Brimmer & Heeltap has been elevating neighborhood dining in Seattle to a new plane since spring of 2014. (I’m not sure what took us so long to get here, but this is truly a case of better late than never!). Nestled on a corner in east Ballard (technically the “West Woodland” neighborhood), Brimmer & Heeltap took a former IGA grocery store building and created a small urban nirvana with whitewashed interiors reminiscent of Martha’s Vineyard and a secret courtyard lush with fantastic landscaping, fresh herbs growing in pots, and Tivoli lights dangling from the trees.
However stunning the surroundings, the food refuses to be outdone. Chef Mike Whisenhunt (formerly of Joule and Revel) creates amazing dishes combining ingredients in a seemingly whimsical, yet complex way. Chad and I ordered a few small plates so we could sample many things on the menu. Grilled octopus with wax beans, cherry relish, and cashew butter was a hit. My favorites were the duck fried rice (it sounds simple, but the berbere spice and pickled chilies gave it great depth!)
and the rice cakes with green curry, pea vines, and pistachio, which reminded me of one of my favorite dishes at Joule.
For dessert, we instantly fell in love with the almond panna cotta with blueberry caramel, rice crisp and candied egg yolk.
The service was excellent on all levels. Proprietress Jen Doak (formerly of Tilth and Agrodolce) leads the charge in making all customers feel welcome.
From the bartender to our waitress to other servers passing by who stopped to refill our drinks, we did not once feel overlooked despite the crowds that kept coming in. While we sat inside, those who had been enjoying the summer weather in the courtyard, were quickly brought warm blankets when the wind picked up and the weather turned cold.
After our meal, we ventured into the courtyard to take a peek at this oasis. In addition to the tables spotted around the courtyard, there is a private back room with a modern farm look to it.
And a fire pit area that looked inviting!
We are already planning our next trip back to this gem. If you need a great idea for a special night out, a place to take friends in from out of town or just a quiet courtyard to enjoy a cocktail, incredible service, food and ambiance, this is your place.
Location: 425 NW Market Street, Seattle
Hours of Operation: Friday & Saturday 5 pm – midnight | Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 5 pm – 10 pm | Closed Tuesday
No products or services were provided in exchange for this review.