Changes at Mistral, Beard Awards, and the Death of Stan's

Selections from Voracious, our daily food blog.

Wanna Buy the Alki Homestead? This one-of-a-kind log cabin restaurant a block from the beach is up for sale, reports the West Seattle Herald. The sellers are committed to transferring it to someone who's committed to upholding the Homestead's all-you-can-eat fried chicken tradition, so don't even think about turning it into a vegan discotheque. -- Mike Seely Maneki, Local Chefs Make the Beard Award Finals The final nominations for the 2008 James Beard Awards have been announced, and many Seattle restaurants are on the list. Maneki was nominated for (or awarded — I'm not sure yet) one of the Beard Foundation's annual "America's Classics" awards. As the judges write, "With a rich history that stretches over a century — it has been around through both world wars, Japanese internment, and has even seen one of its former dishwashers become the Prime Minister of Japan—Maneki is the only surviving restaurant from Seattle's once-bustling Japantown. Comfort food dishes like agedashi tofu and takoyaki share the menu with sushi and sashimi, satisfying homesick Japanese locals and introducing a new generation to traditional Japanese cooking." Tom Douglas has been nominated for the "Outstanding Restaurateur" award. The Canlis family has been nominated for "Outstanding Service." In the Pacific Northwest Best Chef category, Seattle chefs won four of the top five slots: Maria Hines (Tilth), Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita), Ethan Stowell (Union), and Jason Wilson (Crush). Congratulations to all and good luck at the ceremonies, which take place June 6 in New York! These awards are very much deserved. Congratulations also to local food writer Sara Dickerman for her Slate article on movie portrayals of chefs, and a special woo-hoo! to my old colleague Eliza Strickland, whose SF Weekly exposé on the California Culinary Academy should be read by every prospective cooking-school student. -- Jonathan Kauffman Stan's Drive-In, R.I.P. The Rainier Ave. institution is all boarded up, says Bottomtipper Jim Schier. Stan's is where I had my last training meal (a double bacon cheeseburger) before the Wedgwood Broiler's 72-ounce sirloin challenge. Old-school drive-ins in Seattle are a dinosaur, man. Bummer. The Bottomfeeder curse continues. -- Mike Seely Mistral to Close, Undergo Metamorphosis, Re-emerge as Giant Lunar Moth The Seattle Magazine food blog reported yesterday that Mistral is closing at the end of March. The four-star restaurant, which just was named one of the world's top 100 destination restaurants in a new guide, had just made Seattle Mag's top 10 for the year, with a photo spread and all, and the issue was already in print when food editor Allison Schiff learned from owner William Belickis that he was shutting down. That sucks for everyone. However, Rebekah Denn over at the P-I has followed up on the magazine's post and reports on her blog that Belickis is replacing Mistral with a massive dining complex—4,000 square feet, five dining areas, five different restaurant concepts—and that he already has the financial backers to make it happen. -- Jonathan Kauffman

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