As its name portends, Belltown restaurant Local 360 is about being as all-around local as they can get. Their goal is for 90% of their ingredients to be from local farmers, brewers, fishers, foragers, creamers, and more.
“We believe that local produce, meat, and grains are more than mere vehicles for nutrients, but vital parts of the intricate system that supports our environment and the good folks who live here,” reads their website.
Local 360 has lots of foraged ingredients, and plenty of items that are straight from small farms in Washington. “For us, buying local is good for everyone. We’re closer to the food source, it’s more nutritious, and what it does to the community is just great,” says Executive Chef Robin Leventhal. “If we can keep everyone strong and happy, we’ve done our part.”
Plus, “getting to play with those ingredients is fun,” she said. Robin is a former Top Chef participant, as well as being the owner of the now-shuttered Crave restaurant in Seattle. She came to Local 360 after having known the restaurant’s general manager, Shawn Kramer, for years.
Although Local 360 has only been open for a little over two years, it’s the kind of place that should have been here 10 years, according to Leventhal. “The food and the environment together make a great concept. It’s a marrying of the aesthetic of the place and capturing that in the food,” she said.
At Local 360, “it’s all about enjoying that experience of dining. Savoring the moment and the conversation around the food,” Leventhal says. The restaurant is built around that simple, approachable offering – with rustic wood and metal fixtures, basic design, and a rich, earthy atmosphere that’s welcoming and clean.
“We wanted to make our food a step above what you’d get at home. It’s not alienating, but it’s still an adventure,” Chef Robin said. “It’s an everyday place that has the comfort of a home away from home. It’s an accessible experience that’s delicious. We want to bring you back for the food.”
The menu changes almost weekly, with the different items that come into season. If you’re a fan of Seattle Restaurant Week, it continues year-round at Local 360: their Chef’s Tasting Menu features the most seasonal ingredients and has the prix-fixe of $30/person every night.
Some things that don’t change are their grass-fed burger (the Butcher’s Grind House Burger on the menu), the fried Chicken and Waffle, the Fried Chicken Sandwich, PB & J Bon Bons, Steak Frites, and Rabbit Pot Pie. The Crispy Pig Ear is another specialty: pig ears simmered in water and aromatics until soft, then sliced really thin and dusted in seasoned flour. Then they are fried until they’re super crispy and served with spicy Remolade and buttermilk dressing (see photo).
While we were interviewing Chef Robin for this spotlight, we got the chance to photograph (and taste!) some other delicious dishes, such as Local 360’s Pot Roast Dip sandwich, Oyster Po Boy sandwich, and Rabbit Country Style Paté.
As part of their local focus, the restaurant is doing a dinner-with-cocktails this month, on May 16th, featuring Fremont’s Mischief Distillery. There will be a four-course menu with paired cocktails for $50/person. Call (206) 441-9360 or email email@example.com to reserve your seat(s).
Local 360 also has an event dining space with its own kitchen at the back of the restaurant. It can seat up to 60 people, and the restaurant rents it out with a variety of options – plus, there’s only a food and beverage minimum and no rental price. They also occasionally do banquets and off-site catering menus for events around the city.
Dine at the Belltown restaurant daily for lunch or dinner. Local 360 serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and dinner from 4 – 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 4 – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Weekend brunch is also served Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.