Ballard's sweet corner destination for special dinners, Le Gourmand, has just announced that it will shutter June 2nd after 27 years.
I feel a bit of sadness that our city is losing such a beacon of dining; I'm even just a bit more wistful about tiny, oh-so-perfect Sambar nextdoor closing, as it's where some of the finest drinks in the city can be sipped (and the prices are much more user-friendly). And what will become of that marvelous little summertime garden oasis? I have warm, delicious memories of Le Gourmand; I feel lucky to have enjoyed dinners there.
Mostly, though, I'm impressed with the grace of chefs and owners Bruce and Sara Naftaly, that they did us the great favor of letting us all know about the closing so far in advance. How lucky we are to have a last chance to experience Bruce's intense pan sauces, his surprising use of herbs, his French-Northwest food so practiced and still so, so good. Three months to pop over for frites and whatever bar wonder Jay Kuehner decides to concoct that day. Three months to say goodbye, good luck, and we wish you well. How fine a way to say goodbye that is.
Bruce and Sara have mentioned they'll be working on a book or two, and Sara may open a bakery (yay!). It's not the last we'll hear from the Naftaly's, and I'm grateful for that, too.