Three Impressions of 190 Sunset
Our thoughts on the latest addition to Salish Crossing
By AJ Rathbun
October 20, 2016
Edmonds’ new Salish Crossing retail marketplace—a sprawling 20,000 plus square foot multi-tenant complex housed in a former Safeway—is exploding. There’s Scratch Distillery, Bridgid’s Bottleshop, and the Cascadia Art Museum, not to mention 190 Sunset, the site’s latest restaurant that opened in early September. Just blocks off downtown, the venue is already drawing loads of locals. We stopped by recently to try out the food and drinks to bring you three impressions of the visit.
The Drinks: Patrons pack the bar area, including a communal table and the custom wood bar itself, crafted from Whidbey Island lumber. The bustle is no surprise, when you see the drink list put together by bar manager Niles Peacock (also a metal and leather artist, and formerly of Artusi and Aqua). There are nine options on the “Classic Cocktails” list, and seven more liquid options on the “Modern Drinks” side. For classic libations, the Bees Knees is a perfect choice, made with neighboring Scratch Distillery gin, lemon juice, and honey. The honey tones are nicely balanced by the botanicals in the gin and the fresh citrus. For something more modern, the Jalapeno Cilantro Margarita has been a hit thanks to its refreshing nature, with a little heat from house-infused jalapeno tequila mingling with orange curaçao, house sour, cilantro, and sea salt on the rim. There’s also a solid wine list by the glass and bottle, including selections from local wineries as well as international choices.
The Food: As you might expect from a spot so close to the water, and one with an emphasis on local, seasonal fare, you’ll see tempting seafood options on the menu from Chef Clive Gomez (formerly of The Metropolitan Grill, Toulouse Petit, and others), including pan seared scallops with an onion soubise already drawing raves. Salads, highlighted by a Caprese with a balsamic reduction, olive oil and basil, fill out the “To Start” section. For larger dishes, check out a “Signature Seafood” item like the seafood linguini with prawns, salmon and halibut, served over delicious handmade pasta, and for the truly hearty, try the pasture-raised, grain fed, hand-cut Nebraska steak. But don’t miss the “Classics” section nestled at the bottom of the menu, especially the bone-in pork chop, topped with a wild mushroom cream and Granny Smith apples. The menu is also expanding, with more veggie options, and in general promises regular changes. For something sweet, get the beignets, served with a rich bourbon praline sauce, for dessert.
The Space: 190 Sunset can accomodate a lot of folks, with capacity for 230 including the outdoor deck kept cozy with fire pits, but it doesn’t feel impersonal. Instead, thanks to president Tom Budinick—who has worked at too many good Seattle restaurants to mention—and other staff, it has a friendly, welcoming feel. Tom’s always working the room, talking to customers, and checking to make sure all guests are having a great time. Beyond the bar and deck, there’s a good sized room that can be used for more dining or private events, and the main dining area, separated from the bar by a rail, that allows children. A couple TVs sit above the bar along with one outside, but even bustling the restaurant doesn’t have a sports bar vibe. Instead, it seems designed to offer food and drinks a step above other spots nearby to all kinds of locals, as well as those making the worthwhile drive up from Seattle.