Eastlake’s Little Water Cantina Opens

It couldn’t be more appropriate: Little Water Cantina, Eastlake’s newest restaurant, opened on Cinco de Mayo.
Pretty good timing for a restaurant featuring modern Mexican food.
Owners Shannon and Laura Wilkinson have been planning their restaurant for years and building in the space at 2865 Eastlake Ave. E. since September. When I stopped by the Sunday before opening to take a look, both admitted they were tired from all of the hard work of construction and planning, but excited to be opening and letting the public in to see what they’ve created.
“We want to know what people think of the space and the food,” Laura said.
Shannon is the chef. He’s a Washington native (Vancouver) who went to New York to work in the restaurant business there. He was culinary producer for “Top Chef” and consulting chef to Brooklyn’s Henry Public restaurant.
He’s always loved Mexican food, has traveled a lot in Mexico and wanted to do his own take on the cuisine, such as a milk-braised turkey leg enchilada with a white hazelnut mole and cider-vanilla braised pork tacos. There will also be some traditional favorites, like carne asada and shrimp mojo de ajo.
Joining Shannon in the kitchen as sous chef will be Cameo Roberts, who recently worked with Kathy Casey Food Studios and worked five years with Mexican cuisine star Rick Bayless at his Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants. She’s also traveled, cooked and eaten her way around Mexico.
The restaurant has street-level space in the Eastlake 2851 apartment building (and parking in the garage below). Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a 2,200 square foot deck with a made-for-the-Fourth-of-July view of Gas Works Park and Lake Union. The bar is illuminated by seven antique gramophone horns used as light fixtures. And the lounge features a fireplace and a wall made of 800 recycled, illuminated tequila bottles.
The restaurant anticipates achieving LEED Platinum certification for its green initiatives in areas from water usage to composting.
Hours at Little Water Cantina will be 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays through Sundays. They’ll begin Saturday and Sunday brunch service this summer with lunch after that, they say. And, they’re working on a late-night menu.
By CD Milton
Reprinted by permission

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