There’s no good reason why Madrona’s most charming restaurant space has had such a revolving door—first Cremant, then June, then Bea. So here’s hoping Ethan Stowell’s Red Cow, a neighborhood French bistro specializing in steak frites, will be the concept that finally breaks the curse. Scheduled to open in January or early February, the menu will be approachable, every-night fare, and there will be outdoor seating once the weather improves. Also note: Stowell’s return to fine dining, Noyer, will seat just 20 in an intimate dining room tucked behind Red Cow when it opens in spring.
Folks have been longing for Jef Fike’s food ever since he closed Cassis in 2004. The place, a sunny corner restaurant on the north end of Capitol Hill serving bistro classics—frisée salad with lardons and a poached egg, bouillabaisse with rouille, seared duck breast, tarte Tatin—made a lasting impression. The good news? Fike is reopening Cassis, this time across from Alki Beach (2820 Alki Ave.), later in February. Fike gave me a sneak peek at the menu, and it’s filled with hearty, tempting flavors: steak frites, mussels steamed in white wine, cassoulet, even calf’s liver in Madeira wine with caramelized shallots.