Very unique space in Ballard: Sawyer.

Open since August, the story is that the original space was a sawmill…..looks non descript from the outside. Inside, it is open and modern with floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings.   Despite this, it is comfortable with a reasonable noise level. Outside of the industrial looking floors and open beam ceiling, I’m not sure it looks much like an old sawmill.

This is another place dominated by small plates. It’s also a place where you’ll want to try everything on the menu. All our choices were outstanding. We started with the pork belly steam buns, wood fired artichokes and cucumber salad. They were all excellent but my nod goes to….you guessed it….the pork belly. That said, the artichokes were a close second and the sweet ponzu with sesame oil dressing on the salad was one that made you want to drink it, it was that good.

While it was a large plate, we shared the flatiron steak…even the large plates are meant to be shared. The meat was perfectly cooked and tender despite the cut. The “angry” chimichurri was a nice add. I’m not as positive with the tempura onion rings. I love tempura but they weren’t as flavorful as one would have experienced in a Japanese restaurant.

For dessert…..and in honor of the season….our choice was the pumpkin spice latte flan. It was light for flan but tasted as expected.

Nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle.

Service was excellent.