December 2, 2008

Comings & Goings In Belltown

Sommelier%20Jaime%20Anasagasti.JPGThe Spanish are coming!

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.

Taberna del Alabardero, 2328 First Avenue, 206-448-8884 La Taberna del Alabardero on Urbanspoon

* * *
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

Recent Entries

TIK logo.gif
The International Kitchen
Cooking school vacations in Italy, France & Spain.


The International Vineyard, a new way to learn about wine in France, Italy and Spain: three-night programs for wine lovers in less-traveled regions.

The International Kitchen, the leading source for culinary vacations in France and Italy.

French Word-A-Day, fascinating lessons about language and daily life in Provence

Belltown Messenger, chronicle of a Seattle neighborhood's denizens, derelicts, clubs, bars & eateries. Restaurant reviews by Cornichon.

Small Screen Network, where food & drink celebrities like Robert Hess have recorded terrific videos.

French Chef Sally is my friend Sally McArthur, who hosts luxurious, week-long cooking classes at the Chateau du Riveau in the Loire Valley.

Local Wine, the worlds leading Food and Wine tasting calendar. Spirits and Beer events as well. Post your own event or sign up to be notified when new events are po sted to your own area.

VinoLover, Seattle wine promoter David LeClaire's bulletin board of tastings, dinners and special events.

Wine Educator Dieter Schafer maintains a full schedule of Seattle-area tastings and seminars for amateur wine drinkers and professional alike.

Nat Decants, a free wine e-newsletter from Natalie MacLean, recently named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia. Wine picks, articles and humor; no ads.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35
More blogs about food wine travel.
Who links to me?
Post a comment

Remember personal info?