Ethan Stowell, one of Seattle's master chefs, has done it again. This time, he's wowing crowds with recently-opened Chippy's Fish & Drink, "an old-school chip shop" in Ballard that serves the classic fish/chips duo alongside a bounty of other seaside specialties like clam chowder, Ethan’s Famous Fried Oysters, Shrimp Louie and Dungeness Crab Rolls.
Of course, tasty bevvies are on the docket, too; a full bar proves heavy on the scotch while also featuring a beer list of nearly 50 draughts, bottles and cans (American and European beer and cider, plus local drafts).
Chippy’s takes over the space of the former Dutch Bike Co. to become Staple & Fancy’s new next-door neighbor in the Kolstrand Building (a historic brick structure that now totals four eateries, including Renee Erickson’s two gems – The Walrus and the Carpenter and Barnacle).
Happy diners get their fish 'n' chips fix at Chippy's — Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith
This newest Stowell addition seats about 18 on the floor, with additional spots at the bar in a 600-square-foot space. The restaurant decor boasts a neon sign that glows beneath a weathered, painted banner reading “Marine Hardware,” and an open front allows patrons to catch a breeze on nice Seattle days.
Chippy’s kitchen gets direction from Staple & Fancy's Chef Brian Clevenger and Sous Chef Jessica Rudell. Although they stock the menu with scrumptious chowders, sandwiches, salads and snacks, the assorted finfish and shellfish with chips remain the centerpiece.
Chippy’s true cod comes encased in a crusty, flavorful batter, alongside perfectly done fries and a choice of five dipping sauces. (Think malt vinegar mayo, classic tartar, zippy rémoulade, spicy mayo and cocktail sauce.) Whatever your seafood fancy – rockfish, salmon, oysters, East Coast clams – Chippy's can sate your craving.
Side options include shredded coleslaw sprinkled with caraway seed or a British chip-shop staple of “mushy peas.” Be sure to save room for dessert, too. Did someone say chocolate-chip-cookie ice-cream sandwiches dipped in fudge sauce? Yes, please.
If cocktails are your thing, try the Monkey Knife Fight (a gingery riff on a bourbon sour) or the Motherboy IV (a grapefruit-tinged but flowery vodka cocktail that got its name since it took the bartender four tries to perfect).
Chippy's enlivens the Ballard culinary scene — Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith
Among countless accolades, self-training Chef Stowell received national recognition as a 2008 Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine. He's now brought multiple thriving restaurant concepts to the Seattle dining scene – venues that share local, seasonal, Italian-inspired character, but differ in space, ambience and size. His popular eateries include Red Cow, Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy and Rione XIII, in addition to several other culinary hot spots.
The Ethan Stowell Restaurants website reveals the successful team's philosophy, saying, "We keep it simple. We like to use fresh ingredients, and we like to let the food do the talking." One thing's for sure: the food is doing the talking at Chippy's, and the customers are certainly listening.