TNT Diner

New restaurant Animarum now open in former JW Restaurant space in Gig Harbor

The dining room of Animarum in Gig Harbor.
The dining room of Animarum in Gig Harbor. csailor@thenewstribune.com

Readers have asked, “What’s the new restaurant now open in the old JW Restaurant space in Gig Harbor?”

Here’s what you should know before you go.

Wait, what happened to JW? The restaurant’s owners, Jason Winniford and Jamie Lindsey, Winniford’s sister-in-law and longtime JW manager, decided to close the restaurant in October. The small space was known for its intimate setting and menu of gussied-up American comfort food. The restaurant operated for nearly eight years.

What’s open there now? Animarum advertises itself as a dinner-only restaurant open Thursdays through Saturdays, but check the restaurant’s social media for up-to-date hours and other information.

When did it open? Late December.

The owner: Gabriela Oliva of Sel, the brunch-and-lunch restaurant in Tacoma’s St. Helens neighborhood.

The menu: Upscale cuisine covering broad European territory with the occasional Northwest ingredient. The opening menu listed a succinct selection of a dozen items split into categories of small plates ($12 to $17), entrees ($21 to $29) and desserts ($9 to $12).

Small plates: Classics such as Caesar salad ($12) and oysters Rockefeller ($17), plus burrata and grilled tomato ($16) and bone marrow with onion jam ($14).

Entrees: Unusual meats to the area show up in the form of sweet breads ($21) and osso buco, the classic Italian dish I rarely spot on local menus ($26). Duck confit ($25), ribeye steak ($29) and squid ink pasta with Dungeness crab ($26).

Dessert: An intriguing sounding foie gras ice cream sandwich ($9) and artisan cheese with local honey ($12).

The atmosphere: Dark and moody in an intimate space. The restaurant advertises live piano music.

Restaurant information: No phone number publicized, but the restaurant has Facebook and Instagram pages.

More information: instagram.com/animarum253 or facebook.com/animarum253

Find it: 4107 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor

Reservations: exploretock.com/animarum

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Sue Kidd has been The News Tribune’s restaurant critic since 2008. She dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals. Sue is a South Sound native. She writes about new restaurants, openings and closures and knows where to find the best tacos in every neighborhood.

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