Welcome to CascadiaWire, a weekly collection of restaurant news from up-and-down the Pacific Northwest corridor.
RAVENNA—Food & Wine magazine yesterday revealed its list of the Best New Chefs for 2016, and this year there's a Seattle name: Edouardo Jordan, whose Ravenna restaurant Salare opened last June. Jordan is already racking up the accolades, though. He won Eater Seattle's Chef of the Year for 2015's Eater Awards and was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Northwest.
DOWNTOWN—In this fascinating era when farm-to-table dining has begun to feel like the baseline for new restaurants, it's fair for food fanatics to simply give up on the many, many chains that don't bother with a single item sourced thoughtfully. But the needle is moving, and the Seattle outpost of Hard Rock Cafe, a worldwide phenomenon known more for its rock and roll memorabilia and ubiquitous t-shirts than its tasty T-bones, is playing catch-up. If for some reason you find yourself at the Hard Rock Cafe downtown tucking into lunch with starry-eyed out-of-towners, look for a few local additions—and no, this doesn't seem to be an April Fool's joke.
SOUTH LAKE UNION—A plot twist in the Seattle movement of restaurants dropping tipping in favor of a service charge: Mollusk, the adventurous South Lake Union restaurant and brewery run by the former Epic Ales/Gastropod team, has dropped its 20 percent service charge. The business will instead revert to the traditional tipping model. Apparently the lack of foot traffic to the restaurant has made things difficult for employees, who were more or less advocating for the switch.