I’ve been following chef Joe Ritchie around (in a non-stalking way!), enjoying his cooking at Cave B Inn, Ray’s Boathouse, and most recently Mkt. He recently moved from the intimate atmosphere of that Tangletown restaurant to Ethan Stowell’s newest opening: Goldfinch Tavern at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle.
Things have changed since ART restaurant was the main act at the Four Seasons. Some lament the loss of the cheese and chocolate buffets, but change is good. It’s a major makeover, with the restaurant rather casual for a high-end hotel. Really, it’s an upscale tavern, with nice (though somewhat industrial) views of Elliott Bay.
With focus on the food, I can say it is solid. Goldfinch Tavern was generous in inviting me for a meal, with Ritchie recommending the tasting menu route to explore more of the offerings. (There’s an emphasis on regional seafood, and also a strong beef selection.) As I’ve come to expect from his cooking, the flavors were fantastic, with enough ingredients to make the dishes interesting, but the preparations not too fussy.
(All around me, at virtually every table, people were eating burgers both during happy hour and beyond it, and I must say that the rare beef looked incredible. I will return to give the burger a try.)