ROGO'S RESTAURANT | BAR: Our Story
Rogo’s Restaurant and Bar, located in the heart of Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, is sure to please with a sparkling atmosphere, amazing food, and genuine wait staff. Chef/Owner Michael Rogozinski maintains a seasonally-crafted contemporary American Cuisine, but one visit to Rogo’s and you’ll quickly see that his influences range from Latin to Mediterranean to French Cuisine.
“Our goal is to serve the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients that highlight our passion for quality food,” says Chef Michael. “This includes making things ‘in-house’, like smoked salmon, smoked duck prosciutto, home-cured items, dressings and sauces from scratch.”
Rogo’s menu reflects Rogozinski’s well-traveled background and his extensive resume as a chef. He was born and raised in Guatemala, where his mother (who coincidentally grew up in Seattle’s Greenlake area) worked for the State Department. His path back to Seattle started with an apprenticeship at the Four Seasons in Houston, Texas, and then he attended to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Following graduation, he returned to the Four Seasons, but shortly thereafter he took a gamble, selling everything he owned and moving to Paris to pursue a job at the revered Le Grenadin, where he acquired his taste for French cuisine. After his travels, Rogozinski returned to the United States and relocated to Seattle, where the Szmanias put him to work and introduced him to the Executive Chef of Ray’s Boathouse, which led to a full-time position at Ray’s where he remained for five years. From there, he moved to positions at other Seattle landmarks The Pink Door and the Sheraton Hotels’ Pike Street Café.
By 2012, after accumulating a wealth of culinary knowledge and experience, Rogozinski realized that it was time to make his dream of owning a restaurant come true. With his wife and Seattle native, Carolyn, the concept of Rogo’s came to life, and in 2014, Rogo’s Restaurant and Bar opened its doors in Magnolia. Since then, it has become a cornerstone of the community, and Chef Michael and his team continue to deliver finely-crafted dishes and top-class service to this cozy Seattle neighborhood.
“For us, ‘New American Cuisine’ means comfort food you can’t make at home, with influences from all over the world, including the Northwest. It’s a little risky when you can’t easily identify the concept, but Seattle is full of urban foodies who enjoy expanding their palates. We offer a great experience and great food, without making a fuss about it.
“Our goal is to serve the freshest locally-sourced ingredients that highlight our passion for food.”
And that includes making things in-house, like smoked salmon, smoked duck prosciutto, home-cured items, dressings and sauces.
In April of 2014, Michael and Carolyn purchased SZMANIA'S Restaurant from Ludger and Julie Szmania, owners for 24 years. Their agreement allowed use of the SZMANIA'S name for up to one year. And one year later, it was time for Rogo’s.
The menu reflects Michael’s background and his extensive resume as a chef. He was born and raised in Guatemala, where his mother (who grew up in Seattle’s Green Lake area) worked for the State Department. There she met Michael’s father, a German born in Guatemala (with a Polish name!).
His road to Seattle moved from an apprenticeship at the Four Seasons Inn on the Park in Houston to the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, N.Y. and, following his graduation, back to Houston and the Four Seasons. He took a chance then, selling everything and moving to Paris, finding a dishwasher job at Le Grenadin, and then eventually moving up to cook.
He returned to the U.S. and Seattle, reaching out to Four Season connections that included Kaspar Donier and Ludger Szmania, who put him to work on the line and introduced him to Ray’s Chef Charles Ramsayer, who also found a position for Michael, which led to full-time work where he remained for five years.
Then it was on to the Pink Door, to the Sheraton’s Pike Street Café, back to the Pink door and then, in 2003, some well-deserved time off. His next job would last for nine years as Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Services at Seattle’s Summit at First, a retirement residence.
By 2012, he realized that it was time to make a move toward his dream of owning a restaurant, and the conversation with the Szmania’s began.
Yes, now it’s Rogo’s time, and Magnolia and Seattle can benefit from and enjoy the many talents of Michael Rogozinski.