Seattle Food News: Phinney's New Wine Boutique, Denny's New Diner, and Pike Street's Fish Fry

Selections from Voracious, our daily food blog.

Phinney's New Food and Wine Boutique Co-owners Jenny and Anson Klock are about to start the build-out on a "food and wine boutique" called Picnic, slated to open in late summer 2008. Located on Phinney Ridge, Jenny says their upscale prepared foods will be a takeout alternative to the sort of wholesome, mostly-organic fare found nearby at Stumbling Goat and Oliver's Twist. They'll have everything you'd need for a picnic, of course (cheese, salumi, olives, and wine from boutique regional vintners), as well as a case full of dinner options like fresh pasta, entrees, and side dishes. Anson, who cooked at now-defunct Cassis on Capitol Hill, and then for two years under Jason Wilson when the latter first launched Crush, will focus on house-made charcuterie, turning out fresh pates, rillettes, and sausages for folks to take home. If all goes well, Jenny said they may do communal dinners, as well. Picnic will anchor the northeast corner of the new Fini condos on Phinney Ridge. There will also be a coffee/dessert shop in the building, which (judging by the signs on the windows) will offer Frenchie favorites like clafoutis, madeleines, and Grand Marnier souffles. Anyone have a name? -- Jess Thomson 24-Hour Dining Will Return to Denny & First And this time perhaps it will bear a closer relation to "dining" than at the late and unlamented Minnie's. A sign on the door of the corner building indicates a new 24-hour diner called WHYM is going to open. (No connection to the Whym Diner in New York's Hell's Kitchen.) Whym is being opened by the owners of Hurricane Cafe, Neil and Bridget Scott. Ms. Scott tells me the plan is for food that's a little more upscale than at the Hurricane (chipotle aioli on the burgers, that kind of thing), but still basic comfort food. The Scotts are planning to move the restaurant entrance off the corner and onto First Ave. so that the dining room isn't bisected by incoming traffic. They're planning to open in late May or early June, after a major cleanup—not surprisingly, for anyone who set foot in Minnie's, Ms. Scott says the place "is in really bad shape." -- Mark D. Fefer Coming Soon: Pike Street Fish Fry There have been rumblings on the blogs that Michael Hebberoy was taking over the old Frites space at Neumo's, and I just got word from the One Pot organizer himself that it's all true. Sometime soon—perhaps next weekend, maybe a little after that, he doesn't want to specify—Pike Street Fish Fry will open up, serving food from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. about five days a week. The restaurant is a partnership between Hebberoy, Jerry Everard (Neumo's, Sole Repair, etc.), and Mike McConnell (Caffe Vita and Via Tribunali). Monica Dimas, who's worked at Campagne and Le Pichet, will be heading up the kitchen. Though Hebberoy claims that Fish Fry's kitchen is actually as big as the one in many bistros, the premise behind PSFF is simple street food. Hebberoy says it will offer five or six kinds of fish a day, from cod to Spanish mackerel, lightly battered and served with a choice of five or six sauces made from house-pickled ingredients (homemade tartar sauce, preserved-lemon aioli). They'll also be serving fries, grilled octopus, and some red meat. "What I'm hoping," says Hebberoy, "is that when people walk in, your average foodie will notice that we're canning and preserving vegetables and have whole fish on ice, while a drunk kid at 2 a.m. is stoked he can get fries and fish balls, or a grilled piece of steak." The partners have expanded into Neumo's old box office, which now has banquette seating for six, while the rest of the tiny space has SRO tables. If all goes well, Pike Street Fish Fry will open for lunch. It also may supply food for the happy hours at Moe Bar next door. -- Jonathan Kauffman

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