Terra Plata opened in October, but chef Tamara Murphy and managing partner Linda Morton say the restaurant felt incomplete before its long-awaited rooftop deck opened this weekend.
"This was such a part of having this space," Murphy says. "This cinched the deal."
The deck features seating for 70 diners, with space heaters and a canopy to keep the outdoor area comfortable in chilly weather. Rooftop diners will be able to order off the restaurant's standard menu, but Murphy plans to also develop site-specific small plates using a massive commercial grill - "I'm just learning how to us that," Murphy says of the machine she calls her Mercedes - and the herbs and vegetables planted around the deck's perimeter.
Using starts from a Whidbey Island farm, Terra Plata has sowed rosemary, thyme, lettuce, leeks, mint and corn, among dozens of other edibles. "I don't even know where the beets and carrots are, but they got planted," Murphy says of the multitude of blooms.
"It took half the day, and suddenly there was an instant edible garden," Morton says.
According to Morton, the triangular deck was designed to reflect the same design sensibilities at work in the dining room below. The space is furnished with salvaged wood instead of flimsy patio tables.
"We wanted it to feel like downstairs," Morton says. "We didn't want it to feel like a sidewalk with metal chairs."
At a trial run on Friday night, Murphy served pâtés and grilled salads.
"Opening the rooftop was almost more emotional than opening the restaurant," Morton says.