After jumping ship from Oceanaire last August, chef Kevin Davis is trying to reel in whole new set of customers.
He and his wife Terresa recently opened Steelhead Diner in Pike Place Market.
"We always secretly desired to own our own restaurant, but we never really thought it was going to happen," says Kevin, who spent five years at Oceanaire, where he worked with lots of different species of fish.
"But you know, deep down inside there was always a tinge of guilt about that. Knowing how precious our resources are and knowing how limited they are, I always knew deep down inside it wasn't for me."
The couple turned the old Vivanda spot into an upscale diner, putting a unique spin on classics. Caviar pie, beef short ribs or veggie meatloaf, anyone?
"Basically, it's like a vegetable terrine with layers of grilled vegetables and parmasean cheese and a nice thick reduced tomato sauce," says Kevin.
The menu is comprised of dishes Kevin's been cooking all his life, starting with the 1984 Worlds Fair where he dished up pasta in the Italian Village.
"When you've been cooking for awhile, like I have, you just keep a collection of all those dishes and one day, if you're lucky, you open up a restaurant and you put all those dishes on the menu. And that's what my menu is," he laughs.
An avid fly-fisherman, Kevin made sure to intertwine his love for the sport in his new place, but surprisingly, there are no pictures of fish anywhere to be found.
"We advocate preserving steelhead, and that's why we chose not to use fish imagery in our restaurant."
He says the biggest difference in owning his own place is the inner peace he feels when he goes to bed at night.
"I know that every amount of effort I put into it and everything I do, every smile I put on every face, I know it's going to come back to this business and help to make it strong for many years to come."
Places Kevin and Terresa like to Go Eat!: Palace Kitchen, Lola, Serious Pie
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