Posted by Blog | Comments Offon Jan 19, 2011 in
The name “Munchbar™” conjures up more than a few ideas of its intended meaning, and on Friday, Jan. 28, the new 6,300-square-foot restaurant and bar in Bellevue Square will show off what it’s all about: artisanal comfort foods, eclectic microbrews from Washington, wines straight from Sonoma County and creative cocktails. Bolstered by vibrant, pop-savvy décor and service with a twinge of sass, Munchbar™ promises to satisfy Bellevue’s craving for a robust and energetic eatery.
The concept is the brainchild of successful restaurateurs Robert Frey and Bart Mahoney of Las Vegas-based Munch Group. For 20 years, Frey has built a successful career creating innovative, world-class hospitality experiences in Las Vegas, while Mahoney is one of the most respected industry experts and visionaries in his field, having led food and beverage teams at such Las Vegas megaliths as CityCenter and Bellagio.
“We are incredibly excited to be expanding the Munchbar™ concept to Bellevue,” said Robert Frey, managing partner. “At Munchbar™, we invite our guests to interact in the playful atmosphere while enjoying an easy gourmet meal with good company and top notch service.”
Munchbar™ brings a fresh, modern pub concept that appeals to comfort food lovers, the area workforce, Eastside families, and anyone hitting downtown Bellevue day or night. Its captivating, graffiti-illustrated interior utilizes the talents of famed contemporary graffiti artist Jordan Nickel. Much like its Munchbar™ Las Vegas predecessor, which opened to critical acclaim last spring at Caesars Palace, Nickel creates an explosive, pop-savvy environment of pattern and color. Adding to the bold aesthetics, guests can chalk it up on oversized blackboards without vilification, vibe on kinetic music, and catch the latest game on one of many high definition televisions. As the sun goes down, Munchbar™ will transform into a fresh and funky ultra lounge (10 p.m. to close), complete with special celebrity appearances and nonstop beats from guest DJs.
The talented Bellevue culinary team is led by local all-star chef Seis Kamimura, formerly of Wolfgang Puck Catering and BOKA Kitchen + Bar in Seattle, Postrio in San Francisco and Spago Beverly Hills. While a majority of the menu favorites will remain year round, the team will nuance the menu as the seasons change to utilize the freshest local produce and other high-caliber Northwest ingredients.
“When developing the items on the Munchbar™ menu, we strived to incorporate only the freshest local ingredients and produce as possible,” explained Bart Mahoney, managing partner. “I think guests will be pleasantly surprised by the affordable food and unique beverage selections Munchbar™ has to offer.”
Menu examples include munchies such as the “pizzadilla” with pepperoni, creamy tomato cheese sauce and basil in a flour tortilla ($11). The burgers ($15-16, also including hand cut fries) are a must-try at Munchbar and tempt in all forms: the signature Munch burger has all the fixings and is topped with the special “fancy sauce,” a turkey burger with fennel-mushroom stuffing, cranberries and herb mayo and the short rib patty melt on rye. Comfort entrees also line the menu, such as Kobe beef chili with spicy jalapeno cornbread ($14); and grilled tuna with roasted fingerling potatoes, spinach, and lemon vinaigrette ($22). Don’t forget to save room at the end for a clever Nutella cake with caramel, bananas and whipped cream ($8) or for the ultimate dessert indulgence, try the Butterscotch Pudding, complete with snicker doodle cookies ($6).
A full bar brings eclectic beers, wines and creative cocktails to complement any meal. Beers on draft include Black Raven "Irish Stout," Freemont "Little Woody IPA", Three Skulls "Pilsner", Elysian "Avatar Jasmine " IPA and Pikes Brewery "Naughtie Nellie" Golden Ale. Munchbar is the first known eatery in Washington State to utilize the eco friendly Silvertap system, with wines made from sustainably-farmed grapes from the Anderson, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys of Sonoma County, Calif. Signature cocktails such as Cherry Lime Aid, In the Rough, Munch Melon, and Munch Mojito are also not to miss.
Don’t miss the chance to see and be seen at the opening weekend for this entertainment haven as Munchbar™ provides a full line up of events:
• Detlef Schrempf Foundation private event with EXTRA TV personality Mario Lopez – Friday, January 28 (open to the public after 8 p.m.)
• Guest DJ – Saturday, January 29
• Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir hosts UFC viewing party and NFL running back Larry Johnson plays DJ – Saturday, February 5
• Munchbar™ Super Bowl party– Sunday, February 6
Find Munchbar™ at 505 Bellevue Square, adjacent to the skybridge to Lincoln Square in Bellevue; phone 1-888-68MUNCH. Hours are 11 a.m. to close daily. Learn more at www.munchgroup.com, on facebook or twitter.
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