Cortina, the highly anticipated new Italian restaurant from Angela and Ethan Stowell opens today. Located at the base of the Two Union Tower in Two Union Square, Cortina is a gorgeous 7000 square foot space, designed by Heliotrope Architects.
Cortina is urban, contemporary, and comfortable with an impressive 60-foot bar as the focal point of the restaurant. The bar area has seating for 42 at tall banquets along the windows, plus 32 seats at the bar, and a lounge area with modern light gray and dark gray couches and a stunning glass pendant chandelier.
The 60-seat dining room is welcoming with a slated oak ceiling, white walls, wide-plank oak floors, earth tone upholstered banquets, and contemporary lighting. Hidden beyond the dining room is a private space that can accommodate up to 40 guests for special events, presentations, and meetings.
The dinner menu offers a robust selection of starters, perfect for sharing, as well as pasta, pizza, meat, fish, salads, and a swoon worthy shellfish tower that includes king crab, Dungeness crab, lobster, two kinds of oysters, and prawns.
Starters include Smoked Lobster Bruschetta with pickled onion and chive, Grilled Octopus with three bean salad and nduja vinaigrette, Burrata with charred rapini, Calabrian chili, and fried garlic, Fried Duck Egg with wild mushrooms and ramps, Beef Tartare with oyster vinaigrette, horseradish, and parsley, and Spring Carrots with honey and walnut.
Salads include Roasted Beets with Dungeness crab, avocado mousse, frisee, and radish, and a Treviso Caesar.
Pizza options include Parma with Prosciutto di Parma, tomato, mozzarella, and arugula, Staple and Fancy with pepperoni, pineapple, jalapeño, tomato, and mozzarella, and Fungo with crimini mushroom and truffle cheese.
Pastas include Spaghetti Carbonara with pancetta, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, and egg yolk, Pappardelle with ragu, tomato, chili, and oregano, Potato Gnocchi with pork cheek, fava bean, and Pecorino Romano, and Linguine Nero with spicy lobster, nduja, chili, garlic, and pangrattato.
Main dishes include a New York Strip with Pommes frites, bone marrow, and salsa verde—with the option to add half a grilled lobster, Double Cut Pork Chop with escarole, golden raisin, hazelnut, and pangrattato, Alaska Halibut with summer truffle, ramp, potato, and Crème Fraîche, and Burger Frites with Natural beef, Beecher’s dulcet cheese, bacon, lettuce, red onion, special sauce, and potato bun.
The lunch menu is a condensed version of the dinner menu with a few more salad options like Seared Albacore Tuna with gem lettuce, citrus, piquillo pepper, Taggiasca olive, Macron almond, and creamy citronette, and a Cobb Salad with choice of grilled chicken breast or hanger steak and avocado, bacon, tomato, blue cheese, chopped egg, fried chickpea, Taggiasca olive, and herb dressing. Plus sandwiches like Marinated Skirt Steak on a baguette with caramelized onion, horseradish dressing, and arugula, Porchetta Panino on focaccia with fennel pollen aioli, char grilled red onion, and arugula, and a BLTA on sourdough with apple wood bacon, gem lettuce, tomato, avocado, and mayo.
Scott Siff, most recently the chef at Tavolàta on Capitol Hill, has taken on chef duties at Cortina.
Happy hour is offered in the bar from 3pm to 6pm Monday through Friday, and from 4pm to 6pm on weekends. The happy hour menu includes a selection of starters, pizza, pasta, and the burger, as wells as a few cocktails, wines by the glass, and beers.
Cortina’s wine list offers a stellar selection of Old World wines from Italy and New World wines from Washington, Oregon, and California. The by the glass list offers a thoughtful variety of approachable Old World and New World wines. Eight taps showcase beer and cider from local producers, and a selection of bottles and cans offer imported and domestic choices from Heineken and Duvel to Rainer Tallboys.
Cocktails include the Bam Bam Daiquiri with rum, lime, Iris Liqueur, and sugar, Behind the Green Door with gin, lemon, cucumber, elderflower, rosemary, and celery bitters, The Super Bueno with tequila, Fresno chili, almond, lime, and orange liqueur, and Dark Horse with bourbon, scotch, and amaro.
The Cortina Classics, a twist on a Negroni, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned, include The Tempest with Big Gin Barrel Aged, Dry Curaçao, Campari, and White Vermouth, The Cortina with Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, Angostura and Orange Bitters, Carpano Antica Vermouth, and Nardini ‘Bassano’ Amaro, and The John Lancaster with Rittenhouse Rye, Chocolate Bitters, Vanilla Liqueur, and Charred Orange Peel.
Cortina opens at 11am Monday through Friday and at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is served 11am to 3pm Monday through Friday. Dinner is served seven nights a week from 4pm to 10pm, and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is in the bar Monday through Friday from 3pm to 6pm, and weekends from 4pm to 6pm. For more information and reservations, call 206.736.7888 or visit www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com
Cortina is located at 621 Union Street in Seattle, Washington.