Dana Tough, half of the two-chef team behind Belltown's Spur Gastropub , trained at Tilth under Maria Hines and worked with her at Earth &

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Best Cutting-Edge Cuisine

Spur Gastropub

Dana Tough, half of the two-chef team behind Belltown's Spur Gastropub, trained at Tilth under Maria Hines and worked with her at Earth & Ocean. Brian McCracken, the other half, met Tough at Earth & Ocean and has a resume heavy on stagier work, catering and working lines like the one at Mona's in Greenlake. Neither guy has anything in his past which screams cutting-edge cuisine, and yet the two currently run the kitchen at one of Seattle's most forward-looking restaurants, offering something a bit modern, a bit challenging—a taste of what the future of food might look like. Though trained in some of the more seriously old-school, farm-to-table kitchens in the area, these guys get their kicks making technique-heavy, avant-garde dishes that people can actually eat without first reading a materials list or an instruction manual. The menu may read like a minimalist's shopping list ("Veal sweetbreads. Corn. Bing cherry. Sorrel."), but the games being played in the back are far more complicated than that, involving everything from old-hat gimmicks like sphericalization and sous vide to the newest tricks in the molecular-gastronomy handbook. But the thing that sets Tough and McCracken apart from the pack of nouvelle modernists is that, since their training is so classics-based, everything that comes from their kitchen is looked at as a meal first. That it's delicious is most important; that it's challenging, interesting, fun, or new always comes in a distant second. —Jason Sheehan 113 Blanchard St., 728-6706

 
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