Capitol Hill’s Terra Plata debuts in the Melrose Market

A busy first night for Terra Plata (Images: Suzi Pratt)

Terra Plata opened its huge wooden doors at the south end of the Melrose Market to the public Wednesday night bringing an epic Capitol Hill restaurant story to the next book in the series.

Terra Plata was very full on its sneak-preview early opening night but seats were available at the communal table.


The menu is only a page long. Servers advise either ordering one “sea” or “land” entree for yourself, or sharing one and adding a couple of small plates. Dishes included cappelletti roasted squash with browned sage butter and hazelnuts, rabbit påté, served with mustards, pickled onions, and slices of bread and roast pig served with clams still in their shells, chickpeas, pickled onions, chorizo, and chicharrónes (fried pork rinds).

Terra Plata’s Tamara Murphy has said her “earth to table” restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner but you might want to give a call before heading over while things get going at the new venture. You can learn more from Terra Plata’s Facebook page.

18 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s Terra Plata debuts in the Melrose Market

  1. Hasn’t the trend/fad of “communal tables” run its course? I don’t think many people really like them….they have to sit there sometimes because there is no other possibility. When I go out to dine, I want to talk with the person(s) I am with, not some stranger who I am forced to sit next to.

  2. I wanna go for breakfast. I wanna go for lunch. And, dinner too. Wish I had more disposable income. And, re the communal table, love it. As an often-single traveler, I’ve enjoyed various communal tables that seem to be more common in other countries. Domestically, as an often-single diner, I would welcome the randomness of occasionally sharing a table with whomever. Good luck Tamara Murphy.

  3. The only trick about communal tables is trying extra hard not to spill something on the person sitting next to you. Fortunately the woman was very nice at Ting Momo last week when I got green sauce on her coat.

  4. I’ve never really minded the communal table as long as it provides a little extra space between folks. That way it is actually possible to carry on separate conversations if you are so inclined.

    However, I am not originally from Seattle, so talking to strangers doesn’t infest my nightmares. For people who have grown up around here, I can see how it would frighten and result in a terrible dining experience.

  5. Not interested in saying hello to your neighbor or perhaps a stranger at the table next to you? Typical Seattle attitude. I thinks communal table is a great idea. Go outside your comfort zone, be kind and you might be surprised.

  6. All the trendy clones go run and try out the new hip place so you can tell your friends you’ve dined there! Three months from now it can be empty like Poquitos and Ba Bar as you all have moved on to the next big thing!

  7. Actually, Terra Plata has a sense of community! Going there feels like you are part of the family and want to come back again and again. Plus, unlike the restaurant you mentioned the food is actually good! I would be surprised if the place isn’t busy all the time!

  8. No one forces you to talk to anyone at a communal table. While I agree that this pushes many a Seattlites buttons, I also find that it’s a classic distinction between Europeans and Americans. Communal tables are common throughout Europe. You simply smile and acknowledge your tablemates, but there is absolutely no expectation that you need to carry on a conversation with a stranger. Americans love to talk, even when we shouldn’t.

  9. All the cattiness on here is really getting tiresome. That said, when do you go to Poquitos? I have yet to see a night that it’s not jumping and full of people. Ok, maybe a Monday? Geesh.

  10. I’m not super hot on communal tables but they work ok in a more informal environment, say Smith or Boom Noodle. But if i’m paying a large chunk of change for an upscale dinner, I’d like to not crowd in with my neighbors, thanks.

  11. Just a little addendum: The first photo on this thread says it all…the restaurant is packed, but the communal table is empty save for one lone diner. There might be some who appreciate this concept, but I still think the vast majority of people prefer to have a little privacy when dining. Or, put another way, “love the one you’re with.”

  12. Aahhh… how I have missed Tamara Murphy’s food (especially the roasted pig)! We had the pleasure of attending a pre-opening dinner and it was as if they had been open for months. The food was outstanding and the space is beautiful, warm and inviting… so ecstatic to see this restaurant finally open!

  13. 9 years, 362 days until Tamara Murphy gets her hat handed to her and is forcedout of this space. although, i imagine that the restaurant will probably not last 10 years, she will sell it before then thereby erasin bad blood the space has between her and liz Dunn. I will enjoy your high priced, overwrought food at least 3 times until then!

  14. I’ve been to terra plata 3 times already…. I couldn’t stay away it is so damn good! The food was amazing and not expensive… Especially for what we got. The space is beautiful, warm, and inviting (contrast to the landlords that own this building). Shame on them.