Great news for those of us who live to eat. Bellevue is attracting award-winning local, national and worldwide talent in the kitchen. The result? We are now home to some of the hottest chefs and most innovative flavors in the country.
Here are just a few of the newest and most inspired eateries in town.
Fogo de Chão brings fresh excitement to the Bellevue restaurant scene. A Brazilian steakhouse, this new venue is famous for its centuries-old Southern Brazilian grilling technique of churrasco, a taste of traditional Southern Brazilian culture and cuisine.
For one price, mouth-watering Brazilian meats are carved tableside. Included with your meal? An extensive salad and vegetable bar called the Market Table. The Market Table features goodies like hearts of palm, giant asparagus, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, fresh cut and steamed broccoli, marinated artichoke bottoms, tabbouleh, smoked salmon, an assortment of fine cheeses, and much more. At lunchtime, the Market Table is available as a meal all its own.
What to try? In addition to the Brazilian meats try the south-of-the-border fish and seafood dishes along with a Caipirinha; a signature cocktail featuring cachaca, the native spirit of Brazil, distilled from pure cane sugar.
Planning a meeting? Fogo de Chão offers private dining for large and small groups including corporate or business functions.
Also in Lincoln Square South, James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson brings his interpretation of a Northwest farm-to-table meal to Bellevue.
Offering vibrant, farm-inspired craft-cooking, The Lakehouse concept was inspired by Bellevue’s own history and spotlights produce sourced from ever-evolving grower and farmer relationships. Authentic, engaging and delicious, the familiar dishes meet an artisan approach with a produce-driven menu that is filled with local seafood, small ranch meats, and handmade pasta.
Set in a beautiful, welcoming space reminiscent of an entertainer’s lake house, the restaurant features a farmhouse table for communal dining or large groups, chef’s counter, private and semi-private dining.
After dinner, be sure to check out Civility & Unrest, another Jason Wilson venture, on the ground floor of Bellevue’s new W Hotel. This speakeasy-inspired lounge is centered upon the craft cocktail insider experience.
What to try? Feast on comfort food like the Grilled Pork Chop with apricots and white cheddar grits; or the Roasted Neah Bay Halibut with lemon chile buttered spinach and Manila clams.
Seattle’s favorite sushi restaurant now has a home in Bellevue’s own Lincoln Square. Japonessa is a sushi-cocina, offering sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls with a Latin twist. Known for an extensive happy hour and traditional sushi bar experiences, this restaurant features a gorgeous dining room decorated with modern décor and an extensive sushi bar front and center. It’s the perfect place to be and be seen.
From traditional nigiri and sashimi to rolls decorated with jalapeño, cilantro, and mango, Japonessa takes traditional Japanese cooking fundamentals and fuses them with flavors from Latin America. There’s even a chef’s table you can book ahead of time to watch Chef Masa Nakashima do his magic right before your eyes.
What to try? Look for amazing rolls like the Eight Spice Tuna Tataki with seared tuna, jalapeño garlic soy citrus, and wasabi aioli or our favorite, the Madrid Moon with spicy yellowtail, cucumber, cilantro, topped w/ seared spicy crab, black tobiko and drizzled with jalapeño citrus and truffle oil.
Private dining is also available for small or large groups.
Located on Main Street in Old Bellevue, Peony Kitchen is a modern take on Chinese cuisine and is breathing new life into traditional Chinese food.
Enter the dining room, and you know you’re in for something special. The spectacular space is decorated with Chinese pottery, brass, and vases of silk peonies. Walls of brick, tile and unfinished wood give the new building a vintage look. Peony Kitchen’s owner, restaurateur Paul Choi has designed an upscale Chinese restaurant with some unique menu items.
What to try? The Whole Five Spice Crispy Duck, crispy and mouth-watering and like nothing we’ve ever tasted. The Tea-Smoked Free-Range Chicken is another entrée you don’t want to miss. For lighter fare, try the smaller tapas-style plates like the delectable Mu-Shu Tacos or pan fried Kurobuta Pork Buns.
The healthiest, most delicious trend in eating comes straight from the islands of Hawaii. Pokéworks delivers the best in delicious Poke bowls and wraps. And it’s no wonder. After many trips to Hawaii filled with lots of poké, its founders decided to bring this island favorite to the Mainland for all to enjoy. And now you can indulge in the freshest, most delectable seafood you’ve ever tasted, conveniently located on Bellevue Way in the heart of Downtown Bellevue.
What to try? Build your own bowl any way you like with flavors like Shiso Salmon, Spicy Ponzu Albacore, Wasabi Shrimp and Scallops, and Ginger Chicken. And don’t forget the add-ons. Choose from mix-ins like edamame, mango, sweet onion and incredible sauces including Spicy Ginger, Wasabi Aioli or Sweet Chili Gochujang. For crunch lovers, how about topping it all off with Onion Crisps, Lotus Chips, and Macadamia nuts. Or try a unique twist on a fan favorite, the Pokerrito (Poke burrito)!
Also new in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square South is Henry’s Tavern. With one location in Seattle and another on the way in South Lake Union, Henry’s is now on the east side of Lake Washington, much to the delight of Bellevue beer and burger lovers.
And this location is something to behold. Over 100 beers on tap along with indoor shuffleboard, state-of-the-art televisions for perfect game-day viewing, a custom frost rail to keep pints cold, an extensive wine list and a floor to ceiling keg cooler in the bar area. There’s even outdoor rooftop dining with views of downtown Bellevue and space enough to seat 80.
What to try? Don’t miss Henry’s signature hand-seasoned Gorgonzola waffle fries as a side to a Peanut Buster Burger featuring applewood smoked bacon, chunky peanut butter, dill pickles and crispy onion strings.
Sugar Factory arrived at Bellevue’s Shops at the Bravern in September. A whopping 8,500-square-foot retail/restaurant that seats 250, with plenty of outdoor space and even a chocolate lounge. A celebrity favorite destination in New York, L.A. and Las Vegas, Sugar Factory offers a fun family-friendly menu, decadent treats and is popular for all types of parties.
What to try? Check out one of their signature cocktails (with or without alcohol); served in goblets garnished with lollipops; or try to polish off a King Kong Sundae.
Whether you’re searching for meat-lovers paradise at Fogo De Chao, exploring the exotic “sushi-cocina” menu at Japonessa, or looking to indulge in some crazy sweets at Sugar Factory, Bellevue’s latest and greatest restaurant openings will surely have you coming back to the city for seconds.
Photo Credits, Top to Bottom – Spread via Fogo De Chao, Roasted Carrots via The Lakehouse, Sushi platter via Japonessa, Bar via Peony Kitchen, Sushiritto via Pokeworks, cheeseburger via Henry’s Tavern, Cocktail via Sugar Factory.