Do not be confused by the fact that the Lakehouse is neither on the lake nor in an actual house. What it is: a gorgeous new Bellevue restaurant from Seattle chef Jason Wilson that aims to up the game on the Eastside.
The Lakehouse is the third restaurant to open in the new Bellevue Collection expansion, with many more to follow this summer. It’s attached to the hip new W Bellevue hotel, and will provide room service for the guests there. But similar to how Wilson’s Miller’s Guild (at Hotel Max) is far from your cookie-cutter hotel restaurant, this promises to be the sort of place that draws diners who aren’t spending the night—it may even draw them across the bridge.
Wilson’s concept here is a nod to Bellevue’s farmhouse-and-lakehouse past, though it’s the city’s present—as a hub of growth and innovation—that lured the Crush chef/owner outside Seattle. The restaurant’s interiors mirror the sort of wealthy home I’ve only seen in movies: an open bar with low seating like a kitchen island, a butler’s pantry filled with handmade ceramic serving plates, a communal table next to the front windows, white leather booths lit by porcelain antler wall sconces. The all-day menu (this is, after all, a hotel restaurant) is driven by the season’s produce, with a few dishes meant to be big enough to share and a variety of smaller plates. Halibut, Dungeness crab, sweet peas, porcini mushrooms and whole Mad Hatcher chickens will all be featured on the opening dinner menu.
Perhaps more intriguing is Wilson’s bar, Civility and Unrest, just downstairs. It’s a sort of modern speakeasy—look for the small graffiti-written name after you walk down the W’s stairs, because there is no door handle—unlike anything else Bellevue has to offer. There’s a killer stereo system, but don’t expect nightclub dancing. Though seating is visible from the main door, you’ll want to head around the bar to the space in back, with its plush circular bench seating and a cool retro vibe. Expect craft cocktails with an emphasis on brown liquor.
Reservations for the Lakehouse are up now on OpenTable—doors open tomorrow.