Home Plate: Previewing the November 2012 Issue

Editorial director Rachel Hart reflects on the bigger picture of our latest issue.

The discussions we have as we select images for our food covers are always a little amusing—and maybe a little less than appetizing. “We can’t put that on our cover—it’s foaming at the mouth.”

“Is that a cell phone under that food?”

“Are those ears on that plate?”

The dish that ultimately lands on our cover must be instantly recognizable, somewhat fancy—yet not too fussy—and, above all, look very, very tasty. (Even if you’re not a salmon lover, we think this month’s shot of Restaurant Zoë’s salmon dish fits the bill.)

Happily, these requirements also sum up many of the local new dining options, and this year—as if on cue for our Best New Restaurants issue—ushered in a flurry of openings so fierce it seems quite clear that the economy has rebounded. I’m excited to report that I’ve already tried about one-third of these places, even the sushi food truck in my neighborhood. (Trust me, it’s amazing.) As always, food editor Allison Austin Scheff’s picks are spot on, although we did debate whether a place can be on our “best” list if it runs out of food—unapologetically—a mere two hours after opening, with no plans to replenish supplies. Not that I’m bitter (OK, I am), but after my two failed attempts to taste what all the foodies are buzzing about, I was tired of feeling like I was back in my 20s, waiting in line to get into that hot new dance club.

But I am extremely excited about this month’s planned opening of the new Indian restaurant Shanik, the South Lake Union outpost of Vancouver, B.C.’s famed Indian restaurant Vij’s (story not available online; pick up a copy of the magazine on the newsstands!). On a trip to Vancouver a few years ago, we finally got organized enough to try Vij’s, after hearing about its legendary Indian cuisine, and raced across town with two kids in tow to get in line by 4:30 p.m. (the South Granville eatery doesn’t accept reservations). We made the first seating and even though our then-4-year-old son slept on my lap through the entire dinner, it was worth every leg-numbing moment. This issue gives you an inside look at Shanik by our unofficial Canadian reporting team, Vancouver-based Neal McLennan, who is food and travel editor at Western Living magazine (think Sunset, but hipper), and his wife, Amanda Ross, a contributing editor at same.

Elsewhere, don’t miss Brangien Davis’ preview of the new Museum of History & Industry space (not available online; pick up a copy of the magazine on the newsstands!), our city’s memory keeper, opening sometime in December. And for anyone who still thinks Washington wines are too bold for serving with food (as if!), wine writer Shannon Borg has some amazing local selections for your Thanksgiving feasts that will surely prove you wrong.

Until next month,


p.s. Preview part of the November 2012 issue of Seattle magazine here.