Washington native Chef David Nichols and Northwest industry veteran Jonathan Fleming have officially opened Rider, a full-service restaurant and bar located at the intersection of 7th and Pine Streets in the heart of downtown Seattle.
Rider celebrates two of the region’s most defining—and in my humble opinion, best—characteristics: the forest and the ocean. During a visit to Rider you will savor the freshest seafood courtesy of relationships with sustainable local fishermen. You can enjoy dry aged meats sourced from farms across the state, artisan cheeses by local dairies, and seasonal Pacific Northwest vegetables from local farmers and sustainable foragers.
One of the first things we noticed when we walked into Rider is the smell of the custom built, 6,000 pound wood-fired grill. The interior is intimate yet inviting, with flannel-backed booths, leather chairs, gorgeous tile throughout, and artful decorations that catch your eye. One of my favorite things about the atmosphere—which seems hard to come by in Seattle—was that I could easily hear my dining partner thanks to lower level of noise.
Rider’s dedication to sourcing things locally expands to their decor, with handcrafted leather goods by Stickman Leather adorning the tables, and custom made sauce cups from Akiko’s Pottery served with each entree.
Rider’s extensive bar menu features hand-crafted signature cocktails highlighting spirits from local distilleries and around the world, a substantial wine list that emphasizes wineries across the Pacific Northwest, and a solid beer selection with nine local breweries on tap and in bottles or cans.
The menu boasts an array of options from bountiful seafood towers to house made pastas and King Crab legs, and artful yet approachable starters like crudo, smoked trout fritter, and shaved kohlrabi, making it a very hard choice when it comes to ordering—luckily, you can’t go wrong.
The Shaved Kohlrabi was incredibly fresh, with just the right amount of spice. A few bites were a bit too heavy on the cilantro, but the bed of cheese which was nutty in flavor was the perfect offset to the strong flavoring of the cilantro and chimichurri on the kohlrabi. The Wagyu Beef Carpaccio was sliced paper-thin and had a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness to it. The dried apples complemented the salty beef wonderfully.
The Duck Two Ways was our favorite dish of the night. The duck was so tender, falling off the bone with just a small poke of a fork. The flavor was spot on as well, but the Bordelaise sauce was a great compliment to the duck.
The Yellowfin Tuna was delivered to Rider that morning, and the freshness of the fish was evident. Rider’s menu boasts a lot of protein options, and rightly so—they do it well. The fish was delicate and flakey without being dry, with an excellent flavor that was complimented nicely by the chimichurri sauce.
To accompany our entrees, we also ordered the Pull Apart Rolls with Crab Butter, and the Brussels Sprouts on Stock. The rolls were airy and fresh with enough flavor to eat on their own, but I definitely recommend trying one with the crab butter dipped in old bay—yum! Unfortunately, the brussels sprouts were a miss. I love roasted brussels sprouts and was looking forward to wood-fired brussels sprouts, but they were underdone.
The best dessert came as a wonderful surprise when the sommelier visited our table to share a special pour of a 2008 Poet’s Leap Riesling, which was made in Washington in partnership with a German winemaker who has been producing wine since 1812. The service at Rider really was outstanding, and this special share from the sommelier rounded out our meal nicely.
Located at 619 Pine Street in downtown Seattle, Rider is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with happy hour from 3:00pm – 6:00 pm, and late-night specials from 10:00 pm – midnight. Weekend brunch hours are 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.