Where to Go Next: Seattle
Scott Staples first got attention for his earthy, elegant cooking at Restaurant Zoë. The food is more casual at Quinn’s, his boisterous gastropub in a renovated 1910 warehouse with brick walls and mirrors. Staples tops roasted marrow bones with red-onion marmalade (photographed, right) and makes Sloppy Joes with spicy wild boar ragù—“We’re unapologetically meat-driven,” he says. The drinks list leans toward beer (both big European names and small local producers) and whiskey (45 choices).
Tavolàta & How to Cook a Wolf
Most chefs don’t open more than one new place a year; Ethan Stowell of Union (an F&W Best New Chef 2008) launched two in 2007. Both serve straightforward, Italian-inspired dishes, but the similarities end there. Tavolàta, in trendy Belltown, is a two-level space with a 30-foot communal table and family-style dishes, such as two-pound T-bones and veal-brain agnolotti with sage brown butter. At the more intimate How to Cook a Wolf in sedate Queen Anne, the short menu focuses on appetizers and pastas, like fettuccine with guanciale (cured pork jowl) and hedgehog mushrooms.
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, who met at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York, work side by side in the open kitchen at their tiny year-old Joule. The couple specializes in unlikely but delicious pairings, such as grilled lamb with sesame-leaf sauce. Yang also creates inspired desserts, like blue cheese–filled pastry with celery-seed honey.
At the Heathman Hotel (a new branch of the Portland, Oregon, flagship), Brian Scheehser is close to his three-acre garden in Woodinville, which provides him with ideas and ingredients for his refined American menu. He uses zucchini as a garnish for pan-roasted trout and adds tomatoes to his saffron-scented Pacific seafood soup. The hotel’s bar is equally strong on cocktails like rosemary-spiked martinis and Northwest red wines, including Chehalem and Leonetti.
The Herbfarm’s Successor: Poppy
At The Herbfarm, Jerry Traunfeld made his name with a straight-from-the-garden menu. At Poppy, opening in September, he finds inspiration in Indian thalis—several small dishes served on a large tray—and plans to offer a thali du jour on his globally influenced menu. Dishes like pan-fried mussels with mint pesto will be made with herbs plucked from a garden behind the restaurant.