Mistral Kitchen

A successful super-group perfectly melds its members' strengths, as Blind Faith did with Clapton's virtuosity, Winwood's hauntingly beautiful vocals, Ginger Baker's incomparable rhythms, and...who the hell is Ric Grech, and who took his "k"? From a group of similarly complementary super-chefs, Mistral Kitchen

MK's a glass-and-metal 100-seater fronted by dearly departed Mistral's spotlight-shy chef (a line cook saved his first framed Zagat award from the garbage), with help from the sushi stud behind Saito's and a Joel Robuchon-trained pastry chef from Canlis; he's hoping to bring his old resto's impromptu style to a "wider audience", directly homing in on McDonald's turf. The oblong space thrusts out toward South Lake Union and is surrounded on three sides by big windows, features a farmers' entrance so the day's locally sourced ingredients can be paraded in, and sports four separate open kitchens; on the formal mostly reservation side there's the chef's personal kitchen and table where you'll eat what he gives you and like it, and on the casual side a high tech "pastry kitchen", a "rustic kitchen" turning out pizza/bread/skewered meats, and a highly advanced "technical kitchen" that uses combi-ovens, induction burners and vats of liquid nitrogen -- so you can dine knowing you're safe from Robert Patrick, but never Jason Patric (again with the "k"?). There's no fixed menu, but opening selections will include braised lamb (with zucchini/carrot/mint tagliatelle); sunchoke soup w/ butter-poached prawns & vanilla oil; wood-oven cooked wild mushrooms on Grana Padano cream cannelloni w/ house-made ricotta; and a dry aged rib-eye cooked in the tandoor -- a kind of oven from India, not the Red Door after a 20-session pass to The Bronze Bar.

The bar's helmed by a founder of the Washington State Bartenders Guild, who's crafted fairly insane signature cocktails like the hot cask beer/egg/sugar/nutmeg/cinnamon/cream/vanilla/benedictine Royal Posset -- take down a couple, and your faith will be the least of your blindness koncerns.