February 2011

From this Issue

My colleague Lorna Yee sent me an e-mail raving about Fuji Bakery in Bellevue, but before I could cross the bridge for a treat, word hit that there was a Fuji opening in the International District.

Sometimes, going out to eat is all about the food.

But usually, there’s more to it. At the original Cantinetta in Wallingford, there is plenty to like beyond the remarkable homemade pastas. The candlelit space has a whispered, undeniable sexiness.

It’s probably not fair, but everyone is going to compare Lecosho to Matt’s in the Market.

Matt Janke opened Matt’s in 1996, when there was room for about a dozen patrons in the ramshackle space, but—oh!—it was magic. Simple, honest, fresh and seasonal (but not preachy about it), the food was just good, good, so good to eat.

The Nerd Cathedral

Call us old-fashioned, but we remember a time (circa 2007 or so) when a facial treatment had something to do with, well, the face. Given the glut of “facials” that venture as far south as the cheeks (yes, those cheeks), we’ll ditch the technicalities in favor of booking a few this-is-so-amazing-who-cares-what-they-call-it sessions.

Baby Bump Facial:

After years of living in disgrace (we’ve sworn off tanning beds for good), UV is making a comeback as spas heap on extra doses of safe rays with therapeutic and innovative uses of light. Thank goodness. During the dungeon days of winter, we could use a sunny burst of Vitamin D without the guilt trip.

The Northwest exudes its own vibe and scent—a distinct mix of ground coffee, fresh rainfall and spicy pine trees—and from Ballard to Bellevue, these familiar, oh-so-Seattle aromas have taken center stage in creative new wraps, scrubs and massages.

Between overcoloring, harsh winter weather and sometimes using the boyfriend’s  Pert Plus, our heads could tell a horror story or two. Luckily, cranky scalps can hop on the proverbial therapy couch and deal with their “issues” with these treatments tailored specifically to head help.

Market Fresh scrubs and body wraps at Elaia Spa
Elaia takes a green approach to its signature service: Crafted from local produce sourced by Whidbey-based Simply Botanicals,

Given our Pacific Coast location, it’s only natural that Eastern reflexology should trickle overseas to aid Seattle’s weary feet. Whether you’re looking to enhance your circulation, relieve stress or take a load off after breaking in those brand new Jimmy Choos (or hiking boots), you’ll find an array of reflexology options in this pedestrian-proud city.

We’re seeing red on chic heads across town. Lisa Power has been helping women take the plunge for years (Lisa Power Salon, Lower Queen Anne, 536 Fifth Ave.

The latest trend to get kids reading comes from the adult playbook:  Create a club-like atmosphere, serve up food and let the conversation flow. In the past year, bookstores such as Mockingbird Books in Green Lake and Secret Garden Books in Ballard have created book clubs for kids of all ages.

Since organization is an ongoing occupation for busy parents, finding the perfect calendar system can be trial after trial, error after error.  A suggestion? Give Pioneer Square’s a go and the pieces of your hectic life just might fall into place.

Before you become intimidated by the supermom in your ’hood who is known for making over-the-top valentines for her child’s classmates, we give you a reprieve. With the help of Emily Grosse, co-owner of crafting studio Assemble on Phinney Ridge, we present simple tips on creating great-looking, affordable, easy, non-cheesy cards. The best part? The kids do most of the work.

Let me ask you if this sounds familiar: You were president of the chess club (or your sister was). You lived for concert band practice or saw Star Wars 50 times (or have a brother who did). Or maybe you logged in 5,000 hours of Atari or wore that Michael Jackson glove to school every day, even after it was cool.

(Blow) Try to keep the giggles to a minimum as you learn how to gather glass on your rod, shape your punty and blow it during Seattle Glassblowing Studio’s six-week beginning glassblowing class. $645 for six classes. Seattle Glassblowing Studio, 2227 Fifth Ave.; 206.448.2181;

Where Enumclaw for the third annual Wine and Chocolate Festival (2/4–2/5; Enumclaw Expo Center, 45224 284th Ave. SE; Why: This year’s event features an indulgent lineup of locally made truffles and flavored chocolates, plus pours from 22 Washington wineries.

Long the exclusive purview of professional groomers, the power to beautify dogs is being made readily available to mere mortals with the advent of do-it-yourself dog salon Rex (1402 12th Ave.; 206.682.3941;

Wine aficionados, brides and partygoers are likely to be spending more time in SoDo this year, thanks to Urban Enoteca (, a new multipurpose venue that offers three private event rooms, a tasting center and its own catering operation.

In 1991, Cafe Septieme owner Kurt Timmermeister threw his citified lifestyle a curve, buying 4 1/2 acres of cheap, brambly farmland and a shack on Vashon Island.

Leave your valentine a sweet message on Row Boat Press' (formerly Seattle Show Posters) “I love you because” framed print. Scribble your sentiment of the moment on the glass-encased poster with a dry-erase pen, then wipe it away and recompose as many times as needed to cover why you heart your honey. $49 at K.C.


Designer Binh Nguyen is a bit of surprise, even to himself. A hip-hop emcee in a previous life, the 31-year-old left music behind in 2006 when his 2-year-old niece was diagnosed with cancer. After spending months with tykes at Seattle Children’s, he dramatically shifted career focus to kids’ wear, starting off silk-screening custom hoodies and teaching himself to sew.

Rio Estolas has gone retro. The former owner of Ballard streetwear shop Officials Urban Clothing (which closed in 2004), Estolas has blended street and sport at his similarly named new venture, Officials Vintage (Fremont, 3602 Palatine Ave.

Love and wine just seem to go together. And for some Washington winemaking couples, their mutual loves—for wine and for one another—is what adds passion to the process. At Nefarious Cellars in Chelan, for instance, husband and wife Dean and Heather Neff have split the winemaking duties: Dean makes all the red wines; Heather crafts the whites.

Vito’s Restaurant & Lounge (927 Ninth Ave.; 206.397.4053; opened its doors in 1953, serving Seattle’s power elite and, later, a sketchier crowd (which led to its closing in 2009). Last September, Hideout owners Greg Lundgren and Jeff Scott lovingly brought the First Hill hangout back from the dead.

There was not one. Not two. Not even three or four. On the evening I dined at Terra Vista recently, there were five luxe steak options available, from the “low-end” Delmonico ($47) to the primo côte de boeuf (a shareable 48-ounce American Wagyu rib steak for $160).

Despite the renown of its members, you probably haven’t heard of the Seattle Camera Club. Here’s why: Founded in 1924 by 37 talented Japanese photographers, the club thrived until World War II, when many of its members were sent to internment camps.

ARTIST: Jonathan Evison
Bainbridge Island–based author
BOOKS: The coming-of-age novel All About Lulu, which earned the 2009 Washington State Book Award, and the just-released West of Here, an epic tale centered on the 1890s founders of Port Bonita, a fictional Washington coast town based on Port Angeles.

As artists know, constraints imposed upon creative work may seem initially frustrating but often turn out to be the very thing that inspires genius. Such is the premise of “Ten Tiny Dances,” a concept originated by Portland choreographer Mike Barber and replicated by Seattle choreographer Crispin Spaeth.

Seattle actress Billie Wildrick is bouncing atop a trampoline, dressed up like a 1960s cheerleader in a retro blue and yellow uniform. With an all-American ponytail, she smiles and waves her pompoms.

Color consultant Renate Ruby’s discerning eyes slid past the stripes of color I’d swiped onto the entry wall of my home—kaleidoscopic evidence, in hues ranging from eye-popping saffron yellow to mealy nonwhite, of nine months of color indecision.

When former King County Executive Ron Sims, now deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, launched the Healthy Incentives Program in 2005, he started biking to work. He lost an impressive 60 pounds and dramatically reduced his blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body mass index (BMI).

Whether people smoke it, bake it into a cookie or spread green butter on their toast in the morning, medical marijuana use—and the controversy surrounding it—is growing in Washington state. Cancer patients are using it to alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy. AIDS patients smoke it to help regain their dwindling appetites.

Ten years ago, before he was a Seattle superchef, Ethan Stowell met specialty-food-market veteran Kaela Farrington while cooking on the line at Nell’s Restaurant in Green Lake—and the makings of a future partnership began. Before opening his pasta-focused restaurant Tavolàta in 2007, Stowell bought an Italian pasta extruder.

What it is: Prickly pear cactus pads, also known as nopales (singular: nopal), are commonly consumed as a vegetable in Mexico and Central America. The cactus pads—the flat “paddles” that grow from the main stems—are sold both fresh and canned. Their flavor lies somewhere between green beans and green bell peppers, with a slimy texture reminiscent of okra.

Bubbling molten cheese layered between wide noodles and homemade sauce—lasagna warms us with a little extra love during chilly times. Here are five local favorites that have us exclaiming, “Deliziosissima!”

2/11–2/17 Listen here, skirts and palookas, it’s time to get off your keisters, put on your glad rags and high-tail it to the fifth annual Noir City, see? This year’s theme is kooks and goofs—crazies, got it?

We’ve long been fans of Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton’s Korean-Hawaiian truck, Marination Mobile. Now comes news that Edison and Saxton are setting up a stationary shop in which to sling their vittles, tentatively called Marination Station. It’s scheduled to open in early April in the Harvard Market, on the Harvard Avenue side of the building housing QFC and Bartell Drugs at Pike and Broadway.

I attended the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, and it shaped my expectations for the 21st century. I expected to live in a world of atomic cars, video phones and Space Needle penthouses. I can take pictures with my cheap Nokia cell phone, but other parts of that future remain elusive, perhaps for the better.