Maria Hines is taking her chances. The James Beard award-winning chef is opening her third restaurant, Agrodolce, in the Center of the Universe (A.K.A. Fremont) on the same day the Mayan calendar reaches its end. Assuming the world doesn't sputter out on December 21, it's time to eat.
Hines adds Agrodolce to her roster of successful restaurants north of the canal, including Wallingford's Tilth and Ballard's Golden Beetle. Located at 709 N. 35th Street in the former home of the 35th Street Bistro and Still Life Cafe, Agrodulce will feature coastal Italian fare inspired by the chef's travels to Sicily.
Handmade pasta will star on the menu, including tagliarini with Sicilian pistachio, sweet myrtle, and pecorino. Diners can also expect lamb meatballs with dried currants, arancini with Skagit River Ranch beef, and grilled radicchio with onion marmalade.
Agrodolce will be one of the few restaurants in America to hold organic certification from Oregon Tilth. Initially, the trattoria will offer dinner with happy hour, brunch, and lunch service to follow. Hines is planning a special "end of the world" pre-fixe menu on opening day.
In other news, Tony's Coffee Bar is hosting a literary housewarming tomorrow night from 7 to 10 p.m. Local authors Patrick McKay, Robert Kaye, Ross McMeekin, and Len Kuntz are scheduled to read. The Bellingham-based roaster's Seattle cupping lab and cafe opened its doors last October at 7001 3rd AVE NW in Ballard.
Down the road in Greenwood, Pillager's Pub at 8551 Greenwood Avenue N. is closing. According to the bar's Facebook page, Pillager's last day of business is Friday.