After months in the making, the Goldfinch has landed. After a week of soft opening, the ribbon will be cut (really) on Ethan Stowell’s new Four Seasons restaurant the Goldfinch Tavern this morning at 10 a.m.
If you knew the hotel’s former ART Restaurant in residence for the last six years, you’ll find the space and the spirit, to a large degree, transformed. Oh, it’s still the Four Seasons, but there’s more of a cool, mid-century (“a little Madmen,” says Stowell), slightly funky feeling now, though nothing too over the top.
A few specifics: The restaurant has a much wider entrance now, with lounge seating spilling to the lobby where guests can also be served. The bar, previously on the north end of the restaurant, has moved to the center, and the south side now hosts two private dining rooms (previously just one). Most of all, a much more open, bright, natural feeling prevails now—the walls have been redone in natural wood, and the servers are clad more casually (jeans), replacing the uniforms and nametags of the Four Seasons days of yore.
Most of all, a much more open, bright, natural feeling prevails now—the walls have been redone in natural wood, and the servers are clad more casually (jeans), replacing the uniforms and nametags of the Four Seasons days of yore.
These aesthetic decisions have been a collaboration between the Four Seasons staff and Stowell, which he says have been smooth, because they share the same priority for taking top care of guests. Also, the chance to meld the two parties’ (quite different) styles has been fulfilling. Case in point: among the 355 Four Seasons restaurants and bars worldwide, the Goldfinch is one of just two with “Tavern” in the name. “The best part has been learning from each other,” Stowell says.
In Stowell’s twelfth and largest venture yet, the hope is Goldfinch Tavern will revamp the Seattle Four Seasons into a more food-centered destination, rather than one largely known for drinks and meetings. Given the hotel’s downtown location and proximity to Pike Place and the water, the concept for Goldfinch’s Northwest cuisine evolved easily, Stowell says. The dinner menu (headed up by Mkt.’s Joe Ritchie) is big on seafood (oysters, Hamachi crudo, and more), local beef, and appetizers; view it in full below:
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