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Wednesday, January 31, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Taste of the Town / Nancy Leson

Seattle's 34th Avenue lineup of restaurants gets even tastier

Seattle Times food critic

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Under the bright yellow awning, behind her new walk-up window at 1123 34th Ave. in Seattle, caterer and cook Naomi Andrade Smith dishes up a short list of truly fine Mexican quick-eats at Villa Victoria Take-out and Catering. Smith stuffs her chubby burritos ($4.95-$6.96) with rice, beans and collards (!) plus your choice of garlicky marinated chicken, grilled beef, pan-seared cod fillet or five-chili-spiced tofu.

Don't knock that tofu till you've tried it: I did and it's terrific. Dinner plates ($6.95) feature the above-mentioned main ingredients with sides of rice, beans and righteous greens. Check for daily specials; if you're lucky, you'll score a banana leaf-wrapped tamale. Don't care to wait window-side? Order ahead (206-329-1717). The window's open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

As if the recent opening of Villa Victoria's take-out and its sit-down-and-stay-awhile neighbor, St. Clouds, weren't enough, this eats-happy swath of real estate near 34th and Union is poised to welcome another entry to its dining lineup. Chef Chris Hunter expects to open Supreme-God -- fire marshal and city health inspectors willing - any day now. Supreme's bar-and-bistro design is the work of co-owner Tova Cubert, who is set to run the front of this 48-seat house.

The menu emphasizes "luxurious comfort food," according to Hunter, a five-year veteran of Etta's Seafood. "I'll be revisiting and updating some American and European classics, putting my own twist on them rather than having everything coming out of the kitchen be something I invented that day," he says. Menu starters include a mussel-saffron bisque and chicken-liver mousse. Notable among the entrees (prices are expected to run from $14 to $24) is an interpretation of Peter Cipra's roast pork with caraway dumplings and sauerkraut. This nod to the chef and owner of the late, lamented Labuznik should be a siren's call for Labuznik fans who shared Hunter's passion for it.

Supreme, located in Plenty's old digs (1404 34th Ave.), will initially open for dinner. Weekend brunch is in the offing. Once brunch gets rolling, says Hunter, takeout will be offered, focusing on a rotational, entree-oriented to-go menu. "It'll be something like Monday is roast chicken, Tuesday osso buco, with people faxing in orders, stopping by after work and picking up dinner on their way home," he says. Great idea.

Changes in Green Lake

Prepare to bid a quiet adieu to Brie & Bordeaux (2227 N. 56th St., Seattle). The Green Lake-neighborhood wine-and-cheese shop and its adjoining bistro sold in November to chef Amy McCray and front-man James Hondros and will soon adopt a new name: Eva, honoring Hondros' late grandmother. B&B's wine-and-cheese shop, now closed, is slated to morph into Eva's new wine bar and lounge.

The husband-and-wife team are no strangers to the business. McCray spent two years running the show in the kitchen at Chez Shea, while Hondros (who, in a past life, cooked at Mona's and Etta's Seafood) recently left his job as wine buyer at The Spanish Table. McCray's new oft-changing "contemporary American" menu reflects a mix of European, Asian and Latin influences. Among the winter menu staples are a cabrales cheese flan (a starter served with pear relish and walnut crisp, $6) and sherry-braised rabbit with chorizo bread pudding ($16). Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday. Call 206-633-3538 for reservations.

Nancy Leson's phone number is 206-464-8838. Her e-mail address is: nleson@seattletimes.com.

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