Von’s, a Seattle institution that was open for 25 years on Pine in downtown, has moved to a new location near Harbor Steps on 1st Ave. Von’s is a family-run business with original owner Tim Firnstahl, his daughter Merrisa Firnstahl-Claridge and his son-in-law Jason Amador. A shrine to spirits and sourdough, Von’s new concept is sure to draw a sleek crowd.
The atmosphere is chic; a large bar in the front dining room with oak barrels of tequila and all the flags from the countries their spirits originated hanging overhead. Keep walking and you’ll realize that the space is much larger than what you see when you enter. The back room has quieter, brighter tables with a sliver of a view of the Ferris Wheel. Keep going and you’ll see a private patio space, perfect for private parties or company events.
Sweet Cream, Cinnamon & Sugar Beignets are incredibly fluffy and light. They are almost too light. I want more substance in my beignets. The Savory Asiago Beignets are wonderfully creamy and also very light. You’d think fried dough + cheese would be heavy, but it’s not. They are the perfectly poppable appetizer and just melt in your mouth. The Vietnamese Style Banh Mi is hoisin glazed with pickled carrot and cucumber relish, and finished with a sambal aioli. The bun is a housemade sourdough brioche bun. We didn’t notice any sourdough flavor, but the bun was not too heavy/big and didn’t hinder the rest of the burger experience. The flavors are bold and the patty is juicy and moist. You can order the 5 oz. or 10 oz. patty as you please.
Photos by foodolish.com.
We had the Quatre Viande (4 meat) sourdough pizza with wurst, sopressata, lardons, bolognese and aged asiago. You can order it mild or ZESTY. I’m not sure what zesty means exactly. Is that like lemony? Spicy? Regardless, we weren’t asked. The almond wood is supposed to impart a slightly nutty flavor. We really couldn’t tell that it was sourdough pizza dough or that it was baked over almond wood, but it was pretty darn good pizza. The toppings were just the right amount with good flavors, the crust was crispy around the edges and soft inside, and it wasn’t overly greasy. (Update: the next day for leftovers, the pizza became VERY salty).
The Roasted Tomato and Basil Tagliatelle made with hand-rolled fresh sourdough pasta was a miss. The pasta was all clumped together and was chewier than we prefer. It was a heavy dish and a little oily too.
Summary: Pretty good bar food that is homemade with care. Good atmosphere, good service, but street parking only in a super busy part of downtown.
Recommendation: It’s a great hang out spot with pretty good food. Order the burgers and pizzas.
Von’s 1000Spirits | 1225 1st Ave., Seattle | (206) 621 – 8667