Thursday, September 1, 2011

Boat Street Kitchen, Seattle

During a busy, weekday lunch hour I walked through the doors of Boat Street Kitchen, tucked away off the street. There I found a bright, airy room full of happy diners and simply decorated tables. I was offered a seat at the 3 stool bar and gladly sat down, eager to rest my feet after walking quite a ways around the city. At the marble counter top, I ordered an iced tea, which they kept filling the moment I was thinking how I wouldn't mind another gulp. Magali's tomato soup tasted extremely fresh and truly showed off ripe tomatoes. A woman, who seemed like the owner, kindly asked if I would like some bread and butter to dip into it since, she said, their bread purveyor is amazing...and she was right.
I followed the soup with wild caught Keta salmon accompanied by fresh squash and beets, ripe and sweet melon, and green salad. I cannot express how fresh all this food was. I wouldn't be surprised if it went straight from their vendor to the pan to the plate. Really, really delicious.
Boat Street Kitchen 3131 Western Avenue, #301
The view from Olympic Sculpture Park...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random Seattle Eats

Our first morning in Seattle, we sought out a cool coffee joint. We ventured out into Capitol Hill to Roy Street Coffee & Tea. Thinking we were heading to a none-corporate coffee place, we were quite pleased with ourselves at finding such an awesome spot. Turns out it is owned by Starbucks as more "locals coffee spot" kind of place - which I have to say it achieves. When you order your coffee you choose what beans and how you want it prepared - Pour over (like drip coffee but done that moment), french press, and some other way which I did not quite understand. The coffee is delicious and strong. I found the whole experience quite wonderful and it sure feels like a local's spot with exceptional coffee and coffee experiences. 
This espresso is at Seattle Coffee Works on Pike Street. Though in a touristy neighborhood, this spot is full of locals. They even have a Slow Coffee Area where you can sit for a while and geek out over coffee at the bar and have it prepared the slow way. Really neat! I purchased a Theo chocolate bar made in Seattle - very good!
The Diller Room
$2. Only $2 for 3 beautiful pieces of bruschetta made with super fresh tomatoes. Best happy hour ever! The Diller Room on 1st Avenue. Super local's vibe, fresh libations, friendly staff, and delicious nibbles.
The Boat Shed
The Boat Shed is a restaurant we found in Bremerton after taking the 2 hour ferry ride over from the big city. I think we picked the best things on the menu - steamed clams and steamed mussels. The clams came in a great dill broth. You are right on the water, watching boats pass by and can see the snowy mountain tops in the distance.
A little picnic from our hike at Pratt River Trail. Local cheese camembert style and local sourdough bread. Both quite good!
When I asked where to go eat in Seattle, several people mentioned Piroshky, Piroshky. Though the giant line of tourists almost made me change my mind, I left my negative feelings aside and joined the folks in line. A man behind me asked what Piroshky meant and said he just got in line because everyone else was! I was actually surprised at how light this doughy, heavy looking pastry creation actually was. I chose the salmon pate piroshky...hence the fish shape. I ate the whole thing! I loved how dill infused it was.
My last day in Seattle, my godfather (ha! that sounds funny!) insisted I try the croissants at Cafe Besalu. He claimed they were better than in France! Well, boy were they yummy. The pain au chocolat was to die for and you could tell they used super fresh, high quality butter. It had the perfect crunch, the perfect flaky buttery inside, and the perfect semi-soft piece of chocolate inside. Their drip coffee was also lovely and perfect with my croissant!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spur Gastropub Goodness

Spur Gastropub, in Seattle, is probably the best culinary experience I have had in the United States. Yes, these are strong words, but, my oh my, was this a divine dining experience. YUM.

Sitting at the bar, Jeff and I perused the menu, drooling over the possibilities. Unable to make any sort of choice, the only choice we could make was to each order a 5 course tasting menu with wine pairing. To begin, Foie Gras Terrine - rhubarb, rose, sorrel. Heaven on a plate. The darker dots are rose hip
For my second course, Endive and Treviso salad - fava bean, spring onion, creme fraiche. Perfectly balanced and so very fresh and crunchy.
Jeff's plate: Warm asparagus salad - truffle, crouton, chive. The best use of truffle oil I have ever experienced. Normally, it takes it complemented the perfectly cooked and served warm asparagus. Beautiful little edible flowers added an elegant touch. Bravo!
Third course, which we each chose. This, my friends, is corned duck. Yep! You read right. Corned duck breast - sunchoke, brussel sprout, apple. Sigh.
Jeff's fourth course: Slow cooked pork cheeks - nettles, spring onion, guanciale. Piggy goodness.
My fourth: Wagyu Sirloin - cauliflower, baby artichoke, almond gremolata. Wagyu beef is grass-fed beef with beautiful marbling. Of course, the meat was cooked medium rare and the combination of all the flavors together was unlike anything I had ever eaten. The almond gremolata was amazing with the extremely flavorful meat. Drooling, drooling, drooling as I write...
Jeff's dessert: Corn & Blueberries - whole milk, ice cream, meringue. Holy sweet corn goodness. The amount of corn flavor packed into this dish is insane. Light as air and once again, the balance is spot on!
My dessert: Lavender Sponge Cake - yogurt, white peach, chestnut honey. The most spongey sponge cake with lavender essence, but not so much that you think you are eating air freshener, as often happens when chefs venture into lavender combinations. They have fun in their kitchen using molecular gastronomy in creative ways that don't scare away the diners.
Amazing. Go there. Now. That is all.
I just realized that I didn't even mention the spot on wine pairing that went along with all this! Terrence, the bartender, knew his stuff. These weren't your boring, typical, predictable pairings. I enjoyed a Gruner Veltliner with my endive treviso salad! I wish I had written them down, but I barely took photos since I was enjoying the experience so much. Take my word for it, they were amazing.

Spur Gastropub is located at 113 Blanchard Street. Check out their website: or their blog: And get over there!!
Check out their cocktail joint which has now been open two years:, which was voted one of the 25 best bars in America by GQ magazine! We weren't able to go and are definitely going next time we are in Seattle, which will be sooner than later...I am already craving Spur!

Below: Me and the Chefs - Dana and Brian. They were eager to meet these two happy diners and even took us on a tour of their new space, Coterie, which will be opening soon. They will serve Brunch and lunch there and I personally can't wait!! Their passion is vibrant and real and you can see and taste it in their culinary creations and when they speak to you. Did I mention they are considered part of the Top 5 Rising Chefs by Gayot?! And many more accolades, but their big goal is a Michelin star.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Elliot's in Seattle

Okay, so August is not oyster season, but we couldn't be in Seattle and not have an oyster! We ordered the Celebration Platter at Eliot's on the waterfront, seen below, with two types of local oysters, Dungeness crab, snow crab, and shrimp. The crab was the best part. Eliot's is your typical touristy spot so don't expect any culinary masterpieces. They have great local beers on tap and apparently a great oyster Happy Hour. The location is quite fun, being able to sit outside and watch the boat traffic and all, the ocean air in your lungs.
The Cioppino was quite good and loaded with seafood goodies. The broth tasted very fresh, tomato-y, and like it was made with a seafood broth as well. The sourdough toast on the side was delightful to dip into the soupiness.
For "dessert", we had picked up fresh, organic blueberries and blackberries at Pike Place Market (for $5 - a steal!). Are you drooling? Because I am! What delicious beauties!

Sunny Seattle

Pike Place Market
I am recently returned from a visit to Seattle. The weather was quite wonderful and it hardly rained! Very lucky indeed. I have included just a sampling of the photos taken during my time there. I will be doing separate posts for my restaurant experiences, which were very delicious. So please stay tuned...
Look at that salmon! Wow!
Nice catch!
View from Olympic Sculpture Park

Dinner on floating home on Lake Union...glorious.

Pratt River Trail, off the i-90.

Strangest thing in Seattle - a wall of chewed gum...

Mount Rainier