The flavors of the Salish Sea now reach the shores of E Jefferson.
L’Oursin, French for “The Urchin,” opens its doors to the masses — 50 at a time — on Tuesday.
“It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming,” co-owner and bar manager Zac Overman told CHS Sunday night at a party for the restaurant’s Kickstarter backers.
Co-owner chef JJ Proville and Overman hosted a couple of test runs with family and friends and one for their Kickstarter backers that raised $27,325 from 183 supporters.
L’Oursin is located in the street level commercial space of a new four-story apartment building on E Jefferson. Next door, Monsoon sibling Seven Beef opened its cow palace in fall 2015. Nearby, bike cafe Peloton and soulful soul food joint Nate’s Wings and Waffles round out the options in the two-block stretch. A boutique hotel and bakery are also planned to soon be part of the mix.
Proville and Overman are enthusiastic about the up-and-coming area.
‘We’re just happy to be in this part of town,” Proville said.
The French cuisine is focused on West Coast seafood — “#pacifiquenorthwest” the about page cheekily notes — and vegetables to be paired with small-producer “natural wines” from Washington and France. Proville said he especially hopes to showcase underutilized, local seafood. The offerings will change with the season. People can come in twice a week and see a different menu, Proville said.
“Eight or nine smaller, fun, and creative dishes — really interesting bottle of natural wine, maybe some seafood you haven’t seen before,” Proville told CHS when we first wrote about the project in August. “We just want to do a good job.”
The restaurant’s partners met in New York City while working in the food media business at StarChefs.com. After Proville eventually came west, Overman followed and the friends looked for an opportunity to collaborate on their own project based on Proville’s French roots. Most recently, you could find Proville at Art of the Table and Overman behind the bar at Sitka and Spruce.
Their restaurant has been a long-time coming.
“We’ve been working on this for eight years now we’re still kind of in disbelief about it,” Overman said.
L’Orsin is located at 1315 E Jefferson. It is open Tuesday through Thursdays 5 to 10 PM and Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 11 PM. You can learn more at loursinseattle.com.