When new restaurants open in Seattle, excitement mounts for what might be the next great meal – the one you tell all your friends about and go back to numerous times to try the entire menu. There are many new openings in the city, but few measure up to that lofty goal. Heartwood Provisions, which recently opened in downtown Seattle at 1st & Spring, exceeds the standard by offering seasonal dishes paired with inspired original cocktails. It’s a place you’ll definitely want to tell your friends about.
Occupying a space that was vacated by McCormick & Schmick’s years ago, Heartwood Provisions is a welcomed new addition to the waterfront/tourist zone alone 1st Avenue. The design of the restaurant is open and comfortable. It includes a large, well-stocked bar, a warm and spacious dining room and a chef’s counter that overlooks the kitchen where the chefs are busy putting together stunning plates of food. If you sit at the chef’s counter, you’ll have a great view of the action and even an opportunity to speak with the chefs as they prepare dishes.
While sitting at the chef’s counter is always entertaining, the best part of the dining experience at Heartwood Provisions is the care that is taken by Beverage Director Amanda Reed to pair Chef Varin Keokitvon’s artfully created seasonal dishes with fresh and exciting cocktails. Each dish has suggested pairings, like the Yellowtail crudo, paired with a gin cocktail with lemon, celery bitters and sparkling wine, or the braised oxtail paired with a late-harvest Tempranillo and rum cocktail.
Heartwood Provisions is the type of restaurant where you’ll likely to spend half your paycheck indulging in dish after dish of incredible food, so come prepared to pay big to eat well. While the menu appears to be tapas style, the portions are larger than expected. Sharing is definitely encouraged, especially if you want to sample more than a dish or two.
Stand out dishes include The Original Provision Wagyu beef jerky, marinated in a spicy chili preserve and Chef Keokitvon’s secret ingredient, fish sauce; the tangy and fruity Yellowtail crudo; the duck liver terrine; and the dangerously good crispy, seasoned potatoes that accompany the Waygu butcher steak. Be sure to save room for dessert because the smoked caramel panna cotta is well worth the extra calories.
Chef Keokitvon began his career at Elliott’s Oyster Bar in Seattle. He was most recently the head chef for retail operations at Farestart in Seattle, where he was awarded a scholarship that allowed him to live and cook in Spain at top restaurants like El Celler de Can Roca. His menu at Heartwood Provisions combines his Spanish-food background with his Laotian roots. Reed’s background also includes stints at local hot spots. She ran the bar at RN-74, Tavern Law and Needle and Thread before being recruited by Heartwood Provisions, where her aim is to produce a seasonally-inspired and creative menu of cocktails using housemade amari, syrups, and shrubs.
Address: 1103 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. Phone: (206) 582-3505.