Friday, December 28, 2012

Foodie news

Stepping it up at Bing's

It's certainly not obvious from the outside (although that may be about to change) but on the inside it's pretty clear that that there's something different about Bing's, which since its inception a dozen years ago has nicely filled the "neighborhood restaurant" niche in Madison Park. A major revamp of the interior space is in progress, and the menu has definitely moved in a new direction.

Owner George Marshall---who with his wife, Kylie, bought Bing's a little more than a year ago---tells us that in addition to changing the restaurant's vibe with an updated look, he's intent on creating a "simplified, chef-driven menu" emphasizing a changing array of seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. "Rustic comfort food," is how he describes the new, re-sized menu. In the past month the new Fresh Sheet at Bing's has included quite a lot of fare that would probably not have been served at the old Bing's.  Specials this week include pan-roasted airline chicken breast, crudo, and braised ox-tail fettucini.

As for the new interior, it emphasizes fir tabletops, big chalk boards for specials and wine selections, and more-subdued lighting.  "The goal is to bring a little bit of Capitol HIll down here to Madison Park while still being approachable," says George. "Our plan is to keep things fresh and exciting," he adds.

Apart from completion of the remodel, are there any other changes in the works, perhaps even a name change?  George's response:  "Stay tuned."

Northwest Catering expands to Lake Union

When the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) inaugurates its new space tomorrow, Madison Park's The Famous Northwest Catering Company will be more than just on hand to celebrate.  Northwest Catering was chosen earlier this year to run the food concession at MOHAI and will be opening Compass Restaurant simultaneous with the museum's grand re-opening.

The 700 sq. ft. cafe, which is housed in an excellent view location in the Museum's northwest corner, will serve "grilled-to-order sandwiches, fresh salads, soups, hot entrees, small plates, and desserts, all made fresh daily with seasonal ingredients," as well as coffee and other beverages.  Sounds much like the great fare served at Northwest Catering's Arboretum Court location.

More information is available on the blog, Lake Union Beat.

New sign presages Madison Kitchen opening

They hoisted a new awning into place at Madison Kitchen earlier this week, but when we peeked inside to see the progress of the major remodel underway, it was clear that it will still be a bit of a wait before the cafe/coffee shop/take-out purveyor holds its grand opening. As we reported in the fall, new owner Jim Goodall is planning something much more involved than what the previous tenant, Park Place Deli, offered the neighborhood. The workers on site say that it's just a matter of weeks, at most, before we'll get to see the new concept first hand.

[Bing's is located at 4200 E Madison St., The Famous Northwest Catering Company is located at 3131 E. Madison Street, and Madison Kitchen will be located at 4122 E. Madison St.]

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