Renee Erickson plans to open a new Phinney Ridge small-plate-and-Italian-wine-bar this summer

Look out for Lioness in Phinney Ridge this summer. Renee Erickson's latest restaurant will focus on shared plates and Italian wine.

Chef Renee Erickson. Photo by Jim Henkens.

Summer can’t get here fast enough, and we’re not just talking about the weather. The delicious news is that summertime is when restaurateur extraordinaire Renee Erickson will open her newest eatery, Lioness, in a spanking brand-new development in Phinney Ridge.

As most everyone probably knows, Erickson, ’95, is a James Beard award-winning chef who has put her UW bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing to great use. For years, she has created eye-catching, palate-pleasing dishes in her popular Seattle restaurants Bateau, Barnacle, Boat Bar, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, General Porpoise Donuts and Coffee, Deep Dive, Willmot’s Ghost and Westward. And in the books she has authored that are known to make us drool. (Talk about a magic touch; not only are her restaurants terrific, but her first book, “A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus” won a 2015 PNBA book award, the first for a cookbook.)

Come July, if everything stays on schedule, she will open her new small-plate-and-Italian-wine-bar enoteca in a mixed-use development that will feature other noteworthy folks in the food and bar scene. Lioness plans to feature yummy dishes such as oysters, Umbrian sausages and meatballs, and ricotta gnocchi, as well as cheese and charcuterie. Jen O’Neil, Erickson’s wine director, will be in charge of the Italian wine list at Lioness.

We featured the Woodinville native in our December 2015 issue when she was planning to open Bateau, her highly acclaimed beef palace on Capitol Hill, and covered her Beard award recognition over the years. If she weren’t busy enough with her list of restaurants and the new Phinney Ridge project in the works, she somehow has time to serve on the board of the UW School of Art + Art History + Design.