Besides being known for its damp and chilly climate, Seattle is home to some of the countries most notorious mouth-watering restaurants, and we have a new must-visit spot to introduce to you. As of September 2018, there was a new local favorite in town, Restaurant Homer. Walking into the restaurant feels like walking into the home of a close friend. You’ll first notice the aromas of the wood burning stove and authentic Mediterranean spices as you enter the door. From there, the ambiance is light and airy while simultaneously feeling warm and cozy, quickly putting your mind at ease. The only heavy thinking required is how to narrow down your order – no easy feat. Our recommendation? Head over with a group and order as many shared plates as possible to try them all.
We stopped by on Saturday night before opening for dinner to meet the husband and wife duo behind Restaurant Homer – Logan Cox and Sara Knowles. Inside tip: Get there early! Fifteen minutes before doors open at 5pm, you will find a line of anxious diners waiting for their turn of the Homer experience (reservations are only available for parties of eight plus). Clearly, this is the new happening spot in Beacon Hill.
Photo: Dorothee Brand for Belathée Photography
A brief background on Logan and yourself – where you’re from, how you got into the cooking scene?
Logan is from northern Virginia and I am from Alaska. We met in DC where Logan had been working for many years. Logan has been a chef for nearly 17 years - it’s the only job he’s ever had! I have moonlighted in the service industry but dabbled in a few different arenas that led me to my current job as a designer. After spending time together in DC, we decided to move out west for a little adventure and fresh air which ultimately landed us in Seattle, via Alaska. We spent the last 5 years working in our respective industries while brainstorming ways we could combine our passions in the form of a neighborhood restaurant and finding just the right space for the project.
What made you pick Beacon Hill?
It’s our neighborhood! We always wanted to create a restaurant in our own neighborhood and the wait for the right space was well worth it. We’ve been in Beacon Hill since we moved to Seattle in 2013 and feel so lucky to both live and work in this community.
What has been your favorite part so far?
I think a combination of the feedback from the neighborhood as well as getting to know some “regulars” even over such a short period of time. One of the biggest compliments I’ve received so far is that the space feels like an extension of our home, and in many ways it can feel like we’re hosting a big dinner party night after night.
Sara, I heard you were the lead behind the design of Homer. What was your inspiration for the space?
Yep! I did all the design work (with input from Logan, of course). Prior to the restaurant opening, I was focused on interior design (residential and commercial) full-time. We wanted the space to feel cozy, inviting and light-filled, but also whimsical and thoughtful. We didn’t want to over-design it, but we also wanted people to notice and appreciate their surroundings in addition to the food.
It's evident that your heart and soul went into the design of this space. What are some of the special touches throughout the restaurant?
The name of the restaurant is sentimental to us in two ways: it’s an homage to a summer we spent in Homer, AK working at a lodge together and where we discovered our love of working and living side by side (in a 10x10 plywood cabin for 5 months!). When we moved to Seattle and named our dog Homer, it seemed like the natural fit - and now that name has extended to the restaurant as well, as a reflection of our obsession with our pooch and as a nod to such a wonderful chapter in our lives. We’ve tried to pepper the space with personal touches like a sketch (which lives on our coasters) reminiscent of our dog by the very talented local artist and dear friend, Jennifer Ament, our personal collection of cookbooks, and a vintage wood-fired stove from my sister’s house that we fashioned into a piece of furniture for one of our bathrooms.
What inspired the Mediterranean menu?
It’s the kind of food we love to eat :) And, of course, the type of cuisine Logan is inspired to cook. We wanted to create a familial atmosphere, and sharing food with family and friends (literally breaking warm pita bread together) felt like the perfect style of food for the kind of restaurant we wanted to create.
What are some of the favorites on the menu – yours and your patrons?
The dips with warm pita are definitely a crowd favorite and a great way to start any meal. We’ll probably always have hummus and labneh as featured dips, as well as a third seasonal option (currently roasted squash). The 4th dip - a personal favorite of mine - is the lamb ragu. That’s a must have. Many of our dishes are vegetable-driven and right now two of the crowd favorites are the charred carrots and the grilled beets. Because all of our food is cooked over an open fire, many of the dishes have a robust, smoky finish that pairs really well with yogurt, herbs, etc. – all featured prominently on our menu!
Is that soft serve I see? Where do you get inspiration for these unique flavors?
The soft serve flavors are definitely seasonally inspired. We will always have one dairy flavor and one vegan flavor, and, of course, when thinking of the individual flavors we always have to consider the swirl and make sure they are a good combination! For instance, in fall we did a Smoked Pumpkin and Caramel Apple – they were a hit!
Good for groups and private event buyouts?
Absolutely! We take reservations for groups 8 and larger. Just give us a call and we'll get you squared away!
Buyouts are an option on nights we would otherwise be closed (Monday-Tuesday) for the time being.
Tell us more about this walk-up soft-serve window by the bar - when does this open?
The walk up window is in action! Not as busy in the winter but all year folks can get soft serve to go or get drinks through the window to be enjoyed on the patio if they are waiting for a table. We’re looking forward to expanding the hours of the soft serve window as the weather gets nicer.
Word through the grape-vine is you are planning to open a street-side patio this summer...
Indeed! Small but mighty :) We are also happy to be participating in Seattle’s pilot program for fenceless sidewalk cafes which means we can have a patio outside which serves food and alcohol without any barriers. A slightly more European feel and very much a step in the right direction!
Plan your visit to Homer now →