Cascadia's high-ceilinged space has been painted a golden shade of yellow in anticipation of the opening, this Saturday, of Taberna del Alabardero. (That's sommelier Jaime Anasagasti from Madrid, ready to welcome you.) There's been an Alabardero in "the other Washington" since 1989, a fancy spot that caters to diplomats and nearby K-Street lobbyists. But the history goes back even further: to the Palace Honor Guard in Madrid, who wielded ceremonial “halberds”--those fearsome pole-axe blades on pikes.
The story behind the name: some 35 years ago, a priest by the name of Luis de Lazama started a restaurant in a townhouse near the Palace, named it for the guards, and—though he had no experience in the restaurant business—used the place to teach troubled youth how to cook. He went on to open other Tabernas across Spain, and then, 20 years ago, he flew to Washington DC and launched an American version. No delinquent kids this time; this was to plant the flag of Spanish gastronomy.
Now that flag is set to fly in Belltown as well. Tapas and pintxos in the $5-$8 range at the bar (they're on the same page as Txori) plus traditional Spanish food in the dining room. The menus for the Washington DC location are online at if you want to check it out. They'll be open for lunch, too.
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Other changes in the works: Tamara Murphy of Brasa is opening a Pioneer Square outpost, taking over the café below the Elliott Bay Bookstore.
The Varchetta family, meantime, is moving into the Apartment's vacant space on First Avenue. They're going to name it List. The family—known for years as Mamma Melina's kids—now owns Barolo. Which reminds me: how long will it be until there's a bar (next to List, for all I know) called Who's On First?
Also new in Belltown: a pasta takeout place, tentatively called La Vita è Bella Express, or maybe just LVB Express, is coming to the space on Second where Bellino went stale. VitaBella's Giuseppe Forte wants to be open in plenty of time for the holidays.
At Boulangerie Nantaise, French-born manager Mireille Nelson is hosting an informal weekly French conversation group, lunchtime on Tuesdays.
Flying Fish continues its series of cooking classes, this time with a non-pescatory pastry lesson. Dec. 6, 10:30 in the morn. Call 206-728-8595 to reserve.
Sad to report, on the other hand, that Black Bottle's excellent lunches are being cut back. No more pho, no more pastrami bombers, just the perfectly fine flatbreads.
Sad to report, also, that Elbasha, the middle-eastern coffee shop on Western, has a sign on its door: Closed due to economic conditions. Sigh.Posted by Ronald Holden at December 2, 2008 12:00 PM | TrackBack
The International Kitchen
Cooking school vacations in Italy, France & Spain.