Downtown Steilacoom is now home to another restaurant. De La Terre, a Northwest-focused restaurant, opened Friday at 1606 Lafayette St.
Lunch will be served from Wednesday through Friday, with dinner service Wednesday through Saturday. The restaurant will serve weekend brunch.
De La Terre is the project of Blake Lord-Wittig and business-and-life partner Rajona Champatiray. Both met while working in Seattle at Tilikum Place Cafe. Lord-Wittig grew up in Steilacoom, but left after his 2007 graduation from Steilacoom High School to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City. His father still lives in Steilacoom. In fact, he lives two blocks from the restaurant, and was also responsible for naming De La Terre, which translates to “From The Land.”
From New York, Lord-Wittig traversed the country, seesawing back and forth between East Coast and West Coast restaurants. He counts on his résumé everything from Jean-Georges in New York City to Kirkland’s Bin on the Lake.
Lord-Wittig will act as the restaurant’s chef. Champatiray will manage the front of the restaurant.
The eight-item opening menu ($6-$19) listed Northwest-influenced fare, including King salmon, from the Copper River, with clams and lentils ($15) and geoduck crudo ($12). The menu also listed a rack of lamb with morels ($19); handmade tagliatelle with porcini and Parmesan ($12); greens from Wild Hare Organic Farms ($6) and potato soup with pickled kale ($6). The opening brunch menu featured pork belly with a polenta cake and apple jus ($12); Belgian waffles with blackberry syrup and honey butter ($11) and a brisket Reuben Benedict with mustard hollandaise ($14).
The 42-seat restaurant is outfitted with concrete countertops, a partial-display kitchen and bar seating for eight (serving beer and wine only). Outdoor seating should be added sometime this summer, Lord-Wittig said.
Le Creme Brulee operated for nine years at that location on Lafayette Street. It closed after owner Bertrand Young opened his downtown Tacoma restaurant, Aviateur, in April 2014.