Atmosphere is key at this Ballard Ave restaurant with an early-twentieth-century feel off the lobby of Hotel Ballard: Repurposed architectural elements litter the place, including oakwood wall panels salvaged from a former Italian embassy in Buenos Aires and hanging lights from the old New York Times building. A stone hearth fires rustic Italian bistro pizzas by chef Jason Stoneburner, and when you order the Yukon potato and chanterelle mushroom iteration, a waiter whirls fondue over it in front of you. The vegetable small plates are a highlight, with roasted brussels sprouts tossed in honey, soy, walnuts and Szechuan. Even gluten-free diners can sample the pasta in a version of creta di gallo (winter squash, kale, pumpkin seeds, Podda) that won’t sour their stomachs. Strong and smart cocktails by Bastille’s Erik Carlson like Don’t Give Up The Ship (gin, Dubonnet, Curacao, fernet) contribute to the consistent evening crowds (as to be expected from the same team who brought you Bastille, Poquitos and McLeod’s).
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1. Stoneburner 5214 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)