You Have Three Weeks Left to Say Goodbye to the Eastlake Sitka & Spruce"/>
It has been no secret: Matt Dillon is planning on moving Sitka & Spruce this spring to 1531 Melrose Ave. to become neighbors with Tamara Murphy's new Terraplata. But Dillon's just announced, via S&S's website, that the original location will shut down as of December 30 to prepare for the move.
Little things like a Food & Wine Best New Chef award have taken S&S from a late-night hangout serving inexpensive small plates to something more akin to a destination bistro (unless you regularly drop $50 a person on dinner). It spawned Dillon's magnum opus, The Corson Building, and launched a few careers, including that of Tako Truk's Cormac Mahoney and Nick Castleberry, currently at the Summit Pub.
Even after Dillon took up residence in Georgetown, Sitka & Spruce has continued his original vision of highly seasonal, earthy, far from dull food. Last week, for example, I paid my final respects. Not only did I get to eat a pefect slice of lamb's tongue, two of the roasted vegetable dishes I ordered were among the best things I've eaten all month, simple but not spare: creamy-centered roasted parsnips coated in the yolk of a poached egg and slivered sage leaves, as well as deeply caramelized cauliflower and romanesco broccoli smothered in shallots and a bracing vinaigrette.
I have no doubt that the cooks at the new location will be able to rock it as hard on Melrose. I'll miss the warm, cocoon-like vibe of the original, though -- the electric green of the walls, which deepens into olive in the candlelight; the sturdy wood tables; and the way that diners are almost close enough to the cooks to smell the steam coming off their pans.
As Dillon writes in the announcement, "The new Sitka & Spruce will not be much larger in size, just a handful more seats, but the experiences over the last three and a half years have given me much needed insight into the blossoming maturity that is upon us." As soon we figure out what exactly that means, we'll pass it on to you.