Let’s not sugarcoat it: For a few years there, Seattle measured its restaurant greatness by the volume of places opening rather than the quality of the specific meals that grabbed our psyche and filled our souls. This industry was demanding even before the pandemic: Any chef who opened a restaurant in 2023 (or late 2022) is still in the game only because they can’t imagine doing anything else.
This year’s newcomers include pizza with a sense of place, omakase with a sense of humor, and a chef who sources from his mom’s garden. Food trucks became restaurants, popups became permanent, and we all stood in line
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