ArtWalk returns for 10th season

May 3, 2011

Pedestrians pause to admire art displayed at the former UP Front Gallery during ArtWalk last year. The gallery has since relocated down the street. File

The DownTown Issaquah Association’s 10th annual ArtWalk season kicks off May 6. The popular event, the first Friday of every month through September, invites visitors to meet local business owners, enjoy free music, watch artists in action, and shop and dine in downtown Issaquah after normal business hours.

ArtWalk draws hundreds of visitors to traditional art destinations such as artEAST’s Art Center and the newly expanded Museo Art and Design School on Front Street. In addition, nontraditional locations open their doors to the event throughout downtown Issaquah and Gilman Village.

Typically, the event ran from 5-9 p.m. in the past. But by popular request, that has changed.

“The event now runs from 5-8 p.m. with a soft close at 8,” said Annique Bennett, cultural events coordinator for the DownTown Issaquah Association. “Those with signs out front of their businesses can now pull them in and go home at 8, or they can choose to stay open as long as they want to.”

For May, artEAST opens a new exhibit, “150 Feet of Art,” at Up Front Art. More than 100 pieces of art on one-square-foot canvases will be displayed and available for purchase during the monthlong auction.

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Diners can sample bargains during restaurant month

March 8, 2011

Eateries encourage diners to sample special offers and menu items during Issaquah Restaurant Month.

The inaugural dine-out event kicked off March 1, as more than 20 restaurants rolled out discounts and other treats for diners. Organizers said the monthlong celebration is meant to attract attention to local restaurants, and encourage residents to try fresh flavors.

The participating restaurants include longtime establishments and newcomers. Diners interested in checking out Issaquah restaurants during the event can nosh on barbecue and pizza one day, and nachos and lo mein the next.

“Each restaurant will offer a lunch and/or dinner prix fixe menu that represents the best of what that restaurant has to offer,” Diane Symms, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants president and CEO, said in a release. “This is not a discount but rather an offer of quality and value for the community.”

Issaquah Restaurant Month is similar to events staged in Seattle and other major cities nationwide. The year-old Issaquah Restaurant Coalition, a trade group, coordinated and promoted the celebration.

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Catch of the day

June 29, 2010

Issaquah chefs turn local trout into gourmet creations

Christopher Brown, executive chef at sip. at the wine bar and restaurant, sprinkles the final touches onto his grilled trout with brown-buttered leeks. By Greg Farrar

Christopher Brown, executive chef at sip. at the wine bar and restaurant, sprinkles the final touches onto his grilled trout with brown-buttered leeks. By Greg Farrar

Sunshine, swimming at local lakeside beaches and dropping your line in the water for a leisurely afternoon of fishing is part of what summer is all about.

Whether you’re a fishing pro, a novice or beginner, the fish can start piling up faster than you can eat them. While plentiful and tasty, more often than not, trout can leave home cooks confounded for ways to prepare it.

So, we’ve asked for help from our local palate perfectionists — chefs from some of Issaquah’s most well-known restaurants.

Each restaurant’s chef was asked to submit his favorite or a creative way to prepare trout, so your culinary know-how can move from butter, salt and pepper into gourmet-inspired creations that will be anything but boring.

Bon appétit!

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Tony Award winner adjusts to new normal

January 19, 2010


Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey (left) directs Suzy Hunt as she portrays Grandma Kurnitz, a main character in ‘Lost in Yonkers’ at Village Theatre. Village Theatre photo

Brian Yorkey returns to direct ‘Lost in Yonkers’

Everybody knew the odds — the cast, the producers, the director, the composer and, especially, the writer and lyricist.

Bookies and bloggers predicted a sweep. The feel-good “Billy Eliot” seemed poised for glory, not “Next to Normal” — a musical built around electro-shock therapy, raw emotions and even rawer nerves.

Everybody knew the odds at the Tony Awards last June — but nobody envisioned the upset to come, especially not the writer and lyricist, Issaquah native Brian Yorkey.

Nobody expected the odds to be so miscalculated, yet Yorkey and composer Tom Kitt toppled “Billy Eliot” to win the Tony for Best Original Score. The other nominees included songwriting titans Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton.

Yorkey, a Village Theatre alumnus stunned about the unexpected win, accepted the award from the presenter, comedian Will Ferrell, and mentioned the Issaquah playhouse during the national broadcast.

“We kind of went into it sort of expecting that ‘Billy Eliot’ would sweep, and that’s a great show, they deserve it, and just to be here is amazing,” Yorkey recalled in early January. “Then, to add on the win was kind of unbelievable. It was a little bit out of body. It didn’t sink in for a few days, I don’t think — if it has at all.”

Next came the dizzying sequence of congratulations, interviews and countless thank-yous from the humble Yorkey, who recalled, “all the clichés apply.” “Next to Normal” won another pair of Tony statuettes, for best orchestrations and best actress in a musical. Read more