End of an Era
Ponti announced last week its upcoming closure July 2. Which leaves fans three weeks to stop by for a last meal.
In its 25 years doing business at the south end of the Fremont Bridge—the titular “ponti”—the place drew both loyal locals and tourists. Owner Rich Malia, whose Seattle cred reached back four decades to the The Snug and Mrs. Malia’s, was a restaurateur’s restaurateur; a gracious old-schooler who opened Ponti in 1990 with then co-owner Jim Malevitsis, the owner of Adriatica.
The place was special from the get-go: in part due to its unusual viewy location along the Ship Canal, in part because of its thoughtful global treatments of fish under the direction of young chef Alvin Binuya, who had apprenticed with the brazen young Tom Douglas atCafé Sport.
Then, pan-Asian food in particular was still breaking news in Seattle—Wild Ginger had opened on Western just the year before—so Ponti’s creative platefuls of Southeast Asia turned heads. The owners also foresaw another emerging trend—private dining rooms—and built Ponti with enough of them to establish the place as an office party stalwart. Add in its killer happy hour, and Ponti was reeling them in.
Time passed, a city changed. Belltown seized the spotlight in the mid-90s, Binuya left to open his own restaurant on Bainbridge in 2001, a restaurant revolution came to Seattle leaving classic warhorses struggling to maintain regulars in the face of waves of blog-promoted newbies.
Through it all, Ponti stayed afloat—even welcoming Binuya back seven years ago. But 25 is a long time in restaurant years—and Malia was done. “I’m 69 and ready to pursue other business interests and spend time in service to the community,” he announced in last week’s press release, along with the wistfully fitting news that the space will now be home to the Queen Anne Elks Club.
Wine collectors note: Ponti’s wine inventory, including Leonetti and DeLille bottles, will be sold at or below wholesale until the closing date of July 2.
When Richard and Sharon Malia opened the doors of Ponti Seafood Grill to Seattle in 1990, they revealed a modern mosaic seafood restaurant. Ponti, meaning "bridge" in Italian is built in the style of a Mediterranean villa featuring warm Tuscan inspired colors and waterside patios. Located on Seattle's Ship Canal, four private dining rooms and two outdoor patios showcase vistas of the water and the Fremont and Aurora bridges.
Executive Chef Alvin Binuya showcases his talent with an ever changing and seasonally focused seafood menu. Chef Binuya has forged relationships with local farmers and fisherman so guests will continue to enjoy the new and unexpected flavors from the freshest local ingredients.
Our staff, many long time Seattle natives, bring truly enthusiastic knowledge of the cuisine and warm Northwest hospitality to every table. At Ponti, you'll find we love our guests, treasure our city and are inspired to share what our region has to offer.
Ponti has received rave reviews from local and national press and honors such as Seattle Magazine's "Best Seafood Restaurant, "Best Northwest" and Gourmet Magazine's "Top Table". Since 1990, our wine list has received Wine Spectator awards of excellence every year. These testimonials have remained de rigueur for Ponti. The culinary journey continues!
DAILY HOURS: Happy Hour 4pm-6:30pm/ 9:00pm-Close in the Lounge |
Dinner 5pm-10pm Main Dining Room
Tel: 206.284.3000 Email: email@example.com Fax: 206.284.4768