Emulating the culinary art of Europe’s bistronomy—a casual take on fine dining where creative, delicious dishes are served at an approachable price—Executive Chef Ryan Donaldson’s Gather Kitchen & Bar invites you to pull up a chair, relax, and enjoy.
We immediately felt relaxed and taken care of as our server stopped by to share the specials for the week and recommend some of her favorite dishes. This set the tone for what would be one of our favorite meals in Seattle, thanks to the people, the food, and the atmosphere.
We started with The Manhattan and Eye of the Storm cocktails while we browsed the menu. After deciding we wanted everything on the menu that night, including the weekly specials, we decided to let our server and Chef Donaldson decide for us.
From the garden section of the menu, we started with the Warm Roasted Beets and Wild Arugula with burrata, crispy quinoa, and a golden beet emulsion. This dish was a surprising mix of sweet and tart, creamy and crunchy, and warm and cold. It was the perfect dish for the season.
We followed with the Roasted Broccoli with miso, charred lemon, red onion, zaʼatar, and yogurt-tahini, as well as the Fried Cauliflower with uncle chen’s buffalo sauce, blue cheese mousse, and house pickles, also from the garden menu. Both of these dishes were delicious, my husband claimed it as the “best broccoli he’s ever had,” and the blue cheese mousse was a fun take on a classic side.
Next, we had one of our favorite dishes of the night from the small plates menu: the Carlton Farms Pork Belly Kung Pao with roasted Brussels sprouts, peanuts, cilantro, and pickled chilis. The pork belly melted in our mouths, while the crunchy Brussels sprouts and spicy sauce offered an enjoyable counterbalance.
From the weekly specials, we had the Creamy Polenta with a mushroom Bordelaise sauce and sunny side up egg. The dish was vegetarian and didn’t lack richness from a traditional Bordelaise sauce with veal stock.
For the large plates, we had the Grilled Spanish Octopus with bomba rice, sofrito, chorizo, clams, and saffron aioli, as well as the St. Helen’s Filet Mignon Steak Frites with thrice-cooked rosemary frites, and au poivre sauce. Both of these dishes were outstanding, but the grilled Spanish octopus was our favorite dish of the night.
While Gather intentionally offers a culinary experience that is affordable and encourages sharing, we certainly ordered more dishes than two people would ever need to when visiting for dinner. Next time you are looking for boldly flavored food that is served in an atmosphere that centers around a feeling of togetherness, check out Gather Kitchen and Bar in Ballard.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 pm to close. Happy Hour is offered Tuesday through Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, and Saturday 3:00 to 6:00 pm, with brunch on Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Gather Kitchen and Bar | 5605 22nd Ave NW, Seattle | (206) 420 – 4670