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Mar 22, 2007 11:10 AM

Hidden (literally) Seattle restaurant?

A couple of friends who live in the 2200 block of Eastlake were talking about an article in Sunset magazine about a hidden restaurant at the south end of their block. We were walking through the back alley (after snarfing on yummy potato and rosemary pizza at Serious Pie!) and they pointed up through the overgrown shrubbery where we could see fairy lights strung outside and what looked like a deck/outdoor eating area. Their memory of the article was that the space was tiny, maybe only one seating a day and maybe limited days of the week. There is NO signage. My curiousity has been piqued. Anyone know anything?

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  1. I asked someone at work about this; we think it's behind Serafina, but I can't find anything online about it. Given that I live a block away, I really want to know. It's weird that I've never heard of it...

    1. I have a feeling the place you are talking about is Sitka & Spruce. It's in that little strip mall SE of the Zoo Tavern.

      8 Replies
      1. re: malarkey

        I don't think so, I'm pretty sure Sunset was talking about this guy: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/26...
        But odd that Hsaio-Ching doesn't mention a restaurant. At the time of the Sunset article I thought maybe it wasn't open yet, but maybe it's 'underground'?

        1. re: babette feasts

          You might be right; this article (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/27...) places it at 2203 Eastlake Ave E, and I can't think of any other dining place at that location. Not sure if it ever did open though.

          1. re: broksonic

            Now I am intrigued:


            Page 4, has the cover article picture on this place, but I can't find any new reference to it.

            Chowhound had one posting from a while back (November): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/343019

            1. re: broksonic

              Behind the cleaners, there's a space with a pian pianino business card on the door and rather yellow looking newspapers taped up in the windows.
              'Slow and easy' indeed.

              1. re: babette feasts

                I noticed that yesterday as well; I walked over there. There's definitely a big garden area right behind that's likely the spot where the Sunset article had it's picture from. I wonder if they are still doing dining, or that was a one-time thing. There's also a (what looks like a) housing unit upstairs from it that had lights on.

                At one point, that was the rumored spot where Hines' Coffee was going to move to.

                1. re: broksonic

                  This is so great! I went away for a few days, thought this was a dead subject and now there's all this info! I'm going to snoop around and if I'm successful, will report back!

                2. re: babette feasts

                  Looks like a pasta making operation (commercial) only.

              2. re: babette feasts

                OMG I know this guy. I was one of his devoted buyers when he was at the Ballard farmer's market. His pastas are impossibly thin, just gorgeous and absolutely delicious. I had a fennel & ricotta ravioli made by him I still have dreams about LOL

            2. Check out this month's Food and Wine for more info. It seems that dinner is 10 courses 3X a week. I think the article is online.

              2 Replies
                1. re: lucky.goldstar

                  I read that article with a mix of envy and frustration. Envy, because I'll never be a restauranteur-cum-food-writer with access to the secret places and parties of the PNW in-crowd.

                  Frustration because while I understand the sybaritic pleasure of small and slow - I cook at home, too - I also realize that it takes a lot of skill and, yes, professionalism, to open a restaurant to the public. Indeed, that's much tougher than just cooking a good meal for friends every so often - and the author should appreciate that more than anyone.

                  I would sure like to hear about it if Pian Pianino does open its doors to commoners.

              1. I have been dogging Justin as well. According to a friend of Justin's from Foraged and Found the F&W article outed his restaurant when he is not really open yet. I read the article and tried calling to no avail. Apparently the crush of business is jamming his cell phone's message box.

                Justin Niedermyer was previously the pasta maker at Cafe Juanita. His pastas are, as mentioned, unbelievable. I still dream of the rabbit plin I had at CJ. Once he left there he started his pasta company upstairs at Via Tribunali and apparently did a few private dinners there. I bought his pasta a few more times from his booth at the Ballard Farmer's Market but he has not been there for some time.

                1. This is the outdoor terrace area of Serafina. It's a European style courtyard.

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: Lauren

                      There is a deck behind Pian Pianino, as mentioned behind the dry cleaners. I don't remember now whether I saw lights strung on it so I don't know if it is the same place you are talking about but I am pretty sure you must be talking about p.p.

                      PS Still no luck getting a dinner there. I have called a couple times but no answer.