Hot Dish


The Alexis Hotel's Painted Table restaurant has had a pretty good run, but changing styles in dining have done it in at last. The dining room closes this Saturday for a complete remodel, preparatory to reopening Nov. 1 or so as the Library Bistro. The Table suffered in a down-turning economy from a starchy "fine-dining" reputation and hefty prices, with main dishes running $27-$36 at dinner. Don't expect "pub grub," says chef Matt Costello, but his new casual-dining menu (no main dish over $20) will complement a less upholstered look (by interior stylist Andrea Dawson) more in line with the current style of the Alexis' upstairs Bookstore Bar.


Attention, comrades: There now exists hard data to support the growing moratorium on Chilean sea bass, a species slated for extinction as soon as 2005. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Audubon Society and chefs nationwide, this at-risk fish may catch a break while Pacific Seabass satisfies discriminating diners' appetites. According to Gordon Lowell of North Pacific Corporation in Kirkland, "Pacific Seabass" is actually a hybrid of Kamchatka flounder and Greenland halibut. Lowell claims that Pacific Seabass are a sound environmental choice due to their spawning schedule (they reproduce every four years, while their Chilean "cousin" reproduces only once a decade). The plentiful Pacific has a similar texture and oil content to the endangered Chilean while costing up to 20 percent less. Wednesday afternoon, Palisade Waterfront Restaurant unveils its first Pacific Seabass tasting event; watch for other local establishments to follow suit. NEAL SCHINDLER


The Eastside thirsted vainly for terrific home-delivered pizza until Matt Galvin of Seattle's Pagliacci took pity. Now i pagliacci (Italian for "clowns") at long last are opening a sit-down restaurant for Eastsiders. Located in the Corners at Bellevue Square (already home to other food-service chains like P.F. Chang's and Z'Tejas, the seven-day-a-week lunch-and-dinner operation opens Monday.


When the Cascade Wine Group came together 10 years ago, Woodinville wasn't the wine destination it's become recently, with more than a dozen firms based along the upper Sammamish Slough. This week the group shed some members based elsewhere (most notably Red Mountain's Hedges Winery) and reincorporated as Woodinville Wine Country, to better reflect the growth of the area as a mecca for day trips and tourism. "Passport to Woodinville," an opportunity for the public to drop in on member wineries not normally open to the public. drew in excess of 2,000 visitors last year; it will repeat in 2003 on April 12-13.

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