Meet James Parsons, General Manager, The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest
James Parsons knows that growth comes from change and trying something new. He has been part of Fire & Vine Hospitality since 2003 and in July 2018, began a new chapter with the company as general manager of The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest in Bellevue’s W Hotel. James embodies the heart of hospitality that El Gaucho is known for and is looking forward to a new path at The Lakehouse. “I fell in love quickly with The Lakehouse. It is a special combination of elevated, yet casual where we want our guests to feel welcomed into our home and experience new flavors and techniques.”
James knows how to start fresh in a new spot. He was born in Durham, NC but only lived there a month before his parents were transferred to Atlanta, and then along to Hawaii while he was in grade school. He attended Bainbridge High School during another transition, but ultimately graduated from a small high school on Oahu.
After studying business management and computer science in college, he eventually felt a calling to the hospitality industry. He had always worked in restaurants to pay for school and always saw it as paycheck instead of a passion. That all changed when he had an epiphany during a staff training at Tulio in Seattle. He realized he could work hard, continue to learn, and make a career of it. And he hasn’t looked back.
James started in a newly created spot just for him at El Gaucho in 2003 as a busser for private events. He recalls that there was no openings on the staff, because everyone loved their jobs, but he gradually took server positions, bartending shifts, and eventually became a Captain in 2006 and the Wine Director in 2007. In 2010, James and his wife, Amanda, moved to Chicago for a promotion with her company. James parlayed his wine experience to represent his beloved Washington wine region. He joined Woodhouse Family Cellars as the Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, growing the territory to 20 states and a rich portfolio of Washington wines.
2012 brought them home to Seattle, and James could think of no place better to be than back at El Gaucho. In 2015 he was promoted to captain of operations and Wine Director for the entire company. In 2016, he promoted to General Manager.
When Chef Jason Wilson became part of the Fire & Vine Hospitality family, James was inspired by his cooking style and shared philosophy. “Jason believes in the same things we do – putting the guest first and celebrating each day.” He is excited about taking the helm at The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest in Bellevue and the opportunity to grow in the company and learn new skills and techniques, while sharing the El Gaucho service experience.
When asked what he will bring from El Gaucho to The Lakehouse, James referenced El Gaucho founder, Paul Mackay’s belief that “we are the stewards of the El Gaucho service legacy and it will live forever if we take care of it and teach it.” James believes that this opportunity is the perfect next step in his long term career with Fire & Vine Hospitality. “Working for this company is truly a profound experience. We all have the opportunity to retire with this company. How often do you hear that anymore – in any industry, let alone the restaurant industry? I am proud to help support our team as they pursue the passion of their craft.”
In his free time, James admits to being a baseball freak (he’s a loyal Mariners fan), and loves to get outdoors with his wife, Amanda and their young daughter.
James says he will miss seeing the regular guests at El Gaucho Seattle and invites them to visit him at The Lakehouse and looks forward to creating new relationships with Eastside guests – he has an even greater opportunity to create special experiences with both The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest. Please join James and his team for an exceptional service encounter for breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner
For the month of August, join us for a 3-course menu paired with a bottle of DeLille Cellars. Refer to “date night” when making your reservation.
SHARED FIRST COURSE CHOICES
moroccan spice roasted carrots
rich yogurt, chiles, almonds, mint
curry roasted cauliflower
herb hummus, kale pesto, green apple
SHARED SECOND COURSE CHOICES
mad hatcher farms chicken three ways
buttermilk biscuits, lavender honey butter, grilled gem lettuce, bacon mustard vinaigrette, fresno chile, hot sauce & smoked blue cheese aioli
grilled wagyu culotte steak
spicy greens, grillled farm vegetables, cabernet sauce, herb salsa verde
smoky house-made sarde shell pasta
morel mushrooms, yakima corn, parmesan, basil & chard
SHARED DESSERT COURSE CHOICES
dark chocolate cabernet ganache
chocolate pavlova, wine fluid gel, salted caramel, fresh summer berries
olive oil pistachio savarin cake
elderflower-lemon meringue, pistachio, brittle, fresh tonnemaker farms cherries
SHARED BOTTLE CHOICES
DeLille Chaleur Blanc, Columbia Valley, WA
DeLille D2, Columbia Valley, WA
DeLille ‘Metier’ GSM, Yakima Valley, WA
tax and service charge not included
menu subject to change
*A 20% service charge is included on each check. Lakehouse retains 100% of the service charge. Our professional service team receives industry-leading compensation on sales, health insurance, and extensive education and training for a successful career path.
Please reference “Date Night” when making your reservation. Bring this (via print out or mobile device) into The Lakehouse to redeem your special offer.
We are celebrating the arrival of long sunny days with the release of a new summer sipper. Fire & Vine Rosé is now available by the glass, bottle or retail at each of our Fire & Vine Hospitality locations. The 2017 blend of California Chenin Blanc with a touch of Syrah was selected for its light, refreshing nature and beautiful bouquet.
Lee Spires, director of the Fire & Vine Hospitality Wine Syndicate, is always looking for special vintages to include as a private label for our restaurants. “We started this program with the El Gaucho 20 year anniversary blend in 2017 and then added the Revelers Red in 2018. I wanted to add something special for the summer and this Rosé fits beautifully with the flavors of the season.”
Lee recommends pairing the Fire & Vine Rosé with fresh summer dishes including Dungeness crab, oysters and ahi poke but says it is also just perfect for sipping while sitting on the porch enjoying these beautiful Pacific Northwest summer days. #Roséallday!
AQUA by El Gaucho, El Gaucho Bellevue, El Gaucho Portland, El Gaucho Seattle, El Gaucho Tacoma, The Lakehouse, Miller’s Guild
Sunday Night Fried Chicken Suppers
Gather your friends and family around the table for a comforting meal to wind down the weekend. The Lakehouse is welcoming groups of four or more to come and share a delicious fried chicken meal, complete with starters and desserts, served family style for Sunday Supper. No shopping, cooking or dishes required! We all know busy schedules make it hard to find the time to prepare a meal for loved ones at home. This could be your new family tradition. Make your reservation today!
Sunday Supper menu served family style for 4 or more guests on Sunday evenings 4-close. $28 per person plus 20% service charge and tax. No substitutions.
Green Eggs n Ham
Duroc Pork “Zabuton” Steak with parmesan eggs and salsa verde
Build your own Granola Parfait, Waffle and Pancake Bar
Fresh Fruits, Compotes, Syrups, Toppings, yogurts, and creams
Dungeness Crab Lettuce Wraps
baby lettuces, sprouts, grilled pineapple and lime, nuoc cham
Chicken and Waffles
Fried Egg, Buttered Spinach, Mustard pickle, maple
Grilled Prime Washington Sirloin Steak and Eggs
Roasted Garlic Hashbrowns, Chimichuri
Buttermilk Donut Holes
Housemade Jam, Chocolate coffee Sauce
Sweet Potato Brioche “Sticky Cinnamon Bun”
Joel Handshuh’s favorite quote perfectly expresses what he loves about being a chef: “He who works with his hands is a laborer, he who works with his head and his hands is a craftsman, he who works with his head, his hands and his heart, is an artist.” -St. Francis of Assisi. Chef Joel says that cooking allows him to creatively express himself in a way that provides an immediate and tactile response. “Providing happiness for others through food is a feeling I have yet to match,” he says. Since joining us at The Lakehouse Bellevue in November 2017, Joel has been delighting guests with that creativity and passion.
Originally from Palm Springs, CA, Joel began his culinary career while attending the University of Arizona. His time at the Tubac Country Club gave him his first taste in fine dining and he fell in love with the culinary arts and began pursuing it full time. He briefly moved back to Palm Springs and worked for the Purple Palm where he met his first mentor who taught him about the nuance and dedication required to succeed in this field. Joel spent most of his culinary career in San Diego at the Grand Del Mar working in Amaya and the acclaimed fine-dining restaurant Addison. During his tenure, the Grand Del Mar earned Forbes 5 star ratings for three consecutive years and was recognized as top luxury hotel in the US.
Joel wanted to expand his culinary horizons and moved to Seattle. “I knew I wanted to be somewhere with strong food integrity and a diverse restaurant scene.” He joined former French Laundry chef, Mark Bodinet at Copperleaf, where he continued to expand his culinary repertoire and was shown how a true farm-to-table restaurant operates in this region. Joel was selected as a personal chef to one of Seattle’s most notable high net worth individuals and during the two and a half years in that position, was given exciting challenges and incredible opportunities to travel and develop his skills.
Lakehouse Executive Chef and owner Jason Wilson knew Joel was talented and hoped the two would work together at some point and The Lakehouse provided that perfect opportunity. Joel is excited to be part of a restaurant again and enjoys the “passion of the entire team and commitment to excellence” found at The Lakehouse.
When dining out, Joel’s favorite food to eat is a perfect ribeye or piece of seared fois gras, as well as sushi and In-N-Out Burger. When he cooks at home, he focuses on simple ingredients and trying new flavors and techniques inspired by culinary periodicals, social media and his travels. His favorite exotic cuisine experience was authentic Szechuan food. Joel and his girlfriend, Allison, have a “furry little buddy” named Marley and the four year old dog is the light of their lives. His parents and twin siblings, Kip and Casey, still live in the Palm Springs area and visiting them allows him to enjoy golf and hiking.
Fun fact: Joel was once a contestant and winner on Wheel of Fortune! You don’t need to buy a vowel or solve the puzzle to join Joel and his talented team for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner at The Lakehouse in the W Hotel Bellevue.
Resolve to start 2018 deliciously with The Lakehouse freshly pressed juice blends. Our red, green and yellow juices are cold pressed so they include 100% of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and nutrients and a unique and tasty combination of flavors. They pair perfectly with breakfast dishes including Coffee Flour granola, oil-cured salmon and avocado toast or our signature field-hand breakfast.
red…beet, ginger, orange, carrot
green…cucumber, kale, lemon, pear
yellow…pineapple, lemongrass, pepper, fennel
Cheers to a healthy start to 2018!
SUNDAY, DEC. 24 & MONDAY, DEC. 25
NOON — 8PM
$90 Adults / $45 Children 10 & under
SHARED SMALL PLATES
stuffed seckel pears
dolce gorgonzola, chorizo
beet, truffle, salmon roe
roasted chestnut soup
parker house rolls
salted wildflower honey butter
CHOICE OF SALAD
roasted squash and pumpkin salad
winter greens, grilled tree fruits, pomegranate dressing
butter lettuce and endive citrus salad
shaved radishes, winter citrus, parmesan
herb and salt roasted salmon
meyer lemon, spot prawn butter
niman ranch eye of prime rib
truffled mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, sauteed kale, roasted squash
tangerine meringue, chocolate ganache, brandied cherries
goat cheese cake
cranberry compote, spiced graham crumble
Dine at any Revelers Club location this holiday season and receive a one-time $50 reward when you spend $250 or more.
When you dine and spend more than $250* with us between November 24 and December 31, as a Revelers Club member you will receive a one-time $50 reward bonus to redeem in January 2018. The bonus will automatically load to your account on January 2, 2018 for redemption through January 31, 2018. This is in addition to your earned loyalty points.
Revel with us this Holiday Season!
*Total is on food and beverage only and excludes tax and service charge or gratuity.
Thursday, November 23 • 11am – 8pm
Reservations strongly suggested
$70/person, $45/kids 12 and under
Ask about our special cocktails and wine pairings.
SHARED FOR THE TABLE
Twice Baked Sunchokes with bacon, gruyere, and chives
Freshly Baked Multigrain Rolls
Deviled Eggs, Pickled in Beet Juice, Smoked Salmon Roe
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Squash, Autumn Greens, Pumpkin Seeds, White Cheddar, Crisp Sage
Grilled and Fresh Apples and Pears, Endive, Blue Cheese, Walnuts and Pomegranate
FAMILY STYLE DINNER
Classic Roasted Natural Turkey
Whole Grain Bread, Apple and Chanterelle Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Gravy, Cranberry Chutney
Grilled Niman Ranch Prime Eye of the Rib
with Mashed Potatoes, Horseradish, Sauteed Kale
Pecan Pie, maple bourbon ice cream with caramel sauce
Honeynut Squash Cheesecake, maple granola, cranberry sorbet