Showing posts with label Madison Kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Madison Kitchen. Show all posts

Sunday, July 21, 2013

This 'n that

Fat Salmon makes landfall

The 350 swimmers participating in the 14th Fat Salmon Open Water Swim arrived on Madison Park beach yesterday morning after successfully completing a cold swim (with or without wetsuits) over a 3.2-mile course which began at the I-90 floating bridge. Participants were required to be able to swim the distance in under two hours (laggards would be pulled from the water if they didn't accomplish that mission). The first swimmer from the first wave arrived in well under 90 minutes (that's her in the wetsuit above), and as far as we know no one had to be pulled. The event is sponsored by the Green Lake Aqua Ducks, and winners in each category were awarded (eventually, since there was a delay in determining the race results) a big fat salmon.

Sewage leak in Canterbury?

On Friday we posted a link on our Facebook page to a KIRO-TV story with the provocative heading "Sewer Detectives Search Madison Park for Sewage Leak." KIRO's photo (above) shows the vehicle of a Seattle Public Utilities team at 40th and E. McGraw that was investigating which residence, precisely, is responsible for an increase in fecal coliform in the Lake. The detected increase  is not sufficient to cause an immediate health hazard, the homeowner responsible will have to pay for repairs to the residence's connection to the sewer system.

There is no increase in fecal coliform levels at Madison Park beach, which is a long way from the suspected leak area (which has, according to KIRO, been pinpointed to a two-block radius of Canterbury).  As of Monday, King County was reporting fecal coliform levels of virtually zero at the Beach.  No worries.

Madison Park eatery a 'gem'

The current issue of Seattle Magazine has a nice little review of Madison Kitchen, which is described as a place with "seductive", "unexpectedly good" and "knockout" items on the menu. In what was an overall laudatory commentary, the only negative note was a ding at the "sometimes standoffish service."  Bottom line:  "It's worth it.  The place is a gem."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Keeping up

Eaglet soars: Several blog readers reported seeing the Broadmoor eagles in flight with their offspring over the weekend (we and our camera, unfortunately, were late to the party).  But never fear, Montlake photographer and bird watcher Larry Hubbell took many excellent shots of the eaglet in flight on Saturday and posted them on his blog, Union Bay Watch, to be enjoyed by those of us who missed out.

Music in the Park:  The line up for the summer concert series has been announced. This almost-every-Thursday-evening-in-August musical experience, which has become a popular summer tradition, features the same line up as last year's: Two Scoops Combo on August 8, Jonathan Kingham on August 15, Gin Creek on August 22, and The Side Project on August 29. The music will begin promptly at 6:30 and end at about 8 pm. The concerts, which are free, take place in the grassy area of the park and are sponsored by the Madison Park Business Association.

Best Buds moving on:  The colorful neighborhood flower shop with its quaint red English phone booth out front will be abandoning its space at the end of this month. But Best Buds is not shutting down, it is simply going to begin a new life around the corner in the lower level of Cafe Parco (1807 42nd Avenue E.).

In the new location the shop will be more about cut flowers and less about plants for the garden, so we're told.  This move is apparently a win-win-win situation for Best Buds (which is happy to be vacating its current space), Cafe Parco (which was not making good use of its lower level), and restaurant-building owner Karen Binder (who gains another paying tenant).  Perhaps it's not a win for the red-phone-booth owner, however, since the soon-to-be vacant location is just too tiny to accommodate another bank.

Italian cooking comes to Madison Valley:  They're working away diligently on renovating the interior space of what for many years was La Cote (2811 E. Madison St.).  As we reported in June, the French bistro is being replaced by Bar Cantinetta, which is an offshoot of the very-well-received Wallingford-based Cantinetta. We've been told that the Madison Valley incarnation will be a more intimate affair (there's not much space, after all) and will feature small plates. The signs in the windows say the new place will be open in August. To this point the owner has been less than forthcoming about his plans, but perhaps as we get closer to the opening...

Bing's shakes things up:  There's a revamped website, new menu items, a seven-days-a week Happy Hour (3-6 pm), a Kid's Happy Hour (50% off all kids' items, M-F, 3-5 pm), gluten-free items on the menu, Bottomless Mimosas during brunch on weekends, and a new price point for many offerings, including the $8 Signature Burger during Happy Hour, that are all part of the new Bing's experience, says owner George Marshall. Details are available on the website and on Bing's Facebook page here.

Restaurant Bea closes:  Owner Kate Perry announced on the restaurant's Facebook page yesterday that Restaurant Bea is no more. This is the third well-received and highly-rated (but ultimately unsuccessful) restaurant to occupy the same Madrona space (1423 34th Avenue E.).  Cremant was first in the series, followed shortly thereafter by June. This three-strikes development is sad for foodies, for Madrona, and for the people who tried hard to make their dreams come alive.  We were fans.

[Eagle photo by Larry Hubbell.]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day One for Madison Kitchen

Much-anticipated eatery debuts

Passersby who were paying attention today as they ambled through the business district had the opportunity to experience the newest thing in Madison Park: Madison Kitchen.  The new coffee shop/deli/take-out place (we're undecided on the appropriate category) did a quiet "soft opening" this morning. The lucky ones were those curious enough to come in and check out the space.  For their efforts, they were rewarded with free coffee and a nice selection of complimentary fresh-baked goods (we arrived after there had been quite a run):

Proprietor/Baker/Cook Jim Goodall (that's him below) tells us that he expects Madison Kitchen to be fully functional by next Tuesday. Over the course of the next week he will gradually be introducing the full range of menu items that will ultimately be available to MK's patrons. He hopes to have soups first available, for example, this Wednesday.

Since the announcement of the new eatery was made almost three months ago, many Madison Parkers have been speculating on what the menu would include (we know they have, because a lot of them asked us about it).  So here's the answer: in addition to the baked-on-site-daily goods and the Illy Coffee (previously disclosed),  Madison Kitchen's menu will feature items such as Roasted Beets and Crispy Panko Chicken Breast, Macaroni and Cheese, Turkey Meatloaf,  (all a la carte), as well as made-to-order sandwiches (special takes on Pork Loin, Roasted Eggplant, and BLTTA, among others) and salads (one good example among many: Roasted Butternut Squash with Wild & Brown Rice, Locinato Kale, & Walnuts with Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette).  

All of that and more is available for lunch.  The breakfast menu ranges from oatmeal and granola to an egg sandwich and a daily quiche (MK's full menu is available here).

We hung around the place this afternoon long enough to get a good feel for the neighborhood's reaction. There were a lot of smiles (especially after would-be patrons discovered that everything was free on Day One), and typical was this comment (which we copied down verbatim): "We're so excited to have this in the neighborhood.  We really needed it!."

It was a two-way love fest, with Goodall telling us that just about everyone he met today seemed enthusiastic. "I came here for a reason," he said. "Madison Park is where I wanted to be and so far, everyone has been engaged and welcoming."  Hopefully, this is a good sign of things to come.

Not by way of an aside, we note that the space has been significantly upgraded from what it was in the days of Park Place Deli.  So there's much more new and improved here than just the menu. 

Come on down!

Monday, January 14, 2013

What's happening

Madison Park

Madison Kitchen is virtually a reality.  When we wandered by the place on Friday we noted that construction had reached the finishing-touch stage and it was apparent that that the doors would be opening on the neighborhood’s newest eatery very very soon (like Tuesday). The new website is not quite up and running yet, but once the soft opening occurs we’ll clue you in on the specifics of the menu.

Belle Epicurean is featuring an “apr├Ęs-ski menu” in its Provisions Market during January.  The menu will include “an assortment of cheeses and brie bakers, mulling and cider spices, and Belle's own chocolate sauces and cocoa mix for warm drinks to take off the winter chill. Gift packages available in an assortment of price ranges.”  In February, the patisserie will again be hosting a complimentary wine and food tasting event every Saturday from 12 pm until 2 pm in the Provisions Market section.  There will be a special Valentine’s Day event on February 9.

By the way, Belle Epicurean changed its hours at the end of last year and is now open from 6 am until 6:30 seven days a week.

BRIGHT! Preschool has upcoming open houses (January 17, from 6:30 until 8:00 pm, and January 19, from 10 am until noon) for parents and kids to learn about the School and meet the teachers.  BRIGHT! offers a customized curriculum and Kindergarten readiness preparation for children as young as two and a half years old.

Early next month (February 1, in fact) Mad Pizza will be introducing its Winter Special Pizza, which is described as “truly out of this world” by the firm’s Creative Director. Here’s what’s on it:  a garlic olive oil base, Boat Street Pickles fig compote, goat cheese, shaved delicata squash marinated in Garlic Oil, and gorgonzola crumbles.  All of this is topped with Prosciutto when the pizza comes out of the oven.   Note also that there’s also a new “signature sandwich” on the menu: Trebbi’s Meatball.

Madison Valley

Thrive Art School, which offers art classes for kids in Madison Valley and Ravenna, is in the final stages of launching an online video program to provide children (ages 6-12) with art lessons, parent coaching videos, and online participant art portfolios, among other features.  The idea is to bring art education and activities to children who are not fortunate enough to be able to access in-classroom art programs where they live. Thrive’s founder, Theresa Harris, raised over $30,000 through a Kickstarter Project, which was backed by 236 individuals who effectively paid for the production costs of the series through their pre-orders.  Harris expects to have the videos online in February.

Vian Hunter is offering multiple design and sewing workshops beginning this month for those with a wide range of skills and interests: Sewing 101 (for beginners), Pencil Skirt Workshop (for designing and sewing the “perfect skirt”), Design and Patternmaking Workshop (for creating basic design blocks for a wide range of garments), and Young Designer Workshop (for aspiring fashion designers).

Seattle Salads last week announced that they will now deliver their full menu to addresses within a two-mile radius of their Madison Valley shop.  The hours are Monday-Friday, 11 am until 2 pm. Orders for delivery or in-store pickup can now be made at (The minimum order is $20)

Kate’s Day Spa reports that it has a Winter/Valentine’s Day special: the Rejuvenating Masque Wrap, which begins in the steam room and ends with a moisturizing massage. (Did we mention the part about the “full body application”?  Sounds intriguing.)

Inner Space Studio (Inspiring Movement for Practical Change) will again be offering its Ember Hours program in February. Here’s a brief overview of what the retreats are all about:  “Ember Hours has been offered since 2007 to help turn ideas into reality. Facilitator Margaret Sutro shakes up your beliefs about how people are ‘supposed to’ set goals.  You will learn a refreshingly fun and practical system to not just clarify and fulfill your intentions but to maintain your passion and energy along the way.”   Who wouldn't benefit from that?

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.]

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Whither the Tully's crowd?

Since the closing of the neighborhood Tully's in early October, many of the coffee shop's onetime aficionados are feeling bereft.  We understand, though we have not seen this with our own eyes, that a few regulars can now been seen gracing spots at the neighborhood Starbucks, perhaps with some discomfort.  Others are turning up for their fix at Madison Park Bakery or other existing local coffee purveyors.

But knowing the Tully's crowd as we do, It seems unlikely that many of them are now driving, biking, or bussing to some far-off Tully's location in order to enjoy their brew (the nearest Tully's is almost two miles away, at 746 19th Avenue E. on Capitol Hill). Instead, they are hoping for another neighborhood alternative to take up the slack, perhaps on the very site of the previous Tully's location.

That hope may be in vain, however, since Tully's already was the most significant neighborhood alternative to Starbucks--and in the end the economics of that strategy (and coffee niche) just didn't work here.  We've been told by several area merchants who've looked into the matter that the landlord is expecting a level of monthly rent equal to or even higher than what Tully's had been paying.  A coffee shop is therefore not a likely outcome unless it is coupled with some other economically viable enterprise (no, not a bookstore).

But don't think that there still might not be viable alternatives here for the former patrons of Tully's.  As we noted in our posting on Madison Kitchen, the soon-to-arrive replacement for Park Place Deli, one aim of the new operator is to provide a combination of high-end coffee, good seating, and a strong vibe that may attract some of the neighborhood coffee-house crowd, Tully's or otherwise.

We also received a tip that Madison Park Bakery is looking into stepping up the competition on the local coffee scene. Owner Karen Hofman confirmed the story, saying she and her husband are considering expanding the seating area of the bakery to enhance the ambiance and encourage more of the sit-down trade, including coffee drinkers.  She cautioned however that the planning is in the early stages--and something she definitely does not want to do is reduce the size of the back-of-house kitchen, which is already small enough.

So hold on, Tully's fans.  All is not lost. There may soon be a couple of new Starbuck's alternatives for you to check out.

As for the old Tully's space, is Madison Park ready for a head shop and marijuana provisioner?  That might just be a more economically viable option than what came before.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The deli to get a makeover

Madison Kitchen will arrive near yearend

Because our readers like to be in the know, we barged our way into what had been Park Place Deli today to demand an interview with the new tenant, Jim Goodall, who we discovered on site and working with a restaurant designer on a new concept for the space. Happily for us, Goodall was gracious enough to divulge a bit about himself and to give us a sneak preview of his plans, though he declined to be ambush-photographed while in a not-photo-ready condition. We satisfied ourselves with taking a picture of the disrupted space instead. As you can see, there's a lot of work to do---especially if the space is going to be significantly transformed, as Goodall reports it will be.

For those who like short posts and want us to get quickly to the bottom line:  Goodall says that his new eatery, Madison Kitchen, will be a deli and more.  It will be open longer hours (perhaps 8 am until 6 pm); will be comfortable, bright and inviting; and will offer high-quality coffee (Illy Espresso) and well-prepared, quality-ingredient food: soup, salads, and sandwiches primarily, as well as "a light, limited" breakfast. There will also be a solid number of take-out items in the deli case that "busy moms can appease their picky kids with," among other likely patrons.

Now, a bit about Goodall (as self described): He was once a Vermont farm boy, but he has lived much of his life on the West Coast (Monterey, Santa Monica and--off and on--Seattle). He is a resident of Madison Valley. His most recent stint was as the GM (that's general manager) for Vios Cafe at Third Place Books (Ravenna).  He went to culinary school right out of high school, has worked in various restaurants, and for many years he operated a successful boutique catering business. Although he has a masters degree in Social Work and is a licensed clinical psychologist, he says he loves the food business. And he really likes to bake. Although he says he definitely will not be trying to compete with the Madison Park Bakery, there will definitely be baked goods on the menu at Madison Kitchen (scones included).

Need to know more?  Well "a lot is still up in the air," Goodall tells us. Just think "wholesome and healthy--I am conscientious about my ingredients."  But don't expect this to be a quick transformation from the old to the new.  Goodall (who promises to keep us in the loop) is expecting the opening to be at the end of this year at the earliest.

Stay tuned.

[Madison Kitchen will be located at 4122 E. Madison St.]