Chef John Sundstrom's Lark and Bitter/Raw Dazzle Seattle

Lark and Bitter/Raw Now Open in Seattle

SEATTLE, December 9, 2014 — John Sundstrom and his partners JM Enos and Kelly Ronan are thrilled to announce the opening of their restaurant Lark in its new home, as well as Bitter/Raw, an amaro and crudo bar situated on a mezzanine above the restaurant. Lark and Bitter/Raw both opened to much fanfare Thursday, December 4.

Lark is the anchor tenant in The Central Agency building, a restored 1917 warehouse that’s been converted into a large, mixed-use building. High ceilings, original wood floors, and lots of large windows give a warm, open character to the space. The dining room seats 50, plus 16 in the bar, at a combination of booths, banquettes, and tables. Lush royal blue mohair plays against dark wood and white linens, and rows of staggered Edison bulbs hang overhead. At the metal-topped bar, guests can peek over the marble pass and into the kitchen.

The larger space means a larger menu—it will be similar to the menu on 12th Avenue, but with a few more options available. In the snacks category there’s house bread with salted butter and smoked lardo ($5), and under starters, treats like crispy trotter with matsutake, friseé, and a soft poached egg ($17), two preparations of foie gras: seared with charred sweet onions, PX vinegar, and crispy chicken skin ($22) or as a terrine with pear vanilla compote and brioche ($19), and, of course, Lark’s first burger, made with St. Helen’s beef and served with cheddar and smoked mayonnaise on a duck cracklin’ bun ($14).

As for the pasta and grains category of the menu, there are dishes like Bluebird Grains farro with mascarpone and black trumpet mushrooms ($16) and chittara with Meyer lemon, scallion, uni, and bottarga ($20). Mains include Washington squab with wild rice polenta, maple Kabocha, and puffed wild rice ($26) and charred octopus with Bomba rice, Piquillo peppers, and smoked jowl ($28). Desserts shine, with offerings like a Berlin chocolate panna cotta with peanut butter mousse ($12) and malt ice cream with crispy hazelnuts and gianduja “magic shell” ($10)—as well as the classic chocolate madelines with Theo dark chocolate sauce ($10). Chef John Sundstrom will continue to utilize all the wonderful wild bounty of the region that he loves and showcased in his award-winning cookbook, Lark: Cooking Against the Grain.

The stellar menu is kept company by a complete wine list and a handful of new cocktails created by bartender Mike McNett, who also created the amaro-based cocktails for Bitter/Raw, which is located on a mezzanine above Lark.

With seating for 60, Bitter/Raw is big, airy space that still feels intimate thanks to dark, warm woods and brown leather and linen banquettes. Windows on either end of the space bring in natural light, and large drum lamps hanging over the communal table fill the space with a warm glow. A large rectangular bar anchors the west end of the space where guests can check out the abundance of fish and shellfish on display and watch the chef in action.

Bitter/Raw’s menu is divided into two parts: raw bar and charcuterie. On the raw bar side, there’s a selection of raw oysters (of course) as well as clams, mussels, and caviar. Celebratory platters akin to the famed seafood plates at New York’s Balthazar are available in three sizes ($50/$95/$140). Additionally, there are composed plates, like Lummi Island uni with ginger ponzu, crispy garlic, and cucumber ($16) or Alaskan bay scallop with habanero, persimmon, and mint ($15). Sundstrom is thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight all the divine seafood from nearby waters.

As for charcuterie, there’s options like classic jamón serrano ($13), La Quercia Speck Americano ($15), and Creminelli coppa ($14)—plus a charcuterie board with a selection of five meats ($28). There’s lardo “cinnamon toast” ($13), pork rillettes with crostini and quince preserve ($12), and landjager with two mustards ($8). Cocktails play bitter spirits—Cynar, Averna, Amaro Meletti and the like—against unexpected flavors like apricot liqueur and peach bitters. Drinks like the “Seattle Soul Patch,” made with barrel aged Big Gin, Fernet Branca, and sugar, and the “Trident,” made with Old Ballard Liquor Co. dill-infused aquavit, Cynar, Manzanilla sherry, and peach bitters are good company for both the seafood and the charcuterie sides of the menu.

Sundstrom and his partners are thrilled to bring two beautiful new dining spaces to Seattle. The casual, grab-and-go Slab Sandwiches + Pie will follow in a few weeks, offering a killer Cuban sandwich among other delights. The private event space tucked below Lark, called Off The Record, will also be available for events in the coming weeks after the initial restaurant opening. After running Lark for eleven years, and earning a James Beard award for his stellar cooking, Sundstrom is excited to be making these big changes and bringing new life to Lark in such a gorgeous space. He and the team look forward to welcoming in both old friends and new guests.

Lark and Bitter/Raw are open daily from 5pm to 11pm. They are located in the Central Agency building, at 952 East Seneca Street on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. For reservations at Lark, visit or call 206.323.5275. Bitter/Raw does not accept reservations.

Opened in 2003, and relocated to The Central Agency building in December of 2014, Lark is an artisan-focused restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Chef John Sundstrom, a James Beard Award-winner, is known for his intimate knowledge and deft use of the Northwest’s unique ingredients and has created the perfect place to celebrate the bounty of the region. The menu changes with the seasons, highlighting the best tastes available. Dinner is served daily from 5pm to 11pm. Bitter/Raw, an amaro- and crudo-focused bar, is lofted above the dining room and Off The Record, a private event space, is located below. For more information and reservations, please call 206.323.5275 or visit

Lark is located at 952 East Seneca Street in Seattle, Washington.

Opened in December of 2014, Bitter/Raw is an amaro- and crudo-focused bar lofted above Lark in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Run by James Beard Award-winning chef John Sundstrom, the bar serves a decadent array of Pacific Northwest shellfish alongside delicate raw preparations of seafood, as well as a selection of cured meats, both imported and local. The cocktail list revolves around bitter spirits, which play well against the flavors of the food. The warm, open space has a large bar and communal table as well as individual tables. Bitter/Raw is open daily from 5pm to 11pm. For more information please call 206.323.5275 or visit

Bitter/Raw is located at 952 East Seneca Street in Seattle, Washington.



Kirsten Graham