190 Sunset: Pacific Northwest casual and elegant | Art & Appetite

By James Spangler | Sep 17, 2016
Courtesy of: James Spangler Halibut with potatoes at 190 Sunset in Edmonds.
190 Sunset

Rating: 4.8 out 5
Where: 190 Sunset Ave. S, Edmonds
Entree price range: $14-$39
Info: 425-329-3669, www.190sunset.com

One of owner Tom Budinick’s goals for his latest restaurant is to create a fine dining establishment. One that is just as comfortable for someone moored at the waterfront who wants to hop off their boat for a quick bite as for those heading to the Edmonds Center for the Arts for an evening at the symphony.

Casual and elegant.

Budinick has been in the restaurant business for decades. First with Ward Enterprises (think El Gaucho and 13 Coins), later with Restaurants Unlimited (think Scott’s, Palomino, Cutter’s and Palisades).

After many years in the Midwest working in the industry, Budinick is home.

190 Sunset may be the crowning achievement of the recent and amazing transformation of the old antique mall, formerly the Safeway building.

Nestled between Brigid’s Bottleshop and Scratch Distillery, just a few steps from Cascadia Art Museum, this 220-seat restaurant succeeds in joining casual with elegant and ties them up with a nice bow.

The kitchen’s exterior is a stunning display of sparkling stainless steel. The bar is attractive and spacious – pulsing lighted glass panels cast cool light from the bar and modern art adorns the walls. The vast outdoor seating area is likely to become a favorite spot to relax when the weather cooperates.

A restaurant this size requires a small army to run it.

Budinick has picked Austin Ishida as director of operations. Ishida has an impressive resume, as well. He’s worked for Consolidated Restaurants (think Elliott's Oyster House, Metropolitan Grill), before being recruited to manage for the Cheesecake Factory chain both here and overseas.

The front of the house was running like a well-oiled machine just one week into its opening Sept. 8.

For executive chef Clive Gomez, who joins the team after four years in that position at Toulouse Petit on lower Queen Anne, 190 Sunset represents an exciting new opportunity. Besides his culinary training, Gomez has gained experience at Ray's Boathouse and the Metropolitan Grill, among other restaurants.

I asked him to share a couple of his favorites on the menu.

Without hesitating, he said the meatloaf and the wings. When he saw the surprise on my face, he added, “And pretty much any of the seafood items.”

Gomez will be switching up the menu four times a year to keep things fresh and to follow the seasons. That is both wonderful news and very ambitious. There will be a strong concentration on the Pacific Northwest and farm-to-table.

I didn't see the meatloaf or the wings on the menu on the evening we visited (I'm guessing they’ll appear on the next one), so I ordered the halibut.

Budinick had mentioned that one of the restaurant’s concepts was “ simple ingredients, simply prepared.” That described my halibut to a T. A nice-sized slab, lightly seasoned and cooked to perfection.

I ordered mine with the mashed potatoes, which made the presentation suffer a little bit. White and white on a white plate, but delicious nonetheless. I think I might have thrown in a couple of asparagus spears just for color.

We arrived late, which I would recommend. I applaud them for remaining open until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until midnight on weekends.

Night owls, rejoice!

What’s more, happy-hour prices are from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to close – this should please the party people out there.

190 Sunset is a welcome addition to the Edmonds restaurant scene. Yet another great choice in a town with more than our fair share of amazing places to eat. Get down there now, before everyone in town discovers it.

James Spangler is the owner of Spangler Book Exchange in Edmonds and an aficionado of all things art and appetite. Do you know of a Snohomish County restaurant, art gallery or theatrical show worthy of a review? Call him at 206-795-0128 or email him at jamessspangler@gmail.com.


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