Another update on Blackboard Bistro, going into 3247 California, formerly and briefly home to Eness: They’ve set August 13 for the opening date. Proprietor Jacob Wiegner explains, in the announcement (which also includes menu details)
Jacob Wiegner, a chef who trained at Le Cordon-Bleu London, worked in top kitchens in London and Florida, and has spent the past two years as sous-chef at Olivar on Capitol Hill, will open his own 40-seat restaurant, Blackboard Bistro, in West Seattle next month. The emphasis, Wiegner says, will be a nostalgic nod to the chef’s past, prepared with Northwest ingredients.
Superstitious? Not Wiegner. He is opening on Friday the 13th in a space that’s been a virtual graveyard for restaurants: Ovio Bistro, 02, Beato and Eness have all come and gone. “Blackboard Bistro is here to stay”.
Wiegner’s philosophy is to focus on simplicity, technique and fresh ingredients. “I have worked in a variety of restaurants from French and English to Mediterranean, and I want to bring all this cuisine together,” he says. “This is where the idea of an American Bistro comes alive, a melting pot in all senses of the word.”
Blackboard Bistro will avoid a formal menu. All dishes will be listed on blackboards throughout the restaurant. The atmosphere will be casual and prices will be moderate so guests can return often. While Blackboard is not setting out to be a “family restaurant,” Wiegner does want families with children to feel welcome. “We’ll have a three-course children’s tasting menu so families can share an entire mealtime,” he says.
Among the menu items Wiegner expects to offer:
· Tomato and horseradish sorbet, warm goat cheese, arugula, confit tomato and garlic ($12)
· Pork chili verde with cast iron corn bread ($12)
· A classic Frogmore stew ($20)
· Cherry upside down cake, cherry, white chocolate and ginger ice cream ($7)
The Frogmore stew (whole prawns, spicy house-made sausage, clams, fingerling potatoes, and corn on the cob), a South Carolina specialty, represents one of the American regional influences on Wiegner’s culinary personality. Other influences include his Pennsylvania-Dutch origins, his classical French training, and his formative years in England, New Zealand, Australia and the many parts of the United States.
He found his calling as a chef while working in restaurants in London. He worked his way up to Chef de Partie and Sous Chef at the famous oyster bar Bibendum, Sir Terrance Conran’s famous restaurant in Chelsea.
In addition to the blackboard items, Blackboard Bistro will offer a “name your price” tasting menu. Guests will name a per person amount (for example, $30), and Chef Wiegner will send out plates until the budget is reached.
Blackboard Bistro will have a full liquor license and offer a selection of Chef Wiegner’s favorite liquors, microbrews and wines. The bar will not offer complex cocktails; rather, a small cocktail list featuring half a dozen house drinks will be available.
Blackboard Bistro 206 257 4832, 3247 California Avenue SW.. Open Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM, and until 11 PM on Friday & Saturday. More information at blackboardbistroseattle.com
Blackboard Bistro Opening Menu
watermelon salad with feta, fresno oil and pumpkin seeds
slow roasted pork belly with frisee and deviled red beet egg
tomato and horseradish sorbet, warm goat cheese, arugula, confit tomato and garlic
scallop ceviche with grilled corn and poblano, fry bread
beer battered okra with watermelon rind ketchup
roasted cauliflower, pine nuts and currants
pork chili verde with cast iron corn bread
gnocchi, house smoked trout, peas and mint
braised eggplant, oven roasted tomato and yoghurt
four sliders. red wine and shallot, foie gras, truffle and blue cheese. shallot rings
pan fried halibut with sweet potato, brown butter, capers and oregano
Chicken and wild mushroom pie
frogmore stew. whole prawns, spicy house made sausage, clams, fingerling potato,
and corn served on the cob
tasting menu- name your price
chocolate and peanut pasty, peanut butter ice cream and grape jelly
oatmeal cookie sandwich with rum raisin parfait
cream cheese flan, lavender cream and fresh berries
cherry upside down cake; cherry, white chocolate and ginger ice cream
cheeseboard with house made chutney and crackers