Terra Plata ready to take its place in the Melrose Market

(Image: Marlow Harris)

In the midst of the busiest week ever*in the history of Capitol Hill restaurant openings (*prove us wrong!), a CHS contributor has ventured inside an intriguing addition to the neighborhood working its way toward an extension of the opening celebrations into next week.

Terra Plata will begin serving its “earth to table” cuisine to the public next week as the latest component to the locavore focused Melrose Market. But CHS contributor Marlow Harris has already been inside:

It’s in the good feng-shui-corner space at the tip of the triangle building which is sure to add even more cachet and good fortune to this spot.

The space has a rich, organic atmosphere, resplendent with beautiful woods, steel, stone and concrete, with a rooftop deck that will be perfect in warm weather.

The path leading to the restaurant’s opening next Friday, October 14th, has been a dramatic one.


CHS was first to report on the legal battle over Terra Plata between the Melrose Market’s developers and Seattle restaurateur Tamara Murphy as the sides argued over the restaurant space’s features including a private dining room that Murphy said was vital to her venture’s success. The developers wanted Murphy out. A 10-year, $1-million deal hung in the balance. For a time, it looked like the guys behind Poquitos would be taking the space instead. But a judge sided with Murphy and agreed she could keep the lease — and was owed that private dining room. What followed were more negotiations and, then, finally, months of construction. Next week, the saga will play out with a triumphant opening.

Murphy, 50, has been an important player in the Seattle food scene for two decades. She became executive chef at Campagne in 1990 and went on to open her own restaurants including the now-shuttered Brasa and the Elliott Bay Cafes.

Despite the drama of its birth, details on Terra Plata have been relatively scarce compared to the PR blitz generated by the coincidence of openings lately on the Hill. On the Terra Plata site, Murphy calls her new project:

an “earth to plate” concept is the result of my love for creative and delicious plates inspired by the seasons and made possible by our local growers and artisan producers. i look forward to raising a glass in celebration with you on terra plata’s rooftop garden!

According to Terra Plata’s Facebook page, it will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Beyond that, we’re ready to be surprised. And, after a journey like this one, we can wait a little longer for a menu. Judging by the smile on Murphy’s face, whatever comes next should be good.

Oola Distillery open house
To keep the debut parade rolling, stop by 14th and Union Thursday night for an open house at Capitol Hill’s new craft distillery Oola.

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