Beacon Hill’s Homer Restaurant Completes One Couple’s Odyssey
Doing a neighborhood restaurant in your own neighborhood feels a lot more authentic.
January 29, 2019
Former Sitka & Spruce chef Logan Cox and Sara Knowles, his wife and business partner, spent two years looking for just the right space within two miles of their Beacon Hill home in which to open their own restaurant. That proximity was critical, they say, to their quality of life. But more than that, Knowles says, Doing a neighborhood restaurant in your own neighborhood feels a lot more authentic.
The result was worth the wait. Homer, just two blocks from the couples home, opened in September near another neighborhood favorite, Bar del Corso. The exterior of the brick building features a mural on one side and a neon scrawl of the restaurants name on the other. Homer is also what the couple call their golden retriever, who was named for the Alaskan city where they helped run a luxury adventure lodge complete with six-course dinners nightly in the summer of 2013.
Inside their 50-seat restaurant, Knowles background in interior design shines. The historic integrity of the 1925 building remains intact, but the overall vibe is timeless with a touch of whimsy: flames flickering in the open hearth and walls covered with ostrich-print wallpaper. Cox prepares dishes like turmeric-scented, charred carrots ($10) and grilled pork shoulder ($22) over the hearths fire, but many of the menus items are cooked in the kitchens wood-fired oven, which stays so hot that the chef schedules his day around what can be cooked when. Dishes that rely on slow roasting such as earthy chickpeas for hummus ($8) and tender braised lamb ribs flavored with cumin ($19) go in early. Pillowy puffs of pita bread ($16, served with labneh, hummus and roasted squash spread) are baked to order, done in just under 30 seconds when the oven is at its hottest.
That bread is crucial. It comes out quickly, satisfying the hunger built while waiting for a table and there is almost always a wait at this restaurant, which has quickly become a neighborhood favorite (reservations are taken only for parties of eight or more). The bread goes well with the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavors Cox says he naturally gravitates toward. And its emblematic of the kind of place he and Knowles say theyve always wanted, where neighbors can sit down around a reasonably priced, high-quality, family-style meal and literally break bread together. Homer, in more ways than one, is a symbol of everything they love.
MUST TRY: End your meal with a swirl of soft-serve ice cream; or, in warmer months, pick some up at the walk-up window out front ($7 in the restaurant, $5 from the window). Flavors, which have included fig leaf and elderberry-cardamom, change bi-weekly. Knowles and Cox were excited to give the neighborhood an option for dessert and also for brunch, which theyre planning to offer early this year.
Homer, Beacon Hill, 3013 Beacon Ave. S
A version of this review appears in the January issue of Seattle magazine.