A food and drink modernist with a global education learned from couchsurfing the world is bringing a “street food” focused gastropub to the dining and drinking scene growing on Capitol Hill’s 14th Ave.
“It’s the creativity of taking these tried and true flavors and making them even better,” Chris Cvetkovich says of the alchemy-like tweaks he is planning in brining the flavors of Vietnamese markets or the Lithuanian Halė to Capitol Hill.
With a mid-November opening target, construction of Nue began this week in the REO Flats building on 14th between Pike and Pine. Neighboring the coming-soon Omega Ouzeri from the Vios family of restaurants and veteran Italian great Spinasse and its little brother Artusi, Cvetkovich says he has a friendly agreement with his new neighbors. “Just don’t do bad Greek food,” Cvetkovich said was the only request from Omega owner Thomas Soukakos.
In addition to no bad Greek food, you can expect Nue – “the face of a monkey, the torso of a tanuki, limbs of a tiger, and the tail of a snake” — to present a seasonally driven tour of global cuisine via street car and walk-up counter fare. “Certain cuisines lend them to different times of seasons,” Cvetkovich said. The techniques will be modern — “My home kitchen looks like a meth lab,” Cvetkovich says — but Nue’s food and drink will strive for ultimate, “rustic” authenticity. Think Anthony Bourdain with a whipping siphon paying Capitol Hill rent.
The inventive Cvetkovich will also test out concepts like lunch combos pairing plates with “lunching wines” or mini servings of beer. In its most overtly modernist element, Nue will also have a walk-up nitrogen ice cream window. Flavors will include the simple — lemon custard — and the complex — squid ink or smoked hay.
For Cvetkovich, a computer animation entrepreneur and food blogger, Nue is a first-time leap into the restaurant business after 15 years of fascination with “unconventional cuisine.” At his side will be chef Ben Godwin, currently with the Salish Lodge and formerly “at Fat Duck, and tons of other kick ass places,” Cvetkovich tells us.
“Despite his ‘high end’ pedigree he shares my passion for simple, street food and is just an awesome guy, so a perfect fit,” Cvetkovich said.
Nue will open this fall at 1519 14th Ave. You can learn more at nueseattle.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink notes
- Neumos and Lost Lake partner Jason Lajeunesse is leading a call for stepped up SPD presence in Pike/Pine’s nightlife scenes after a series of robberies on Capitol Hill. We shared his letter to the mayor’s office here. The letter — and the subsequent outcry from other neighborhood business owners — has grabbed City Hall’s attention. There’s a meeting planned later this week for police and business representatives to get together to discuss nightlife safety. In the meantime, Lajeunesse and others are talking about working together on private security and ride sharing to help make sure staff can get around in the early morning hours after their shifts end.
- The 12th Ave Arts project is rounding into shape and will eventually include three new restaurants along with its affordable housing, nonprofit office space and theaters. The large restaurant space in the project is still looking for a tenant, we’re told. And we’ve already told you about U:Don Fresh Noodle Station moving in. So what about #3? The Capitol Hill Russian dumpling wars have begun. Fremont-born Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar will join the project to round out the one-stop food, drink, and a show offerings. Vostok Dumpling House opened above Pike and Broadway in May 2013.
- Capitol Hill Housing’s annual Omnivorous event is a great way to support the nonprofit developer — and get a one of a kind Hill eating experience:
This 4th annual event will feature unlimited small plates of culinary creations, excellent Northwest wines and imaginative specialty cocktails all under one roof. Participants include Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Café Presse, Corretto, Feed Co. Catering, Fran’s Chocolates, Hello Robin, La Spiga, Marjorie, Okanogan Estate Winery, Oola Distillery, Poppy, Poquitos, Restaurant Zoe, Sidetrack Distillery, Skillet, Tango, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Terra Plata and The Tin Table. New this year will be two fantastic food trucks: Jemil’s Big Easy to start things off and Off the Rez to end the night.Every dollar raised at Omnivorous will support Capitol Hill Housing’s mission of building and preserving affordable housing and contributing to the vitality and diversity of Seattle’s neighborhoods. What: Omnivorous
When: September 18, 2014, 5:30pm
Where: The Summit, 420 E Pike St, Seattle, WA
Tickets: $85, on sale at bit.ly/Omnivorous2014
- Sunday, September 7th the bars and restaurants of 15th Ave E will join with local merchants for a sidewalk fest in the neighborhood.
- Is E Pike’s Trove open yet? CHS took a tour of the noodle bar, Korean BBQ, beer and cocktail bar, and frozen custard walk-up project last month as the team behind Trove were expecting a second week of September opening.
- Will Nue do Basque cuisine? Dunno. But El Correo, a project from the Cantinetta folks lined up for 12th Ave, just might.
- Rhein Haus… Denver.
- Want to work at Stateside?
If anyone knows Sous Chefs, Cooks or Servers interested in doing Vietnamese-French for a Nov opening please contact me…
— Eric Johnson (@EMJEMJEMJ) August 27, 2014
- Chop Suey is for sale.
- Essence Wine is closed.
- Catfish Corner is gone.
- The Stranger’s cafeteria no longer serves Ma’ono lunches.
- Optimism Brewing, the ambitious Capitol Hill beer brewery project taking shape at Broadway and Union, has been actively documenting its construction. You can check out some of the photos of the news space on the Optimism Facebook page.
- Also taking shape: Lark’s new home and Bitter/Raw inside the Central Agency building.
- How did Elysian Brewery handle a large shipment of wet hops being rushed for two special batches of beer? They held a hop cutting party on E Pike.
- Now that Rancho Bravo won’t have to go anywhere for a few more years, the popular E Pine stop for cheap eats is bellying up to the bar for a beer and wine license.
- Taco Wars… Seattle: Cris travels to Seattle, Washington to find the best taco in the city. Will it be the Tacos Chukis from Tacos Chukis, the Grilled Fish Taco from El Camion, or the El Pastor from Poquitos? Tune in to find out who will win the battle of Taco Wars Seattle!
- Eastlake is getting a new sandwich shop. Mammoth, from the people who created Ballard’s Bitterroot BBQ, will open across the street from Rogers Playfield.
- Remember this guy? Annapurna regular:
- Happy 30th birthday, R Place!
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