that “are redefining the way we look at food.”

Whether you’re sitting at a high family-style bar table, in the comfy chairs near the door, at the bar itself, or at one of the small tables clustered into the restaurant’s upper area, you’re bound to enjoy a treat. “We take pride in offering the same level of service at every place you sit,” says Magoon.

Spur Gastropub is famous for its Grass-Fed beef burger, which is topped with red onion jam, cheddar and thyme. The restaurant’s Pork Belly Sliders – with cranberry, coriander, and arugula – and Tagliatelle pasta, which is made with oyster mushrooms and pine nuts and topped with duck egg, are staples that are pretty much always available to order. Don’t forget Spur’s delicious Sockeye Salmon Crostini! Layered Sockeye salmon, mascarpone cheese, capers, and pickled shallot make this small dish a delight!

The May issue of Cooking Light actually has a feature on Chefs McCracken and Tough – talking about their Salmon crostini and Northwest Salmon! Read more on Spur’s blog.

If you’re in the mood to try a variety of dishes, you can order the Chef’s Tasting Menu – five courses for $75, or eight for $100. Spur is also participating in Seattle Restaurant week, this week and next week. Check out our recent blog post for the details and their Restaurant Week menu.

“We want to be that place where you can go to get the fine-dining experience and service that’s well-educated about food without it being pretentious,” Magoon says.

Visit Spur daily from 5 p.m. till the last person leaves. They also have a happy hour Sundays through Thursdays from 5 – 7 p.m., with $7 cocktails, $5 house wine, and $4 draft beers. If you want to rent the space for a private event, or have a group meal, they’re happy to work with you on a special, tailor-made menu!

Seattle Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, April 7th! For the next two weeks, spanning Sunday through Thursday, plenty of Belltown restaurants will be joining the rest of the city as they heat up their ovens, sharpen their knives, fire up the grill, and get cooking for Seattle Restaurant Week!

At each of the following Belltown restaurants, you can enjoy three-course dinners for $28, and one or two will also serve three-course lunch for $15. Restaurant Week runs this Sunday, April 7th through Thursday, April 11th, and then again from Sunday April 14th through Thursday April 18th. Read on for more details, the menu offerings, and reservation information:

 

Photo credit: Flickr user food_in_mouth
Photo credit: Flickr user food_in_mouth

SPUR GASTROPUB: Enjoy the unique, somewhat rustic fare at Spur for your Restaurant Week dining experience. Appetizer choices include Sunchoke Soup with brown butter custard, fennel, and granny smith apple; Chicory salad with plum vinaigrette, candied pecan, sorrel and blue cheese; or Chicken liver terrine with rhubarb, pickled spring onion, miners lettuce and toast. Your entrée may be one of the following: Smoked arctic char with purple cabbage and mustard puree, mustard greens, crispy fried brussel sprouts, and spicy bacon; Pork Cheeks with crispy fennel pollen spatzle, apple onion soubise, and watercress; or Tagliatelle, duck egg, oyster mushroom, and pine nuts. Finish with the sweet stuff! Choose from: Chocolate ganache cake, the Daily Ice Cream, or the Daily Sorbet. Hold your table with online reservations, or call 206-728-6706.

 

Photo credit: GastronomyBlog.com
Photo credit: GastronomyBlog.com

LOCAL 360: This Belltown restaurant will have both lunch and dinner menus available during Seattle Restaurant Week:

  • Lunch (3 courses for $15, served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.): Appetizer selections include a Pretzel Croissant Welsh Rarebit, Roasted Carrots & Beets with Flora Cheese and a Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette, or Lentil Soup with Smoked Ham Hock and Greens. Entrée items to choose from are Sausage with a Smoked White Bean Cassoulet, Duck Meatloaf made with Duck Fat Yukon Potatoes and Ketchup Leather, or Taglatelli in Crème Fraiche, Leeks, and a Farm Egg. Lunch dessert is  your selection of PB&J Bon Bons, Gooey Butter Cake, or Carrot Cake made with Spiced Orange Caramel Sauce and Cocoa Nibs.
  • Dinner (3 courses for $28, served 3 p.m. till closing): Choose from Roasted Pear with Hazelnuts, burratta, honey, and truffle; Roasted Carrots & Beets with Flora Cheese and a Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette; or Lentil Soup with Smoked Ham Hock and Greens for your appetizer or starter. Then it’s either ½ Farm Chicken with Sumac, Chard, and gingered huckleberries; Braised Beef Cheeks and Early Spring Vegetables, or or Taglatelli in Crème Fraiche, Leeks, and a Farm Egg for your dinner entrée. Finally, dessert choices include PB&J Bon Bons; Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream and Spiced Orange Caramel Sauce and Cocoa Nibs; or Pecan-less Pie with Roasted Hazelnuts, maple, roasted parsnip ice cream, and ginger milk meringue.

Make a reservation online, or call 206-441-9360.

AQUA by EL GAUCHO: Enjoy Seattle classics and delicious dishes at this Restaurant Week destination! Appetizer selections include Potato Leek Soup, Caesar Salad, or Wicked Shrimp. Choose your entrée from either Wild Pacific Prawn Risotto, Grilled Columbia River Salmon, or Almond Crusted Sole. And dessert choices include Crème Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, or AQUA’s Seasonal Sorbet. Additional sides are offered as well, for $5 apiece. Check out the full menu here. Call 206-956-9171 to make reservations by phone, or reserve your table online.

The Wicked Shrimp served at El Gaucho and AQUA. Photo credit: Wine-beer-washington.com
The Wicked Shrimp served at El Gaucho and AQUA. Photo credit: Wine-beer-washington.com

EL GAUCHO: Choose from the following appetizers and starters at El Gaucho Seattle for Restaurant Week: Insane Truffle Soup, Spring Greens, or Wicked Shrimp. Your entrée choices include Top Sirloin, Truffle Linguine, Tenderloin Medallions, Columbia River Salmon, or Housemade Gnocchi. Finally, finish your meal with delicious dessert options: Chocolate Bourbon Cake, Seasonal Sorbet, or Banana Bread Pudding. El Gaucho also features several add-on sides for $6 or $7. Click here for the full menu. Make your reservation by calling 206-728-1337, or make your reservation online.

 

Photo credit: AmateurGourmet.com
Photo credit: AmateurGourmet.com

BLACK BOTTLE: Enjoy great wine, beer, or cocktails at the Black Bottle, alongside your Seattle Restaurant Week meal. Appetizer options are Wilted Baby Kale and Spinach Salad with or without Pancetta; Gruyere Emmentaler Beet Gratin with Mâche/Rocket; or Ceviche and Tortillas. Choose from entrée items including Malbec Demi-glazed Oxtail; Bacon Lemon Scallops with Frizzled Kale; or French-country Pesto Flatbread with Brie, Leek, and Niçoise Olives. Finish your meal with a dessert: Lemon Curd Ricotta Cake with Lavender Crust; Cacao Nib Mouse Torte and Chili Pistachio Brittle; or Basil Gelato and Ginger Madeleines (gluten free). Something of note: In addition to the three course meal, Black Bottle is offering a complimentary plate of Broccoli Blasted and a glass of Krogstad Aquavit for its diners. Call 206-441-1500 to make your reservation.

 

Photo credit: TripAdvisor.com
Photo credit: TripAdvisor.com

BRANZINO: Seattle Restaurant Week appetizer choices include a House Salad made with baby lettuces, white balsamic, and pecorino; Clams and Sausage from house sausage and crostini; or Grilled Octopus: puttanesca and grilled bread. Entrée choices are House Pizza; Pappardelle made with bolognese, fresh herbs, and grana padano; Tagliatelle made with pesto, goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts; or “Fresh Catch”: Umbrian lentils, pancetta, and clams. For dessert, choose from Chocolate Torte, Lemon Tart, or a Seasonal Special. Make your table reservation online, or call 206-728-5181.

 

Photo credit: Seattle.eater.com.
Photo credit: Seattle.eater.com.

THE COTERIE ROOM: Delicious, fresh fare. Choose from these appetizers: Cauliflower soup with spiced cauliflower, pine nut and apple gremolata; Kale & Quinoa Salad with coriander and chili vinaigrette, crispy fried & pickled spring onions; or Hungarian sausage with hedgehog mushroom medeira sauce and frisee fine herb salad. Entrée choices include Arctic Char with puree of parsnips, spicy black kale & marinated parsnip salad; Pork Cheeks with baby vegetables, red wine jus, camembert potato puree; or Raviolo with filled creamed nettles, brown butter pine nuts, charred onion jus & parsley salad. Finally, desserts to choose from are Chocolate custard cake; a Daily Sorbet; or a Daily Ice Cream. Call 206-956-8000 to reserve your table, or make your reservation online.

 

Photo credit: EatInSeattle.com
Photo credit: EatInSeattle.com

TAVOLÀTA: Ethan Stowell’s Belltown restaurant is making a show in the Seattle Restaurant Week! For starters and appetizers, choose from Parsnips with truffled pecorino, and chard; Baby Romaine with blue cheese, radish, and crouton; or Pork Belly with Frisée and Kumquat. Your entrée selections include Rigatoni made with Spicy Italian Sausage, Marjoram and Tomato; Gnocchi Alla Romana with Semolina, Mozzarella and Tomato; or Grilled Spanish Mackerel with Fresh Chickpea, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Potato, and Olive. Finish sweetly with Gianduia Chocolate Terrine with rhubarb coulis; a Seasonal sorbet with biscotti; or Lemon Zeppole topped with a Cara Cara Orange Chocolate Sauce. Reserve your table online, or call 206-838-8008.

Happy Seattle Restaurant Week, Belltown! Eat up and enjoy!

Featured photo from SeattleMet.com.

Spring is here, and there’s plenty to do in our neighborhood! Belltown events in April include tons of foodie activities, tastings, and festivities, so don’t miss them!

  1. April 4 – Tempus Cellars Wine Dinner at Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie: Walla Walla winery Tempus Cellars will be present at a prix-fixe 4-course dinner at Seatown on April 4th at 6 p.m. Dinner with wine pairings is $75 per person (including tax & gratuity, must be 21+ years of age). Purchase tickets here.
  2. Photo credit: Voracious Tasting Event site.
    Photo credit: Voracious Tasting Event site.

    April 4 – 4th Annual Voracious Tasting & Food Awards: Eat and drink up at Seattle Weekly’s Voracious tasting night on April 4th! Seattle’s best restaurants, food trucks, foodies and mixologists will be showing off their stuff at the Paramount from 6 -10 p.m. Belltown restaurant Local 360 will be there, and we suspect others will, too! Tickets/entrance costs are $45/person ($85 VIP).

  3. April 7-11 & April 14-18 – Seattle Restaurant Week in Belltown: Restaurants all over Belltown are participating in this bi-annual event! Eat a three-course prix-fixe meal for $28 at several Belltown restaurants including El Gaucho, (click the restaurant name to view the menu).
  4. April 14 – Eat. Run. Hope. (Presented by Ethan Stowell Restaurants): Support Eastside Maternal Fetal Medicine on April 14th. Begin the day with a 5K run/walk at Seward Park, followed by a Chef’s Tent tasting, filled with samplings of food from Seattle’s best chefs (including Tavolata’s Ethan Stowell). Wine pairings and microbrews will be available, and each registrant will receive a Mariner’s ticket. Click here for the schedule, more information, and ticket prices.
  5. Photo credit: Showbox
    Photo credit: Showbox

    April 18 & 19 – Prince at the Showbox at the Market: Music celebrity Prince will be at Seattle’s Showbox at the Market this month on April 18th and 19th (two shows each night, 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.) Ticket prices start at $250 and the shows are limited to 21+ years of age. The April 19th shows are already sold out, but you can still get tickets to the April 18th 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. shows.

  6. April 25 – Dining Out for Life in Belltown: Several Belltown and Downtown restaurants will be participating in Dining Out for Life. It’s an annual event, where restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds (each of the Belltown ones will be donating 30%) towards AIDS service organizations. Dine out at 88 Keys, Al Boccalino, Café Paloma, Far Eats, Intrigue Chocolate Co., and Tulio – all of Belltown’s participating restaurants.

Featured photo from the Seattle Restaurant Week Website.

Construction began on the first phase of the Bell Street Park project last week on Thursday. This project will create a 56,000 square foot park between 1st and 5th Ave. along Bell Street.

A rain garden, pedestrian park, and bike lane will be added to the street, as well as over 100 trees, LED street lights, and other energy-efficient lighting. It will be completed in phases by block, with this first phase (between 1st and 2nd Avenue on Bell Street) expected to be complete by the end of May 2013. All phases are expected to reach completion by this winter.

The artist chosen for the Bell Street Park is Sheila Klein, who is currently slated to design at least one other Seattle project, the Tukwila Commuter Railstation. Bell Street Park will be constructed by AGR Construction. The project was bid to cost $3.377 million and is funded under the Parks and Green Spaces Levy from 2008.

This bit of Belltown news comes after years – and several public meetings – of planning, discussion, and decision-making. The existing trees along Bell Street will have to be removed for the project. Seattle Parks did extensive reviews of the area and existing trees, as well as supplying specific information to the public, in an effort to convey their regard for the cost of removing the trees.

An additional note of interest is that the plan allows and will encourage restaurants in the corridor to utilize the space for outdoor dining – an amenity that has been accommodated for in the new Bell Street Park project.

With the new space and greenery provided by the Bell Street Park, Belltown and the rest of Seattle can look forward to a wonderful new area for pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, residents and businesses located on or traveling along Bell Street.

Featured photo from the Project’s webpage.

Belltown was a busy spot for the Seattle Police Department back in January through mid-February, as our last Belltown crime recap showed. But this month seems to have been a little calmer.

  • A Cab, a Cyclist, and a Biker: Quite the mess greeted officers when they arrived at the scene of a vehicular accident on March 1st. According to their report, the bicyclist was riding north on Alaskan Way, followed from behind by a motorcyclist. When a cab ahead of the two stopped on the east side of Alaskan Way, the bicyclist went around the cab. Unfortunately, the motorcycle was not so lucky, lost control, hit the cab, and then hit the bicyclist before continuing into oncoming southbound traffic and hitting another vehicle. Medics transported the bicyclist and motorcyclist to Harborview for non-life-threatening injuries.
  • Caught in the Crossfire: A woman was hit in the arm by a stray bullet on Saturday, March 2nd. The incident occurred just after midnight, when two men were seen arguing and running down Pike street. Shots were then heard, and the woman was hit in the arm from where she stood with friends near the corner of Pike and 2nd Avenue. The two men were taken into custody, and the woman was taken to Harborview. Her wound is not considered to be life threatening.
  • A Pike/Pine Buy-Bust Sting Op: After a 14-year-old young man sold cocaine to a police informant at the Joe’s Mart near 2nd Avenue and Pike Street on March 6th, he was arrested and booked into the Youth Service Center. SPD also arrested a 21-year-old man – also for selling cocaine – later in the afternoon in the same area. The older man was wearing body armor, which officers submitted into evidence.
  • Quick-Action Prevents Tragedy: On March 17th, police received a call about a man holding a handgun and standing outside a building on the 1900 block of 3rd Avenue, talking on the phone and threatening to shoot someone. SPD arrived quickly on the scene, and took up chase when the suspect began to run. The suspect was quickly apprehended, discovered to be a convicted felon, and was taken into custody. A record check done by SPD determined that the gun they recovered from the suspect – a .40 Smith & Wesson – was stolen in a carprowl in 2010.

Please feel free to shoot us an email if you know of criminal activity that we missed or needs to be mentioned on an upcoming recap. Of course, make sure the police have been notified first.

Stay safe, Belltown!

Featured photo from King5 News.