Pintxo (pronounced peen-cho) is a Spanish Tapas Bar located in the heart of Belltown. Pintxo’s micro-kitchen, smaller than most food truck kitchens, produces a vast array of Basque small bites from traditional favorites to modern takes on the traditional dishes from various culinary regions of Spain, including San Sebastian, Barcelona and Madrid. Originally from the PNW, Chef de Cuisine David Haight joined the Pintxo team last month after training in Oregon and working in Vancouver (BC), Napa (CA), and Woodinville at Willows Lodge. 

Chef Shota Nakajima served a standout meal bringing Seattle its first traditional kaiseki-style Japanese restaurant. The overall experience at Naka is one of the best in recent memory. The atmosphere is modern, with light music playing in the background, and only a half-full dining area. The chic bar was busier than the dining room on the weeknight we visited, but gets fully booked on the weekend. 

Madison’s quintessential pizza is now available on the hill.

Ian’s Pizza on the Hill opened last fall and offers pizza by the slice, whole pies, delivery, and beer and wine. Located in Zpizza’s old location on Broadway, this smaller chain or “pizza collective” from Madison, Wisconsin is taking familiar ingredients—not commonly used as toppings—and creating new and delicious pizzas. They also offer gluten-free and vegan options.

Hot new restaurants that should be on your radar this spring.

I’ve been eating my way around Seattle and these are my favorites right now. Bar Melusine in Capitol Hill, Girin in Pioneer Square, and Salare in Ravenna need to be at the top of your restaurant list. They opened within the last year and they are doing things right. Each offers a different cuisine, and all of them have tasty, flavorful food, wonderful service, and a beautiful space.