1940s Mexican Style Comes To Life In This Washington Eatery


restaurant with cream-colored plaster walls, wood tables and chairs, and a rattan chandelier Photo: Andrew Pogue

East of Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington, El Encanto restaurant transports the culinary ambience of central Mexico to the Pacific Northwest. Chef Gabriel Chavez brings his Durango, Mexico, background to a menu that spotlights his heritage with recipes passed down through the generations in a space that harks to Mexican Modernist architecture of the 1940s.

Designed by local firm Jeunesse Architects, the warm, airy restaurant features hand-troweled plaster walls, a traditional building material of the era that reflects sunlight and brings a sense of softness to the eatery. “The menu at El Encanto offers a modern take on traditional family recipes, so I also wanted to look to that Mexican Modernist style of past generations for the interior design,” says Jeunesse lead designer Heather Pogue. “The plaster walls and black-and-white photographs adorning the space show tradition, while the wood details in the bar are modern design ideas.”