Located in the heart of Alki Beach in West Seattle, Driftwood is the city’s hottest new restaurant–and for good reason. Having just opened at the beginning of January, Driftwood is a new restaurant project by husband-and-wife team Dan and Jackie Mallahan that celebrates the food ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest and offers a hyper-seasonal menu.
Executive Chef Dan Mallahan aims to showcase Washington’s bountiful connection from mountain to sound, and all the wonderful ingredients that this region has to offer. Focused on regional community partnerships, Chef Mallahan has brought eating local to new heights, partnering with farmers in the Deschutes, Green and Snohomish River valleys, as well as the Vashon and the San Juan islands to grow fresh seasonal ingredients exclusively for the restaurant.
Working closely with tribal members of the Quinault and Makah tribes allows Chef Mallahan to source some of the best fish in the world, and links Washington’s rich tribal fishing heritage to his kitchen. Driftwood Seattle also has an exceptional oyster and shellfish program. The oysters are some of the freshest you’ll ever have, and the chanterelle mignonette that they come with is a delight.
Driftwood Seattle’s menu features a wide variety of shared plates such as the roasted delicata squash with cider-poached quince, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds; Taylor Shellfish steamers with manila clams, glazed pork belly and salted apple butter; and roasted winter beets with white truffle, labneh and black garlic. The house pull-apart rolls with roasted chanterelle butter are a must, and they are perfect for sopping up any extra sauce.
If you’re coming hungry, make sure to order at least one of the show-stopping mains. The butcher’s-cut pork chop with piquillo pepper relish and acorn squash; the wagyu beef with potatoes cacio e pepe and braised greens; and the black cod with charred scallion and black winter truffle relish are all fabulous choices. For those dessert lovers, the dark chocolate torte with peanut butter mousse is to die for. Another favorite is the apple cake with spiced pecans, goat cheese and burnt sugar bourbon gastrique.
Driftwood Seattle’s extensive bar program features fun coastal-themed cocktails that highlight spirits from local distilleries and around the world. They also offer a selection of local and domestic beers, and a substantial local wine list that features crisp whites and bold reds from Washington State.
When walking into Driftwood, you’re immediately greeted with a warm, beachy vibe. Co-founder Jackie Mallahan has designed the space beautifully with soft wood tones and sea colors of aqua and green. The space seats 48, including bar seating and special water-view counter space, and offers additional seasonal outdoor seating for up to 22. The patio will offer semi-private dining for groups of up to 16.
“We’re so excited to be opening a space in West Seattle. We live in the neighborhood and have had a goal to serve this community for quite some time,” says Mallahan. “This restaurant is the culmination of many years of dreaming, planning, and taking time to make sure we get it right.”
Driftwood is open 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday to Monday. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.driftwoodseattle.com.
Photo credit: Stephanie Forrer