First glance at Kerry Sear’s ART

“Art” is something that is wholly personal and subjective. Food can be considered art. Presentation, flavor, nuance, creativity; these things all have a hand in dining. Food can incite passion and it can also be literal and whimsical. Now, Kerry Sear is showcasing his artwork at his restaurant, ART, in the new Four Seasons Hotel.

With it’s location Downtown and near the Seattle Art Museum, the ambiance and feel of ART is, well, designed. Kerry Sear is returning to the Four Seasons fold, which is where he first got his start; now he is able to fully put his imprint on ART, one of the more anticipated in the Downtown core.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the place is the bar in the dining room. First off, it’s backlight and changes color. Secondly, it’s huge; it looks like it can seat 25. And the bar is kind of pseudo open with the center as the kitchen. A nice thing about this open format is that you can smell what’s cooking. And whatever we smelled was awesome.

Which brings us to the food. It was pretty darn good. Kerry Sear was beloved during his stint at Cascadia, so it was exciting to see what he would do here. The dude made mini burgers upscale! Now moved on to ART, he can flex his muscles and create a food a imprint at a location that was designed to be a jewel amongst Seattle’s downtown landscape. Apparently he brought most of his Cascadia staff over with him – so they should hit the ground running. This showed with the service; it was excellent. We had a great server who was conversational and attentive; he provided good direction and opinion, an asset to the place.

The menu is designed to be shared. Plates are broken down by Cool, Warm, Seafood (northwest or world), Pasta, Meat, and Accessories. A lot of the items on the menu look intriguing, but this place is not a cheap dinner, so don’t go crazy. Something that I did like was the plating and presentation, almost everything brought out was striking and beautiful to look at. If you think presentation with food is overrated, remember that you see what a dish looks like before you taste it. If it’s compelling and creatively arranged, the chef already has a head start on impressing you.

Some of the highlights of what we had:

  • In the Cool category, the Beef Tartar and Salt Baked Beets were awesome. The former had bold flavors and an awesome presentation; the egg and truffled toast were nice touches. For the latter, it wasn’t like any beet dish we’ve had – the use of grapefruit was unexpected and the acid helped brighten everything.
  • For the Seafood, I’d recommend the Sable Fish and Branzino. Sable Fish is also known as Black Cod and we’ve extolled it’s virtues on these pages often. Art did a great job with it, highlighting it’s unique, lush texture and flavor. The branzino was really tender for such a light and delicate fish.
  • In the Meat group, the Wild Boar was awesome. A massive portion that was excellent. Rich fat with strong flavor that juxtaposes boldness and sweetness swimmingly. It may even compete with Volterra for best wild boar in Seattle

You’ll also love the desserts! The pastry chef has recently made desserts for the Oscars. Carrying through the theme of the place, they are like little works of art that were delicious. And the chef even brought out some housemade marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut.

ART is located off the lobby of the much-anticipated Four Seasons. Walking up to ART, you’ll notice the modern Scandinavian design. Cool, hip, and urban, I can see how their lounge would be pretty jumpin. The whole place is design heavy; the ceiling, walls, placements, even the water glasses are unique. Surely taking this art theme to the very last detail.

Art Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon

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