Since it opened in September, I’ve been wondering if Eden Hill might be the best closest restaurant to my home. Eden Hill is a previous name for the hill known as Queen Anne; the top of the hill has been a bit of a restaurant desert until recent years. (Luckily, LloydMartin opened a few years ago—one-minute more of a walk for me. How to Cook a Wolf is across the street from Eden Hill, so I’m going to call that also a longer walk for me.)
Eden Hill’s mission is to serve “seasonal, avant garde, New American cuisine,” so upon checking the menu, I wasn’t surprised to see a variety of cooking techniques deployed on a global list of ingredients that ranged from tomatillos to satsuma sake to fermented black bean to Thai chili to foie gras. Flavor combinations are fantastic and the plating is beautiful, the result of meticulous preparation and playful ideas. There’s some serious work going on in the kitchen. Chef Maximillian Petty, who makes a point to bring a plate or two to each table during the course of a meal, heads a staff that is friendly and professional.
With soup and salad (and most other “starters”) starting at $12 and “mains” pushing $20, the tasting menu might be the way to go at $60 for five courses (plus an amuse bouche). This menu changes nightly according to Petty’s preferences (and ingredient availability), helping to keep the regulars happy. But a chef’s tasting means a mystery, as my server explained it doesn’t include anything from the regular menu. (This actually turned out to be false, as a mainstay of the regular menu came as part of my tasting menu. That said, if you have your heart set on something from the regular menu, order a la carte.)
A very minor quibble: I was a little surprised the tasting menu was so meat-heavy. The first course was king salmon crudo, but the rest of the menu featured meat: veal for the amuse bouche, pork for both the second and third courses, and then lamb. Even dessert—though it’s hard for this meat-lover to complain about foie gras!
Still, a superb dinner as you can see from the photos that follow, making Eden Hill a worthy destination for a special occasion. (On that note, see this separate thought about special occasions.)