Neighborhood Spotlight: Madison Park

Once a well kept secret of Central Seattle, Madison Park is now a thriving and vibrant neighborhood. Nestled just east of the Washington Park Arboretum, it boasts a trendy retail village and upscale homes that make it the toast of the area. Looking for a home in a gated community? The Broadmoor Golf Club offers one of the finest private golf communities in the area. When you get hungry, stroll on over to any of the amazing eateries. Madison Kitchen, Bing’s, Cactus, The Independent Pizzaria, and many more offer all the variety you need. On a hot day take a dip in Lake Washington at the Madison Park Beach. All this within a short commute to downtown, the University of Washington and the First Hill medical community.

Like the rest of Seattle, Madison Park homes have seen strong appreciation in recent years and currently has a median price of $1,775,000. Here are the total number of homes that have sold in Madison Park over the past six months:

Madison Park Chart

Ballard Pioneer Home Goes Italian

UntitledOne of the historic Pioneer Houses (dating back to the mid-1800s) was moved from the International District to Ballard years ago and has now become a rustic, modern Italian restaurant called San Fermo.

Although Ballard is chalk full of fabulous restaurants, they were missing somewhere to get classic, authentic Italian food. San Fermo isn’t about reinventing the wheel; it’s about “straightforward, well done Italian.” Sounds good to us!

Their fresh pasta allows them to change recipes weekly or even daily and their patio is the perfect al fresco summer dining spot.

Lunch counter open Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner served Monday to Thursday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday to Saturday 5 to 11 p.m., Sunday Market Supper (coming soon) from noon to 9 p.m.

Find out more on Seattle Eater.

Make an Impact with MiiR

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If ever there was a company that embodies everything that Seattle stands for, it’s MiiR. This company was started locally in 2009, and after a “giving trip” in 2011 to Liberia, it has blossomed into a big game-changer. MiiR produces socially-conscious outdoors products like insulated bottles, bikes, tumblers, growlers, and now bracelets to track the impact you’re making (you may have seen their products in Whole Foods, REI, Patagonia, etc.). For every bike that is purchased, one is given to a person in need. For every hydration vessel purchased, clean water is given to one person in need. So far they’ve helped build 12 wells and donated over 150 bikes.

This past weekend they opened their flagship store in Fremont’s Stone 34 building. The new store will stock the company’s full range of products, along with specialty coffee, craft beer, and snacks. We can’t wait to stop by their new flagship store and see firsthand how MiiR is helping to change the world!

More Gnocchi? Yes, Please.

FullSizeRender (8)Last week, Lisa Nakamura announced she is opening Gnocchi Bar later this month! Settled in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, she just moved into the Packard Building on 12th Ave last week in order to begin preparations. The location is currently occupied by D’Ambrosio Gelato, but you can let out that breath you’ve been holding in, because everyone’s favorite gelato isn’t going anywhere. Team Gnocchi Bar will continue to sell D’Ambrosio gelato until they’re able to set up shop in their new locale. In fact, the two are working together to make sure D’Ambrosio fans will still be able to get their beloved gelato, sorbet, cannoli, and coffee for the foreseeable future. The exact opening date has yet to be determined, but they’re shooting for late March. Gnocchi Bar will offer dinner in the beginning, and then will expand into lunch and brunch in the future. This news could not be sweeter. We all really need more Gnocchi in our lives!

New Chef Alert: Ethan Stowell Is Taking the Throne

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Ethan Stowell has been on the Seattle foodie radar for more than a decade, and although he’s experienced some bumps along the way, he’s back with a vengeance. Setting up 10 restaurants in popular neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Belltown, Queen Anne, Green Lake, Ballard, and Madrona, you could say he runs this town. While Tom Douglas focuses on tourists and media, Stowell has a more subtle approach. His restaurants are “designed to be cozy neighborhood bistros. They offer a menu that’s neither fussy nor expensive, service that’s courteous, ambiance that’s warm and welcoming.” And although the two are compared a lot, they’re in separate worlds. Ethan Stowell’s 200-employee empire grosses between $10 million and $15 million a year. Crazy, isn’t it? Read more here.

Watch List: Sbucks’ Reserve Roastery

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Today, Sbucks opened their first Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room on Capitol Hill in all its 15,600 SQFT glory. Reserve happens to be their highest-end coffee, only available in 800 out of 21,000 stores globally. Before it was roasted in Kent, now it happens right here and is the only coffee served… with eight different brewing methods.

Besides coffee and roasting, it’s also part pilot project, pizza restaurant, museum, and obviously, a new tourist attraction. Tom Douglas, (the man, the myth, the legend,) is making some serious moves lately – Dahlia Bakery is in charge of all the sweets, sandwiches, and salads here and Serious Pie will be served for lunch and dinner. Oh, and there’s a full cocktail bar. What doesn’t this place have? Apparently you can also rent the lower space for parties and weddings. In the next five years they’re looking to open 100 more of these new Reserve-only cafes all over the globe.

Read more about it at the Met.

Watch List: Shiro Kashiba’s Triumphant Return

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Everyone stop what you’re doing and take a moment to appreciate the fact that Shiro Kashiba has turned his back to retirement and is headed towards Pike Place Market for a new sushi restaurant! Recently the Pike Place Market Historical Commission unanimously approved plans for his restaurant located at 86 Pine. The sushi restaurant is set to open by summer 2015 if all goes to plan (which we sincerely hope does).

You might be wondering, what’s better than Shiro’s sushi? Nothing, that’s what.