The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is looking for public input to improve the Phinney Farmers Market, which ends its 2010 run Oct. 1.

The alliance surveyed more than 200 shoppers at the Phinney Farmers Market Sept. 24 to find out how they can improve the market shopping experience and create a healthier market.

The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is hoping to reach more residents through an electronic survey. Click here to take the survey.

The Phinney Farmers Market is held in the lower parking lot of the Phinney Neighborhood Center, located at Northwest 67th Street and Phinney Avenue North. Its final day of operation in 2010 is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 1. It will open again in the spring.

Help improve the Phinney Farmers Market
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Joe Mabel

The Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance is asking residents to take an online survey to improve the Phinney Farmers Market.

Marco D’Ambrosio left the wine industry to go into the gelato business. But, he insists that his new investment in a quintessential Italian dessert is not all that different from his previous career with wine.

“I consider myself to have always worked in the fine food industry because wine, for me, is a food product; it’s not an alcoholic beverage," said the owner of D'Ambrosio Gelato on Ballard Avenue. "That’s what it’s considered in Europe. And, gelato at this level is a fine food as well. So I didn’t really move much.”

D’Ambrosio moved to Seattle nearly six years ago to work in the wine industry but later decided to go into business with his father, who had spent years making gelato in Italy. After six months of remodeling a small shop space in Ballard, D’Amrbosio’s gelateria opened in May.

Photo credit: 
Celina Kareiva

Marco D'Ambrosio stands at the entrance of his gelato shop an hour before it opens.

June 27 through August 29

Tiffany Silver-Brace is the motivating force behind a brand new market in West Seattle, The Highland Park Sunday Market.

The first vendors will offer fresh eggs (laid by Highland Park hens), fresh sourdough bread and sourdough starter, fresh herbs, handmade clothing, jewelry, pillows, napkins, t-shirts, onesies, photographic prints and note cards, hand-etched pint glasses, paintings, hand-dyed yarn and roving, and cat toys.

Silver-Brace said, "I am waiting to hear from some local farmers that are very interested, as well as a couple of local charities selling plants and starts to raise funds for their causes."

Future vendors will offer soaps and oils, pickles, kettle corn, fresh dips and spreads and hand-blown glass.

In the spirit of keeping things local all of the vendors are West Seattle residents.


By Sally Clark, Seattle City Council

Ed. Note: This article originally appeared in Sally Clark's newsletter "Seattle View."

Do you have a favorite taco truck? Have you tried a sandwich from the roving pig truck? Have you tracked down Skillet? Did you vote for Marination Mobile when it won the title "Best Food Cart in America?"

Some people in Seattle are still nervous about lunch or dinner from a mobile van, but more and more of us are venturing out to try street food.

Mobile food vendors are big business in cities all over the United States, and Seattle's scene is no slouch despite archaic rules for what you can sell on the sidewalk.

I am part of work underway to modernize our city rules and our city/county health codes to better reflect the boom in creative street food.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Mobile food vendor El Camión opened earlier this month in the Mud Bay parking lot off 15th Avenue Northwest. Councilmember Sally Clark is looking at revising city rules to allow for more creative street food.

The first Spoke and Food event will combine bicycling and dining to raise funds for Solid Ground's Lettuce Link program.

The main goals of Spoke and Food, which takes place on June 29, are to motivate the community to use bicycles as they dine out and to improve access to healthy food fro all by supporting Lettuce Link, an innovative food and gardening program started in 1988, according to a Spoke and Food press release.

Lettuce Link creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle.

Residents can bike to any of the following Ballard-area restaurants June 29, and they will donate 15 percent to 20 percent of their proceeds to Lettuce Link.

  • Dad Watsons
  • The Stepping Stone
  • Snoose Junction Pizzeria
  • Naked City Brewery & Tap House

Other participating restaurants around the city include The Scarlet Tree, Montlake Alehouse, Fiddler’s Inn, Muleadys Irish Pub and Cantinetta Restaurant.


Sunset Hill's Ristorante Picolinos debuted its new 25-foot-tall, patio-covering tent, the first of its kind in Seattle, May 11.

Picolinos owner Tom Bailiff said that kind of tent has not been done before in the city, and Teatro Zinzanni has the only other structure that comes close to it.

Bailiff said the uniqueness of the tent, which covers the backyard garden, dining area and pizza oven for the restaurant located at 6415 32nd Ave. N.W., made the city very cautious, leading to a year-long permitting process.

The green-and-white stripped tent is anchored by a 30-foot-pole. Bailiff said despite its size, the tent can be opened and closed by him and two bus boys and is easy to take down to repair and clean.

He said the climate in Seattle is good but it rains too much, and a series of small table umbrellas would not cut it.

The tent has a height that umbrellas can't match and can withstand hurricane-force winds, Bailiff said.

He said customers have mostly been very happy with the new tent, and he has several parties already scheduled to eat under it.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Ristorante Picolinos unfurled its unique new tent May 11 on Sunset Hill.

On April 30 Café Revò unveiled its new spring menu which includes fresh fish, and risottos and other items to go with fresh vegetables in season. The restaurant, just south of the West Seattle Bridge on Avalon Way, has been open for 14 months.

“We still have all of our old favorites specific to Revò, in Northern Italy where my family is from,” said owner Sofia Zadra Goff. “And my husband, Sean, who opened the restaurant, all of his recipes are still on the menu, too. Half the menu has new items on it. The fresh halibut is in season now and is very Italian.”

As many Revò fans and other area residents know, Sofia’s husband Sean Goff passed away last September 17 at age 43. He was stricken with a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. There was an enormous outpouring of warmth for the beloved chef from the community.

"We are definitely carrying on with what my husband and I originally wanted for the restaurant,” Sofia said. “He got very sick just three months after we opened. He realized his dream before he died, the legacy of what we created together. The tables, drywall we laid, everything in this space we did together so I will always have that, and my children will too.”

 Café Revò's owner says she's back on track
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Café Revò owner Sofia Zadra Goff says she's back on track, and offers a new spring menu at her restaurant, 2940 Southwest Avalon Way.

Overcast skies and a slight drizzle May 1 didn't keep Ballardites from flocking to the first-ever Ballard Urban Picnic, or BURP, where lines for some of the premiere street food vendors in the city were occasionally 40 people deep.

The Ballard Chamber of Commerce created BURP, which featured mobile food vendors, a beer garden, live music, inflatable bouncers, community booths and more, as a way to bring more community activity to Ballard Commons Park.

"We all thought we had this great park and it doesn't get as much use as it could," said Beth Miller, Ballard Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Miller said she thought this would be a small event that would be easier to organize than the multiple-day Seafood Fest.

While it was still easier than Seafood Fest, it was not easy, she said. They started out with an idea to have food vendors in the park for a day, then decided they needed entertainment, then something for children and all of a sudden there was a lot of organizing to do, she said.

Miller said the turnout at the event was great, especially because weather on May 1 is always a toss up.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Hungry Ballardites line up at one of two Dante's Inferno Dog carts at the first-ever Ballard Urban Picnic May 1. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS.

Do you like Chocolate? You're going to love this

Chef Colleen Steele, award winning chocolatier is the star of Dessert Extravaganza! an event set for Sunday April, 25 at Bridge Park Retirement Community 3204 S.W. Morgan Street.

Steele, who trained in Europe, is the Head Chef at Bridge Park and is preparing an incredible array of dessert treats for the event.
"We will have used 166 pounds of Callebaut Dark Chocolate, 33 pounds of white chocolate, 360 handmade praline cups, 250 patechoux and more," Steele said.

All the ingredients come from Switzerland, from Albert Uster.

"We're going to be doing chocolates with 'transfer sheets'," Steele continued which are food grade images that can be transferred from a sheet to the outside of chocolates to give them any appearance the artist chooses. Many are wildly colorful, others are subtle sophisticated patterns. "The chocolate has to be perfectly tempered," she said, "and we've got all the avant garde patterns." Some will be decorated with 24k gold leaf, which is edible. "Gold is actually good for arthritis," Steele said. These special chocolates will be used for a "Golden Ticket" chocolate that will be hidden around the room. Those that find them will win a special prize.

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Colleen Steele is a european trained chef and chocolatier whose artistic abilities have won her awards. She is preparing a Dessert Extravaganza at the Bridge Park Retirement Community on Sunday April 25th. Her sister Shannon Steele came to help her get ready for the event.

Big Ballard Imperial IPA released today

In a tribute to its 1982 establishment in Ballard, Redhook Ale Brewery will host a release party for its Big Ballard Imperial IPA from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on April 22 at The Old Pequliar.

The Ballard News-Tribune was invited to learn about and sample the new beer April 21 in preparation for the official release.

The April 22 party, which is open to the public, will provide IPA lovers with some of the first sips of Redhook’s new imperial IPA.

The Big Ballard Imperial IPA release party will feature happy hour pricing, live music and prize give-aways, including a grand prize of a $1,000 Redhook Ale Brewery Gift Certificate.

For residents unable to attend the release party, Big Ballard Imperial IPA will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draught in the area beginning in late April.

The Old Pequliar is located at 1722 N.W. Market St.

Big Ballard PR Photo.jpg
See video
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Redhook Ale brewers discuss the merits of Big Ballard Imperial IPA at a pre-release party April 21.

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