Extra Bites of 2008 (and changes)

One of my goals for January is to organize all of my food photos for last year, cataloging them in some systematic way and blogging about miscellaneous bites that didn’t quite make it to “print” in 2008. In doing this, it’s reinforcing how much the recession is hitting the restaurant industry. Seems like there’s a new story daily about restaurants changing or closing (though luckily there are also some still opening).

There’s a lot of scuttlebutt this week about Crémant. The place is popular. I like the atmosphere and the food is good, though many people have reported some problems with the service. I wrote about their roasted marrow bones a few months ago, but I’m also remembering their intriguing version of nicoise salad, pictured here. Interesting plating and quite pleasing; it was a shared dish, and I wanted more. Now I’m wondering what will be on their menu in the future, as word is that Mike McConnell is in as owner, and chef Scott Emerick is out. Still waiting to hear the true story of what happened, as some prominent restauranteurs have been commenting in response to Nancy Leson’s write-up in the Seattle Times.

I’m also saddened to learn about the imminent closing of Union Square Grill. My last visit there coincided with the Seattle Cheese Festival, and I enjoyed a five-course meal of dishes featuring cheese, including a delectable king crab and chevre ravioli. It’s a shame to see Union Square Grill go after nearly two decades in business; you have one more month to get your last meal there, as service will stop on February 15, making way for The Lost Lady American Cantina. (Do we need more Mexican food?)

Sadly, you can expect more and more closings in the days and weeks ahead, so now’s the time to go out and support your local favorites. And keep an eye on the Seattle Weekly, where Jonathan Kauffman (my favorite local restaurant reviewer) and his team are keeping track of many of the closures.

Union Square Grill on Urbanspoon

Cremant on Urbanspoon

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