The chef lifestyle is known for long, late hours, so it doesn’t leave much time for eating -- except when it comes to brunch. Chefs LOVE brunch (almost as much as we do), so we decided to ask some of The Town’s best what their favorite places to go are: Here are nine spots where the guys and gals who know about food do their weekend morning eating/drinking...
Chef Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants (Mkt./Staple & Fancy)
His pick: Monsoon (address and info)
When he leaves his own empire of restaurants, Stowell heads for a long, leisurely morning of dim sum at Monsoon. He’s a fan of the great vegetables at this Vietnamese spot -- and his ability to order a bottle of Grüner Veltliner to accompany them.
Chef Zoi Antonitsas of Westward
Her pick: Matt’s in the Market (address and info)
Pike Place Market
Antonitsas directs brunchers to one of the best Bloody Marys in town -- accompanied by delicious food and a perfect view of Pike Place Market. If that doesn’t cure a hangover, we’re not sure anything can.
Her other pick: Sitka & Spruce (address and info)
Aesthetics are big for Antonitsas (no surprise to anyone who’s been into the gorgeous waterside spot where she works) so she enjoys relaxing and starting the day at this beautiful Melrose Market space. The creative and unique combinations on the menu don’t hurt, either -- she calls them “inspired and lovely.”
Chef Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon
His pick: Chiang’s Gourmet (address and info)
When he’s able to rouse himself in time, Ronspies points himself north to this Chinese restaurant in the shell of an old fast-food restaurant. “The dim sum is on point,” he says, as he recommends the chili beef tendon.
Chef Shota Nakajima of Naka
His pick: 99 Park (address and info)
Nakajima hits this Eastside spot for the beautiful patio where he can sip coffee while overlooking the park. He praises the simple, but well-executed brunch menu with just the right twist, adding, “This place makes me feel good every time I go in.”
Chef Josh Henderson of Huxley Wallace Collective (Quality Athletics)
His pick: Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky (address and info)
When Henderson is calling someone one of the best cooks in the city, you’ll want to listen (it’s a title he could vie for himself). “I’ll eat anything he cooks,” Henderson says of chef Mark Fuller, which includes the brunch menu hits of saimin (Hawaiian noodle soup), fried chicken, and loco moco.
His other pick: Cafe Presse (address and info)
It is “so consistently damn good,” Henderson says of this all-day spot. His order is consistent, too: croque madame, frites, butter lettuce salad, and a crisp white wine.
Chef Mutsuko Soma of Miyabi 45th
Her pick: Norm’s Eatery & Ale House (address and info)
Soma is not much of a brunch-food fan, but says that her husband loves Norm’s, as it has everything they both need for brunch: beer and chicken wings for her, eggs and coffee for him. Not to mention their dog Peanut is welcome there, “We give him a few licks of the coffee creamers they keep on the table and he loves it.”
Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table
His pick: The Fat Hen (address and info)
Ronspies finds everything delicious at The Fat Hen, from the baked eggs to the sandwiches and salads. “The coffee’s good to boot, and you can drink it outside while waiting for a table.” He says that when he and his wife (Shannon Van Horn, the pastry chef at Art of the Table) can get in, it’s their favorite place.
Chef Josh Nebe of Radiator Whiskey
His pick: Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky (address and info)
“If I go to brunch, I go to Ma’ono, PERIOD.” Nebe says, the emphasis his. He is there for the best biscuits, best fried chicken, and incredible apple malasadas. Plus, he and his girlfriend Amanda consider the Spam musubi there to be their “favorite thing ever.”
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Naomi Tomky is a freelance food writer in Seattle and is a big believer in Chinese food for brunch. Follower her on Twitter @Gastrognome and Instagram @the_gastrognome to see if chili beef tendon is on her plate this week.
1. Monsoon615 19th Avenue East, Seattle
2. Matt's in the Market94 Pike St, Seattle
3. Sitka & Spruce1531 Melrose Ave, Seattle
4. Chiang's Gourmet7845 Lake City Way NE, Seattle
5. 99 Park99 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue
6. Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whiskey4437 California Ave SW, Seattle
7. Cafe Presse1117 12th Ave, Seattle
8. Norm's Eatery & Ale House460 N 36th St, Seattle
9. The Fat Hen1418 NW 70th St, Seattle
Monsoon serves up Vietnamese food paired with cocktails built using spirits from the Eastside distillery, including the chartreuse/lime/Thai basil Green Monster.
You'll find this bar/restaurant hybrid inside Pike Place Market, where you can order seasonally changing dishes made with lots of local ingredients. It’s a bit of a labyrinthine path to find it, so you aren’t going to just stumble in unless you were looking for it, and they seem to like it just fine that way. Call ahead and get yourself a big table in front of the window so you can watch the sunset over Puget Sound.
After a six month hiatus, this hyper-locally-sourced grubery's moved to spruced (!) up L-shaped digs on Pike/Pine; the new high-ceiling'd, window-walled space boasts a butcher-block communal table, and an open stainless steel appointed kitchen from which
Chiang's exterior doesn't amount to much (its building was formerly a fast-food restaurant) and the interior resembles any average Westernized Chinese restaurant with bare walls, white tablecloths, and large, lazy Susan-equipped round tables, but the place is often packed with locals there for dim sum and family-style dinners. The long and winding menu features standout dishes like house-made Shanghai noodles, five-star chicken, and sizzling rice soup.
Helmed by Old Sage and Hitchcock vets, this casual fine-dining destination is bringing composed takes on Northwest-y eats like Neah Bay halibut-rapini, razor clam-uni, and Washington oysters to Old Town Bellevue.
Ma'ono means flavor. Flavor means Hawaiian cuisine. This Junction joint is helmed by island native Chef Mark Fuller, who sources ingredients from the Northwest and the Pacific Rim to bring Seattle authentic Hawaiian dishes like poke and the beef- and sausage-based Loco Moco. It wouldn't be a visit to Ma-ono, however, without a round of chicken, twice-fried and umami spiced, and a least a little taste of their 40+ bourbons, ryes, single malts, imported, and domestic whiskys, either on their own or in a house cocktail.
With mutliple international soccer jerseys hanging in frames, French menus, and endless options for wine and coffee, Cafe Presse is is the ultra-European answer to Seattle's boom in trendy coffee shops. One would think at first glance that the menu came straight from Paris, with entirely French names and dishes like simple baguette sandwiches, charcuterie plates, and sirloin steak-frites (that's steak and fries, obviously). It's merely the appearance of the American dollar sign that separate this place from the real thing.
A staple in Fremont, Norm's serves up classic American comfort food (burgers, etc), and is pouring brews from 14 taps. Known for being dog-friendly and people-friendly!
Contrary to its name, The Fat Hen is rather small -- dainty, even -- with white wainscoting and marble-topped tables. The daytime eatery is a sunny neighborhood nook, popular for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, with only 20 seats available. Under Italian ownership, the Seattle favorite offers a menu featuring the best of Italian and American eats, in addition to French pastries delivered daily from Honoré bakery right across the street. The cafe serves a full breakfast menu of classic morning dishes (mimosas included), but the kitchen's standout mainstay is the "egg bake" -- two eggs baked in a pool of rich house-made tomato basil sauce, served to each guest in an individual cast iron skillet topped with generous portions of ham, mozzarella, pork sausage and mushrooms.