Why do you think Seattle, right now, is such a great place for -- and welcomed so wholeheartedly -- your style of mini-restaurant?
Monica Dimas: Having moved to Seattle when I was 21, being a native Northwesterner, and getting really ingrained and connected to the city has helped. This place is home and I feel like I know it well. The food projects I do are accessible on so many levels without compromising quality. We use the same ingredients you would find at a higher-caliber restaurant while still being able to be affordable. Times are shaky and we provide quality comfort food at a reasonable price point in spaces that are also welcoming.
How do you think the restaurant scene in Seattle stands up to the rest of the country?
Dimas: We are in a unique time of rapid growth, both on the restaurant side and our population, so it will be interesting to see what Seattle can commit to liking (restaurant-wise) and letting go of. There are other cities that have more loyal/frequent diners, so I definitely see that as being a huge difference. My spots have great diner loyalty and so maybe we just need to create more places that Seattle people feel comfortable returning to.