RN74 Seattle Embraces Bright Future with New Executive Chef Thomas Griese

Seasoned Mina Group Chef Thomas Griese takes helm, reinvigorates French offerings at Michael Mina’s Northwest flagship

With a new executive chef, reinvigorated French menu, and upcoming focus on dinner service and happy hour, the team at RN74 Seattle is charged with excitement.

Chef-Restaurateur Michael Mina has appointed one of MINA Group’s best and brightest chefs, Thomas Griese, to serve as the new executive chef at RN74 Seattle. Griese, who has cooked in Mina restaurants in Miami, San Francisco and Chicago, will oversee day-to-day culinary operations at RN74 Seattle, working alongside another MINA Group star, General Manager Ashley Keeney and the existing veteran team.

Griese came to the MINA Group by way of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world including Bouchon Las Vegas, The French Laundry, Andre’s, Alize and Le Cirque. He’s learned from such renowned chefs as Thomas Keller and Andre Rochat. The Lafayette, Indiana native is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University.

“Thomas has dedicated more than a decade to working within all facets of French cuisine, and he loves the creative license of using local, seasonal ingredients for memorable meals and ultimately, outstanding guest experiences,” said Michael Mina. “His experience speaks for itself and we’re thrilled to have him elevate RN74 Seattle even more with his positive energy and endless imagination.”

Griese’s tenure with MINA Group began in 2013, when he was appointed Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed Michael Mina 74 in Miami. A fan of Chef Mina’s philosophies on flavor balance and hospitality, he worked closely with Mina on the restaurant’s sophisticated bistro-style menu.  He later served as an independent culinary consultant in Las Vegas and delved deeply into his French bistro expertise as part of the opening team of Mina’s Margeaux Brasserie in Chicago, which debuted this spring.  Hand-selected by Mina in July to serve as interim Executive Chef at RN74 Seattle, Griese quickly meshed with the team and was instantly smitten with Seattle (whose food scene he says reminds him of San Francisco). Endeared to the team, Mina invited him to stay permanently.

“From my first experience working with Chef Michael Mina, I’ve had the utmost respect for his in-the-trenches work ethic and his approaches to flavor and the customer experience: presentation, how a guest eats, every detail of hospitality,” Griese said. “It’s a dream come true to accentuate his vision for RN74 Seattle while working with him to elevate the cuisine to a true French Brasserie. I also get to live in this vibrant city and work with such great people and local ingredients in the process.”

Already Griese has evolved dinner offerings with additions of hors d’oeuvres such as Truffle Baguette (with warm camembert), Pike’s Heirloom Tomato Salad, and Escargot A La Bordelaise; main courses (Plats Principaux) of Neah Bay Black Cod Ail NoirAlaskan Halibut Bouillabaisse; and sides such as Mushroom & Fennel Fricassee, as well as Truffled Macaroni & Cheese. Griese will continue to offer an inspired tasting menu at dinner, and he’s also begun “leavening” the restaurant’s pasty program.

Happy hour and dinner service will become the focus for RN74 after Sept. 8, which will be the last day for guests to enjoy a la carte lunch. The restaurant will then move to happy hour and regular dinner service only (still welcoming group dining and private events during the afternoons). The newly appointed chef looks forward to focusing his daytime hours on the involved preparations that are hallmarks of French cooking.

To keep current with news, events and specials at RN74 Seattle including happy hours and wine dinners, please visit RN74 Seattle News to join the email list.

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RN74, named after Route National 74, the major thoroughfare passing through the heart of France’s Burgundy region, is a modern wine bar and restaurant by Michael Mina, located in the Joshua Green Building (4th and Pike) in downtown Seattle.  RN74 features global interpretations of American and French cuisine; with an extensive wine list highlighting the Burgundy region of France, as well as featuring boutique wine producers from Washington and Oregon. The food at RN74 aims to be a perfect complement to the wines: creative, modern and punctuated with seasonal, fresh ingredients and bold flavors, all executed with an original twist. Seasonal highlights include house aged Double R Ranch steaks, vegetables from King’s Garden organic farm and pristine Puget Sound seafood. RN74 offers more than 40 wines by the glass and an extensive collection of half bottles, hand-selected by sommelier Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen. The list showcases France’s Burgundy region alongside boutique from Washington, Oregon and the rest of the world.  The bar program offers a variety of seasonal and signature cocktails that highlight premium spirits, bitters, juices and produce. RN74 also offers one of Seattle’s best happy hours. Located at 1433 Fourth Ave. at Pike Street; phone 206-456-7474. For more information, please visit RN74 Seattle. 

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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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