Ballard's Stoneburner Shows Promise

Allison Austin Scheff  |   December 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Stoneburner in Ballard best restaurants in seattle seattle magazine
Stoneburner’s bedsheet ravioli in a carmelized cauliflower purée

The eye-catching street-level anchor of the new Hotel Ballard is co-owned by restaurateur duo James Weimann and Deming Maclise, and it shows: The pair is known for their keen sense of style; their use of reclaimed, refurbished and antique furnishings in their gorgeous interiors, which are on display at Bastille and Poquitos. At Stoneburner, named for chef Jason Stoneburner (who also heads up the kitchen at Bastille and, along with wine director and general manager James Lechner, is also a co-owner), the feel is more masculine, with oak paneling, custom leather bucket chairs in the bar and expansive windows that open up entirely, allowing diners to feel as if they’re on the sidewalk. As with Weimann and Maclise’s other restaurants, Stoneburner’s first few months show promise, but there’s inconsistency. House-made pasta is sometimes very well prepared, especially the ravioli with a luxurious caramelized cauliflower purée ($14), and at other times too watery; both the gemelli with fresh tomato meat sauce and the pasta with clams suffered this fate. There’s pizza ($12–$14) and it can be pretty good, or it can be overcooked and tough. Veggies are a better bet. The Caesar here, with mojama, a type of cured tuna that almost tastes like ham, shaved on top, is very good ($12), but a plate of roasted turnips arrived sorely undercooked and showed no sign of having been seasoned. Service, however, is attentive and quick to repair wrongs. I’d wager that, given some time, Stoneburner will be as solid a bet as any on Ballard Ave. Brunch Sat. and Sun., lunch and dinner daily. 5214 Ballard Ave. NW; 206.695.2051; stoneburnerseattle.com

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