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See and Be Seen at Como in Carillon Point

Como (1)

Como (19)  Como (15)

Como arrived on the scene at Carillon Point just a few weeks ago in the location previously occupied by Bin on the Lake.  Our new local Italian gem boasts the same owners as Cantinetta and they have done quite the make-over on this space.  White contrasts woods and simple lines with arched passageways give it a Euro light airy feel that connects the inside to the patio and the lake just beyond it. 

This spot definitely has the lovely factor going on.  I'm going to call in Nautical Chic.  Don't go rolling in with your bathing suit/cover up/flip flops and cranky kids- this is not the place.  Ladies complimented the beautiful Como landscape on the white wicker patio chairs with their dresses/linen, espadrilles and over-sized shades.  The Euro vibe even struck the gents who all seemed to have on much nicer shoes than I see worn anywhere else in Kirkland.   George Clooney could come breezing through the door at any moment.   Perhaps he will arrive on the fabulous wood Como boat that shuttles between Seattle and Carillon to get your to your dinner reservation.

Como (5) Como (11)  Como (12) Como (9)

Steve and I sat in the bar/lounge area next to the patio.  Perfect breeze and comfortable chairs- I could have sat there all night, especially with my crisp chilled bottle of Mark Ryan Viognier ($58). We split a few things to taste- the Bufala Mozzarella ($14, photo), which surprised me with diced instead of traditional sliced tomatoes,  the gem lettuce salad ($13, photo) was simple but delish with dates and pancetta mixed in which added a little something fun to the mix.  We split the salmon entree ($32) that was so good I forgot to take a photo before we devoured it. Prices are Kirkland upscale, and the menu itemizes out thoughtful offerings from Chef Gabriel Chavez in the typical Italian categories of antipasti, pizze, primi and secondi.  The service was great, it just felt relaxed and approachable and lovely, lovely, lovely.

You can make reservations or just drop in.  Parking is validated or there is valet available at Carillon. Hours are 4-close every day of the week and lunch is getting ready to start 6/28 Fri/Sat/Sun at 11am.  Call 425-484-0787 or email hello@comousa.com  w/questions.

UPDATE: Was just at Como again tonight for happy hour with a few girlfriends.  The people watching was fantastic. Our waiter, Tyler, was great. The inside bar area was super loud, but luckily my friends like to yell and laugh loudly anyway.  The focaccia de Como is ridiculously good-tastes like a delicious cake. And the burrata w/cantoloupe was a nice summery twist. Friends raved about the Tajarin pasta and Risotto (with the pickled blueberry) from their previous visits. That's all I've got. Over and out. Ciao!


The Market Street Prepares to Close

Marketstmegan <--we'll miss you Megan!

As The Market Street comes up on a 5 year anniversary, they are getting ready to shut their doors for good at the end of July, since the property has been purchased (more condos perhaps?).  This local comfort food/watering hole, formerly the Asian Wok(at 1720 Market St.) , is akin to "Cheers" for many surrounding Market Street neighbors.  I was telling owner Megan McBurney (photo), who was a bartender there for 7 years before purchasing the place, a story from this past winter when we were in the midst of Snowmageddon. I went out for a walk with a few neighbors since we all had cabin fever.  We picked up a few more friends along the way and ended up congregating back at The Market Street.  The snow was really coming down and some warmth, food and a drink sounded great.  A few texts later, and our crowd of nearby neighbor friends had grown to about 25 people, most wandering in on foot to join in the 'snow day' fun.  It was an awesomely fun impromptu evening and the waitstaff at The Market St just went with it as we all stood around and laughed and drank and marveled at the white stuff out the window.  We couldn't have planned that if we tried.

That's Megan's favorite thing about her job. "I love seeing people being neighborly," she says.  There are so many small world connections in the bar, where the usual 'Seattle Freeze' doesn't seem to apply and people actually talk to each other.   When she first opened she knew the neighborhood needed a casual place for families with an approachable menu.  Friends and family helped tile and put down the floor and make the infamous "Market" sign on the wall.  There's no marketing budget, everything has been word of mouth.   Megan loves to eat and loves to cook and explains, "cooking for someone is like giving them a hug."  But it's a tough business that has taken its toll, so first she will rest/relax a bit before hopping back into action at another local bar/restaurant.  

The last day for food and full menu will be Sunday June 30th. They are closed 7/1 and 7/4 but otherwise will be challenging us to a "Drink Me Dry July" through 7/22 when they will also offer a simple menu and of course the opportunity to buy anything and everything (lights, fridges, you name it- all must go!).  All of the employees are local Kirkland folks, so if you go and 'like' The Market St on Facebook , Megan will let you know where everyone ends up so you don't lose touch with some of your favorite local staffers. When I asked what she'd like to say to you all she said, "Thank them for making this such a great community restaurant.  Our regulars always kept us afloat.  Some were crying when we told them the news.  We have watched families grow and feel invested in this community." Thanks for the good years Megan + crew. xo

A Warm Welcome for Hearth

  IMG_5124 <--Sean Klos, GM of Heath, w/my friend Emily (an amazing waterskier) 
IMG_5110  IMG_5118 1  IMG_5106

You wanted some new places to eat in Kirkland and here they come. Lucky me! I attended the opening party for Hearth at The Heathman Hotel last week (the previous location of Trellis, 220 Kirkland Ave).  The place was thumping with music and a new look- see ya later hardwood floors and fancy pants- it's concrete and casual now with white walls and metal and wood accents for a hipper more approachable statement.  You'll find open fire cooking with locally sourced creations from Executive Chef Adam Johnson. When I asked Hearth's GM, Sean Klos (photo) about his intent for the changes his quick response was, "FUN!  Just fun!  We want everyone to feel like this is a spot they can come to and enjoy themselves."  Delicious bites of food were circulating and included everything from pork belly, sliders, flatbreads with arugula and cheese, salmon on homemade chips, oysters, salmon and an amazing spread of cheeses and jams. I loved the fresh hand-crafted Palomas Victor was mixing behind the bar.  The lounge area at the entry also feels more comfortable with open shelving and leather sectionals creating smaller niches for chats and drinks. Don't forget the super-sized Jenga outside on the patio either, that is always good for a few laughs (at my expense, this time). Check out the menu and stop in to explore the warmth of Hearth. Hours and reservations  for brunch, dinner, happy hour and bar can all be found here.  Also a cool place to have a private event!

IMG_1968 I lost.  There, I said it. 


In other hunger-breaker/thirst-quencher news:

If you've been wondering what all the construction is at Zeek's on Park Lane, they are adding on a bar area (parents of toddlers and little leaguers across Kirkland rejoice!).

Como is opening this weekend, and everyone is abuzz. I'll be sure to check it out when I'm back from Branson.  Yes, Missouri (for a gymnastics meet).  Somebody here just asked me where I'm from and when I said "Seattle" they looked at me like I was speaking another language.  Never heard of it!