Restaurants should be named for the food they serve, not after people.
At least, that’s the view of Sean Quinn, owner of the Flat Iron Grill, the namesake of one his favorite cuts of steak.
The forward Argentinean steak and fish house comes with a kick of refinery, but promises food not so obsessed with good looks that it intimidates customers.
Quinn’s collection of 137 whiskies, many of the top-shelf selections circle around a crossbeam above the bar, is more of a personal interest than a business pitch.
The chef’s flat iron steak fills the plate, and comes resting on a bed of goat cheese polenta. In the Argentinean way, it’s topped with salsa and chimichurri sauce, a blend of fresh herbs and olive oil.
“It’s not your traditional steak sauce,” he said.
Argentineans also eat more meat per capita than any other country in the world, he said.
While steak dominates the restaurant’s name, it doesn’t takeover the menu. Seafood, pork and chicken all get fair play. The chorizo sausage, found in the Jambalaya, is homemade.
“Everything is fresh, and everything is done in house,” he said, adding that some menu items change seasonally.
Broccoli and starches dominate side dishes, but he swears by his Brussel sprouts, served in browned butter.
At the restaurant, dark woods, warm light and steel-topped tables create a rustic and rich atmosphere. A summer patio opens up onto Gilman Village boardwalks instead of streets and parking lots.
A steer skull serves as the centerpiece of the bar, which seats about 20. Happy hour is 2-6 p.m. daily.
Flat Iron opened about a year ago, after a restaurant in the same location closed after nine years of business.
Quinn bought up most of the equipment for a bargain, and it couldn’t have fallen in better hands.
An experienced restaurateur, he opened two Southwestern restaurants in Tacoma. Before that, he was the chef at El Gaucho in Tacoma and at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue.
A Western Washington business student, he worked at a chain restaurant when he discovered his passion for food and went to culinary school.
The Flat Iron Grill
317 N.W. Gilman Blvd. #28, Issaquah
Lunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Saturday
Dinner, 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday
Brunch, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday
Happy hour daily, $3 off bar menu items, 2-6 p.m., 9 p.m. to close