Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.
BEER HERE—The proliferation of Seattle craft breweries is positively mind boggling, with new openings announced seemingly every month. It's tough to go wrong at almost any brewery in the city; these small-batch brewers tend to know their stuff, producing solid line ups of supremely drinkable IPAs, stouts, and more. But a few breweries truly stand out above the pack, setting the bar high for the rest of the group. Here now, Eater Seattle's picks for the best breweries within city limits.
BALLARD—Chester Gerl opened his much-anticipated Gracia in Ballard this weekend, and Eater Seattle has sexy interior photos. Gerl is centering the restaurant around the cuisines of central and southern Mexico, with a focus on bringing in heirloom corns from the region's small plot farmers and making masa in-house, a unique (and labor-intensive) process for a Seattle restaurant.
DOH CHRONICLES—A screwup in this year's James Beard Awards voting process may leave local chefs Dustin Ronspies (Art of the Table) and Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule) out in the cold. The James Beard Foundation announced semifinalists for its prestigious annual restaurant awards last week, and then sent out an apologetic email to anyone who has already voted, noting that "due to an error on the original ballot," semifinalists Ronspies, Yang, and Chirchi were "omitted" from the Best Chef Northwest category. Their solution doesn't do much to actually rectify the problem, adding insult to injury.