Lisa Nakamura is ready to make a food and drink venture succeed at 12th and Pine and she’s going to work to make it happen. The prolific restauranteur was already pondering changes before her new Gnocchi Bar served its first dish of fluffy little dumplings on Capitol Hill.
“We’ll see what people want,” Nakamura said as she scooped CHS a dish of the gelato from D’Ambrosio Gelateria Artigianale, the space’s previous tenant that will continue to have a presence — and treat-filled display case — inside Gnocchi Bar. Full disclosure: CHS accepted the gelato as a gift — and to help Nakamura train a new employee. We just want to help.
Nakamura opened the doors officially to her new restaurant Monday night after a weekend rewarding crowdfunding investors, friends, and family. She was also, doubtlessly, tinkering with what she is planning as a seasonal rotation of dishes featuring the hearty dumplings.
For $12 to $14 a dish, Gnocchi Bar diners will get a filling serving of dumplings decorated with tasty sauces and fresh toppings. The opening menu is below. Save room for dessert. In addition to the gelato, Nakamura’s fine dining past has helped to create an outsized roster of treats for the mostly casual Gnocchi Bar.
Gnocchi Bar Dinner Menu
Sunday- Thursday 5 pm to 10pm
Friday and Saturday 5 pm to 11 pm
Potato Gnocchi Filled with Curry Roasted Carrots; Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce $14
Potato Gnocchi Braised Chicken, Capers, Asparagus and Cider Butter $14
Polenta Gnocchi Spicy Beef/Pork Meatballs and Oregano Tomato Sauce $13
Potato Gnocchi Roasted Portabellas, Mama Lil Peppers, Pesto and Extra Virgin Olive Oil $12
Polenta Gnocchi Mushrooms, Roasted Cauliflower, White Cheddar Cheese Sauce $12
Add-ons (add to any of these to the above gnocchi combos) $3.00 each:
White Truffle Oil
Extra Parmesan Cheese
CHS wrote about Gnocchi Bar’s place in the short but busy history of the 12th and Pine space across from the East Precinct and on an increasingly food+drink-filled 12th Ave. The street will soon see another influx of new food and drink options as the 12th Ave Arts venue debuts its food and drink tenants Rachel’s Ginger Beer, U:Don Fresh Noodle Station and Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar later this spring.
Nakamura said she is looking forward to finding out how the neighborhood responds to her new, more casual venture entering the mix where many recent new openings around Pike/Pine have been either higher concept or higher priced. Gnocchi Bar will start with dinner service only before eventually, Nakamura hopes, expanding to brunch and lunch hours. Beer and wine will be on offer soon as soon as the liquor license comes through.
For now, stop in and tell Nakamura what you think. She’ll probably be there, working on some new surprise. Maybe she’ll give you a scoop of gelato.
You can find Gnocchi Bar at 1542 12th Ave. Hours are 2 PM to 10 PM (11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays) with dinner service starting at 5 PM. You can learn more at gnocchibarseattle.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink
- Barman Adam Fortuna has followed Jason Stratton out the door at Spinasse and Artusi, Eater reports. In February, CHS reported on the sudden departure by Stratton after financial issues at downtown’s Aragona/Vespolina.
- Lost Lake is donating 10% of sales Tuesday (March 24) to help employee (and Comet sandwich creator) Miss Julia:
A treasured Lost Lake employee (who is also responsible for creating all of the sandwiches at The Comet), Julia is a Capitol Hill mainstay and Karaoke Queen Extraordinaire. The funds will go to help with medical costs for injuries sustained in a fall earlier this year. We wish Miss Julia a speedy recovery, and can’t wait until she’s belting out “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra again soon.
- Congratulations to incoming Capitol Hill restauranteur Renee Erickson:
— Sea Creatures (@eatseacreatures) March 24, 2015
- And Trove’s Rachel Yang, and Seif Chirchi getting Beard love
- Also, huzzah for local negroni-stained wretch Allecia Vermillion.
- El Corazon getting a waffle window.
- Capitol Hill is, indeed, Seattle’s hottest sandwich zone. Even hotter when Meat and Bread opens on April 13th.
- Coffee roasting is Capitol Hill’s main manufacturing industry, no? Vivace building Broadway roasting facility.
- It’s the final week for Dine Around Seattle.
- A couple hundred Seattle food and drink entrepreneurs and investors gathered last week to talk about opening new projects in the city. Here’s what folks like Josh Henderson, Linda Derschang, and Molly Moon Neitzel told them.
- Smash Putt is open at 23rd and Union. You know you can drink and watch and don’t have to play, right?
- So much love for La Cocina Santiago celebrating 35 years on Broadway. There will be even more love on March 25th when food will be 50% off for the day. Happy birthday!
- The Still Liquor folks are opening a pizza joint.
- Don’t get too excited. We’re told the space was only being cleaned up and, for now, will remain empty:
— ArielMeadowStallings (@OffbeatAriel) March 17, 2015
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