Ethan Stowell is beloved, down to earth kind of guy. He owns 9 restaurants and 1 pizzeria all in Seattle. He will be opening 3 more this year. Yes, he is beloved and down to earth kind of guy, but he is also crazy.
He is crazy about food. He is crazy about connection and relationships between food and people who eat his food. Most of his restaurants are intimate settings. Some have community table and some only seat 30 people or so. Kitchens are not hidden, usually open. Today is April 4th and it is a special day for me. Archie was successful not to disclose where he was taking me this last Saturday night until we were almost there.
Here is mkt.in Meridian neighborhood near Green Lake in Seattle. When I opened the door, first thing you see is an small and open kitchen with 5-seat counter. Very close to people sitting next to you. We were seated right in front of Alvin. Perfect. I was able to see what he was cooking and how he prepares the meal. His expression and his voice. I was feeling his and his crew’s energy flowing through this intimate restaurant. They use Pacific Northwest Ingredients. Alvin puts lots of care and just right amount of Jaconsen Salt and care. American fare without any pretentiousness. Great balance of boldness and sensitivities.
My favorite restaurants always have great balance of 3-pillars, chef, service crew, food. This place has food and chef covered. OK, service crew. Awesome. Seth was our crew who tended to our table and he was so much fun, cracking jokes, laughing with us, fist-bumping us, and cursing appropriately (yes, we curse a lot). He is one of those people you actually want to eat dinner and share a bottle of red wine with.
I am happy to say I found another excellent Seattle eatery that I want to go back many times more. My April 4th was fulfilled with joy.