New Russian and French snack spots come to Capitol Hill

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A Bakery Nouveau twice-baked chocolate croissant that I just happened to have lying around the house. True story. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)Carb lovers rejoice: It just got a whole lot easier to get your hands on good croissants and dumplings on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill, you’re about to be happier than a 19th century Russian aristocrat speaking French so his servants can’t understand him.

Okay, that doesn’t make that much sense, but it’s the only reference I could come up with that combined Russia and France.

How about this: Have you ever tried dipping an award-winning croissant in the oily, vinegary paprika-flavored liquid in the bottom of a bowl of pelmeni? Napoleon did it during his disastrous attempt to invade Russia in 1812, and now you can too.

Is that better?

Whatever. The point is, two new European food spots have come to Capitol Hill this month.

The first is a has been subject to a rigorous barrage of testing, and I can tell you without hesitation that if you live on the Hill it is going to change your life.

Bakery Nouveau, the West Seattle French bakery run by 2005 World Cup of Baking champ William Leaman and his wife Heather just opened a new branch on 15th and John (right by Group Health).

I stopped in yesterday and they appeared to have most of the same delicious treats, from croissants to cakes and sandwiches, that I’ve spent years driving to West Seattle to taste. The line was even short. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood (what? I don’t care if you’re not hungry—just go!), and now it’s twice as likely that you will be in one of the neighborhoods, with Nouveau locations in both West Seattle and Capitol Hill.

Early propaganda for Vostok Dumpling House. Fun fact: 'vostok' means 'west' in Russian.

Early propaganda for Vostok Dumpling House. Fun fact: ‘vostok’ means ‘west’ in Russian.

I can’t vouch for the second newcomer, because they don’t open until Friday, but it looks promising.

Vostok Dumpling House will be located at Broadway and Pine, next to Marination Station on top of the Harvard Square QFC.

Last month Capitol Hill Seattle talked to owner Andrey Tokar, who grew up in Ukraine and says his cafe will serve Russian-style pelmeni and Ukrainian vareniki with side of Soviet nostalgia.

If Pel Meni Dumpling Tzar in Fremont has already won your heart, you might be thinking Vostok is a little late to the party.

But there is one thing you didn’t account for: Beer. Vostok will have four local microbrews on tap as well as Russian beers like Baltika in bottles. Tokar is also promising they’ll have borscht, if you’re into that.

If you ask me it sounds like the perfect thing to dip a crusty French baguette into.

 

Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill, 1435 East John Court Suite 137, Open 7 Days

Vostok Dumpling House, 1416 Harvard AVE Seattle, Hours TBD

Alex is a cofounder and editor of The Seattle Globalist. He's a visual journalist whose work has been published by PBS, The Seattle Times, FRONTLINE/World and the Seattle Weekly.  Alex teaches journalism in the University of Washington's Department of Communication and recently directed the documentary film Barzan.

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