Shibumi in Capitol Hill Offers Guests an Authentic Japanese Experience


Capitol Hill has a unique, artistic Japanese restaurant: Shibumi. Acclaimed chef Eric Stapelman, who has created restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, and Santa Fe, brought Shibumi to Seattle in April 2014, and offers small plates in the elegant Kansai style in a warm but spare setting.
SHIBUMI is located on Pine Street, in the heart of Capitol Hill. The space, expertly designed by Suyama Peterson Deguchi Architects, has a minimalistic aesthetic featuring knotted and burnt cedar, walnut, and white ash. The warm lighting, unique ceramics, and collection of museum- quality textiles from Japan highlight the artistic presentation of the dishes. Chef Eric selects only the highest quality meats and produce, including Kurobuta pork belly, Wagyu beef, and heavily marbled Bluefin otoro tuna. Offering classics like oden (braised winter vegetables) and delicate kasujiru soup, he strives to create dishes whose ingredients speak for themselves.

Shibumi’s full bar program includes an impressive portfolio of shochu and Japanese whisky, as well as a list of over 40 handpicked varieties of sake from artisan producers. Our house cocktail list, designed by bar manager Spencer Monroe, highlights Japanese ingredients.

Meet the team:

ERIC STAPELMAN, Chef, has 35 years experience in hospitality and food service. As a chef- owner, he has created seven highly successful restaurants in New York, Santa Fe, Los Angeles and Seattle. He has garnered hundreds of national and international accolades, including Gourmet magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants in America, Frommer’s Top 500 Restaurants Worldwide, a Mobil Four Star Rating, numerous New York Magazine reviews, along with two cover features, and a New York Times Magazine feature centerfold for his early embrace of local, organic produce. His celebrity client list includes Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, and Uma Thurman.

He trained in classical French Cuisine under Chef Richard Price as well as in France, and was educated in Italian cooking in Italy. He also studied Japanese Kaiseki in New York, and has undergone both formal and informal study of cooking techniques in Japan. Now, at the apex of his career, Eric’s passion for Japanese cuisine has inspired the creation of Shibumi.

SAILLA TANOGUCHI, First Cook, was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. A world traveler since childhood, she began playing in the kitchen when she was three years old, inspired by her mother and godmother. As an adult, she moved back to Japan and spent three years at Fuji Mama’s, an established high-end restaurant in Tokyo, training in both service and restaurant management. It was during this time that she had her first exposure to artisan sake and shochu.

Upon returning to the United States, Sailla began her formal kitchen training with Japanese cuisine at Hanasano in Port Townsend, and continued to hone her skills in the high-paced environment at Blue Moose Café. After seven years of restaurant experience, Sailla cemented her commitment and enrolled in the culinary program at the Art Institute of Seattle. At Shibumi, Sailla draws upon her Japanese roots and experiences, as well as her extensive culinary background, to compose artful dishes that are a pleasure to behold as well as to eat.

SPENCER MONROE, Bar Manager, had his introduction to the world of classic cocktails on his 21st birthday, an experience that has influenced the course of his life immensely. After an extensive education in art and graphic design, he found that the office environment did not stimulate his creative side. Following his sincere passion for food and entertaining, Spencer returned to the restaurant industry and has dedicated the past five years of his life to the craft and art of tending bar. His background at Gordon & Biersch and Il Fornaio allowed him the opportunity to delve deeply into craft beer and Old World wines. At EET Bar, he gained valuable education in creating original and cohesive cocktail menus, crafting his own shrubs and infusions, and making use of fresh fruits and herbs.

At Shibumi, Spencer has continued his bar training by delving into Japanese craft beers, artisan sake, and shochu. His creativity is showcased in Shibumi’s house cocktail menu, which highlights shochu and award-winning Japanese whisky, as well as Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, Asian pear, and Japanese cucumber. He values and respects classic cocktail crafting techniques, and especially enjoys creating original cocktails tailored to match Shibumi’s elegant and delicate cuisine.

CHELSEA ROBINSON, Restaurant Manager, had her first restaurant experience while studying abroad in Japan, waitressing in her host father’s udon shop. Upon returning to the United States, she enrolled in culinary arts classes under a well-known local chef, where she began her formal training in both kitchen technique and restaurant management. Her appreciation for fine dining gained depth through work as the sous chef at the Rendevous Inn & Restaurant in Fort Bragg, California. She later returned to Japan for a total of five years, most recently as a Coordinator of International Relations with the JET Programme in Ishikawa Prefecture. There, she continued to hone her knowledge of Japanese cuisine, which she shared through her popular cooking blog aimed at other expatriates, and learned to enjoy sake and Japanese craft beers. She speaks Japanese fluently.

Before stepping into the role of manager, Chelsea began at Shibumi as a server and underwent intensive training in sake and shochu. She especially enjoys instructing her servers, and guiding guests through their meals She is inspired by the dedication of the kitchen team to cultivating an appreciation for simple, traditional Japanese food in Seattle.

Hours of Operation Tuesday-Thursday 5:00-10:00
Friday & Saturday: 5:00-11:00
Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday, 5:00-6:30

Address: 1222 A E. Pine St., Seattle, WA 98122 Phone Number: (206) 397-4552

Parking is available in the building. Entrance on 13th Avenue.
In consideration for all of our patrons and their dining experience, we ask that our guests minimize or refrain from the use of scented body products.

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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