Duke’s Seafood and Chowder, located on the second floor of Lincoln Square South, opened in the fall of 2017. Known for its award-winning clam chowder and natural, sustainable, chemical and hormone free ingredients, the Bellevue location has already won best restaurant and best seafood restaurant in the 425 Magazine reader poll. Situated in the heart of The Bellevue Collection, the restaurant is 6,200 square feet and seats 210 guests. The decor of this upscale, informal seafood concept is of a fishing theme with exposed wood and leather seating. Lunch, dinner and happy hour are offered daily.
We interviewed Duke Moscrip, founder and chief innovator, to learn more about his first Eastside location in downtown Bellevue.
How did Duke’s Seafood and Chowder come to be?
In 1976, Duke broke away from his partnership in Ray’s Boathouse to start the original Duke’s Bar & Grill on Queen Anne. He wanted to do something on his own that was less formal and had a distinctive menu. After trying a few different options, the Duke’s Chowder House concept resonated with their customers the most. Today, their 7 Duke’s locations are casual and unpretentious, where comfort, tasty cocktails and scrumptious food all come together. The new Bellevue location is particularly noteworthy because Kemper Freeman and Duke Moscrip attended Bellevue High School together.
Tell me about the chef…
The executive chef, Bill Ranninger, has been working with Duke Moscrip for 23 years. According to Duke, Bill is creative, innovative and always willing to try new ideas for dishes at the restaurant. For example, Duke came up with the idea to have a salmon dish with blueberries and goat cheese. They went into the kitchen together and made this idea into a reality. Bill carries a desire to make Duke’s food special.
What kind of food options do you have? Tell me about the ingredients.
Duke and his son, John, personally source ingredients for the restaurant based on a simple philosophy: 100% sustainable, chemical-free, nitrite-free, BCH and BST free, cage-free, hormone-free, growth stimulant-free, antibiotic-free, high-fructose corn syrup-free. They also try to have organic, gluten-free food whenever possible, and always fresh. This has been their philosophy for decades, as they serve only sustainable salmon, halibut, and prawn dishes, as well as grass-fed beef for their burgers.
What is your most popular dish?
Duke’s Seafood and Chowder’s most popular dish is their Copper River Salmon, which is served all year long. They have a unique way of cleaning and freezing the fish within hours of its catch, so that whenever they serve it, it tastes as if it just came off the boat. Duke’s is also known for their award-winning clam chowders.
What sets Duke’s apart from other restaurants in Bellevue?
According to Duke Moscrip, Duke’s Seafood and Chowder is one of the few restaurants that is owner-run and has been serving Puget Sound for over 40 years. Duke is involved in every aspect of the business, including dreaming up new dishes to serve to their customers. Flavor is everything to their dishes, as well as locally produced, chemical-free, whole foods.
What do you think makes our Bellevue community special and unique?
Bellevue is a community that cares. The organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and Bellevue LifeSpring are good examples of taking care of kids that don’t always have the advantages of others. It is also a community of people with sophisticated palettes who demand the best and appreciate great food.