Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cafe Parco to debut in the fall

Italian cuisine returns to the local restaurant scene

As early as October, after some remodeling to the Madison Park Cafe space is completed, Seattle Chef Celinda Norton and family, who until last month operated 94 Stewart in the Pike Place Market, will be bringing their talents to Madison Park with a new incarnation:  Cafe Parco.

As we reported yesterday, Madison Park Cafe has been sold.  Today we can give you some of the details, thanks to MPC owner Karen Binder, who shared with us her email to her patrons about both the sale and the new owners' plans for the space.  She describes the transition to new ownership as "good fortune," noting that Norton "has all the qualities of the person I was hoping to leave my legacy to:  a smart, quirky, strong, talented, capable woman chef."

Just last month, the Nortons sold 94 Stewart, confiding on the restaurant's website that "we are already working on our new adventure."  Now we know, at least in general terms, just what (and where) that adventure will be.  According to Binder, Cafe Parco will be serving Italian cuisine seven days a week, both lunch and dinner, with brunches on the weekends.  94 Stewart was known for its Fried Avocado, once chosen as a "Best Bite" by The Seattle Times. We understand it won't be one of the selections at the new place, however.  The Nortons (including Celinda's son Nic and daughter Lindsey) are planning "something new and different" in this new venue. Just what the menu will be is something we intend to ferret out in coming weeks.

Binder, meanwhile, will not be exiting from the Seattle culinary scene. She says she intends to continue both her catering and wine-selling businesses (  She'll be back in action after a several-week sojourn in Hawaii for the birth of a grandchild.  In the meantime, however, she is not taking a page out of the Sostanza exit strategy (sell the place and get out of town by morning).  She will be on board with the Madison Park Cafe through brunch on August 29, she says, "So, come on in for a swan song meal and say goodbye to the old joint!"

[Photo of Celinda Norton by Cris Bisch on SustainLane.]

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