Happy Hour at Lecosho
Matt’s in the Market (MITM) has been one of my favorite places from the time I discovered the tiny space on the 2nd floor of the Corner Market – one of the Pike Place Market buildings. For those of you thinking “but it’s not the same now as it was then!”, you are completely right. However… the secret to my long-term love is that with all the changes that MITM has gone through there remains a consistent feel to the place and quality to the food. When the restaurant doubled in size, it somehow maintained its quaint, hidden-gem charm. When Matt Janke, the original owner, brought on partners and sold his place he stayed on to ensure a smooth transition with lots of training. Much of his original concept and idea transitioned to the current owners of MITM.
This post is not about MITM but it is about Matt – Matt Janke and his new place, Lecosho. Matt’s concept at Lecosho seems slightly different from MITM. It might be that this new space feels different. The original MITM was small and crowded. When it expanded a couple of years ago, it kept that cozy character but with room to move around. Lecosho is roomier still, yet it feels homey. Perhaps that’s because there are already a number of regular customers, many who haunt other Pike Place Market locations, so there’s an instant feeling of friendliness when you walk in. With a true bar area Lecosho has a community meeting place, something MITM never had. Lecosho represents the evolution of Matt’s style and with his past success there’s a certain level of comfort in this new place. Lecosho feels like a place I know, yet presented some nice surprises.
Lecosho has been open a few months now and is still a relative newcomer, although the staff seems seasoned. You may recognize some of them from other tried-and-true locations from around town. I was happy to see a friend, formerly from a popular Capitol Hill location, behind the bar.
Lecosho is located on the landing level of Harbor Steps in the site of a former Japanese restaurant. There’s a long bar on one side of the room with the kitchen close by. Many of the dining room tables line the windows overlooking the steps. On this evening we were in for Happy Hour (sample menu). We found a couple of spots at the bar and then settled in to negotiate our menu choices. We decided on the duck and rabbit pate and the spaetzle. The spaetzle was one of the surprises for me. It seemed like something new, fun and when done right is delicious, comfort food.
Our pate portion was very generous, even with two of us splitting the order. Pickled radishes provided a nice and unexpected twist to the accompaniments. Very rich, with great texture. The mustard and radishes cut the richness so that each bite was as delicious as the first.
We were a little hesitant to order the spaetzle since it’s something that once you’ve had a good version, you can’t accept anything else. We had no need to worry, at all. The tiny dumplings were soft and light, wrapped in a decadent coating of butter and finished with fragrant sage and salty Pecorino Romano. It was so good I really didn’t want to share it, but I did.
I found the Happy Hour very enjoyable. The combination of the great food and warm, friendly environment can’t be beat. I’d love to introduce friends to Lecosho and would also drop by on my own. The dinner menu looks amazing, too. And they are open for lunch. So many options! I might need to try them all.
89 University Street
On Harbor Steps