patio season

Our Best-Kept Secret


The main and adjoining building that Brimmer & Heeltap occupies have a beautiful history that our team cherishes. And, if you’ve never dined in our detached garden studio then you have got to put doing so at the top of your summer to-do list. When Brimmer & Heeltap proprietress Jen Doak first laid eyes on the one-hundred-year-old 400 square foot structure sitting just behind the restaurant, she saw much more than an old, dusty dry storage space. She saw wedding ceremonies and family gatherings. She envisioned an open-air space where the restaurant’s neighbors could flock to in the summertime. She pictured a fire pit where her team could gather after a long night to share beers and laughs under the moonlight.

In spring 2015, after months of renovations, Brimmer & Heeltap eagerly welcomed guests to its expanded three-part garden patio and newly polished private studio. In the years since, the restaurant has hosted dozens and dozens of special events in this space; from birthday celebrations to holiday parties and everything in between, the garden studio has served as a year-round backdrop to gorgeous gatherings. During the summer, when it’s not being used for winemaker dinners, wedding receptions, and private brunches, the B&H team opens the garage door to the studio, creating a dreamy, open-air patio experience. There’s nothing we love more than serving our guests in this part of the restaurant on a warm summer evening.

Now that a few summers have gone by it’s amazing to think that this space wasn’t available to dine in until fairly recently. Brimmer & Heeltap’s garden patio and studio have been listed as among the best in Seattle; it’s a well-kept secret that is made all the more beautiful by its various thoughtful design features and Jen’s incredible green thumb. Marian Built and Sean Sifagaloa of KRFTWRK helped bring this space to life by lending their respective craftsmanship and keen eye for design to the process of turning the previously unused dry storage shed into a place where people could happily eat and imbibe. Local ceramics artist Larry Halvorsen has been equally instrumental in helping transform this garden oasis with his gorgeous sculptures.

Of course, the most cherished part of our garden patio is all of the neighbors, friends, and regular guests who fill this space every spring and summer and have just as much love for it as we do. It is our sincere pleasure to serve you, especially when it’s al fresco in the garden.

As the weather forecast continues to tease us with the promise of sunshine and warmer weather, we’re excitedly gearing up for our third summer of outdoor dining in the garden and studio. We look so forward to sharing patio season with you.

Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster

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

Spring Things

“Spring looks good on you guys,” one diner commented during a recent visit. He had just shared a plate of our new-to-the-menu English pea hummus with his dining companions, and bread, rice cakes, and scallops were on the way. 

With fresh flowers lining the walls of the dining room, our garden patio open, and a pantry filled with bright, leafy ingredients, we think spring looks pretty good on us too.

One cannot help but notice just how very green Seattle is looking these days. Lush flora is springing to life again after a cold, rainy winter, and beloved sunshiny days are getting Seattleites excited to spend as much time outside as possible. Have you enjoyed dinner and drinks outside on our beautiful patio yet this season? In a recent feature for Eater Seattle, writer Jason Price calls Brimmer & Heeltap’s outdoor dining area “one of the sweetest hidden patios (complete with fire pit) in the city.”  Another article describes it as “straight up dreamy.” We love inviting guests to dine on our garden patio, especially when they didn’t even know it was there!

Inside, it’s looking quite dreamy as well. You know spring has sprung when you see fresh flowers resting cheerily in tiny vases around the dining room. Each week, proprietress Jen Doak takes care to bring in a new batch from our neighbors at Ballard Market. With soft breezes and bright light coming in through the open windows and filling the dining room, inside is just as pretty of a place as out to break bread with friends on a warm spring evening.

The thing that really makes Brimmer & Heeltap shine this time of year, of course, is our menu. With English peas, snow peas, green curry, poblano peppers, miner’s lettuce, pandan, and sorrel being utilized by the kitchen, there are an abundance of vibrant, fresh, and wonderfully seasonal offerings to choose from.

New to the menu is Chef Mike Whisenhunt's tasty English pea hummus served with homemade grilled flatbread. A play on traditional hummus, our version is made with sesame oil and served with fresh peas and pea shoots. Each bite is like a taste of spring. Scallops are also having a moment on our menu. Seared perfectly and served with pickled Cipollini onions, snow peas, and foamy, aerated poblano pepper aioli, this dish is not to be missed! Also new to the menu are rice cakes served with green curry, pea vines, pistachio and mint. This combination of ingredients makes for a dish that is comforting without being too heavy. Balanced and bright, the rice cakes are a playful, flavorful homage to spring.

Come in soon to try these new additions to our menu. Pull up a chair with friends at your favorite table, or, better yet – get cozy around the fire pit and treat yourself to an al fresco dining experience. We’ll have the rosé waiting!


Author: Caitlyn Edson

Images: Will Foster Photography