2012 Tasted Good: The Best New Restaurants That Opened In Seattle

December 26, 2012 12:55 PM

Every year Seattle boasts more than its fair share of restaurant openings, and 2012 was no exception. With the number of talented chefs here, the majority of openings are heralded as major culinary events. Many of the city’s top chefs scored big with new openings that have had this town buzzing ever since. Here’s a look at some of the best that top the list.
(credit: marinationmobile.com)

(credit: marinationmobile.com)

Marination Ma Kai
1660 Harbor Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98127

The team of Kamala and Roz did it again this October. Seattleites grew accustomed to seeing their Marination Mobile trucks cruising around the city serving up some of the best Korean/Hawaiian fusion street food around. Now you can hop a water taxi for a picturesque ride across Elliott Bay and enjoy a kimchi quesadilla or the SPAM musubi all while soaking up the sun and taking in an unparalleled view of the Seattle skyline from the restaurant’s spacious deck. If the weather is inclement, duck inside to enjoy the food and the view in Marination’s roomy dining space.

(credit: ballardpizzacompany.com)

(credit: ballardpizzacompany.com)

Ballard Pizza Company
7 Ballard Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 659-6033

This pizza joint offers up whole pies or fat slices, both which happen to be ridiculously good. Ethan Stowell is known about town for his other popular restaurants, but when Seattle caught wind of his plans for a pizza company opening in May, the buzz meter sky rocketed. Ballard Pizza Company bakes up tasty combos including the artichoke and Taggiasca olive, or the Zoe salami and fennel pollen. Or you can build your own slice of heaven from a long list of traditional toppings. One bite of a slice and it’s easy to see why people flock to this new destination.

(credit: thewhalewins.com)

(credit: thewhalewins.com)

The Whale Wins
3506 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-9425

Three names seem to always pop up when the conversation turns to restaurants in Seattle: Chef Renee Erickson and partners Jeremy Price and Chad Dale. So when the word got out that a new spot in town called The Whale Wins was opening in November, it was to no one’s surprise that the trio of Erickson, Price and Dale were behind the venture. The flavors are grounded in southern Europe and England, but the ingredients hail from the Pacific Northwest ensuring the freshest fare finds its way to your table, including roasted radicchio, hazelnuts, buttermilk and poppyseed vinaigrette. It’s not just the whale that wins here.

Related: Best Chefs Heating up the Culinary Scene in Seattle

(credit: joulerestaurant.com)

(credit: joulerestaurant.com)

3506 Stone Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 632-5685

Most people may be content with having just one hotspot restaurant, but most people aren’t Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi. This duo opened its second restaurant in October and it’s proving to be as popular as its first venture. Korean fusion is showcased throughout the menu. Settle in for some spicy rice cakes with chorizo and pickled mustard greens, or a nice hearty short rib steak set off by some grilled kimchi. It’s been said good things come in threes.

(credit: ethanstowellrestaurants.com)

(credit: ethanstowellrestaurants.com)

Rione XIII
401 15th Ave. E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 838-2878

Walk by this restaurant on any given night, and you’ll see the tables full of patrons enjoying the latest culinary creations of Chef Ethan Stowell. People have come to expect only the best when they sit down for a meal at one of Stowell’s eateries and Rione XIII exceeds all of those expectations. The XIII in Rione XIII echoes the lifestyle and food of Trastevere, the 13th district of Rome. Rome offers incredible, fresh and flavorful food based on its region, and now, thanks to Rione XIII’s August opening, so does Seattle.

Related: Best Brick-Oven Pizzas in Seattle

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Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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