Meet Jeremy Hardy
The man not only behind Coastal Kitchen, but the 5 Spot, Jitterbug, Atlas Foods, the Hi-Life, Mioposto and Endolyne Joe’s.
The Boston native fell in love with the camaraderie, gratification, speed, and urgency of the food and beverage industry while washing dishes at the age of 14. After becoming a history major, he found jobs planting trees and bartending before opening up his first restaurant in 1988, the Beeliner Diner, followed by the Coastal Kitchen in 1993.
The Rotating Menu
If you’ve lived in Seattle, you know that we have about three seasons- wet, wetter and sunny. Which is why you’ll see the menu change 3 times a year, reflecting cuisines from coastal regions. In the past, Coastal Kitchen’s menu has spanned Brazil, Sicily, the Bay of Bengal, and Southeast Asia to name a few. They rarely return to a region, but when they do, the menu is completely re-done. They’re currently on their 97th menu featuring Morocco, but keep an eye out for Hawaiian eats coming up this summer, along with their millennial (100th) menu (!!!) during the summer of 2016.
Once a region is chosen, Jeremy and his hardworking staff go through a three-month process of reading literature, researching migratory patterns, and learning more about native ingredients. After the menu has been created, the entire staff attends a tasting, offers their input, and makes changes accordingly.
Then there’s the oyster bar. Consisting of at least 7 varietals, depending on what’s available on a day-to-day basis. Coastal Kitchen also has a seasonal section on the menu that changes weekly as ingredients become available (think snap peas, berries, etc.).
If you’ve visited in the past, you’ll also notice that the walls are adorned with art that corresponds to the menu, and the potty humor changes as well… You’ll have to check that out in person. Just head over to the restroom and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Jeremy follows the Monterey Bay fishing guidelines to make sure that they select seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that have minimal impact on the environment.
SS: What was your original vision for the restaurant?
JH: We wanted big flavor, vibrant food, a worldly menu. We started off with a southeast focus- the seaborne south. It wasn’t until 2004 that we really started focusing the menu on seafood.
SS: What has been your favorite region of all time?
JH: You know how you see a movie, and you think, ”That’s my favorite movie!” Then you see another, and think, “THAT’S my favorite movie.” Well that’s how I feel about the food. [Jeremy paused and thought long and hard] Okay, it would probably have to be the Amalfi coast [Italy]- because of the sea urchin.
SS: And a favorite from the current menu?
JH: From the current menu, it would have to be the Tagine D’Agneau. The lamb just falls off the bone, but the Pistache Sole Croûte comes in as a close second.
JH: Caffe Luna paired with the chocolate torte. That one was easy!
Blunch happens seven days a week until 3pm, the oyster bar is available from 3pm- midnight, dinner from 5pm- 10pm and happy hour (mon- fri) from 3pm-6pm and again from 10pm- midnight.
If you need an excuse to take your palate on a food journey, Coastal Kitchen also participates in Seattle Restaurant Week (October 19-30, 2014). Make sure you stop by if you haven’t already! For a closer look at their hours and menu, visit >> http://coastalkitchenseattle.com