Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, one of this year’s excellent Best New Chefs, is proving to be the Northwest’s über restaurateur: He’s just announced plans to open his fourth restaurant in five years. Called Anchovies & Olives (no phone number yet; 1550 15th Ave), the restaurant is slated to open at the end of December or early next year. I recently chatted with Stowell to learn more about the new spot, a 44-seater in Seattle’s Pike Pine Triangle.

Ethan Stowell

© Thomas Barwick

What’s behind the name?

“It conveys the menu—Italian-inspired and seafood driven. And I think anchovies are great and people don’t eat enough of them. They think they’re too fishy—but I think they’re so flavorful. I eat as many as I can.”

Can you give a preview of the menu?
“We’re a seafood town. But most people expect salmon, halibut and Dungeness crab. But we’re going to have more Italian-based seafood items. We’ll make our own salt cod; we’ll serve mackerel, clams, oysters, and mussels. Charles Walpole, who used to be the chef at Mistral, will be running the kitchen.”

Any tips for how the home cook could easily incorporate anchovies or olives in their cooking?
“An olive puree would be great on bruschetta, and you could add chopped anchovies to pasta. Another really easy thing to do is to pan roast fresh sardines and anchovies. Just lay them on a sheet pan, top them with sliced garlic, chiles (chopped up Calabrian chiles or simple red chili flakes) and squeeze over some lemon juice. Then I sprinkle on some breadcrumbs that I've mixed with a fair amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until the breadcrumbs are all crispy—and you’ve got a great, lemony, garlicky dish.”

Any tips for what kind of anchovies or olives to look for?
“If you’re using packed anchovies, I encourage ones packed in salt over ones packed in oil, though you should soak these in water before using. Salt-packed anchovies tend to be meatier. For olives, I love Castelvetranos. They’re the big fat green ones from Sicily and are really buttery, rich and sweet.”

For more recipes by Ethan Stowell, click here. For more Italian recipes, click here.