Back to Archives

Bite this

Hotel Murano’s chic eatery hits and misses

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

ANNOUNCER: When the Hotel Murano opened with a special black tie dinner in March headlined by Burt Bacharach, the who’s who of Tacoma turned out to see how Portland’s Aspen Hotel Group transformed the former drab space operated by the Sheraton. Embracing Tacoma’s glass art tradition, the Hotel Murano opened in a large space with a boutique hotel tradition featuring gorgeous displays of glass both inside and out. While still a little bulky, the Murano does the best it can and adds one more brick in the “cool” wall for Tacoma. Their restaurant, Bite, is no exception. Located on the fourth floor, the space drips with chic. Art, large tables, glass accents and a warming brown and maroon motif, the space reminds the boys a little of 13 Coins at Sea-Tac minus the shadows.

JAKE: The space screams New York chic, and yet, sadly, thus far I’ve eaten with small crowds. I suspect people haven’t quite caught on that things have changed at the hotel. Mostly convention attendees and hotel guests, I hope to see regular Tacoma foodies embrace the mod styling.

JASON: Yes, but the hotel seriously needs to consider better training for its staff. If they don’t improve soon, people will skip a second visit. Don’t get me wrong, the staff does a fine job with the basics — seat guests, take orders, deliver food, and return with the check — but service and flair should be considered especially when the packaging screams for engaging, sophisticated staff.

JAKE: That’s the problem. I’ve visited the place three times over three weeks and each time the same server told me it was her first week working there. She is a lovely woman, but I’d suspect her last job was working an elementary school cafeteria or greasy spoon. I ordered a mojito one night from her in the bar — imagine sticking a straw into a compost pile. The mint was muddled into thatch.

JASON: Most of the staff hails, I assume, from a similar background. I understand a restaurant cannot be expected to employ trendy, hip servers, but the staff here literally detracts from the décor. They are friendly, but diners choosing this place inevitably want to feel they’ve left their normal lives and entered a swank restaurant — that’s not happening right now.

JAKE: Luckily, the food is good — well priced for the quality and preparation. Plus, Bite presents a few unique dishes. I especially enjoyed the Green Market salad — literally a farmer’s market of roasted beets, haricot vert, ruby onions, cauliflower, butternut squash, scallions, cracked walnuts and ricotta salata cheese with sherry-shallot vinaigrette. Exceptionally fresh and hearty, the salad gave me a plethora of vitamins and nutrients in one shot.

JASON: Braving a coronary, I ordered the fries and gravy — a heap of shoestring garlic herb fries covered in a mushroom zinfandel gravy and Gorgonzola cheese. Bring friends; this beast knocks you out one-quarter of the way. I enjoyed the combination of salt and Gorgonzola, the fries held up well under the earthy, savory gravy.

JAKE: The truffle mac and cheese blew me away — three cheeses and white truffle oil — this is comfort food for the 21st century. The Hampton’s lobster roll, however, featured a delicate fresh chive crème fraiche — slightly tangy and definitely sweet — but the outdoor roll fails to hold its own and most of the lobster rolled across my arms and onto the table.

JASON: I had the same trouble with the lobster. The grilled chile brined pork chop suffered no structural issues and in fact the preparation retained its moisture (not always easy to do). Topped with a pistachio mountain berry relish — it lacked the sickly sweetness some chefs put on pork and instead the meat played the biggest part, which I enjoyed.

JAKE: Hopefully Bite can live up to its décor and food by bringing the entire experience of swank together to give local diners a place to feel all grown up.


Where: 1320 Broadway, Tacoma. 253. 238.8000.

Hours: Mon-Fri, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sat-Sun, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cuisine: Combination of Northwest favorites like wild salmon and Pyramid Ale fish and chips with touches like a Hampton’s lobster roll and artesian cured meats and cheeses.

Drinkies: Full bar with several signature drinks. Wine list is small with eight bottles available by the glass.


Fries and gravy >>> $8

Grilled chicken panini >>>$13

Greek chicken salad >>> $14

Meatloaf >>> $18

Mustard-grilled wild salmon >>> $23

Crab ravioli >>> $23

Comments for "Bite this"

Comments for this article are currently closed.