Table for One is a series highlighting Kristin Alexander’s experiences as a single diner.
Getting through the door of JuneBaby on a Saturday night seemed liked a crapshoot. Since winning Best New Restaurant at the 2018 James Beard awards in May, the place is bustling, serving up Southern cuisine in Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood.
Its chef, Edouardo Jordan, took the award for Best Chef in the Northwest for his sister restaurant, Salare. Those accolades came on the heels of a three-star review from the New York Times and making Food & Wine’s list of restaurants of the year.
Nonetheless, the hostess didn’t bat an eye when I asked for a seat for one. I waited on the patio, where guests can order drinks and appetizers including fried pig ears and chicken livers, which the couple next to me said had a nice spice. No sooner had my specialty cocktail called Southern Mansion arrived, than I was escorted to the 14-seat bar.
Saturdays are barbecue night and all around me, customers ordered platters piled with ribs, brisket and pulled pork, the smoky aroma wafting through the unpretentious dining room. Tempted, I opted for a few smaller dishes so I could sample the menu.
The fried green tomatoes were expertly cooked and served with an herbed shrimp salad. Fresh and flavorful, I cleaned the plate.
Next came a generous portion of Momma Jordan’s oxtails, rich and meaty. These were served with green beans, potatoes and king trumpet mushrooms.
The pecan toffee bread pudding was the perfect sweet finish, nestled amid cinnamon bourbon anglaise and a dollop of whipped cream.
JuneBaby’s website includes a culinary encyclopedia and a bit of history about Southern cooking. “Seen through the eyes of most Americans as inferior, unsophisticated, and unhealthy, Southern food reflects hard times and resourcefulness and is nothing short of beautiful.”
JuneBaby lives up to the hype. It is, indeed, beautiful.
2122 NE 65th St., Seattle, 206-257-4470
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. - close
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.