Shaun McCrain, former chef at the beloved but shuttered Book Bindery, ventured out on his own—and the result is Copine: where the food is contemporary American, rife with seasonal ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, but grounded in French technique. The dishes, while painstakingly composed, never feel overtly precious, likely because they are absolutely stunning both in conception and taste. McCrain had stints with Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York and Michael Mina in San Francisco, and those influences are keenly felt here. The interior is lovely as well, elegant with Japanese-like minimalist touches of natural elements.
25 best dishes of 2016: our restaurant critic’s favorite bites
No one captured summer in a single dish better than Copine’s Shaun McCrain, who gilded his polenta-and-mascarpone-filled agnolotti with brown butter and nestled them among fresh corn, lobster mushrooms and mission figs.
Former Book Bindery Team Branch out With Copine
The 60-seat Copine (pronounced ko-pin, French for girlfriend or pal), which opened in July at the base of the new, mixed-use Ballard Public Lofts, is exquisite, from the Olson Kundig owner/principal Kirsten R. Murray-designed, center-stage, open kitchen to the soothing, neutral tones of the furniture. Every detail has been carefully curated, down to the tiny fork “stands” that hold McCrain’s ever-changing, innovative amuse-bouche, such as melt-in-your-mouth citrus-cured salmon with roe.
Copine: a welcome addition to Seattle's fine-dining menu
This new Ballard restaurant is polished and restorative, what you'd hope for from a chef and general manager with such impressive résumés.
From Shaun McCrain (ex Book Bindery) and Jill Kinney comes this rustic-chic Ballard spot fusing French technique with Pacific Northwest ingredients. Expect elegant, seasonal fare such as summer tomato salad and seared local halibut paired with international wine in the bright, airy space, fitted with white walls, dark hardwood floors and an open kitchen.