Aerlume’s ambitions

The newest restaurant in the Fire & Vine portfolio (half a dozen top restaurants & resort properties ) is about to open just north of the Pike Place Market. It’s called Aerlume, and it’s stunning. 

The name may take a moment of getting used to. Pronounced like Heirloom, its watchwords are Honor, Revel, Gather, Preserve. Gather refers to the harvest, obviously; Honor refers to the kitchen’s respect for ingredients; Preserve has to do with local connections and partnerships; and Revel refers to Aerlume’s attractive private dining spaces that accommodate up to 250 guests.

Clockwise from top right: Chef Jason Wilson in the kitchen at Aerlume. Roasted beet salad. Curried cauliflower appetizer. Gravlax

It’s an auspicious moment for the vast new space. Eight blocks away from the water, there’s a brand new, 1,400-room Hyatt Regency to take advantage of the upgrades to the Washington State Convention Center. What Aerlume offers is an unbeatable westward view across the soon-to-disappear Highway 99 viaduct.

We’ve been getting a good run of harvest-related restaurant names lately (Harvest Vine, Harvest Beat, Heartwood Provisions, etc. The connection here is no different: the “pure flavors” and “seasonal bounty” of the Pacific Northwest. It might be a bit of a reach to consider a brand new restaurant an “heirloom,” but, hey, it’s their candy store and they can call it what they want.

They’ve been inviting food writers over for dinner to test drive the new menu; I enjoyed almost everything, but one in particular: the roasted cauliflower in a red curry yogurt with sweet grapes and salty capers.

On the craft cocktail list is a Maker’s Mark Private Reserve Manhattan that’ll set you back $24, but a regular sangria is a more manageable $10. 

Opening day is December 26th.