Ernest Loves Agnes Now Open

(Capitol Hill, WA) Guild Seattle is proud to announce a new chapter with the opening of its newest establishment; Ernest Loves Agnes on the corner of 19th Ave. and Mercer in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. While executed by Guild Seattle, this project is a departure for the group. With the support of business partner and 3rd Guild Seattle member David Meinert, this project finds Jason Lajeunesse and Joey Burgess at the creative and operational helm. “We have been laboring over this one for 6 months, it’s certainly become a bit of a passion project at this point! That being said we feel confident that the space will appeal to anyone with an eye for detail and an appetite for great food“ said Lajeunesse.

The restaurant opened to the public on Wednesday, September 23rd. An Italian Kitchen, Bar and Pizzeria, Ernest Loves Agnes serves delicious hand-made pizzas, pastas with seasonal sides and entrees accompanied by an always rotating cocktail and wine menu.

Hours of operation:
Weekdays- 3pm-1am.
Weekend Brunch- 8am to 3pm.
Weekend Dinner- 4pm-11pm, with Pizza and Bar closing at 2am.
Ernest Loves Agnes is located at 600 and 602 19th Ave. E and at www.ernestlovesagnes.com.

The Name
According to Burgess, “The name ‘Ernest Loves Agnes’ comes from Ernest Hemingway’ real life story of falling in love in Italy.” Ernest and Agnes met in a Red Cross hospital in Milan in 1918. A young 19-year-old wounded by shrapnel and machine-gun fire after six days in a field canteen, Ernest was ready for adventure and romance; his American nurse Agnes, vivacious at 26, made the perfect crush. Red Cross nurses were forbidden to date patients, but Agnes and Ernest managed love notes, dinners and possibly more. “While their romance was short lived,” says Burgess, “they never forgot each other. We feel that the bittersweet romance of Ernest falling in love with Agnes creates a great roadmap and story for our restaurant and bar.”

The Interior
The attention to detail in the new space is evident. From images taken from Hemingway’s residence, to his letters lining the walls of the restroom- each space was thoughtfully designed. “In regard to the design aesthetic, I wanted to respect the natural character of the space while bringing some modern elements into play for period color. I wanted a distinctly masculine room to contrast the feminine room representing Ernest And Agnes. Additionally I wanted the photo collaboration with Connie Aramaki (aka Coco Photo) to be a centerpiece of the space. I wanted big beautiful graphic images to contrast the warm wood tones of the furniture and built in wood work. The fit and finish of the bar and natural wood work were inspired by a select few bars in Buenos Aires I’ve been fortunate enough to visit,” says Restaurant Partner and Project Designer Jason Lajeunesse.

The Food
Led by Chef Mac Jarvis and Sous Chef Tia Hawley- Ernest Loves Agnes’ menu is comprised of carefully-crafted chef-driven offerings, which are seasonal and locally sourced whenever possible. “Mac and Tia bring an exciting new creative energy to our company” says Joey Burgess, of Guild Seattle. “They are not afraid to take risks in the kitchen, but also knows when to just make simple, good food.” Jarvis possesses nearly a decade of experience in the restaurant industry- including time in the kitchens of Smith, Coastal Kitchen, Lola and Maui’s Italian restaurant Capische. Tia has previously worked at La Spiga, Altstadt and Skillet.

“We spent a great deal of time getting the menu just right. That included regional road trips, time in New York City and a lot of trial and error at home” says Lajeunesse of Guild Seattle. “This time lead to great dinners with friends, like esteemed pizza maker Anthony Falco of Roberta’s in Brooklyn. From these dinners came extensive workshops, which lead to pizzas that range from classic to creative on our signature menu. We will offer a build your own pizza menu as well. We are firm believers in the philosophy that pizza should be fun, and you should be able to make the pie you want” Ernest Love Agnes’ signatures are topped with beautiful Italian cheeses, locally-sourced ingredients that range from the savory like the Kale Pie– Tuscan Kale, Mama Lils, Maitake Bits and reach as far as options like the slightly sweet Peach Pie that is topped with braised peaches and chipollini onions, seasoned ricotta and 12 year aged balsamic vinegar. Brunch at a glance includes a Prosciutto Cotto Benedict, A Dutch Babie, a Smoked Duck and Lentil Salad with Watercress and a poached egg, just to name a few. To view the complete menu click here.

The Drinks

Much careful thought was put into the Ernest Loves Agnes Drink menu. Highlights include an extensive selection of imported beers (with options from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Poland), a diverse wine list that offers a number of Italian wines, and craft cocktails including the house favorite the Hemingway Daquiri, and Death in the Afternoon, a cocktail created by Mr. Hemingway himself. There is also a large variety of gins, vodkas, whiskey/ryes, apertifs and digestifs. The bar will be open during all restaurant hours. To view the complete drink menu click here.

Written by Charles

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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