EDMONDS — It’s really unfair to review a new restaurant on its fourth night out. Nobody has it down by then.
However, I was so eager to eat at 190 Sunset — located adjacent to Cascadia Art Museum, Bridgid’s Bottleshop and Scratch Distillery — that, well, I couldn’t help myself.
Besides, my cousin was in town from New York, we were celebrating my mom’s 92nd birthday and my husband’s first 15 years at The Herald, and I just wanted a new place to party.
Let me start by saying that we gave the place eight thumbs up.
I suspect that the problems that drew my criticism and concern will have dissipated by now.
One was that nobody answered the phone when we called to change our reservation.
Another was that some of the dining room tables were squeezed too tightly against a wall of bar seating, making it difficult for the wait staff to maneuver.
My husband ordered the seared Ahi tuna salad ($17), which, while tasty with a crust of black and white sesame seeds, was delivered as grilled (cooked through) tuna. And the nice young man replenishing the water grabbed the glasses by the lip not the base.
What was good, though, was that Tom Budinick, founder of 190 Sunset, made his way around to visit with all of the diners that night. He explained that it was early in the game and that not all the kinks had been smoothed. And he made some great menu recommendations.
190 Sunset is near the Edmonds train station and ferry dock, making it an easy stop for travelers.
The staff welcomed a big bunch of Seahawk fans in their gear after they disembarked the post-game train from Seattle, underscoring the idea that this fine dining establishment has a relaxed come-as-you-are vibe. Most of these folks sat out on the expansive south-facing deck to enjoy the remains of a sunny day. As twilight approached, mini fire places at some of the outdoor tables were lit.
Those who sat at the well-stocked bar were casually dressed as well, but the people in the dining room looked as if they were there for a special meal.
The bar offers a menu of “modern drinks for daily use” as well as classic cocktails listed with their dates of inception, such as the Manhattan from 1929, Bee’s Knees from 1933 (made from Scratch’s gin) and the Moscow Mule from 1941. Cocktails range in price from $8 to $13.
We started our meal with plate of perfectly pan-seared scallops ($14) and a tray of six fresh oysters on half shells ($20), but next time I am going for the big Dungeness crab cakes ($12), or the slider burgers (two for $10) with house-made mayo and tomato jam, white cheddar and caramelized onions.
Salads range from $8 to $10, so one could pair any of the starters for a nice meal.
From the dinner menu my mom ordered the seafood linguine ($26) and enjoyed halibut, salmon and prawns in a sauce that included garlic olive oil and tomatoes. Her one complaint was that as an older person, she had difficulty removing the tail shells from the prawns.
My cousin enjoyed the 10-ounce, baseball-cut top sirloin steak ($29). The thick, round steak (cut from the upper part of the sirloin) was served on mashed potatoes. Fries are the alternative choice. (My mother thought the steak should have come with a vegetable.)
On the owner’s recommendation, I ordered the generous pork chop ($29), which was cooked just right, and served with creamy wild mushrooms, apples and red onion. Bravo on that dish.
One of the art museum’s managers recommended the chicken Parmesan ($26). Next time I am ordering either that or the grilled salmon($29). The chicken is panko encrusted, topped with marinara, cheese and served on linguine. The salmon comes with asparagus, fingerling potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Yes, of course, we had dessert. We shared a plate of warm beignets and a berry cobbler. A great finish to a delicious meal.
Budinick — whose background includes stints at 13 Coins, El Gaucho, Palomino, Palisades and Triples — has done a good job with 190 Sunset’s focus on regional, fresh, seasonal foods. I expect it to become very popular.
In the same building as the Cascadia Art Museum, 190 Sunset Ave. S.; 425-329-3669; www.190sunset.com.
Alcohol: Full bar.
Vegetarian: Primarily salads.
Hours: 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Happy hour is 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing Monday through Friday.