Belltown got a new restaurant ten days ago, with creative food and huge views of Elliott Bay and Belltown’s passing parade. It’s headed by former Qube chef Joseph Conrad (he also cooked at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and is the executive chef at Twist) and the bar is manned by Armin Moloudzadeh who made a name for himself at Bastille and Black Bottle.
I’ve wondered why restaurants didn’t do more with artisan sea salts and here they are! Several local restaurants have one or two different sea salts (such as Spring Hill’s Kauai salt pond salt) but Ventana has multiple French sea salts in the menu, and in interesting mixes like soy salt with edamame, lavender/rosemary salt, truffle salt with fries and Nicoise olive salt paired with fresh bread and olive oil. Conrad and staffer Janna Wemmer started Secret Stash Sea Salts, so that kept salt in mind when creating the menus. Regardless, salt lovers can have fun playing with the different flavors at dinner.
Vegetables are creative too. Salsify, which looks like a smooth white baby carrot but tastes more like something between a potato and a parsnip, is covered with parmesan cream sauce and comes topped with bone marrow. Escarole, along with bacon, tops the chile relleno-and-cheese-stuffed Ventana burger. And as for charcuterie, The BLT ignores bacon and subs in house-cured pork belly, an heirloom tomato slice and lemon aioli.
Ventana is located in Belltown at 2323 1st Avenue
Dinner daily from 5pm-12am.
Cocktails daily from 4:30pm-2am.