Last week, we had the news about now-ex Sip chef Cody Reaves jumping out of his post there to open the kitchen at the brand new Flat Iron Grill in Issaquah's Gilman Village.
Now, I'm happy to announce that Flat Iron has actually hit its proposed opening date (as rare in the restaurant world as a hostess with a heart of gold) and will be welcoming the first tables tonight. "We're printing menus right now. So that's got to be a good sign," said owner Sean Quinn when I got him on the phone just two hours ahead of his opening. "And our first reservation is at five, so ... Hopefully our first table will be at five."Quinn described the cuisine at Flat Iron as Northwestern steak and seafood with a little Argentinian flair. In terms of Reaves' menu, this translates to plates like rock shrimp cebiche with Meyer lemon and Cara Cara orange, lamb shank in a mole braise, 10-oz. flatiron cut steaks with salsa criollla and chimichurri, and salsify flan as an app. It's fairly original, I'll give him that. And coming here from the Land of Many Steakhouses, I'm frankly thrilled to see anyone doing something interesting with a steakhouse/chophouse menu.
Also, Quinn isn't coming to the restaurant industry cold. He's suffered through openings before (four of them, down in Tacoma), has worked restaurants for years (everything from The Keg to Daniel's Broiler and El Gaucho), and when I asked him how smoothly the two-month run-up to opening night has gone for him and his wife, Barb Pexa--with the stated understanding that nothing in the restaurant industry ever goes exactly smoothly--he replied with the kind of honesty that you'll only get out of a guy staring at the clock and counting down the minutes to an official opening.
"It's been ... You know, I've done a lot of them. A lot of openings. And you know how they say you learn by failing? I've failed a lot in my life."
Which is just Quinn's way of saying, Yes, it all went surprisingly well without completely jinxing an opening that's just hours away.