Ballard restaurants

What's Shakin' Bacon?

Mmmmm...bacon! | Photo by Will Foster

Mmmmm...bacon! | Photo by Will Foster

It's hard to believe that it's been an entire year since we started serving brunch to our wonderful Ballard community. Time flies when you're having fun (and noshing on amazing food), right? We've made so many new friends this year; from families with hungry little ones to folks who normally work nights but trek over on weekend mornings for a delicious meal, we've delighted in getting to know all of our new regulars. 

A lot has changed since we first opened our doors for brunch. (Goodbye oxtail soup and hello ramen loco moco!) Our current menu features glorious, homemade slabs of bacon and pork loin, French toast with tart cherries and luscious lemon curd, and homemade ricotta accompanied by grilled bread and seasonal fruit. We're also happily serving menu favorites like Chef's hot puffed black rice with mango and warm, sweet coconut milk, and the b-e-s-t Belgian waffles you've ever tasted. That's right, we said it! 

We've got a special family-style menu that we offer to large groups of people to encourage breaking bread with the ones you love. This menu features larger, shareable plates of waffles, beautiful ricotta and fruit, scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and cheese, and other delicious offerings. 

We're always enthusiastically slinging classic brunch cocktails as well as inventive and fresh tiki-inspired drinks. Our brunch bartender Kyle also creates a daily cocktail special intended to pair perfectly with your meal. Make sure to ask your server about the special cocktail of the day, or better yet, pull up a seat at the bar and nerd out on spirits with Kyle. 

If it's been a little while since you've been in to dine with us for brunch, chances are there are many new menu items to try on your next visit! Tart and sweet berries, stone fruit, deliciously juicy heirloom tomatoes, lovingly-prepared pork loin, creamy mascarpone grits, and a garden's worth of beautifully fresh herbs are all having a moment on our ever-changing, seasonally-inspired brunch menu. Even our cocktail program has experienced a springtime revamp, with more than your average mimosa or Bloody Mary to accompany your rich, hearty breakfast.

Come in soon to grab a seat on the patio and start your weekend morning off with delicious food, genuinely friendly service, and a gorgeous setting. 

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Jazzlyn Stone  & Will Foster

 

Green is the Word

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” – Harriet Ann Jacobs

It never ceases to amaze us just how spectacularly green Seattle is this time of year. I guess that’s one of the upsides of living in such a rainy place. The garden at the restaurant is overflowing with an abundance of dreamy, cascading flora; it seems as if something new blossoms each day. Our West Woodland neighborhood looks lush and renewed, and more and more of our neighbors cruise by us on their bicycles and with many a happy dog in tow.  

We love this magical time of year and the bounty of fresh ingredients it brings to us to experiment with and taste. Once again our menu mirrors the emerald-hued city just beyond our front door, a thing we’ve come to love about the emergence of spring. Fresh herbs, along with foraged and found goodies from Washington’s literal backyard and our own garden, have truly brought our seasonally-inspired menu to life. As American author Harriet Ann Jacobs observes, we are indeed beginning to feel revived after such a long winter.

Creamed nettles with miso, glass noodles, and green garlic. 

Creamed nettles with miso, glass noodles, and green garlic. 

Our spring salad features fiddlehead ferns, peas, pickled ramps, mustard seeds, and opal basil, among other green goodies. 

Our spring salad features fiddlehead ferns, peas, pickled ramps, mustard seeds, and opal basil, among other green goodies. 

It makes us so happy when the dishes we serve are able to surprise our guests in some way. Many people don’t know that nettles, which have a somewhat short season here in Washington, are actually edible and not just pesky, prickly wild greens. Similarly, the gorgeous fiddlehead ferns we’ve been adding to our daily-changing spring salad have brought many a smile to the faces of people who never considered noshing on these tasty plants.

Our delicious prawn salad. 

Our delicious prawn salad. 

Our prawn salad, prepared with herb oil, pickled chiles, pistachios, and green Szechuan peppercorn, is one of our menu standouts right now. This dish is unbelievably fresh, bright, and contains a multitude of textures that absolutely sing when enjoyed together.

Perhaps one of the things that makes springtime so beloved is the fact that it’s a fleeting time. Ingredients like our foraged nettles, ramps, and fiddleheads won’t be around for too much longer; come in soon and let them revive you.

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography

A Season of Fresh Flavors and Tiki Concoctions at Brimmer & Heeltap

If April brought us rain showers (and Seattleites can all attest that it did), here’s to hoping the rest of May brings all kinds of colorful flora, sunshine, and patio season vibes. We’re all restless for nights spent out in the garden and around the fire pit; we look forward to sharing many of these with you in the coming months. Read on for a little peek at how we’ve been gearing up for the wondrous spring and summer months ahead.

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At B&H, there’s a level of playfulness in everything we do. We have a lot of fun concocting new drinks and testing ingredients for new dishes that our guests get to experience, after all. Our talented bar team is definitely embracing a lighthearted approach to building drinks right now; Kate and Brian have been hard at work concocting tiki-inspired cocktails for our brunch guests.

B&H Bar Manager Brian Hibbard predicts that 2017 will be a year where we see more tropical drinks in general, predicting that “more rum, more tiki, more pineapple, and more drinks that make you start empathizing with those who wear Tommy Bahama” will be on trend in the coming months. Bartender Kate Mcmahon happily agrees, explaining that she was first drawn to tropical flavors as a way to escape Seattle’s drizzly winter vibes. “I think it was me trying to escape winter somehow and imagining myself on a tropical beach somewhere, anywhere, sipping island booze and feeling so relaxed – and wanting others to feel that way,” she says.

The next time you come in for brunch be sure to try Ape of My Eye, a riff on a tiki classic made with rum, banana liqueur, cinnamon, and fire.

In the kitchen, spring flavors have taken hold and many dishes boast beautiful, delicious ingredients native to the Pacific Northwest. Our spring salad changes nearly every week depending on what foraged goodies Foraged and Found brings to us. Nettles, maple blossoms, miners lettuce, peas, opal basil, fiddlehead ferns, and other wild greens are making Chef’s seasonally-inspired dishes sing right now.

Chef’s spicy beef rib features a fantastic homemade bbq sauce, falling-off-the-bone-tender meat, and a bright and satisfying accompaniment of kale slaw with pickled cipollini onions. The culinary team brines these beautiful Painted Hills beef ribs for twelve hours, slow cooks them lovingly for about 8 more hours, before finishing this beautiful piece of meat on the grill. You have to be willing to get just a little bit messy when sharing this dish with friends and family. It’s bbq done the B&H way, with tons of flavor and care.

Although our food offerings change constantly, Chef Mike vowed long ago to keep his beloved steak tartare on as a menu mainstay. We’re happy to share that this already delicious snack has been elevated further with help from some seriously creative culinary efforts. The steak tartare you know and love is now topped with grated egg yolk that has been soy-cured and dehydrated, adding layers of umami flavor to this excellent dish.

Freshness is paramount during springtime in Seattle kitchens, and ours has so many gorgeous seasonal offerings for you to delight in. Tapioca puff chips dusted with a blend of dehydrated nettles, poblano peppers, carrot tops and garlic bring a zesty, crave-worthy edge to our snack list. Asian pear, beets, marinated root vegetables, and huckleberries are incorporated lovingly into many a dish. Come in soon to taste something new and unexpected!

It’s our sincere pleasure to serve you no matter what the season, but we can all agree that B&H feels extra magical this time of year. We look so forward to your next visit.

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster

 

 

On Finding Refuge in a Restaurant

Friends and neighbors, this is no ordinary winter. Our social media feeds and newspaper headlines continue to lend themselves to a palpable sense of futility that seems to hang around us like this season’s relentless chill. Despite how cozy and warm and protected we feel on our quiet corner in Ballard, even we can admit that the last few weeks have felt a little bit heavy – to say the least.

Many of you, and a good number of us, have spent the better part of this month and last marching, organizing, and raising our voices to various instances of injustice and oppression. The Womxn’s March. Standing Rock. The Muslim Ban. Myriad troubling Executive Orders. All of these things and more have been resting heavily in our hearts and minds; we know they’ve been on your mind too.

The Brimmer & Heeltap brunch crew holding it down at the restaurant during the Womxn's March last month. 

The Brimmer & Heeltap brunch crew holding it down at the restaurant during the Womxn's March last month. 

We’re reminded, now more than ever, that a restaurant can provide a much-needed sense of whimsy and comfort when the “real world” just beyond our front door feels anything but. With the sip of a cocktail, the first bite of a delicious plate of food, a friendly greeting from a server you’ve come to know by name - all of the world’s troubles seem to dissolve, if only for that fleeting moment. We are so glad to offer our space as a refuge to you when you are feeling frustrated, angry, or sad. Since the very first day Brimmer & Heeltap opened we have aspired to be the kind of place that you look forward to escaping to at day’s end, a place you can stop in to and always feel welcomed and comforted.

We can't wait to share Chef's latest creations with you. 

We can't wait to share Chef's latest creations with you. 

To that end, we are looking to springtime and the beautiful sense of renewal it evokes for inspiration at the restaurant these days. Chef Mike Whisenhunt is playing with fresh, vibrant flavors in the kitchen; you should see the way his eyes light up when he talks about nettle season! Proprietress Jen Doak happily arranged fresh flowers – the first of the season – throughout the dining room earlier this month, marking a dreamy transition to the warmer, sunnier days that lie ahead. Our wonderful bar manager Brian Hibbard is playing with flavors that are bright and playful; the Salt Bae is a new-to-the-list cocktail made with bourbon, mescal, Genepy des Alpes, apple shrub and salt that sings on the palate. Brimmer & Heeltap's exceptional lead server Heather Padella Dziedzic is helping our team select thoughtful wines to complement the changing menu, many of which are new to our list.

We can't get enough of the drinks bartender Brian Hibbard has been concocting lately! 

We can't get enough of the drinks bartender Brian Hibbard has been concocting lately! 

Brimmer & Heeltap lead server Heather Padella Dziedzic provides exceptional hospitality and guidance to our team.

Brimmer & Heeltap lead server Heather Padella Dziedzic provides exceptional hospitality and guidance to our team.

We have delighted in your visits to the restaurant during this strange, dark season. Serving you – our neighbors and friends – and offering our space as a safe haven is our sincerest pleasure; it cannot be overstated that a huge part of why we love what we do is because of the exceptional people we get to interact with so intimately and so often. We look forward to sharing more flavors, libations, laughs and warm embraces with you soon.

Blog Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography 

That's a Wrap Baby!

Did you know that the word nostalgia is a compound of two Greek words nóstos & álgos, referring to homecoming and ache?  Now that 2016 is behind us, we’re experiencing a little homesickness and relief for another year gone by.

At B&H we take comfort in the events of our past, the personal ties and threads connecting them at this little corner of Ballard. Smell and touch happen to be key factors of evoking such emotions so it’s no wonder we are warm and fuzzy with a pinch of melancholy just thinking about 2016.  Nostalgia for the last year, or three, helps carbonate my personal and professional life in way that provides texture, connection, and gives me inspiration to keep moving forward.

A New York Times article a few years back states “nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom, and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders.”

In an industry that breeds newness and change, our memories are among some of the gatekeepers to our development and evolution.

Can our past predict our future? Some dear friends are investors with a team of us that own the real estate the restaurant sits on. One night Ryan and his family came in for dinner and introduced the restaurant to his mom & dad. Within earshot, his mom said “you know your great grandfather owned a grocery store somewhere in Ballard.” Instantly I got chills knowing that somewhere in the history of our building was a grocery store. What were the chances, that unbeknownst to Ryan, he bought into the real estate that once belonged to his family?

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As it turns out, the nostalgia must have been flowing pretty good to have his mom say something and was able to dig up this amazing relic. Ryan’s great grandfather George Leu is the one pictured in front of the very door you walk through on any given day or night and we are reminded of how powerfully connected our past and present can be.

One of the biggest developments for the year was the spring arrival of brunch. Adding mornings to our routine meant seeing the space in a new light, welcoming more families to dine, expanding our amazing crew, and letting Mike’s expression of flavors explore different ingredients. One of my favorite dishes from the year happens to be on the brunch menu and has been receiving praise and adoration ever since our launch.

Hot puffed black rice with fresh mango, and warm sweet coconut milk

Hot puffed black rice with fresh mango, and warm sweet coconut milk

At the height of summer, bartender Nick Baralow and I embarked on the fantasy of aged eggnog. A crazy idea to mix alcohol, sugar, eggs, cream, and spices 5 months before we were to drink it. Would this be genius or devastating? Only time would tell. We didn’t know what to expect as this was our maiden batch. How small? How large? Would anyone like it?

Lessons learned: You loved it. Make more!

As summer turned into fall, Brian Hibbard joined the restaurant as our new bar manager. He was far and away the obvious choice because of his genuine care for fostering relationships and his innate ability to pair cocktails with Chef’s menu of bold flavors.

brian .jpg

One of my personal favorites of his, is the Market Drop Kick. Combining Brandy, Ramazzotti, Campari and Curacao, this is a big drink - hence Drop Kick - that lingers in a way that will bring up several different flavors while you enjoy it. Allspice hits your nose right from the get go, and serving the cocktail over a large ice cube allows the flavors to meld and come through more and more as the ice slowly melts.

Our recognition in the media has been significant this year and I couldn’t be more proud of our team. We were super excited to discover that we made Food & Wine’s “Best Bars in America”!  We also made appearances in Seattle Weekly’s “Favorite Restaurants”, Seattle Met’s “Seattle’s Very Best 100 Restaurants”, Eater Seattle’s Top 38 Restaurants, and multiple mentions in other publications including Seattle Magazine.

Media backing or not, you are the reason we are still here and striving for greatness every day. This coming January 15th we will officially celebrate our third year and you. We will have a special throwback menu with some of our favorite dishes. It’s really insane to think about growing up but I hear that part is optional. The growing older part is mandatory.

Each year we work to support the community through the creation and sale of limited edition commemorative anniversary prints, signed by the artists, to benefit a local charity. We are dedicated to raising awareness about vital work being done on a local level, and raising funds for Seattle-based nonprofits.

This year we teamed up with Patrick Nguyen or artist name Dozfy. One night he was in having dinner with his wife and simultaneously drawing/painting on the menus. The entire team was blown away and soon discovered that his m.o. is going to restaurants and leaving behind this incredibly beautiful souvenir. You can find him on Instagram by his artist name and see for yourself or check out his poster design below.

In his own words, he states that “I make art. I am obsessed with single images. These images are meant for the audience to input their own feelings, own thoughts, or own memories. … My Current Inspiration is food. I love how an abstract form of meat and vegetables is manipulated from its original source. Extending from the visual aspect, the smell and taste takes the audience on another journey derived from the life experiences. This is exactly what I want my art to do hence I dissect the eating experience.”

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Net proceeds for this year's poster benefit Arts Corps, a local arts education organization that is dedicated to developing creative habits of mind in young people with hands-on art classes in areas with little or no access, and predominantly children in low income communities of color. In 2012 Arts Corps was awarded the highest national honor by the White House, The National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award.

As we forecast and navigate the year ahead, I am comforted by the thought of seeing Sylvia, the crossing guard to Market Street on school days. The flock of kids that grow up before our very eyes. The details you share about your lives when you come in for a visit. The dogs that collect each night at our front door for their snack (Thanks Blue Dog Bakery). And the countless hugs we received from you and first time guests. You're a special bunch and I am honored that we have a place people can gather.

In loving gratitude, 

Jen

Menu Ch-ch-ch-changes

At Brimmer & Heeltap, we love change. We embrace it. Change isn’t scary – it’s rad! For us, change means new menu items, beers we’ve never tried before, and the uncorking of unfamiliar wines. There are so many uncertainties that come with being inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s seasons and its whims that we think it’s best to just have fun with it. Here’s some ch-ch-ch-changes to our menu that you might not have had the chance to try just yet.

There are two words that best describe our current menu: creativity and comfort. Chef Mike Whisenhunt and the culinary team have been getting seriously creative with everything from the ingredients they’re using to the plating of our many delicious dishes. Not one to ever play it safe with his flavors, Chef Whisenhunt has been blowing our minds with recent additions to the menu.

Smoked ahi tuna with koji pimento broth, black sesame, and charred scallions. 

Smoked ahi tuna with koji pimento broth, black sesame, and charred scallions. 

The smoked ahi tuna served with koji pimento broth, black sesame, and charred scallions is a perfect example of this. Subtly smoky, and with deep flavors that play off of one another incredibly, this is easily one of our new favorites at the restaurant. We recommend kicking off your meal with this beautiful dish as a way to awaken your palate and ready yourself for more bold tastes to come.

Chef Whisenhunt's delicious lamb shoulder fried rice. 

Chef Whisenhunt's delicious lamb shoulder fried rice. 

Another phenomenal new menu item is the lamb shoulder fried rice. Rich and comforting, this play on a banh mi features warm spices, pickled chiles, carrots, daikon and mint. It’s everything you want to eat when it’s cold outside.

The kitchen isn’t the only place whipping up all kinds of new treats to get excited about. Our fantastic bar manager Brian Hibbard and the rest of our super talented bar team are embracing all kinds of new, unexpected ingredients to make drinks that will knock your socks off. The “Scandinavian Mustache” is a great example of this. Made with Krogstad Aquavit – a flavorful spirit mainly produced in Scandinavia – Cynar, lemon, egg whites, and lavender bitters, this cocktail offers a flavor profile that many of us were unfamiliar with (and instantly gushing over).

Brian prepares the Scandinavian Mustache, a phenomenal new cocktail on the list. 

Brian prepares the Scandinavian Mustache, a phenomenal new cocktail on the list. 

If you’re more into beer and wine than cocktails, our ever-changing offerings definitely won’t let you down. Brian has been doing his part to keep a rotating list of fantastic locally-made brews on tap, so if you love beer from Holy Mountain, Stoup, Avery, E9, Georgetown Brewing Co. and many other amazing local breweries, you will definitely not be disappointed.

We L-O-V-E beer at B&H! Come in soon to try something local and tasty!

We L-O-V-E beer at B&H! Come in soon to try something local and tasty!

Our wine list is also thoughtfully curated, and boasts a beautiful selection of old world wines and bottles from the Pacific Northwest. Proprietress Jen Doak is particularly excited about the 2014 Occhipinti SP68, a super-limited vintage produced by badass female winemaker Arianna Occhipinti. Bold and elegant, this bottle is just one of many that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with much of Chef Whisenhunt’s menu.

The 2014 Occhipinti SP68 is just one of many beautiful wines we're offering by the bottle right now. 

The 2014 Occhipinti SP68 is just one of many beautiful wines we're offering by the bottle right now. 

Another exciting addition to the beverage menu is our just-in-time-for-the-holidays homemade 5-month aged eggnog! Since the early summer months we’ve been excitedly awaiting the release of this seasonal treat, and now that it’s here, we’re all feeling a little more prepared for the cold, damp winter weather we’ve been awaiting. Supplies of this excellent batch are limited, so be sure to cozy up to the bar soon to try it for yourself!

Combine eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, tequila, scotch, and sherry, wait five months, shake and serve on ice with bourbon and an orange twist and...voila! We give you our over-the-top delicious homemade aged eggnog.

Combine eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, tequila, scotch, and sherry, wait five months, shake and serve on ice with bourbon and an orange twist and...voila! We give you our over-the-top delicious homemade aged eggnog.

This is just a small sampling of what’s new and exciting on the menu right now. Because our food and beverage offerings change often, what we’re serving now might not be here for long. So, come in soon to try something new! We promise that this change is a good one.

Blog Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography

The Comfort Zone

Believe it or not, most of the Seattleites I know delight in the cool, drizzly weather that autumn so often brings. This time of year signifies warm libations, bundling up in sweaters and scarves, spending time in the great indoors, and of course, comfort food. The latter is something that we happen to know quite a lot about at Brimmer & Heeltap; “comforting” is one of the things that defines Chef Mike Whisenhunt’s unique style of cooking.

Our current menu offers an array of dishes that showcase bold flavors, employ familiar ingredients in an inventive way, and kind of just make you feel like you’re being held by your mama. The Yukon potato puree with bonito cream, chives, and a sprinkling of dancing bonito flakes warmed by the starchy layers below is a deliciously comforting fall-time dish. If you find yourself more comforted by carnivorous creations, you’ve got to try Chef Mike’s grilled pork shoulder. Smoky, succulent, and grilled to perfection, this menu mainstay is a favorite of Brimmer & Heeltap’s crew and regular guests alike. See below for Chef’s “mop” sauce recipe he uses to really bring this dish to life.

Personally, there are three things that comfort me most: chocolate, bread, and booze. Happily, these things often take center-stage at the restaurant, where I am lucky enough to have the chance to go wild on our famous bread, spiced chocolate cake, and bartender Brian Hibbard’s genius concoctions more often than I care to admit. With new seasonally-inspired wine and cocktail lists launching this week just in time for fall, an ever-changing dinner menu, and brunch offerings that leave guests feeling happy and satiated every weekend, fall looks really good on B&H.

Stay tuned for more information about seasonal menu changes, and remember that we’ve got a seat waiting the next time you’re in need of some seriously comforting food and libations.

Chef Mike’s Pork “Mop”

Ingredients:

300 grams (1 1/3 cups) water

1500 grams (6 1/2 cups) sugar

1500 grams (6 1/2 cups) sherry vinegar

250 grams (1 cup) Urfa Biber*

To make:

1.       Heat water to boiling and add sugar; boil until sugar is dissolved and begins to caramelize.

2.       Add sherry vinegar and boil until reduced by half.

3.       Add Urfa Biber to the reduction; stir until blended evenly.

4.       Apply “mop” generously with a basting brush to poultry, pork or beef before and after grilling.

*Urfa Biber, also known as isot pepper, is a dried Turkish chili pepper, cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey. World Spice calls it a “luscious pepper flake” with an “earthy, smoky edge that hits at chocolate and tobacco.” You can purchase it at World Spice Merchants as well as other specialty spice shops.

Blog Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography

A Neighborhood Place

At Brimmer & Heeltap, we adore our neighbors. Familiar faces fill our dining room throughout the year, including folks that used to frequent Le Gourmand and now see us as a new home away from home. We’re a place to gather and break bread, a community space, a comforting respite from the day-to-day - and we’re in great company. One of the things that informs so much of our identity as a restaurant is the neighborhood we’ve made home in. Ballard – West Woodland more specifically – is rich with small businesses that care deeply about their craft, and about being neighborly.

On our little corner of Northwest Market Street we’re a stone’s throw from Slate Coffee Roasters and Veraci Pizza, two fantastic locally-owned businesses that many of us frequent. Brunch-lovers from the Veraci team have come by for a meal before starting their workday, and we’re often the first place Slate’s incredibly talented baristas will stop by for a drink at their day’s end. We’ve even collaborated with Slate to create beautiful coffee-infused scotch, joining forces to make something truly special to enjoy after a meal at the restaurant. These folks are our patrons, but they’re also our friends.

We love collaborating with Slate (and drinking their delicious coffee!). Image via  Facebook. 

We love collaborating with Slate (and drinking their delicious coffee!). Image via Facebook. 

Stoup's beautiful beer garden is an amazing neighborhood gathering place. Image via  Facebook . 

Stoup's beautiful beer garden is an amazing neighborhood gathering place. Image via Facebook

If you wander just a few blocks west of Brimmer & Heeltap, you’ll begin to stumble upon an array of truly phenomenal breweries, many crafting beer that we serve nightly on our menu at the restaurant. Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Maritime Pacific Brewing Co., and Populuxe Brewing are some of our very favorite breweries in Ballard, and all of them are within walking distance of the restaurant. Lucky us! Ballard now contains more breweries than any other neighborhood in Seattle, so it only makes sense that we would serve many of the same brews that our neighbors already cherish. Right now we’ve got a selection of beers on tap that are exclusively from our wonderful neighboring breweries.

Earlier this month, West Woodland, Ballard, an organization that seeks to “connect neighbors, raise awareness & build community in order to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, & play” in this unique pocket of Ballard, announced the winners of the inaugural Best of West Woodland Neighbor’s Choice Awards. Doing so not only helped shine a spotlight on the many terrific small businesses that thrive in the West Woodland neighborhood, but served as a reminder that there is truly a wealth of exceptional places to drink, dine, and gather in our area. We are honored to be named as West Woodland’s Best Restaurant in 2016; with neighbors like Stock, Café Bambino, the Ballard Food Bank, The Dray, Stoup Brewing, and many others making the Best Of list too, we’re prouder than ever to be part of this thriving neighborhood.

It’s always the people that make a restaurant such an exciting, vibrant place to work and gather, and we owe so much of our success to our neighbors that inspire us through their craft, and the guests that keep coming back for more. We’re part of a living, breathing local ecosystem here in West Woodland, and that’s just the way we like it.

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography, unless otherwise specified. 

Crew Spotlight: A Dynamic Duo

Phenomenally talented husband-wife duo Heather Padella Dziedzic and Dallas Dziedzic.

Phenomenally talented husband-wife duo Heather Padella Dziedzic and Dallas Dziedzic.

The hospitality industry attracts all kinds of intelligent, passionate, eccentric people. We’re artists, musicians, yoga instructors, parents, students and stylists that also happen to work in restaurants. At Brimmer & Heeltap, we’re proud to be a team comprised of professional and deeply multifaceted individuals, including Dallas Dziedzic and Heather Padella Dziedzic, a husband-wife duo that uses their incredible skillsets to elevate service in our kitchen and front of house, respectively.

Heather and Dallas, Midwest transplants that have lived in Seattle on and off since 2008, have both worked in the hospitality industry since they were kids in their hometown, a bustling summertime tourist destination on the coast of Lake Michigan. Dallas got his start in kitchens working as a dishwasher at a local bar, and Heather’s first industry gig was scooping ice cream at a candy store. Their first entries into the restaurant industry are a far cry from what these two do today; Dallas leads the kitchen as Brimmer & Heeltap’s Chef de Cuisine, and Heather provides excellent hospitality in the dining room as the restaurant’s Lead Server.

“One of my favorite parts of the industry is helping people discover something they didn’t know about,” says Heather, “also the team who you get to work with - it always brings people from all walks of life at all stages.” With extensive wine knowledge and time spent working at the celebrated Purple Café and Wine Bar here in Seattle and Gemini Bistro in Chicago, Heather’s attention to detail, powerful leadership, and gracefulness during service is a nod to her years of experience in acclaimed restaurants.

With years of experience cooking in professional kitchens at Chicago's The Pump Room and the W Hotel's now-closed Earth and Ocean, Dallas moves at a rapid pace during service, plating each dish with expert precision and care. His high energy level, passion for food, and creative approach to ingredients local to the Northwest make him a vital part of our team at the restaurant. Since he came on board in May, 2015, the kitchen has invigorated its approach to harnessing umami flavors, elevated its dessert offerings, and even launched a brand new brunch program. The techniques he uses coupled with his innovative approach to cuisine make him an invaluable member of the culinary team.

Outside of work, you’ll find Heather and Dallas spending time with family, getting inspired by local fare at Seattle’s many fantastic eateries, and sipping on white wine, cheap beer, and whiskey. These two also have plans to open their own restaurant one day, using their remarkable talents to create a place that offers truly delicious food and drinks in a relaxed environment. “I think our ultimate goal is to own a restaurant where we can work and raise a family and become part of a community,” says Heather.

We’re so glad to have Heather and Dallas as part of our community at Brimmer & Heeltap. Their enthusiasm for food and hospitality and wonderful personalities make them both fun and inspiring to work alongside every day.  

Be sure to say hello to these two on your next visit!

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography

Meet Us in the Garden

Everyone says that summer in Seattle doesn’t actually start until July 5th, but that sure doesn’t stop us from trying to get outside as much as possible before then.

At Brimmer & Heeltap, we L-O-V-E al fresco dining and we’re kind of obsessed with our garden patio – a charming, beautiful space that feels like a precious secret shared between friends. During their first visit to the restaurant, many guests admit that they never realized our patio existed. Even some of our neighbors and regular diners were surprised to find such a unique outdoor dining area tucked away behind the main part of building. Its secretive nature lends itself to a wonderfully intimate atmosphere, and is one of the things we love most about it. 

Perhaps one of the reasons why so few people know about our garden patio is because it actually hasn’t been there for very long. When Brimmer & Heeltap proprietress Jen Doak first stepped into the newly cleared out Le Gourmand, the restaurant that inhabited the space before it became B&H, she immediately recognized how much more impactful the space could be with some renovations. “Standing inside the vacant walls, I felt an instant connection,” she explains in this blog post. “I could see the potential unfolding before my eyes.”

“Standing inside the vacant walls, I felt an instant connection,” explains Brimmer & Heeltap's proprietress Jen Doak, of the old studio space. 

“Standing inside the vacant walls, I felt an instant connection,” explains Brimmer & Heeltap's proprietress Jen Doak, of the old studio space. 

One part of the property that held significant potential was a one hundred-year-old 400 square foot studio that sits to the rear of the garden. Formerly used for dry storage by Le Gourmand, this studio space has since been refurbished and transformed into a gorgeous dining room that anchors an expanded outdoor dining area. It’s a stunning space that we use for private events throughout the year, as well as additional seating when the weather is warm. 

Seattle Met Magazine’s Kathryn Robinson describes this section of the restaurant, and the small seating area that leads to it, as an “enchanting hidden courtyard,” adding that it’s “a sun-dappled must on the romance tour.” Eater’s Megan Hill also sings the praises of our patio, calling it “straight up dreamy.” Ever since the expansion of the garden, Brimmer & Heeltap has been included on various lists of the best outdoor dining destinations in Seattle, a nod to the truly special feeling one gets when dining in this beautiful space. Eater mentions B&H in its roundup of great spots for outdoor dining and drinking in Seattle, as does the Seattle Met and Seattle Weekly, to name a few.

In addition to the dreamy annual flora that blooms there, the garden patio and back studio are dotted with special touches that really make this part of the restaurant come to life: One wall of the studio is actually a retractable garage door that helps provide privacy for private dining and special events in the studio, while still allowing guests to peer out into the garden beyond. A fire pit adjacent to the studio serves as a gathering place for friends who want to share snacks and stories in a casually intimate setting. Ceramic sculptures created by local artist Larry Halvorsen blend effortlessly into the garden where they are displayed; these fantastic custom pieces create depth in a way that feels organic. 

If you haven’t yet dined outside in the garden patio, we invite you to join us on the next sunny day. We love seeing our friends, neighbors, and guests breaking bread together outside in the summer air, and with new dishes and cocktails gracing the menu, as well as a brand new brunch menu to enjoy on the weekend, now has never been a better time to come by and dine al fresco at Brimmer & Heeltap.

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography