As the year draws to a close, let us rectify a serious oversight. Without fanfare, without a PR machine, two of Seattle's best cocktailers have moved into Belltown's Rob Roy. Zane Harris and Anu Apte bought the lounge from Linda Dershang four months ago and have built a following simply by making superb drinks. Cornichon hadn't poked in since its first week of biz (as Viceroy) many full moons ago, and found nothing of note beyond stale goldfish and an oppressive crush of Young & Restless. Well, the goldfish are still around (fresher now), supplemented by a short menu of bar snacks produced by Zane's father, a longtime professional chef. The lighting is still dim but the spirits are decidedly brighter. Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Alas, it's time to say goodbye to Dany Mitchell, whose iconic Trattoria Mitchelli will go dark on New Year's Day after 33 years in Pioneer Square. We thought we'd said ciao earlier this year; prematurely, it turns out. Now it's down to the wire, with two final nights of cash-only pasta (tonight and New Year's Eve) until there's nothing left. Shed a tear for the institution, to be sure, which nourished a couple of generations of writers and politicians (Sen. Cantwell used to come here with her dad) before falling on hard times: theater closings, the rise of sports bars, Pioneer Square's transformation into a (rowdy) nightclub district. The furnishings go under the hammer January 20th; then Dany leaves for a village in the Vaucluse, where he'll rejoin his wife. "The Tratt" was never about the food, which won't be missed; it was all about the hospitality, which we'll remember with great fondness.