After too many disappointing New Year's Eve Bashes to remember a few years ago we started a "Stay Home New Year's Eve Celebration" tradition at our house. Some years we host a big gathering with lots of couples and great fun. One year we did a cheese & champagne tasting bar (okay mostly sparkling wine). Another year we made a fabulous steak & crab leg feast with a few other couples. Another year we made a delicious pork tenderloin sit down dinner for 14 followed by a Wii ski jumping tournament. Regardless of the theme, dinner or frolics that ensue a safe and dependably enjoyable evening has become the tradition.
This year the tradition will continue after a day of skiing and small more intimate dinner. But this year we also decided to pre-celebrate New Year's with a 32 hour date night in Seattle.
view of Safeco Field from our room
At the last minute we went on Hotwire and found a steal of a hotel room at the Stadium Silver Cloud. Great place, not the location we were hoping for, but that's what you get with Hotwire. But the room was great, they even upgraded us to a nice suite and they also had a free shuttle which was a good plus given we weren't exactly as "downtown" as we had hoped for.
We quickly checked in, checked out the cool view of Safeco Field and had the Shuttle take us directly to Pike Place Market because G had been wanting to try the Steelhead Diner.
View from Steelhead Diner
There we sat at the bustling bar for lunch. G had a 3 course special that he chose to have fried oysters appetizer, a sausage grinder sandwich with french fries and a Theo Chocolate Pecan Pie. T had a cup of the WORLD'S BEST Alaskan Razor Clam Chowder followed by the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. G's fried oysters were lightly breaded with sweet, fresh oysters...T's crab cake had large lumps of crab and a nice sauce. The whole meal was fabulous while having a great opportunity to enjoy the view of both the sound and market crowd. T also had a super drink, a purple peril, very purple and quite yummy as well.
Steelhead Diner Clam Chowder (the world's best possibly)
We then went on to hit the after Christmas sales before heading back to the hotel to rest and get ready for our much anticipated dinner @ Poppy.
We have been fans of Jerry Traunfeld's since his days @ the Herbfarm and of course it was so exciting when he was on Top Chef masters last summer. We had been wanting to try Poppy for awhile and finally we had the perfect opportunity. We spent a lot of time the night before going through our Seattle's best restaurant magazine issues and online reading reviews. It came down to choosing between Sitka & Spruce, Anchoivies & Olives or Poppy and ultimately we chose Poppy and we were happy with our choice.
We each chose a 7 item Thali. G the Oregon White Truffle and Sunchoke Risotto. T the Wagyu Coulotte Steak with local-truffled leeks. Not that who chose what mattered as we shared it all, leaving no bites for leftovers. It was an incredible meal from every bite to bite. The pumpkin green chile soup was supple, sweet and so tasty. The pear, fennel and hazelnut salad was fresh and citrusy. But the Wagyu steak melted in your mouth.Truffled leeks were a must for each bite of the steak. It was a meal to not be soon forgotten. We enjoyed our meal with a recommended bottle of Coeur d'Alene Cellars Viognier which was crisp and a nice compliment to the many dishes we both had.
We then used the new trusty ipad to search for a great place to end our evening and found Bleu down the street about 4 blocks. The walk was great given our full tummies and the crisp air was a needed refresher. We entered the very dark Bleu to find a nice little booth tucked behind some dramatic curtains. The drink list was almost overwhelming to get through, but fun to read at the same time. We each started with a lemon drop, vanilla for G and raspberry for T. It was the perfect night cap venue to end our great day of eating in Seattle.
We purposely slept in a bit late (Winter break is quickly coming to an end here within days so mornings of leisure need to be soaked up to the fullest while possible.) We checked out and headed to our all time favorite Seattle breakfast venue Lola. We have been Tom Douglas fans since G first took me to Dahlia Lounge for my birthday 12 years ago, but about 2 years ago after a great concert at the Showbox we cured our overindulgent evening with Lola the next morning. Ever since it's become the breakfast must. We usually enjoy the great, freshly made, doughnuts but we decided we didn't want to walk away as uncomfortable as we did after our Steelhead lunch the day before so we skipped doughnuts this time. Although we decided a bloody Mary wouldn't be too filling this morning :). We each had the Tom Douglas 2 egg breakfast with apple smoked sausage and smashed potatoes. It's is truly a breakfast to savor. And our favorite. The sausage is sweet and juicy and the potatoes are crispy on the outside soft and perfect on the inside. I believe this was our 5th Lola breakfast, if there was a Lola in Tacoma it would probably be a weekly breakfast treat. (Maybe it's a good thing it's in Seattle.)
We ended our great "date night" with a few more of G's favorites; some more shopping at University Village and picking up a par baked Delfino's Stuffed Spinach Pizza to have for dinner at home.
It was a wonderful much needed mid-holiday 'get away' for us. We came home and had our Chicago style pizza with a bottle of Alexandria Nicole Cabernet along with it. Tomorrow we'll ski Crystal Mountain and come home and make an intimate New Year's Eve Dinner, maybe steak?? We'll see how much energy we end up having. But we can depend on it being enjoyable and delicious regardless of whatever menu we ultimately decide upon.