The Night Kitchen, Seattle, Washington

(This post is being simulcast on the Seattle PI and Tastingmenu. I encourage readers of each to check out the other. End of announcement.)

I have a friend who feels that restaurants shouldn’t open until all the bugs are worked out. After all, if they’re charging you, they better have their act together. And I understand this perspective. But at the same time, as an ardent fan of restaurants, I also understand some of the reality of how close these business often are to the edge of financial disaster. The margins are very thin, and they need to open as quickly as possible. Given that fact, I try to never review a restaurant that’s just opened as they need some time to hit their stride. And I certainly couldn’t review a restaurant that hadn’t even opened yet.

But I am excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look into a new restaurant that’s just opened up. Most of these photos were taken before opening and hopefully give you a sense of the hustle and bustle of preparing a restaurant for the dining public. I think any new venture is exciting. And seeing all the hard work it took just to get to opening day gives you a sense of just how much effort goes into every single dining establishment in the city. It was nice of the Night Kitchen folks to let us look over their shoulders and get in their way a touch as we photographed some of their pre-opening efforts. A few of the photos were from opening night as well.

The Night Kitchen isn’t just your average restaurant either. Chef Avalon Zanoni, with a pedigree that includes Txori and Brasa is running the kitchen. She’s bringing an incredible attention to detail to the food. The food which is characterized by the Chef as a “Pacific Northwest take on New American Cuisine” included Classic Matzo Ball soup, French Fries with seasonal condiments, Head to Toe Pork Terrine with Tenderloin Inlay, Crispy Side Pork with Den-miso Sauce, and Yaki Onigiri — Griddled Sticky Rice Balls with Soy Sauce and Pickled Matsutake Mushroom. Also, home made Butter Pecan Ice Cream for dessert.

You can order this eclectic set of dishes from 6:00pm – midnight. From 12:30am on the overnight menu kicks in. That’s right. The overnight menu. It includes things like: House Made Pork Rinds, Poutine, Daily Mac and Cheese, and Fried Mt. Townsend Cheese Curds. And if you’re staying up all night, you might as well hang out for breakfast. Yep. Breakfast. Served from 12:30am – 9:00am you can get dishes including: the Daily Carnivore Omelet (there’s a veggie one as well), and not one but two variations on Eggs Benedict. There’s more of course, but you get the idea.

When it comes to food, Seattle is still a town struggling for an identity in my mind. And no disrespect to 13 Coins, but if Seattle wants to have a real set of food options, no matter what the hour, then it needs to support a place like the Night Kitchen. Who else is going to give you fancy potato skins with cheese from the local cheesery (Beecher’s) at 4am? Nobody. Did I mention the free wi-fi and the lounge area with couches, books, and board games? Check it out. I know I will.

The Night Kitchen, 216 Stewart St • Seattle, WA 98101, website. For all our Seattle writeups and photo galleries check out our Seattle restaurant guide on Tastingmenu.

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7 Responses to “The Night Kitchen, Seattle, Washington”

  1. chzplz says:

    Late at night poutine! As a Canadian, I highly recommend you Seattle-ites give it a try as a post-bar food. It’s unhealthilicious.

  2. Sounds delicious – looking for someplace like this in Chicago, don;t get me wrong, Chi-town has many all night eateries, however, not of this caliber, at least not that I know of….

  3. chan says:

    I came here on a thursday a couple weeks ago. I had the Duck Pork Burger with sweet yam fries. The restaurant was quite empty around 1am. The fries were above beyond, but the burger itself was good but not great.

  4. bob says:

    wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, great color, looks delicious

  5. Allena says:

    I think it’s great and I’m thrilled that we finally have a decent late night food option. I loved the Duck Pork Burger and the Crispy Side Pork was awesome.

    Here’s to a long and fruitful existence

  6. wine reviews says:

    I agree that a restaurant needs time to get it’s act together before being reviewed. But your right a lot of them are on the brink and trying to keep the doors open from day one. Great pictures and review! Cheers~

  7. S K says:

    Menu: Extremely solid, with some interesting choices that one doesn’t usually see in a place that is going to cater to a late night crowd.

    Execution of Menu: Very poor. We went in for dinner at about nine pm on a weeknight and ordered pork belly and a couple of burgers. While everything was cooked perfectly, there was no seasoning to be found. When I say that, I don’t mean under seasoned, or not seasoned enough for my tastes, I mean none. No salt. No pepper. No acid to brighten things up. While night kitchen is by no means claiming to be fine dining, neither are they a dirt cheap greasy spoon where such things can be waved away by a “you get what you pay for.” I can only assume that the person working the line that night didn’t taste anything that they put out. This detail soured me on night kitchen to the point where I’m not really willing to go back and pay money to give it another shot.

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