Bar Cotto makes it an Ethan Stowell trio on Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave

Bar Cotto ready to slice it thin on 15th Ave (Image: Bar Cotto)

Bar Cotto, the third of Ethan Stowell’s food and drink properties on Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave, opens for business Friday night.

The “Parma-style” salumi bar and pizzeria is nestled into the Pearl building in retail space left empty next to Stowell’s Anchovies & Olives. When CHS broke news of the Stowell project back in November, we called the new space an A&O expansion but the 1,000 square-foot Cotto is its own “light dining and cocktails” beast manned by Anchovies chef Zach Chambers in the kitchen.


Cotto’s debut comes only months following Stowell’s opening of Rione XIII  farther down in the central 15th Ave E business district but still only a few blocks away. At the time, Stowell hinted that there may be more to come. “There may be something small happening,” he said.

The press release on the opening is below.

Chef Ethan Stowell’s Bar Cotto opens today next door to Anchovies & Olives, his highly acclaimed seafood-focused restaurant on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Bar Cotto (which basically means “cooked” in Italian) is a Parma-style salumi bar and pizzeria with a focus on light dining and cocktails.

“I’ve wanted to do a small salumi bar for a number of years,” says Stowell. “There was a spot that fell through back in 2008, but I’m glad we waited until now. This space is a perfect size and it has a cool vibe—the new construction gives the room such a modern look—totally different from our other restaurants.”

Located at 1546 15th Avenue, the 1,000 square-foot space features light washed woods, large front-facing windows, and a short row of windows on the north wall that open into Anchovies & Olives. The dining area boasts 20 seats that include a row of small booths painted a high-gloss gray and banquet-seating running along the wall. The tabletops are covered in zinc and the 10-seat natural wood bar also sports a zinc top. The intimate room offers every guest a birds-eye view of the chalkboard with the daily salumi selection, the hand-cranked Barkel meat slicer, and two Wood Stone pizza ovens that make up the open kitchen. 

 

Chef duties belong to Zach Chambers, who is the chef at Anchovies & Olives, and will run both spots. The menu is ideal for snacking and incudes a daily selection of local and internationally sourced artisan meats, a house-made porchetta, pizza, bruschetta, and small plates.    

The daily selection of meat boards are offered at $7 each or five for $25 and include: Prosciutto di Parma, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Mortadella, Spicy Coppa, Prosciutto Cotto, Salame Felino, Culatello, Porchetta, Finocchiona, and Spreck.

Small plates range from $7 to $11 and include: Roasted Fennel, Bottarga and Preserved Lemon, Corona Bean and Romanesco Salad, Charred Treviso with Cipollini Agrodolce, Roasted Mushrooms with Sage and Strecchino, and Marinated Beets with Sultanas and Pistachios. The bruschetta menu ranges from $8 to $12 and includes: Lardo with Walnuts and Honey, Carne Cruda with Pecorino Toscano and Arugula, Chick Peas with Rapini and Anchovy, and Lamb Tongue with Salsa Verde. 

The 13-inch pizzas include: Bianca (Cappezanza Olive Oil and Murray River Sea Salt), Fontina (Aged Fontina, Thyme, and Spring Onion), Funghi (Mixed Mushrooms, Fior di Latte, and Truffle Oil), Parma (Prosciutto, Arugula, Fior di Latte, and Tomato), and Salsiccia (Fennel Sausage, Rapini, Fior di Latte, and Tomato). Prices range from $13 to $16. Dessert will consist of Gelato, Sorbetto, and a Fruit and Nutella Tart.

The bar program is cocktail-focused and includes a selection of barrel-aged concoctions. There are even plans in the works for a house-made Limoncello and Amaretto. The thoughtful wine list is primarily Italian with a small selection of NW wines. Justin Rosgen, who is the manager and wine director at Anchovies & Olives, will be running the bar and wine program as well as the day-to-day operations.

Bar Cotto is open seven days a week from 4pm – 11pm. Happy hour is daily from 4pm to 6pm and will feature deals on food and drink. For reservations, call 206.838.8081 or visit www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com/barcotto/.

14 thoughts on “Bar Cotto makes it an Ethan Stowell trio on Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave

  1. I can’t wait to read all of the asshat commentary that will surely follow this post—a CHS tradition. Looks like we are off to a good start! Keep ‘em coming folks!

  2. Oh, please. You can’t expect universal applause on every idea that comes down the pike. People with a bitch or an axe to grind have great motivation to post a mean comment. They do. Every now and then, an idea is so exciting that people have the motivation to post a yay comment. They do. Compared to the desert wasteland of most news sites around here, I’ll take CHS comments and cranky commenters any day. Are they bitchy whiners? Some are, indeed. The ones above? Yes, I do believe so. But for the cranks who like to stop by and say, see, look at CHS comments, they’re so awful, well, yes, yes, they are. Self fulfilling. I see what you’ve done there. Nice work.

  3. This place looks great. I never thought it would be possible to get some culatello outside Italy. And, just to be a little picky, it’s “speck” not “spreck”…a kind of lightly smoked prosciutto.

  4. My comment stemmed from two identical experiences at Anchovies and Olives. I can only assume the neighboring venue (with the same owner and chef) would be operated under similar auspices. While having a simple dinner that would eventually set us back almost $300, I kindly asked the server if the blaring music (think Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, etc.) could be turned down a bit so we’d be able to converse without SHOUTING across the three foot wide table to each other. I felt her reply, “No, the chefs like it that way.” was snotty and unapologetic. It seems to me they lost sight of the fact they are in the hospitality industry. Will Bar Cotto be different? I hope so, but I’ll poke my head in the door to hear if the music is at conversation level before dropping more of my cash.

  5. I too am often annoyed by the too-loud music in restaurants, making conversation all but impossible. Don’t they realize we go to their place with a friend in part to actually talk with our dining companion? Of course, these days hipsters often just relate to their smart phone or tablet instead of to the person they are with, so maybe restaurant owners think the noise level doesn’t matter. Or, more likely, they think that the noise level makes their place “more exciting.” They are wrong.

  6. Wait. If the music was so bad and the service was perceived as rude and disrespectful, why did you still sit there and spend $300? If everyone who hates the loud, annoying music simply stopped patronize such hipster-ish business, maybe they’ll change. But the fact that you still stayed and forked over $300 to them, means they’ll continue to believe they’re doing it right. Who’s winning now?

  7. Clarifying my original comment even further…
    On both occasions the music had been turned up midway through the meal, after food had been ordered and served and wine had already been opened. Walking out without paying would have been a crime.
    I tend to dine later than most people, and we were one table of just a few left in the restaurant. Maybe the staff was trying to clear the place out so everybody could get off shift sooner? I don’t know, but I’m always willing to give a new place a second chance (which I did) so, yea maybe they did win the second time.
    In closing, I am thoroughly weary of the countless restaurants popping up that are more machines of a chef and/or restauranteur’s celebrity than they are institutions dedicated to delivering skilled, honest, and uncomplicated cuisine and service. I like to dine where I feel my business is appreciated. That’s all.

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