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#1 ereidy

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 11:30 AM

Went to Seattle a few weeks ago, and had two VERY memorable meals.

The first was at Dahlia Lounge, a Tom Douglas restaurant. I started out with the Tuscan Bread Salad. Though this dish came highly recommended, I was skeptical, as I don't like "mushy" food. It was spectacular--the bread was just the right combination of chewy and crunchy, and the pesto was strong. Each bite was filled with a great complexity of flavors and textures. My entree was a spinach goat-cheese ravioli. The ravioli were tender, however I was surprised to find the goat cheese outside of the ravioli rather than inside. For dessert, I had made to order doughnut holes with vanilla marscapone cheese. The doughnuts were piping hot and came in bag with a cinnamon sugar mix. The cream added just the right amount of savory to balance the sweetness of the doughnuts. Seriously, I almost audibly moaned!! Usually when I dine by myself, I read book while eating. This meal made it impossible to read as I was so consumed by quality of the food that I had to concentrate on each bite!!

The second was a Wild Ginger. This is a family-style restaurant, so not the best for the solo diner. I started with two of their satays--a chicken and a pork. The sauces were complex, without being overly sweet. The meat was practically falling off the stick it was so tender. My entree was their fragent duck. Sadly, I was hoping for more of a taste of the anise and other spices...but really, it doesn't take much for me to love duck!

Would highly recommend either to anyone visiting Seattle!



#2 jm chen

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 02:33 PM

I also really enjoyed Dahlia Lounge, especially the delicious carrot-fennel ravioli. Tender, wonderful homemade pasta with just the right sweetness.

And Lark is also superfantastic. Little plates. Wonderful cheese with membrillo and olives and almonds. Go early, they don't take reservations.
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#3 cjsadler

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 07:09 PM

I too really enjoyed the Dahlia Lounge when I was there last year. Man, that coconut cream pie that they're legendary for was unbelievable.

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#4 jparrott

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 02:34 PM

Le Pichet is a brilliant wine bar that's open for breakfast, too. Right downtown.

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#5 Joe H

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 04:42 PM

Wild Ginger also makes the best Kung Pao chicken I've ever had (don't laugh!). Dahlia Lounge and Etta's are both very good but I prefer Flying Fish whose chef was also nominated (may have won but I'm not certain) for a regional Beard award. The Herb Farm is a separate thread all to itself-my wife and I went before their fire ten years ago when you reserved one year to the day-first hour and then they were booked. After they rebuilt it nows reminds me of the Inn at Little Washington and has lost much of its "gingerbread house" charm.

While I have not been-yet-a friend "whose opinion I trust" absolutely raves about Lampreia. This person has a great deal of credibility; enough that on my next visit I will definitely go there.

Ray's Boathouse is also a Seattle tradition as is Emmett Watson's in the Pike Place Market. Great oysters and good fish and chips at the latter, exemplery salmon at the former.

#6 Demetrius

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:48 PM

I was in Seattle, WA a few years back on a business trip and had a terrific meal at Wild Ginger! Glad to see that it is still doing well, and you had a good experience. I can't wait to go back myself. :lol:

#7 ustreetguy

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:34 PM

Wild Ginger also makes the best Kung Pao chicken I've ever had (don't laugh!).  Dahlia Lounge and Etta's are both very good but I prefer Flying Fish whose chef was also nominated (may have won but I'm not certain) for a regional Beard award.  The Herb Farm is a separate thread all to itself-my wife and I went before their fire ten years ago when you reserved one year to the day-first hour and then they were booked.  After they rebuilt it nows reminds me of the Inn at Little Washington and has lost much of its "gingerbread house" charm.

The Herb Farm is not just a dinner, it's an event that takes up the entire evening. Thankfully I don't think you need to call a year in advance anymore. It's well worth the trip for anyone with the time and a designated driver :lol: .

Personally I prefer Dahlia Lounge and Flying Fish over the "too popular for its own good" Wild Ginger, but the place certainly has its following. However, one dish I really did enjoy was the seven spice beef.
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#8 TedE

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 05:07 PM

Tally another one for Wild Ginger and Flying Fish (I'd choose the former at the satay bar if it was on my dime, the latter if somebody else was picking up the tab). Also don't miss Shiro's in Belltown for sushi. Get the geoduck if you are there at the right time of year; something we don't normally see on this coast.

"Mmmm ... floor pie ...." - Homer Simpson


#9 Joe H

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:52 PM

I'm kind of surprised that so many have been to Seattle! Has anyone been to Dick's, the locally legendary hamburger drive in that is a real throw back to the '50's when it started? And hasn't changed since.

To take this a step further has anyone been to Dick's in Spokane (separately owned) which has (believe it or not!) McDonald's original french fries from pre 1967 which were fried in 70% animal fat? Serious. USA Today a couple of years ago called this America's second highest grossing fast food restaurant after Atlanta's Varsity. But IT SERVES THE EXACT ORIGINAL FOOD THAT MCDONALD'S SERVED FORTY YEARS AGO!!! I am not making this up. It is the only place on earth that does this. Dick's in Seattle is excellent-but Dick's in Spokane (a different Dick, if you will....) is even better.

And, the McDonald's down the street-with today's frozen potatoes, frozen hamburger, chemically composed shakes-does a small fraction of the business of what amounts to the original!

True story.

This is an outstanding essay about Washington state hamburger drive ins which just happens to fondly mention the Spokane Dick's: http://www.thestrang...ontent?oid=4834

Edited by Joe H, 17 October 2005 - 07:08 PM.


#10 Venerable Bede

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:15 AM

i've had equally fantastic dinners at etta's and palace kitchen (both tom douglas). if you were to make me choose which one was better, i'd take palace kitchen (although, dahlia does have the bakery on-site). there are a bunch of other restaurants that i've wanted to try, but i'll have to wait until next time.

#11 DC in DC

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 12:25 PM

One of my favorite meals ever has been at Lark. It's very similar to Komi in the casual elegance of the place, though Lark has more of a rustic feel. I wish it were here in DC! We've also enjoyed Flying Fish, Wild Ginger and Brasa.
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#12 Lydia R

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 08:15 PM

I learned the value of these boards during a visit to Belltown - I had a few weekday solo meals to explore the Pike Place market area - found Matt's at the Market through the CH board. I would have never, never found it. I think they seat less than 20 (half are at the bar). They have no storage space so the staff shops a couple of times a day downstairs in the market... Great bar/counter for gaining intelligence about cooking and wine.

I liked the Tom Douglas experience so much I bought the cookbook (not sure if your specifically listed yummies are in it)

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#13 jjshyne

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 06:04 PM

I love Seattle and they have some great food! I'm originally from the area so here are my list of restaurants I would suggest to check out.

Dahlia Lounge- I agree, the Tuscan Bread Salad is to die for and their Portobello sandwich is great.

Wasabi Bistro- go there for some inventive sushi. It's a very happening place and a great place to go on a date.

Sea Garden (China Town)- This is some great authentic Chinese food. My family used to go there every weekend. I would recommend their whole crab in garlic. Their congee is really good too.

Cedars (UW)- Yummy Indian food. This place is always packed and their Naan is baked fresh. Tikka Marsala anyone?

El Gaucho- STEAK. Haven't been there myself, but my best friend raves about this place and she's a major foodie

BEST FAST FOOD FISH"N CHIPS- IVARS!!! It is an institution in Seattle. They have really yummy white clam chowder and trust me, this is no Long John Silvers. The fish is lightly breaded and flaky. They fry them on the spot so they always come out nice and hot! I'm getting a craving from just thinking about it.

Piroshky Piroshky- Polish Bakery. Wonderful to eat while you are strolling Pike Place Market. Don't remember the name but get the spiral bun with cheese and green onions.


:lol:
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#14 Joe H

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 02:39 PM

Emmett Watson across the street from the Pike Place Market has fish and chips to rival Blackpool's best.

#15 TedE

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 03:12 PM

Oh, and I forgot to add the Two Bell's Tavern for their burger. Seriously sloppy and seriously good. The place is nice and divey with some great beers on tap.

"Mmmm ... floor pie ...." - Homer Simpson


#16 vengroff

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 09:06 PM

Next time any of you are in Seattle, make sure to stop in at Union. Chef Ethan Stowell does some amazing work with a menu that changes daily. Whenever I pass Wild Ginger and see the throngs waiting in the lobby to be seated, I'm tempted to go in and direct them two blocks down to Union.

Earth and Ocean (formerly the domain of Lark's chef Jonathan Sundstom) continues to do some interesting work, e.g. sable fish sous vide.

As for some of the other places mentioned in this thread, some comments:

Flying Fish's chef de cuisine Steve Smrstik has departed for the well regarded 35th Street Bistro in the Freemont neighborhood, north of the main downtown area. Word on the street is there was some kind of dispute of the use of organic-only ingredients. He didn't believe that they universally produced better dishes.

Of the Tom Douglas places, the only one I think is worth visiting regularly is Palace Kitchen. It's especially good late nights, when it is one of the only kitchens of note still open.

Dick's is miles ahead of McDonalds, I'll give you that, but the fries tend toward the limp and greasy, and the only burger you really want to order is the standard cheeseburger. It has about a 1:1 cheese to meat ratio that makes is as much like a grilled cheese sandwich as a burger. The hand scooped shakes are decent.

Two Bell's is where I met my wife--no joke. Back then it was about 1/3 the size it is today and the burger and grilled sausage sandwich, both prepared on a tiny grill at the back corner of the bar, were pretty much the entire food menu.

Shiro's is at the top of the traditional Sushi places. The monkfish liver, when available, is by itself enough reason to visit. My other favorite Japanese place is Nishino. The chef trained under Nobu Matsuhisa before moving north from LA, and that experience clearly inspired many of the dishes. Toro tartare with caviar and yuzu and dungeness crab are favorites. They also have a killer sake selection.

I really like the food at Lark, but the one thing that kills me every time is the Denny's quality stemware. Come on guys, Speigelau is just not that expensive any more.

#17 vengroff

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 09:11 PM

And how could I forget, Salumi, Armandino Batali's hole in the wall joint where the house cure 17 different kinds of salumi. I had the opportunity spend a year curing a whole prosciutto under Dino's direction. Talk about slow food.

#18 vengroff

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 09:41 PM

Some shots of the prosciutto:

Attached Thumbnails

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#19 Heather

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 05:13 AM

Some shots of the prosciutto:

Welcome to dr.com, Vengroff. Nice prosciutto.

#20 Joe H

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 12:08 PM

Next time any of you are in Seattle, make sure to stop in at Union.  Chef Ethan Stowell does some amazing work with a menu that changes daily.  Whenever I pass Wild Ginger and see the throngs waiting in the lobby to be seated, I'm tempted to go in and direct them two blocks down to Union.

Earth and Ocean (formerly the domain of Lark's chef Jonathan Sundstom) continues to do some interesting work, e.g. sable fish sous vide.

As for some of the other places mentioned in this thread, some comments:

Flying Fish's chef de cuisine Steve Smrstik has departed for the well regarded 35th Street Bistro in the Freemont neighborhood, north of the main downtown area.  Word on the street is there was some kind of dispute of the use of organic-only ingredients.  He didn't believe that they universally produced better dishes.

Of the Tom Douglas places, the only one I think is worth visiting regularly is Palace Kitchen.  It's especially good late nights, when it is one of the only kitchens of note still open. 

Dick's is miles ahead of McDonalds, I'll give you that, but the fries tend toward the limp and greasy, and the only burger you really want to order is the standard cheeseburger.  It has about a 1:1 cheese to meat ratio that makes is as much like a grilled cheese sandwich as a burger.  The hand scooped shakes are decent.

Two Bell's is where I met my wife--no joke.  Back then it was about 1/3 the size it is today and the burger and grilled sausage sandwich, both prepared on a tiny grill at the back corner of the bar, were pretty much the entire food menu.

Shiro's is at the top of the traditional Sushi places.  The monkfish liver, when available, is by itself enough reason to visit.  My other favorite Japanese place is Nishino.  The chef trained under Nobu Matsuhisa before moving north from LA, and that experience clearly inspired many of the dishes.  Toro tartare with caviar and yuzu and dungeness crab are favorites.  They also have a killer sake selection.

I really like the food at Lark, but the one thing that kills me every time is the Denny's quality stemware.  Come on guys, Speigelau is just not that expensive any more.


The Seattle Dick's have a lot of 50's ambience but have nothing in common with the Spokane Dick's which has McDonald's original fries. Seattles are entirely DIFFERENT. Two different owners, two completely different operations with totally different food.

Thanks for the info about Flying Fish. I've been to the Dahlia Lounge twice, Etta's once and left both somewhat disappointed. When Flying Fish first opened it became a regular annual stop for me. Here there is a restaurant called Black Salt which is very similar.

#21 DonRocks

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 12:14 PM

And Lark is also superfantastic. Little plates. Wonderful cheese with membrillo and olives and almonds. Go early, they don't take reservations.

Lark is one of the coolest and very best restaurants I've been to this year. A true gem, amazingly inexpensive (look at these prices!), and worth going out of your way to find.

Likewise Macrina Bakery, which is an absolute requirement for weekend breakfast.

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#22 vengroff

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 12:49 PM

Macrina is pretty damn good, but the hands down best pastry in town is at Cafe Besalu in Ballard. It's a small place with an open pastry kitchen where chef/owner James Miller and his crew hand make croissants in the finest European tradition. His ginger biscuits are also not to be missed.

Edited by vengroff, 24 October 2005 - 02:05 PM.


#23 dinwiddie

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 11:04 AM

One of my favorite spots that we visited on our last trip to Seattle was the Swingside Cafe in the Freemont section. Excellent food, and a great wine list.

#24 Banco

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 02:49 PM

Lark is one of the coolest and very best restaurants I've been to this year.  A true gem, amazingly inexpensive (look at these prices!), and worth going out of your way to find.

Based on this and other good things I've read on the EG Seattle thread, I just bought a gift certificate for Lark for my brother and his wife, who live near Seattle. (The whole object of this exercise, of course, is for them to spend the certificate on me when I go visit them in February.)

#25 Banco

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Posted 10 February 2006 - 02:53 PM

I had some delightful dining and drinking experiences in Seattle last week while visiting friends and family. It seems the options there just get better and better with every visit.

First off was a visit to papa Batalis Salumi on Third Avenue near Pioneer Square. This little hole-in-the-wall deli still has the feel of an inside secret despite the line going out the door at lunch hour. People come for take-out or to try to nab one of the few two-tops or a seat at the communal table. Its worth it. The house cured meats, ranging from fennel-flavored finocchiano to spicy soppresata, are luscious (Salumi also cures its own prosciutto). I had a plate of gnocchi in a densely flavorful and peppery ragu, then a sandwich layered with soppresata, salami, provolone, and a rich olive tapenade. Wine is by the glass from a communal jug of Montalcino at the big table. You pour your own and pay $3.50 a glass on the honor system. It reminded me of the times Ive eaten at little osterias in Italy. This is a unique and not-to-miss destination for any food-lover traveling to Seattle.

A highlight of my stay was dinner at Lark with my brother and his wife. Lark is a casual space seating about 50 in a setting of exposed beams and wood floors. Jeans would not be infra-dig here. They do not accept reservations, but when I e-mailed them that I would be coming from out of town, they put me at the top of their list for my requested time. The food focuses on simple combinations of top quality ingredients prepared with exacting care. An appetizer of fluffy mozzarella and arugula was a refreshing relief from the ubiquitous caprese. Creamy cauliflower soup won me over by presenting all the essence of the aroma and flavor of the vegetable with no fanfare. Yellowtail carpaccio, though sliced somewhat thick for my taste, was paired perfectly with shavings of fennel. The foie gras dishes, both a terrine and a seared scallop, were beautifully combined with flavors of quince compote (for the terrine) and pear (for the scallop). Pork belly over polenta was crispy on the outside, meltingly tender on the inside. Braised short ribs were a highlight of the eveningdeeply flavorful, rich, and tender. This is the kind of food where simplicity of preparation and presentation are used to highlight judicious combinations of flavors and textures as well as ingredients of the highest quality.

Lark operates on a sort of family-style concept. Our waiter advised us to order about eight dishes and to share them amongst ourselves, and each was brought to the table with a serving spoon. But theres a disjuncture between concept and execution: all the dishes were small enough to be appropriate as appetizers or entrees for a single person of normal appetite, and sharing them often was impractical (cutting a morsel of melting pork belly or short rib into three pieces, for example, is impossible to do without making a mess of the dish). This approach also ends up being quite pricey; our food bill alone was about 65 dollars per person. Lark should either adjust their portioning and presentation to bring it in line with their concept, or scrap the concept and present the menu along more conventional lines. Id prefer the latter.

Later in the week I had a dinner with an old friend at Tom Douglass Dahlia Lounge. Dahlia has developed the kind of local fame and reputation that can eventually hamper the quality and creativity of whats on the plate, and since its founding Tom Douglas has formed a veritable dynasty of restaurants in Seattle. My expectations were therefore mixed, and Im afraid the results were as well. Some oysters on the half from British Columbia were among the finest Ive ever had in my life: plump, meaty, briny and absolutely fresh. But wild salmon, which should be a no-brainer for a Seattle restaurant of this caliber, was well beyond the requested medium-rare, served over a kind of hash of Brussels Sprouts and, if I remember correctly, potato puree. It tasted very good, and the sprouts went well with the salmon, but in terms of preparation, texture, and plating, I expected more from Dahlia. This just seemed tired to me. The wine list was also limited and disappointing. Service, however, was faultless.

Before Dahlia my friend and I met for drinks at Zigzag caf near the Pike Place Market. This is one of those cool spots that I wish we had more of in DC. Plush booths and mahogany tables give the feel of an updated version of the cocktail lounges of yore. Zigzag takes special pride in their mixology, and it shows. I ordered a Sazerac and got into a very educational conversation with the bartender about the history of the drink. Zigzags version was perfect, and I think any cocktail I would order there, no matter how obscure, would probably be as well. They have an interesting bar menu, too.

Its trips like this to Seattle that make me wonder why the hell I live so far away from my native PNW. When it comes to food, its hard to beat.

Edited by Banco, 10 February 2006 - 03:15 PM.


#26 Lydia R

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 09:51 PM

Bump.

I'm heading back to Seattle for a lazy week and wonder if there are any new places I should check out.

I'll be exploring new parts of town because my friend moved from Belltown to Magnolia and I can't just walk a couple of blocks to Pike Place Market.

ETA: We're trying to get into Crush- anybody been to Jason Wilson's place?

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#27 aklewis78

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 03:54 PM

My gf and I just returned from a trip that included two dinners and a lunch in Seattle.

The first dinner was at Union. The service was great and the food was good, but I feel like we may have been a year or so late in terms of seeing the chef's adventurous side. As our server explained, Union no longer offers a tasting menu because the kitchen couldn't handle what amounted to two different types of service on a given night (i.e., a la carte and tasting menus), and they wanted to focus more on the a la carte side of things. That's a nice way of saying the masses are paying the bills, and the masses don't want to be challenged. Case in point -- our server called our half-bottle orders (sancerre with the fava salad and grilled barramundi starters; Willamette Valley pinot with the black bass and duck) "refreshingly civilized" and visibly shuddered when a guy at a nearby four-top was trying to order another bottle of Bud Light.

Lunch the next day began with a chees plate at The Tasting Room, the retail presence of a collective of Washington wineries locatged in Post Alley, pleasantly above the fray of Pike's Place. The secret gem here is that they offer a charcuterie plate of Salumi products; the perfect complement to big chewy reds, and without the legendary wait in line at Salumi proper.

On our vine-mistress's recommendation, we continued on for lunch at Saito's. Having lived in LA's Little Tokyo for a couple years, my sushi bar is set pretty high. But this place was awesome. Impressive selection of pristine fish, and equally impressive sake list. Oh, and natto. Yum.

The blowout dinner went down at a place called Mistral. Next time you're in Seattle, have some extra cash and three+ hours to spare, GO THERE. I'll spare the blow-by-blow -- google a few reviews for that -- and just say that Miles and Mingus were playing in the background, there wasn't a menu (just a choice of 8 or 9 courses), and the wine and service were beyond compare. The space is small and intimate yet fully refined, the food is challenging yet comforting, and the overall experience is truly special.

#28 MeMc

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 01:51 PM

I saw this on Seattleist this weekend. I'm not so enthralled by the secretive part as the creative possibilities for food, locations, etc. I've read that it's a regular thing in Hong Kong, and I'm guessing in other cities, too. . .
______________________
There's subterfuge on the menu at the mysterious restaurant called Gypsy. With no permanent address, a revolving list of chefs creating original menus for each clandestine dinner, and an application process that weeds out potential diners who'd betray the cause, Gypsy has us buzzing. Marketing is entirely by word-of-mouth. About 1,000 people have made the cut so far, and dinners for 18 usually sell out less than ten hours after the invitation e-mail is sent. The man behind it all says Gypsy is a success because diners find it liberating to leave their comfort zone: they eat with strangers, don't get to order their food, and don't even know where they're going until a few days before the dinner.

Chefs are excited to participate because they get the opportunity to make food that's entirely different from their usual fare. The intimate scale is a draw for both chefs and guests, and it doesn't hurt that a recent dinner featured dishes such as Alaskan Halibut Steamed in Savoy Cabbage with Glazed Baby Vegetables, Meyer Lemon Foam and Chervil Oil, and Foie Gras with Rosemary Roasted Grapes and a Wine Syrup. Gypsy recently hosted Anthony Bourdain, chef, cookbook author, and star of No Reservations at a meal that featured dishes such as Geoduck Sashimi on Oceanic Gele, and Truffled Braised Veal Cheeks with Morels, Braised Leeks, and Pomme Pure. For more information, email sundays@gypsydinners.com.
_______________________________
Can we get a Gypsy? Or am I just unaware of the one we already have?
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#29 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 06:38 PM

Can we get a Gypsy? Or am I just unaware of the one we already have?

I don't know how we'd know. Because the first rule of Fight Club is...

This clandestine haute dining concept is brilliant - part The Freshman and part Eyes Wide Shut. Bourdain AND geoduck? Their Rockwell Files obviously contain fresh intel about which buttons to push. :) Properly executed, I'd go in a heartbeat. Now if only DR.com held secret, unmentionable events too.

Dave Hsu
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#30 synaesthesia

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:46 PM

Sandwiches from Paseo in the Fremont area. They are just fantastic. Pork with onions, mayo, cilantro and buttery corn on the cob. It's a little shack, but it's just great.
Jamie

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#31 Al Dente

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:33 AM

What a place for a foodie. "Pan Asian" seems to be a bad word to some folks, but Monsoon was excellent. Had a light lunch at Saito for some exquisite nigiri. Then had a HEAVY lunch at Salumi where we were given recommendations for dinner last night by Armandino Batali and one of his daughters. What an amazing experience! We took their advice and headed to Lark which may just have been one of my top 10 dining experiences ever. Tonight, Union where we'll meet former eG DC moderator Vengroff. Now I just need to find the perfect wine to bring along!

Sorry for the lack of details, but I need to save my strength for a kayak trip on Lake Union.

Wish you were here,
Al

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#32 Al Dente

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:06 PM

You might as well impale yourself on the Space Needle if you don't drop by Salumi when you're in town. I think I paid about $15 for this plateful of goodies. Check out the tantalizers hanging in the window too.

[Edited to state: I'll try posting these damn pics later when I have it figured out at home]

[Edited again to add: I guess I was trying to post too large a pic...]

salumi2.jpg
salumi.jpg

Michael Ollinger

 

“The United States of America is awesome. We are awesome. But we’ve had this discussion. We’ve closed the book on it. The reason they want the discussion is not to show how awesome we are. It’s to show us how we’re not awesome.”  --Awesome words of wisdom from Faux News's Andrea Tantaros.

#33 Mrs. B

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:30 PM

You might as well impale yourself on the Space Needle if you don't drop by Salumi when you're in town. I think I paid about $15 for this plateful of goodies. Check out the tantalizers hanging in the window too.

[Edited to state: I'll try posting these damn pics later when I have it figured out at home]

Armandino Batali is the god of American cured meats and his pork cheeks are nothing to sneeze at either. I was almost moved to tears the first time I took bites of his sandwiches. He nearly moves me to impure thoughts too (thank G-d I don't keep Kosher)! I think we might want to consider finding a way to order one of his Culatello http://www.salumicuredmeats.com/ and finding a kindly restaurant owner with a meat slicer (Dean you out there?) and giving it a whirl.
Read Heat by Bill Bruford to find out about the butchers in Italy that taught him his stuff - fun read if the author is a bit to self-referential for my taste, but that's actually the nature of the book I guess.

#34 Heather

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:36 PM

I want to cure my own prosciutto there like Darren Vengroff did. Armandino :)

#35 brr

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 09:31 AM

You might as well impale yourself on the Space Needle if you don't drop by Salumi when you're in town.

I was on a really tight schedule in Seattle but believe me, I felt like impaling myself on the Space Needle when I went by Salumi the morning I was leaving to discover they didn't open until noon or something like that......they took pity on me and gave me a few scraps of meat but I didn't get to revel in the glory of cured meats like you did

#36 pidgey

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:21 PM

I was in Seattle last weekend for a very large conference, and that really seemed to affect the wait times at restaurants, according to my friends who live there, who aren't used to waiting an hour for a table. Here are a few of my thoughts on Seattle food:

Medin's Ravioli Station in Ballard is a gas station converted into a restaurant. The prices were good, the ravioli was okay, and despite its size, we were able to get a table immediately (we had tried a few other places). I had the ravioli sampler, which had four different kinds of ravioli and sauce. Unfortunately, our waitress was not very good. She forgot our wine, could not make sauce and ravioli combo recommendations (hence why I got the sampler), and when she did bring the wine, she plunked down the open bottle in front of us with three glasses and walked away, so she didn't notice that she brought us the wrong bottle. Back to the ravioli: the filling was plentiful and well seasoned, the sauces were good (tomato cream, marinara, alfredo, and red bell pepper), I wasn't so enamored of the actual dumpling part, as it was a little mushy. If you're traveling with kids, this might be a good place for them, but otherwise, I'd say spend your money elsewhere.

Ray's Boathouse is a Seattle institution that has been mentioned here before. We ended up eating in the cafe bar upstairs, since there was an hour wait for a table (that conference again). In the summer, the patio is supposed to be the place to be, but in the winter, when it was cold and rainy, we were perfectly content to stay inside and enjoy our meal of calamari, lentil soup, crabcake, seafood salad (mixed greens with chunks of seafood), and smoked salmon skewers. The skewers were a wonderful surprise, with a kind of sweetness and smokiness, but I found that the crabcake had a little too much filling for my taste. I also recommend the seafood salad.

Beecher's Handmade cheese in Pike's Place Market makes the best macaroni and cheese in the world, according to them, and honestly, I think I may have to agree. They make it from their house cheese, and there are large chunks of cheese attached to the pasta. Actually, their regular house cheese is pretty good as well. We took some back to my friend's house, and pigged out. on cheese and a loaf of bread that we got at one of the bakeries in the market. We also picked up some mussels and produce to cook at home. Mussels were $4/lb at the market.

We finished off that meal with cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, in Ballard. Cupcake Royale puts all my cupcake experiences to shame. There was a special red velvet cupcake for Valentine's Day, and it was good. All of the cupcakes that we sampled were not too sweet, dense and fresh (i.e., not dry). Their zucchini bread was also quite good, and the portion was hefty. Plus, the store was a little off-beat as well, and you can buy such merchandise as a "Legalize Frostitution" t-shirt.

#37 porcupine

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:17 PM

Can anyone make some general recommendations about visiting Seattle? Are the restaurants mentioned in previous posts still the ones to go to? Is there a particular part of town that's good to stay in? Is there a magic week in the summer when it might not be raining too much? Many thanks.

Elizabeth Miller
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#38 jparrott

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:58 PM

In addition to this, I'd say this: bring your golf clubs.

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#39 Waitman

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:32 PM

Can anyone make some general recommendations about visiting Seattle? Are the restaurants mentioned in previous posts still the ones to go to? Is there a particular part of town that's good to stay in? Is there a magic week in the summer when it might not be raining too much? Many thanks.


Generally speaking, it doesn't rain much in Seattle in the Summer. November to April: every day; in between, not so much. Even the Olympic Peninsula, home to North America's only rain forest, gets less than ten inches a month in July and August, IIRC. You should be fine.

As to "where to stay," what do you want to do? Depending on finances, I'd go for "downtown", near Pike Place, Pioneer Square (and Salumi!) and the waterfront. Not to mention the Dahlia Lounge.

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#40 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 11:21 PM

As to "where to stay," what do you want to do? Depending on finances, I'd go for "downtown", near Pike Place, Pioneer Square (and Salumi!) and the waterfront. Not to mention the Dahlia Lounge.

What he said. On a previous visit I stayed a bit to the north at the cozy/charming/pricey Edgewater, probably best known as the hotel where the Beatles fished the harbor from their room window. The Pike Place area is more compact than you'd think, and a pleasure to browse, especially for specialty foodstuffs. In Pike Place itself is DeLaurenti's, an excellent purveyor of Italian specialties. Check out their cheese counter and selection of balsamics. Within several blocks are The Spanish Table, home to possibly the best selection of Spanish housewares, olives and cheeses in the country, and World Spice Merchants, although the latter is more fun than comprehensive (and might be mooted by Penzey's opening in Rockville).

Seafood, seafood, seafood! As for dining, this will sound clichd, but I implore you to eat salmon at least once. Fresh, wild king salmon will forever ruin you for anything available on this coast that isn't smoked. I don't have any great recommendations, only a safe fallback: Palisade is big, rather more corporate than inspired, but I'd take it any day over any dozen McCormick & Schmicks, and their salmon (planked or grilled) is killer. Bit of a nuisance to navigate to, but if you go for dinner before it gets dark, it also has a gorgeous view.

Dave Hsu
--------"Cuisine represents a knife edge that separates attractive stimulation from death."--- Art Ayers


#41 porcupine

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 05:39 AM

In addition to this, I'd say this: bring your golf clubs.

Golf? :blink: Generally, I prefer a sport that's a little speedier . ;)

Elizabeth Miller
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#42 jparrott

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 06:52 AM

Golf? :blink: Generally, I prefer a sport that's a little speedier . ;)

Long daylight hours, lots of good weather, reasonably-priced, beautiful courses, and they almost all have good beer bars!

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#43 Banco

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:33 AM

Can anyone make some general recommendations about visiting Seattle? Are the restaurants mentioned in previous posts still the ones to go to? Is there a particular part of town that's good to stay in? Is there a magic week in the summer when it might not be raining too much? Many thanks.

I assume you've read my post (#24) already. You definitely should not miss Salumi. The Zigzag Caf I mentioned is also a very cool place for a drink. I would avoid Dahlia based on my experience there. Other possibilities are Mistral (which I enjoyed, though it's a bit quirky) and Union Caf (which I haven't tried). Egullet has some fairly extensive discussions of these.

If you go to Pike Place Market, do like the natives and go on a weekday; the weekends are for tourists. If you like sushi or Japanese food in general, Seattle has some of the best. And unlike here, they have a real Chinatown with excellent food. Bon Voyage!

#44 Waitman

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:48 AM

I assume you've read my post (#24) already. You definitely should not miss Salumi. The Zigzag Caf I mentioned is also a very cool place for a drink. I would avoid Dahlia based on my experience there. Other possibilities are Mistral (which I enjoyed, though it's a bit quirky) and Union Caf (which I haven't tried). Egullet has some fairly extensive discussions of these.

If you go to Pike Place Market, do like the natives and go on a weekday; the weekends are for tourists. If you like sushi or Japanese food in general, Seattle has some of the best. And unlike here, they have a real Chinatown with excellent food. Bon Voyage!

Or, use the fact that your body time is three hours earlier than the locals' and hit the place at 7AM while the place is half-way between setting up and open. A delightful hour -- one September Saturday it was just me and a local chef picking over the seasons' first chanterelles, while the fishmongers were shovelling ice and laying out the goods in the stall next door. We bought cod cheeks and and made a broth for them with the mushrooms and fresh corn from one of the produce vendors. mmmmmmmm.

There's a place that sells fresh donuts -- like, made before your eyes, can't eat them until they cool a bit fresh -- just to the left of the main entrance, too.

For Salumi, btw, go very early or very late if you anticipate a seat, otherwise, plan a picnic (and something to do with the leftovers). If they have pork cheeks, get 'em.

"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

-- Jesse Jackson


#45 chickenlover

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:50 AM

Is there a magic week in the summer when it might not be raining too much? Many thanks.

In the Pac NW summer begins on July 4 and lasts through September. June can be quite nice, but it can be rainy as well. Salmon usually start running in June and their flavor degrades as the season progresses.
Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

#46 pidgey

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:58 AM

There's a place that sells fresh donuts -- like, made before your eyes, can't eat them until they cool a bit fresh -- just to the left of the main entrance, too.

Yeah, I call them "crack donuts". They are these wonderful miniature things that you want to put in your mouth when you get them, and if you do you burn your mouth, but still is worth it to feel the hot fat pop in your mouth. Yum.

#47 brr

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 10:38 AM

Had a couple of nice meals in Seattle this week. Shiro's for sushi and finally got to have a sandwich at Salumi which was transporting. It was a pork cheek sandwich (special of the day) with a few grilled onions and a little garlic and parsley spread - one of the best tasting sambos I've ever had and worth being 20 minutes late to a meeting for!!*

* we got there at 11.40 and there were already 50 people in line.....

Dinner Tuesday was at a little unpretentious hole in the wall burger joint in Kirkland called The Slip - good beers (Hales) on tap too!!

#48 porcupine

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 08:57 PM

Thanks for all the tips! The trip is imminent. On the to-do list, in no particular order: Salumi, Espresso Vivace Roasteria, Place Pigalle, Dahlia Lounge, Mistral, Stumbling Goat Bistro, Lark, Palisade. Planning on spending at least half a day checking out Pike Place Market (we're staying within easy walking distance), and at least two days doing some serious hiking. And most of the rest of the time hanging around and getting a feel for life on the left coast.

Any last minute recommendations or warnings? Is it possible to get all the way 'round Olympic National Park to the Pacific coast and back to the city in one day?

Elizabeth Miller
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#49 Camille-Beau

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:34 PM

Another restaurant suggestion is Crush. Jason Wilson's cooking is pretty great and yes, he is another of Food & Wine's 10 best new chefs (2006). The Inn at the Market is probably the best location in town. Awesome hotel right across the street from the Pike Place Market. Speaking of the market, I had the best peach of my life there during one trip in late August. The vendor wouldn't allow the softball-sized fruit to to be handled so you pointed to the ones you wanted ;) If you have time, maybe drive down to Mt. Rainier National Park and stop at the lodge at Paradise (the lodge closes for the winter after Labor Day weekend) for a hike on the trail that circles up the mountain behind the lodge. Takes a few hours and is time well spent for mountain views that are truly breathtaking.

Keep us posted on your trip!

-Camille
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#50 Banco

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:32 AM

Is it possible to get all the way 'round Olympic National Park to the Pacific coast and back to the city in one day?

Theoretically, yes, but you'd be doing nothing but driving the whole time. You'll want to plan at least one overnight stay along the route to give yourself time to do some beachcombing or visit Crescent Lake and the Hoh Rain Forest. A trip to Mt. Rainier and back is certainly possible in one day, however.

(We'll be making a similar trip ourselves in August, staying at the Indian resort of La Push on the Pacific Coast.)





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