Preservation Kitchen Prevails with Top-Notch Dining Out

Photo: Susan Southwick

Preserve a historic mansion while incorporating all-things sustainable and you get Preservation Kitchen.

When it comes to cozy dining in the Northend, your picks are sparse. Bars are scarce. Restaurants are in short supply. Northwest cuisine is practically non-existent among the plethora of strip mall Thai, Pho and Mexican haunts. There is, however, Preservation Kitchen. That restored mansion on Bothell Way. And it’s worth checking out.

Turns out owners Gary and Susan Southwick are proprietors of The Alehouse just down the street. After decades with the beer slingers (a term used fondly) Gary was ready for a new project: preserving a mansion-turned-restaurant, known for quick turn over. Preservation Kitchen opened in September of 2008. A project indeed.

Two years later the unpretentious owners are happily enjoying the rewards of digging in and waiting out the economic storm. Seems that even in a flat economy, when you find a need (sophisticated Northwest comfort food) and fill it, the masses will come.

Their Wicked Good Stew, stocked with shrimp, salmon, clams and muscles is, well, wickedly good. Try Duck Gnocchi with light pillows of pasta, foraged mushrooms and duck confit. It’s so rich, smooth and delish you’d think you were noshing a gnocchi dessert. Then there’s the simple, decadent salmon. Topped with a tomato truffle butter sauce, it’s an indulgent take on a Northwest staple. You can’t help but appreciate why Seattle is a seafood town. Slide in a turbo-charged cocktail, with their house-infused vodka, and your meal is set to impress.

The seasonally changing menu racks up yum points year around. Local, sustainably raised fare is seasoned with herbs from their kitchen garden. And cute “Chef de Cuisine” Jason is happy to accommodate requests.

Owner Susan describes their menu as “pure and simple comfort food.” The comfort factor in the entire setting is high. With the dark oak floors, wood tables (sans starched table cloths), the setting is whimsical. Queue the welcoming fireplaces and impressive wine list and you feel like you are dining at someone’s cozy mansion. Go figure.

Where else can couples whisper romantics and book groups wax poetic in a private upstairs room? The grateful customers will tell you Preservation Kitchen is the high-end, no fuss go-to spot.