Sitka and Spruce - Capitol Hill
Credit: Seattle Mag / Haley Young
The seasonal local cultural mash-up. Though Matt Dillon’s Sitka & Spruce was born in a humble strip mall on Eastlake Avenue, it has since become a mecca for seasonal foraged foods, outgrowing both the space and the underdog persona. After four years, Dillon has moved to more sophisticated, airier new digs deep inside the vibrant mixed-retail Melrose Market. The menu’s flavors have likewise expanded, reaching from that early rustic Northwest base into far-reaching corners of the world: braised veal pulled into hunks atop tender flatbread fresh out of the wood-fired oven, served with tahini, harissa and chickpeas; roasted beets topped with tangy house-made yogurt and the unexpected nuttiness of brown butter. Dillon’s experiments with the warm seasonings of the Middle East, with those wood-fired breads and house-preserved this ’n’ that, with raising his own vegetables and greens on the restaurant’s farm on Vashon Island—all of this makes dinner at Sitka & Spruce personal, revelatory, fresh, inspired. Dillon could’ve easily ridden the seasonal/local/foraged train (which he helped usher into the Seattle mainstream), but playing with new spices and dreaming up new dishes seem to be far more fun for him. It sure is for us.
File under: Nose-to-tail cooking, small producers, everything made from scratch
Also see: Poppy, Blind Pig Bistro, Madison Park Conservatory