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The Heathman Hotel Kirkland and Hearth

It's a refreshed Heathman you'll enjoy

Time flies when you're busy taking care of hotel and restaurant guests. We wrote about The Heathman Hotel Kirkland in 2009, a mere 10 years ago. Recently they have updated the hotel's rooms and common areas and re-concepted the restaurant (formerly Trellis, now Hearth).

Photo courtesy of The Heathman Hotel Kirkland

They've done a good job creating a place that feels like community, specifically a Northwest community, a place where neighbors can hang out, and that shows off the local food and culture to hotel guests. The outdoor patio area hasn't changed much, although they've added a space on the west end with a small firepit and seating. This new space can be reserved for receptions and small groups. The patio as a whole is a great place for a meal or snacks with friends. Lots of people and dog watching. In cooler weather, they have vinyl 'walls' to enclose it and heaters to warm it.

The main lobby still has the fireplace, but seating has become much cozier with couches fitting together like puzzle pieces so more people can enjoy the space. Against the far wall, there are small round tables where people can sit with their laptops or play games. It's a much more welcoming lobby now.

A private event space on the first floor (Cascade and Library) is used frequently by corporate clients. The fitness center moved into the former spa space, which was removed in 2012. The private space downstairs includes the ballroom which can be divided into three sections-Shaw, Lopez, Orcas rooms (accommodates 100-200); Baker, great for meetings or breakout space for bigger events (accommodates 15-25); Rainier, similar to Baker but slightly larger (accommodates 15-35); Adams Boardroom with presentation board and ergonomic chairs (accommodates 10). The foyer outside the ballroom can be used for pre-functions, registration, receptions, buffets. Higher up, the Heathman Suite with fireplace, bar, and views of Kirkland and Lake Washington is great for small meetings or private parties.

Photo courtesy of Heathman Kirkland

Rooms and suites have some wood walls and accents, some have balconies with seating, some Juliet balconies, all are carpeted. Two suites have two-sided fireplaces. The marble around the fireplaces goes to the ceiling in both rooms. Dramatic. One suite has a dining table that seats six. Comfortable beds and wet bars in suites. Complimentary Wi-Fi, HDTVs, built-in work desks.

Hearth is more casual than Trellis, with a hearth oven up front. The bar remains in place and is the same size. Tables run along the windows across from the bar and then the dining room opens up. Photos on the kitchen wall honor Kirkland's history, the wall across is all windows. At the end of the room is black and white plaid wallpaper, a few shelves and a large TV. Concrete floor, plain wood tables, metal chairs at a larger round table, comfortable black leather chairs elsewhere, banquette under those Kirkland photos, wood ceiling.

Menu-wise, they still offer breakfast, weekend brunch, weekday lunch, and happy hour and dinner daily. Most importantly, the focus on seasonal food is still in place. Their new chef and GM, Chef Brian McCraken (founder/operator of Spur Gastropub, Tavern Law, The Coterie Room), has a love of Pacific Northwest ingredients. Hearth's focus on seasonality and Brian's style appear to be a perfect match. The dinner menu consists of starters ('breaking bread' is bigger than it sounds and amazing with Cambazola melting over the bread-see photo to left), Albacore tuna crudo with celery root, apple and dill. One fall starter was roasted duck wings with winter squash and smoked maple. Mains include pasta, seafood, burger, chicken, pork, and beef. They are very proud, and rightly so, of their whole beef short rib that serves two. Over 24 hours with a few hands-on interventions, this beef is transformed into a tender and delicious meal. Sides include several vegetables, all with an interesting twist. One carrot iteration has coriander butter and chopped taggiasca olives. And with that hearth oven comes pizza! There are several options, meat and vegetarian. A late night menu comes into play after 9 p.m. with pizzas and snacks.

Photo courtesy of Heathman Kirkland

Lunch options include pizzas, a few starters, several salads, pasta, sandwiches, and fish & chips. Weekday breakfast is their smallest menu, but there is something for everyone: yogurt panna cotta with a toppings bar, oatmeal, cereal bar, traditional American breakfast, a Continental breakfast and a daily seasonally-inspired egg special. Brunch is filled with great options.

Happy Hour includes discounts on pizzas, snacks, and bar food. As F&B Manager, Jim Rubstello oversees the beverage program and catering. Abigail Gullo (Ben Paris, Seattle) adds her twists to the cocktail program and lends her hand to events and programs including cocktail classes. Several Hearth specialty cocktails top the menu, and they offer two mocktails, the Nogroni and Green Tea Nojito. If you've been eyeing a pricey or hard-to-get spirit, check on their Breakeven Bottle special, Sunday-Thursday. Each week they offer a bottle or two of rare spirits and sell them at cost, limit one ounce per customer.

Chef/GM Brian McCracken, F&B Mgr Jim Rubstello

Canned, bottled and beer on tap is available; there are sours and ciders. There are red, white, rose and sparkling glass pours along with bottles, including several all-natural wines by the bottle, and a few half bottles. Their captain list will take you to new heights, taste-wise and price-wise.

Refreshes to the hotel have brought it to a comfortable level that feels special. Bringing Chef Brian McCracken in to helm the restaurant returns it to a level we'd come to expect in earlier days, and he's just starting. Watch Hearth to see where he takes it.

Connie Adams/January 2020

Hearth at The Heathman Hotel Kirkland
220 Kirkland Avenue
Kirkland, WA 98033

425-284-5800 hotel
888-264-5494 hotel
425-284-5900 Hearth

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