Steilacoom will soon have another restaurant. Expect a summer opening for De La Terre, from Blake Lord-Wittig and fiance Rajona Champatiray. The restaurant will open in the space vacated by La Creme Brulee.
Lord-Wittig will act as chef-owner, Champatiray will manage the front of house.
The restaurant will feature a seasonal menu with a focus on Northwest and New American cuisine. Expect a small menu of eight-10 items with prices from $5-$25. Lord-Wittig described the decor as industrial-modern, with concrete countertops, an on-display kitchen window, a small bar (serving beer and wine only) seating eight and a total of 42 seats. He’ll plan for a small outdoor seating area during the summer.
Lord-Wittig grew up in Steilacoom, but left for New York City after his 2007 graduation from Steilacoom High School. He attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and worked his way from New York, back to Seattle, then back to the East Coast. He counts the acclaimed restaurants Jean-Georges in New York City and Artisan in Connecticut on his resume.
La Creme Brulee operated for nine years on Lafayette Street. It closed after owner Bertrand Young opened his downtown Tacoma restaurant Aviateur in April 2014.
Lord-Wittig said the restaurant name, which its owners interpret as, “from the land,” was selected by his father, who lives a few blocks from De La Terre. The restaurant will feature as many Northwest ingredients as Lord-Wittig can affordably source. He’s already built a relationship with Northwest food producers from his time cooking in Seattle. On his list now are Northwest businesses Tails and Trotters (Ephrata and Portland pork); Magnolia Cattle Co. (Bothell cattle) and Foraged and Found (Washington and Oregon sourced mushrooms and lettuces).
The restaurant will be open for weekend brunch, lunch from Wednesday-Friday and dinner Wednesday-Saturday.