after sunning and funning in europe for two weeks, nothing back home tasted quite as good. however, seattle restaurant week was in full effect when i returned, thus providing a catalyst to get back in the swing of american things. amongst of the throngs of eateries on the list, only a few caught my eye, one of them being ethan stowell’s new outpost on ballard ave. i have always had a love/hate relationship with stowell’s seattle restaurant regency, but with the closing of union back in the spring, i was eager to see on which side of the fence this new endeavour would lie. staple & fancy closely resembles its siblings, showcasing an open kitchen, industrial design, and sylvan provisions. as far as food goes, it’s always hard to judge a book by its en masse restaurant week cover, but i will say that they provided more than ample portions, especially for the appetizer course which was composed of not one but all six options. the entrees were blasé, especially my orecchiette with de-shelled mussels and fennel cream sauce (orphaned mussels are just sad mussels). the dessert, however, served as a point of redemption, a basic but well-executed panna cotta with blueberry compote. all in all, i’d say this kid’s got potential, but we’re just going to have to wait and see what it grows up to become.