Hot Dish

Serve-it-yourself Things are getting "interactive" at Pioneer Square's Brindisi, according to owner Luigi Denunzio. This appears to mean that customers can order one, two, or more portions of a number of multicourse prix-fixe suppers and then dish out the food at will round the table. With la Polenta, your table gets its own steaming pile of corn-meal mush topped by numerous dainties; with la Spagghetada the toppings (meatballs, etc.) are served on a mound of pasta. . . . You get the idea. The way things are going at Brindisi, can the time be far off when Luigi just takes your money, hands you the keys to the kitchen, and takes the rest of the night off? Smokin' When Peter Glick decided Seattle needed good deli and opened Roxy's, he wasn't exactly shouldering his way into a crowded field. He and partners Eric and Julie Reinhardt face far steeper competition with their Smokin' Pete's BBQ, which opened in late March near Ballard High School. Unfazed, the trio claim to offer "regional American and International" barbecue, the latter exemplified by smoked duck and Cuban short ribs, the former by brisket, ribs, and "smoky succulent Carolina-style pork." Chef Eric's never run a ribs joint before, but says he's tried to put barbecue on the menu wherever he's worked, which must have been quite a trick at places like Adriatica and Serafina. Along with classic sides, Smokin' Pete's will feature items like sweet-potato cornbread, blackened broccoli, and vegetarian "cowboy beans." Yee-hah, pardners. Bonus black The restaurant rumor mill was buzzing last month about the imminent departure of chef Tom Black from Woodinville's Barking Frog. Turns out rumor got it wrong: Black continues as executive chef at the Willows Lodge restaurant, but he's taking up a similar post at the Alderbrook Inn on Hood Canal. The classic old resort destination in Union, Wash., is currently undergoing a complete remodel along 21st-century lines, with a spa and fitness center, high-tech meeting space, banquet facilities, as well as the new Olympic-view waterfront restaurant and bar. Coffee and carnitas After jazzing North Beacon Hill with potent espresso for nine years, Oscar Castro has decided to feed his customers, too. The result: Java Love has bloomed as Baja Bistro. A bright, homey, and kid-friendly place, it delivers simple and fresh Mexican food: tacos filled with steak and fish, rellenos, empanadas, and enchiladas slathered with homemade mole sauce that is tart and subtly spicy. The homemade corn tortillas alone are worth a visit, especially turned into quesadillas, with chunky guacamole on the side. Experience real food Paul Allen's Experience Music Project has meeting and party space that can hold up to 2,000 people—great for conventions and the like. The problem was that catering for EMP doo-dahs was in the hands of the facility's in-house Turntable Restaurant, which offers suitable sustenance for weary turisti but is nobody's idea of a high-end food service. Enter the catering divisions of Lisa Dupar and Ray's Boathouse, which henceforward will share EMP's catering chores. The new regime began with a blast for the American Bar Association on April Fool's Day. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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