Aragona Is Jason Stratton's Dream Project
“When I left Café Juanita, this is what I was looking to do,” said Stratton, while visiting the still-under-construction site recently.
That dream will become a reality very soon, maybe even by this weekend, in an expansive space near Pike Place Market with a long history. When it was The Other Place in the 1980s, Bruce Natafly was the chef. Natafly later gave Stratton his first job in the restaurant business, as a dishwasher.
Stratton has come a long way since the dish pit, and has been thinking about the menu for nearly as long. The focus of Aragona is a shift from the Italian-inspired food Stratton has been immersed in at pasta-driven Spinasse, moving in a Spanish direction.
Aragona’s menu begins with entrantes: cured and deep-fried pancetta, finished with brandy and sea salt; sunchoke tortilla with sea urchin mayo; warm mussel soup with turnips and shallot; savory jamón serrano bread pudding with sherry and shaved mojama. Savory snacks are offered in the bar.
Platos principales will include Catalan stew with black cod, almonds and tomato, veal cutlet with boletus mushrooms, potato and puff pastry, cuttlefish meatballs with its ink, garbanzos, and sea urchin broth and a grilled pork chop with eggplant romesco sauce and rosemary. A grilled young chicken served with squid, foie gras and white beans will be offered as half and whole birds (for $28 and $54).
An ambitious dessert lineup includes ice cream inspired by "Jason's favorite ice cream shop in Granada." Sounds dreamy.