Seven Beef turning quartered cows into a longterm investment in steak on E Jefferson

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“I like the fact that we’re going all the way.”

Aging beef is a difficult science but you have to be an artist to persevere. Air flow, temperature, humidity, all conspire to ruin the meat, take a prized, grass-fed cow’s life in vain.

A troubled meat artist is now hard at work on E Jefferson where bandsaws have joined the kitchen knives. Eric Banh and sister Sophie, the creators of upscale and downscale Vietnamese projects Monsoon and Ba Bar, have finally opened Seven Beef, their huge, year-delayed, steak-focused, “whole animal” restaurant. Aging is, indeed, difficult.

“This is a young person’s game,” Eric Banh tells CHS. “You have to lug big portions of a cow. Very physical. I like the fact that we’re going all the way.”


Seven Beef is a “steak shop” featuring classic, “familiar” cuts like the “porterhouse, T-bone, New York Strip” and the “unfamiliar” including “oyster, belly, Teres Major.” Banh and crew — the young, buff people he was talking about above — receive quartered cows from Rochester, Washington’s Heritage Meats which they break down into steaks — and much, much more — in the 4,000 square foot restaurant that needs nearly as much work space as room for diners.

The logistics of such an undertaking are nearly insane, the losses when things go wrong like sorting out the proclivities of a new walk-in cooler, exorbitantly expensive and utterly depressing — but the triumph of a nearly one-of-a-kind chunk of WA State cow for dinner?

“We are trying to open something that very few corporate restaurants will ever try to do,” Banh said. The cows that grew up on grass at Brady, Washington’s Gleason Ranch don’t produce a soft, squishy, corn-fed beef — this is meat that needs to be worked.

Emerick and Banh work it out (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Emerick and Banh work it out (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Even turning the meat into hamburger for Sophie’s version of the restaurant’s signature Bò 7 Món traditional Vietnamese seven-course beef dinner (there’s also Seven Course Beet for the veggie friend you drag to the steak restaurant) is effort, not salvage.

Fortunately, Eric says the Banhs have an experienced, steady hand to help Seven Beef guide the knife.

“He’s very slow, methodical, soft spoken,” Banh says of Scott Emerick, the man who created Madrona’s Cremant, then disappeared to Washington D.C. Banh said he first met Seven Beef’s executive chef back in the early days of Monsoon when he noticed Emerick’s love for good champagne.

“He’s the most passionate about French cooking,” Banh said. “Scott really takes a finer taste to it.”

Emerick’s patience is also a good balance to Banh’s impulsive drive. As the two suffered through a year of waiting on a longer-than-expected buildout, Emerick set about helping to update offerings at Monsoon and Ba Bar. At Seven Beef, the duo are finding the right mix of ambition and patience.

“We’re both older now,” Banh said. “I think chemistry is everything. We don’t compromise very much.”

CHS first reported on the plans for the former E Jefferson office building way back in July of 2014 as Monsoon Seattle expanded on 19th Ave E. Later that summer, Eric and Sophie were hoping for a fall 2014 opening.

The enormous creation has seating for 90, including 16 at the bar and 10 at a communal table, plus room for 16 in “a sunken dining room at the back of the restaurant.” “Glowing bistro lights” and a low ceiling “with exposed beams lends a cozy atmosphere” separate the space from the chaos of the open kitchen.

The buildout of the 4,000 square-foot restaurant was plagued by contractor and permit delays familiar to many Seattle businesses in recent months thanks to the area’s booming economy. Eric says Seven Beef is clearly the most expensive restaurant he has ever built and that its siblings Monsoon Seattle, Monsoon East, and Ba Bar will have to prop up the venture for years.

For Banh, steak is a longterm investment.

“People will freak out for the flavor, the texture they never tried before,” Banh said. “At the end of the day, financially it will pay off.”

Seven Beef is located at 1305 E Jefferson St. Hours are 5 PM to 11 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 5 PM to midnight on Friday and Saturday. You can learn more at

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27 thoughts on “Seven Beef turning quartered cows into a longterm investment in steak on E Jefferson

    • Just the tip of the disgusting iceberg of eating animals. The cow’s still dead, no matter how fancy its graveyard and the cost of admission. However, this is no critique on the post, as it’s an actual photograph of that establishment. It’s accurate.

    • Way to swallow the meat-industrial complex lies. Try telling your lies that meat is needed to be well-nourished to all the champion vegan and vegetarian athletes out there, Olympics Gold Medalists among them. Sucker.

    • If you look at the list of famous athletes promoted by vegan sites, you’ll see most of them switched diets after their career was over.

      No one would deny that it’s possible to be a vegetarian or vegan and be a world-class athlete. It’s just harder to meet the crazy nutritional needs. Michael Phelps eats 10,000 calories / day.

    • So you’re choosing to deflect from thinking about animal suffering by making it about those who are empathetic enough to care about it? Its not about me. Its about animals. And I walk right past that case and make my own food choices unfettered. Though you’re riling me up enough that I may get more political about it and toss fake blood on that case. Oh wait, its redundant. The case is full of real blood. Bon appetite.

  1. Shame some of the vegetarians among us can’t get beyond their personal beliefs to allow others a little goodwill with their endeavors. They work very hard and deserve a little more than that.

    • You’re entitled to your opinion. Though I wonder if you ever think of the word suffer n relation to animals or just when making condescending generalizations about non carnivores?

    • Qustionably ironic use of the word shame, but ok I’ll try: “Best of luck in profiting from and glamorizing animal suffering.” How’d I do? And BTW if you think that my lack of cheerleading the murder of animals will negatively affect a meat business in meat hungry Seattle, you’re sense of social justice is severely misplaced. I will simply not be a customer. Other people are free to make their own choices, but I would prefer they do so with more awareness on the impact on animals. What if it got as much attention as 15 now?

  2. Seems like a cool space. Are they selling cream cheese too? Looks like the Laughing Cow logo, without earrings. Or is the Elmer the Bull? Elsie the cow’s husband?

  3. I’d like to become a vegetarian, but I can’t spend lots of time trying to figure out what to eat (or what to wear).

    Do vegetarian places offer sampler plates for cheap?
    If not, they should.

    • Huge number of resources for this online. You don’t need to depend on restaurants. Seattle has its share of places that offer vegetarian and vegan options, but it’s most cost-effective (and can be fun) to learn how to make your own meals to your own tastes. Getting the right combination of nutrients is important but it’s really not that hard to figure out. Vegetarians of WA has resources, but so does the library and YouTube and vegan and vegetarians food blogs. Here’s some info too:

      A vegan or vegetarian diet could still be unhealthy (eat 400 Oreos and it’s vegetarian). So it can also be a good time to learn more about nutrition. It can be about adding new, healthy foods that you like and reducing ones you don’t want anymore.

      As for samplers though, Travelers Thali House by the Beacon Hill Light Rail station is a good choice. You can get the Happy Cow app for a list of places or look here:

      Doesn’t have to be an overnight change. And it can be a fun exploration. If you ever visit Portland, there’s a huge number of vegan spots there. Enjoy the journey.