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Jan 24, 2014 08:49 PM

Brimmer & Heeltap?

I couldn't resist a drive-by of this place tonight to pick up a menu sheet and check out the space. It's only been open for 9 days, but was 3/4 full.

I stopped because the location has been the holy of all holies, the Hagia Sophia of what has become Seattle's worship of food.

Very truncated menu (3 choices in each of "vegetable", "seafood" and "meat" categories), but inventive, Asian-gestured preparations. All entrees are offered in large or small plate sizes, running anywhere from $6 to $26. Most wines are offered by the glass, small carafe, and bottle.

The kitchen has been revealed, a (very well-stocked) bar installed in the main dining room, and the old Sanbar space has been opened, behind a partition stubwall, into the main room. Overall, a very classy, comfortable space.

I will try it soon, but has anyone been?


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  1. I am standing firm in my ongoing boycott of all restaurants with "&" in their names, unless those names are of actual current living owners.

    1 Reply
    1. re: acgold7

      Hi, acgold:

      LOL. The ampersand thing makes my butt chew gum, too.
      Whisenhut & Doak would've made some sense.

      I'm going to try it anyway. They really have made it a comfortable space. I'm just not sure the Asian spin on things like rabbit crepinette are going to sustain them...


    2. My husband and I had dinner here tonight. The standouts for us were the steak tartare, the smoked lamb shoulder with pickled vegetables and black bean sauce, and the triple ginger carrot cake.

      We lucked out and got the table in the back, near the door to the patio. This table is next to a wall that is covered with signed menus from dozens of restaurants, mostly Seattle ones (Cafe Juanita, Lark, Poppy, Local 360, Lloyd Martin, Cascadia, Nell's, Tilth, Two Bells Tavern) and some from other cities (Olympic Provisions and The Country Cat from Portland were the ones I recognized). We had a blast looking at the them throughout the meal.

      We'll definitely be back. We really liked the food and the ambiance of the space.

      1 Reply
      1. re: creepygirl

        I SO want to go, and I love the penny floor they put in!

        The food sounds great; can't wait to eat some of it myself:). Thanks for the report creepygirl.

      2. This has been on my list for a few months now, and we finally got there tonight - what a delight! It's a low-key place in an interesting location, with simple decor and a nice atmosphere.

        It might be a neighborhood to watch, as we found out that Slate Coffee is right across the street (we saw some of their baristas having drinks on the Brimmer patio, so we went and talked to them after dinner - they describe their coffee as 3.5 wave - going to try this tomorrow.

        Anyway, I had a cocktail (a modified Manhattan called a Ballardvardier) that was really nicely mixed and balanced, and my wife had a nice Schooner Exact Emerald ISA, which she enjoyed as well. Very helpful service was also notable, with friendly suggestions on the drinks and food.

        For dinner, we opted for a light meal of the "bread" (which exceeded my expectations and was well worth the $4 charge) and three shared plates. The "legumes" were a mixed blend of different green and yellow beans in a simple but wonderful combination of tamarind and miso, which produced a wonderful blend of sweet and umami flavors. It was so good we sopped it all up with the bread (a thick half-loaf of Grand Central bread, properly broiled and slathered in Plugra butter, salt and pepper).

        For our second course we had a special - black cod "bi bim bap" - a deconstructed dish in a bowl, with a beautifully cooked piece of cod, some pickled shishito peppers, shredded lettuce, a poached egg yolk and rice - another delectable combination of well-balanced flavors and textures that we just couldn't stop eating.

        For our third dish we had the broiled pork shoulder (think kalbi) with kimchi apple slices - a simple but perfectly prepared and seasoned combination.

        It's so refreshing to see simple, well-prepared, clever (but not TOO clever) food prepared properly and served in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere without attitude. Seems like that should be easy, but it was surprising in a good way.

        We'll be back again - I'm afraid if this gets discovered any more than it is now, they'll get overrun and we'll have to find another place to haunt. But meantime...go try it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RichInMV

          Did you make it into Slate? Any thoughts?

          1. re: grayelf

            Grayelf, sorry for the delay - been eating a trough through Little Rock Arkansas the last four days. Yes, I did make it to Slate and really enjoyed it. They are definitely trying to do "third wave" coffee, and in fact seem to think they're doing 3.5 wave coffee.

            Without going into too much detail, I liked the coffee, and I appreciated the level of detail that they put into preparation of both espresso and their pour-over drinks. They roast their own beans (down in SODO area) and source them directly. They roast on the lighter end and apparently use a lower heat to keep the flavors intact (I may have the details wrong here).

            Anyway, I found the coffee very tasty, Chelsea the barista (and also met two others, Will and Willy) friendly and non-pretentious, and their pastries (from Fuji Bakery, also in SODO) quite good - I had a plain croissant that I'd give a solid B or B+ to, one of the better ones I've had in Seattle.

            I think I'd characterize this as a kind of "mini-Milstead" in terms of the vibe, coffee and approach, though they don't have the diversity of coffee sources that Milstead has. I liked their croissant a lot more than ones I've had at Milstead though.

        2. We had a mixed experience here. There was one knockout dish (peas), one fine but not special dish (can't even remember what) then an odd crab parfait thing that was pretty good at first bite, but it just got...weird, and neither of us ended up wanting to eat it. Something about the textures--there was a savory custard layer that was off putting. I had a hard time finding things that sounded good to order, so I think it's just not for me.