Two Chinese restaurant openings in Bellevue and Mercer Island have been getting a lot of buzz in recent weeks. But Woodinville is the Eastside dining scene to watch in 2022, with a dozen new tasting rooms and bistros opening by September including a Dough Zone soup dumpling house, a steakhouse by the team behind El Gaucho and an Ethan Stowell pizzeria. After that, this wine town expects another surge of restaurant openings before the Christmas rush. Stay tuned … Now on with our roll call.
Supreme Dumplings is the most talked about new restaurant in the Bellevue Asian American community. The wait for a table is long (psst, book online). Located in the Bellevue Marketplace, this dumpling house features six different xiao long bao from the popular crab-pork filling to black-truffle-and-chicken combo, but its best — at least on first try — is its Szechuan spicy pork version. Fiery and numbing, it is one of the more distinctive soup dumpling fillings in the area. Management boasts that it flew in the former executive chef at the W hotel in Taipei, Taiwan, to consult on this restaurant.
Simply Indian Restaurant debuts near Factoria mall with specialties such as goat curry and mutton biryani.
Vivienne’s Bistro is the other hot newcomer on the Eastside, an Asian fusion restaurant on Mercer Island under the helm of executive chef Danna Hwang, who also oversees the dim sum spot China Harbor on Lake Union. Vivienne’s Bistro is a creative outlet for Hwang, whose squid ink rice dish made my list of best bites of the month. It’s a sea of squid ink rice studded with bacon and shrimp, with enough mozzarella floating on the surface to cover a medium-size pizza. The sticky beef rib is another standout.
Happy Boil Seafood House serves all your fry shack standbys, from a basket of fried calamari to fish and chips. Or choose its namesake feast with a mound of shrimp or king crab. Or splurge on an order of lobster tails.
A ghost kitchen called FaveKitchen pops up in the former Mo’s Pizza and Wine Dive, a one-stop shop for pizza, pho, tacos and other comfort food.
Pablo y Pablo, the popular Mexican restaurant in Wallingford, expands to the Hollywood District with a large indoor and outdoor dining area and an 18-seat agave bar. The Heavy Restaurant Group, which also owns Barrio and the wildly successful Purple Café and Wine Bar chain, is behind this project.
Café Dupar is first out of the gate to set up along a commercial strip called “Wine Walk Row,” where a handful of tasting rooms will land soon including L’Ecole No. 41, McQueen Champagne Bar, Montinore Estate, Landlines Estates and Valdemar Estates. A branch of Ballard Pizza Co. will also open on the strip soon. At her namesake coffeehouse, owner Lisa Dupar, who also runs the popular neighborhood restaurant Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond, serves croissants, scones and other pastries made in house along with salads and sandwiches.
Teaology is a fancy bubble tea and dessert spot, with house specialties such as its strawberry-flavored tea topped with a cream cheese foam and some low-sugar dessert drinks.
Cafe 79 Vietnamese Kitchen is a busy takeout spot in the Rose Hill area, selling banh mis, rice rolls and pho. Its specialty, though, is comfort food from the Nha Trang region including a banh mi with pork jerky, dumplings and spicy beef soup.
The Village at Totem Lake continues to expand its roster of eateries. The latest tenant, The Sweetside, sells cheesecake, brownies, macarons and gooey cookies. On deck this summer: Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie and a project from the folks behind Mamnoon on Capitol Hill.
And Bobae Coffee & Tea debuts near the waterfront.
Biryani and Pizza House rolls out a big spread for its Sunday buffet. Also, lots of Indian-inspired vegetarian and tandoori chicken pizzas, which have become all the rage around the Eastside and the South End. Check out our roundup of best Indian pizzas in the Seattle area.
In the Overlake Center, Morning Bites has got you covered for all your steamed sweet and savory bun needs.
The popular Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea draws lines at its Inglewood Plaza branch for its egg waffles and brown sugar milk tea.
The popular Seattle sandwich food truck Now Make Me A Sandwich opens a brick and mortar.
Fans of this kebab food truck will love this bulletin: MoMo’s Kebab opens a brick and mortar with an expanded street food menu including lamb kebab along with its standby chicken shawarma.
Momoya Sushi & Bento also serves dumplings, udon noodles and — not listed on the menu but you can request it — chicken katsu curry.
Refresh House Juice Bar also does acai and pitaya bowls.
The Korean noodle house Hyang Mi has won over fans for its dumplings.
FamLe Sippin hawks bubble teas and macarons in the Ethos Apartments complex.
The national chain Bag o’ Crab debuts in Washington state with a branch near the Shoreline Costco. As its name implies, order a bag of seafood (from crawfish to crab) with a choice of seasoning (from garlic butter to lemon pepper). For those allergic to shellfish, the chain offers grilled beef short ribs, Cajun chicken and garlic noodles.
For patrons who miss Dragonfish Asian Café in downtown Seattle, the owners have a second act in Mountlake Terrace with Baguus Little Asia, where familiar fusion dishes including the Dragonfish noodle and the shrimp dish have reappeared on this menu. There are also 30 beers on a self-pour tap system.
Lake Forest Park
The chain Nekter Juice Bar sells “superfood smoothies” at Town Center.