Chef Bruce Naftaly is already regarded as a brothy genius but he and wife and business partner Sara Naftaly should probably get some credit for their weather forecasting skills. Their soup-centric Marmite — oui, the French word for pot but, non, not that kind of pot — debuted just in time for a cold and icy snap in Seattle that is perfect for their “bone-warming” broths.
French word for pot is la marmite https://t.co/llRCwr1aJE
— Marmite Seattle (@MarmiteSeattle) January 4, 2017
Following its Christmas weekend debut, CHS stopped by earlier this week to see Marmite in motion inside the 11th Ave-fronting Chophouse Row restaurant space the Naftalys have nurtured back to health after a rough go for the short-lived former tenant. Starting in “pop-up” mode, a menu of daily soups and sandwiches awaits. Bowls — chicken, leek, buckwheat noodle and roasted root vegetable, when we visited — run $9. The question for the Capitol Hill ventures of $6 pizza and $9 soup is can the experience be special enough to justify the cost of craft and local, ethical ingredients as lunch morphs into what you might call an “affordable luxury.”
“This is going to a more daytime, lunch, soup-centric approach I think the neighborhood can use,” Bruce Naftaly told CHS when we talked to him about the project in October. “This sort of fell into our lap,” he said at the time. “It made so much sense. In one building, you’ll have Almandine, Matt’s place, and then Kurt’s in the back. We’re all people who share a philosophical outlook on food.” The Naftalys have been a central part of Chophouse Row with Amandine Bakeshop’s 11th Ave streetfront presence featuring the work of macaron genius Sara and coffee from Empire Espresso.
Developer Liz Dunn is also working to reshape components of her block of projects on 12th and 11th between Pike and Union. While she told CHS earlier the Chop Shop closure was a “unique case,” Dunn has added new signage for the Chophouse Row development and a new weekly night market is hoped to bring more foot traffic into the complex. Meanwhile, Dunn’s Piston Ring building on 12th Ave will soon feature an expanded Plum and Sugar Plum sweets counter as well as an expansion of Queen Anne-born Cake Skincare onto Capitol Hill.
How will it all fit together? Time will tell. For now, Marmite’s pop-up version is moving forward as its sibling “intimate lounge” Spirit in the Bottle is carved out of the restaurant space’s interior. You’ll find hot soups waiting for you 11:30 AM to 4 PM weekdays.
Marmite is located in the Chophouse Row at 1424 11th Ave. You can learn more at marmiteseattle.com.