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Sep 22, 2009 02:31 PM


I saw some blogs that noted this restaurant would open in 2009. Haven't seen anything since summer. Does anyone know what happened or what will happen? The sample menu that was posted online looked very interesting. Thanks.

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  1. I spoke with Seth at a farm dinner this summer and he was hoping fall....was excited about sources he was lining up, and had found space under the rail on 5th he was happy with.

    1. Look for Chef Seth Caswell to open Emmer & Rye at the top of Queen Anne on February 1st. Although I don't know, for sure, about the exact location, my guess is that he's taking over the space formerly occupied by Opal. It's another good reason to look forward to the new year!

      1 Reply
      1. re: WandaBWild

        Got an update over the holidays, also in the Times. He is to take over the Julia's location at the southern end of QA Ave. Should be great!

      2. Here's a copy of the email he sent out about the restaurant opening:

        Friends, Family & Colleagues-

        This is the email I have been waiting a long time to write to you. I am extremely elated to let you know that I will be opening my first restaurant, emmer&rye, in February. I’m so happy emmer&rye has finally found a good home.

        Alright, let’s cut to the chase, all you really care about is the where and the when, right? Never in my dreams did I think that I would be opening in such a killer location in such a beautiful spot. On the top of Queen Anne, located at 1825 Queen Anne Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98117 is a wonderfully restored 100-year old Victorian house. The 70-seat restaurant has a full liquor license, beer and wine sales, a space for private dining, a patio for seasonal outdoor dining, and in the future – an outdoor deck on the second floor.

        Most of you know about the local foods philosophy under which I operate. I’ve developed the tagline for emmer&rye “seasonally inspired, locally derived” cuisine. And more than just featuring what is available from our local farms, waters and artisanal producers, I want to make the menus affordable. Small plates range from $4-9 and large plates of $11-18. This means lots of sharing and sampling a variety of dishes, flavors and textures in one meal. A table of four can taste everything on the menu for about $25 per person.

        I am working on a very, very tight timeframe. The mission is to open to the public on February 1 for dinner seven nights a week and brunch on the weekends. I want to offer my friends, family and supporters a chance to taste and preview emmer&rye. My opening dream team is almost completely assembled and training has begun.

        For now, here’s how you can show your support for emmer&rye. (1) Follow the Twitter updates to track progress of development. The best part of following emmer&rye on Twitter is that when we’re open, you’ll receive messages for special deals, events, and opportunities that others may not know about. Be one of the cool kids. (2) Become a Facebook fan of emmer&rye. (3) Check out the website to see the sample menu and get interesting info and my emmer&rye blog. (4) Send this email to all your friends and family and get them excited to come with you to emmer&rye.

        I could go on and on talking about the menus, the sweet dining rooms, kitchen plans, my awesome staff, but you’ll just have to wait a few more weeks and then come experience emmer&rye first hand. I can’t wait for the time you can come in for a treat from my kitchen (be sure to mention this email)!

        Love and faro fries to all!


        1. Emmer & Rye had its soft open starting this weekend. I went last night for drinks and dinner. Overall, I was very pleased, although it still has some details to work out.

          The service was earnest but very uneducated. She warned us about the unusual cocktails as if cocktails were a new thing in Seattle. She also had trouble explaining dishes on the menu or answering questions. Things I think that are common for a new place.

          The cocktail menu had several drinks on it very much in the overall trends, but more sweet than I have seen in a while. If there was a larger bar menu, we didn't get to see it. The website says it will serve 15 kinds of rye whisky, for instance, but we weren't offered any. The wine list is small. The white by the glass seemed light on food-whites (i.e., I really wanted a sauvignon blanc and there wasn't one).

          The food menu had 2 starters, farro fries and cheeses. We had the farro fries, which were more like a fried polenta stick with some texture. There was an aioli-ish sauce. Then there are a series of apps that you can order in a tasting size ($5 ish) or full app size ($10 ish). The entrees come in half or full sizes, $10/$20 range. I had 2 tastes, a half entree, and a taste dessert (desserts are also small or large) and was not overfull. The tastes were far better than the app for both my companion and I. I had a grilled sausage with a salsa verde and brussels leaves that was a really nice combination of flavors. My second app was a roasted cauliflower sald. The cauliflower was delicious and complemented the rest of the dish. Nothing on the entree meny totally drew me and I eventually chose braised pork shoulder with roasted root veg and collards. The pork shoulder was very delicious but oddly served--it came in a square, cut across the grain, and looked like compressed meat, although it wasn't. The root veg were tiny triangles. The greens were probably very good, but they are not my thing in general. My companion had a squash soup that she loved and one other. Her main was salmon with squash and greens. She liked the squash best and said the salmon was a bit overcooked.

          For dessert I had some thinly sliced poached pear with a small scoop of hazelnut gelato with some crunchy bits. It needed a bit more caramel sauce but all came together very well. And only $4 for the small size. The menu also include a butter cake that I wanted to try but they ran out, a choc bread pudding, a choc torte, and a couple other things. No dessert wines/drink menu offered. Two people, three alcohol drinks, 4 tastes, 2 half entrees, and 3 desserts = $90.

          Overall I place it between Betty and Wolf in that it has small plates but the food is a little more down home than Wolf. I love Betty and Wolf and if E&R works out the kinks, I will love it to.

          PS. The house is nice but still feels a little too country/kitsch for the food/cocktail vibe I think they are trying to create.

          1. I was part of a table of five last Saturday. The place had more than it's share of opening snafus. Cocktail was incorrectly made, timing of the dishes way off, the short ribs were cooked to a crisp, they don't have enough glassware, etc. The menu was confusing and needs work; the first floor layout is too jammed. In spite of all the problems, the staff was earnest and pleasant. I'd give them another month and try again.

            1 Reply
            1. re: itsonlyfood

              We went on Sat evening. We had been to theater with the kids, so everyone was dressed up and it was only 5:30, so was a good time to see if it was kid appropriate. Well, good news - happy hour on Saturdays - yipee! One cocktail $3, several wine $4, apps from $5-7, and a burger for $9. They basically offer their starter menu app sizes at bite size prices. oh, and $1 totten virginicas ! waitstaff could have been better educated on food and wine, but very attentive and good with timing.

              had the emmer fries (yum!), 6 oysters, 2 really great salads, macncheeese app, tasty pork belly app, 2 burgers, 2 cocktails and 2 glasses of wine for $75 pre-tip.

              Maybe not idealfor bringing kids(we were the only kids), but they were oh so kid friendly. bartender/head of waitstaff (?) brought crayons and challenged the kids to draw her a special picture. everyone was kind and patient. So there is no kids menu, but one had app sized mac n cheese, very tasty, and the other had the burger. not the price i normally spend on kids, but for a special night out it was great. basically same price as a night at tribunali or 5 spot.