Monday, July 19, 2010

Eating the Emerald City

Not much happening on the Kitchen Front these days, but we did just get back from an all-too brief sojourn south to Seattle. Unfortunately, I was unable to achieve my summer goal of eating at Salumi. Having neglected to check out their hours of operation, we showed Sunday up to find the place dark. Fortunately, Seattle is a city with no shortage of fine eats and drinks, so we weren't at a loss for fall back options. Below are a few of the culinary highlights of the trip.

I always make a point of getting one (or two or three) of these when I'm stateside. Turns out they are available in Canada under the name "Special Crisp," but the whimsical moniker is really half the fun (the other half being the eating).

We left Vancouver at about 10 a.m., but thanks to a interminable, two-and-a-half hour wait at the border, we didn't arrive in Seattle until around 3:30 in the afternoon. Restorative pints were needed. A sun-drenched table in front of McMenamins' Six Arms did the business.

I was hoping to hit up Dinette in Capitol Hill for dinner on Saturday, but after our pints and a short stroll just off Broadway, we happened across Oddfellows Café and decided to go for it. The décor is ye-olde-timey hipster hardware store, the staff are carefully disheveled art school type slinging classic cocktails and the clientele a mix of tattooed young 'uns and older dotcomers slumming it over fashionable homestyle fare with tallboy cans of Rainier in hand. But it's a bright and lively room and, overpowering trendiness aside, the food straight up delivers. Could do with a few less pickled onions, but the overall quality was solid for the price. Here's the gem lettuce salad. Frog's legs (battered and fried to crisp perfection) in back.

Rack of lamb with ratatouille.

Roast chicken with peas and pancetta.

Sunday started off with breakfast at celebrity chef Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge. No photos, but believe me when I say that the homemade doughnuts with vanilla mascarpone and jam made the wait at the border seem worthwhile.

Finally, after an afternoon spent watching soccer (come on the Hoops!) and the Salumi disappointment, we capped things off with a quick lunch at Belltown favourite Le Pichet. I was lucky to capture the last remnants of the salade verte with mustard and hazelnut vinaigrette before it vanished forever.

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