Chef Mike Easton’s restaurant had been closed for months; there are no reservations required this time around
The Alki Homestead is seeing some activity once again. Mike Easton’s highly acclaimed Italian restaurant Il Nido in West Seattle has reopened after staying dormant since November. While much of the menu will stay the same as before, there will be the addition of a new “aperitivo” hour with small bites and drinks from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and no reservations are necessary for dinner.
Easton tells Eater Seattle he wanted to institute a “relaxed” vibe this time around, and make the restaurant more accessible than it had been before. When Il Nido first opened in 2019, tables were extremely hard to come by, often booked out for months at a time. Not long after the pandemic first impacted the area, Easton created a market and take-home family pasta meals inside the historic space. By the fall, when indoor dining was allowed at 50 percent capacity, Il Nido briefly flirted with a multi-course price fixe menu at around $95 per person, somewhat of a departure from its a la carte roots. The chef notes that the effort at leaning into fine-dining was more of an “experiment” to generate revenue and meet payroll based on fewer customers. But once indoor dining was banned in November, Il Nido decided to shut down for the winter.
Easton’s spot is now back during the latest restaurant reopening phase, and with a new happy hour menu of antipasti, olives, and charcuterie in the late afternoon, the chef hopes that diners can pop into the place more spontaneously. He’s also added a Roman-style pizza to the menu (think 4-foot long pies sliced into smaller servings, rather than some of the thick-squared slices that have been appearing on menus around town). There’s also seating on an outdoor patio, but Il Nido doesn’t have the market anymore or any takeout options.
Easton says, other than pizza, the rotating seasonal menu is similar to when Il Nido first opened in 2019, with maybe an extra pasta dish or two. For fans of his beloved Pioneer Square destination Il Corvo (which closed last year), he’s added a kale salad based on popular demand. But the expertly prepared rib-eye and other entrees remain in place, and the restaurant will continue to tinker with the offerings as the weather gets warmer.