Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seattle Restaurant Crawl

We spent 2 of our 4 day President's weekend staying in downtown Seattle. Although Seattle is less than 30 miles away from our home we just don't spend as much time there as we like to or used to. But when we do have a weekend up there we make it a point to try as many new food spots as we can possibly fit in during our time.

We were up there so I could attend a great photography/food styling workshop that G bought me as a Christmas gift (more about that experience soon.) This entire blog idea was actually inspired by a trip we made like this in Seattle in December of 2010. Our idea was to have an avenue to record and document our restaurant experiences so we could remember all of the great food we've enjoyed.

Lavender Lemon drop

We arrived to Capitol Hill early evening on Saturday. After checking into our hotel we decided to just walk around and find a place to start off with a cocktail. And we were so lucky to not have rain for our entire weekend so there was lots of walking. We came across la Spiga, a restaurant we had initially thought about trying last spring but didn't follow through with. It was a busy place but there was space for us at the bar which was perfect because we really only wanted a cocktail before heading to the next spot. I had a lavender lemon drop that was just a bit too heavy with lavender flavor for my taste. That and the fact that a couple sitting next to us at the bar were in a pretty awkward argument made me ready to move on to the next spot pretty quickly.

The view from the bar @ Anchovies & Olives

Next we headed to Anchovies & Olives, a restaurant by Seattle Restaurant Icon Ethan Stowell, that we had tried to get into several different times in the past but never got lucky enough. We had called earlier in the day to try to get a reservation and were told, "no such luck" but to try to came after the dinner hour, around 8ish and try to walk in. We arrived about 8:30 and were told by the hostess there wouldn't be a table until 10:00. But a kind waiter overheard our conversation with the hostess and he told us to head over to the new restaurant attached, Bar Cotto and there will be a place at the bar soon and that we could eat off the full dinner menu from the bar.

Spicy Coppa Salumi

We took his suggestion and headed over to Bar Cotto. Which is a great smaller type salumeria and cocktail bar. We sat up at the bar and order wine and two small plates. The first a salumi; spicy coppa that was dry, spicy and cut so delicately. It was melt in your mouth kind of good. We also ordered the Carne Cruda Bruschetta with Pecorino and Arugula. A dish we must say was AMAZING if you like the tartare thing like we do.

Shortly after we actually got seated the waiter came over and told us they were saving a place for us at the bar next door when we were ready but to take our time. He was accommodating and went out of his way to make sure we got to eat dinner at Anchovies & Olives which we really appreciated.

We sat at the bar and had an amazing meal. We decided to just enjoy our food and our experience and not take photos. But we clearly will remember the wonderful dishes we indulged in. We started with the Ahi Tuna with kumquats, chili and citrus oil. It was spicy with the just the right amount of bite from the citrus. Next we had the grilled octopus with controne beans and pickled red onions. G loved the grilled octopus. Me not so much. I thought the octopus was a bit too chewy and the controne beans were too crunchy for my taste. Lastly we shared the Fettuccine with Dungeness Crab, Pecorino and Black Pepper. The fettucine was such a light and refreshing dish, so unexpected from the usual heavy fettucine alfredo. It was excellently delicious.


That was the night for us for the evening. Hey we were out past 11:00 a rare happening in our current middle aged lifestyle. We were full and satisfied. We needed our walk back to our hotel to help us digest our wonderful long meal. 

The next morning we headed to Skillet Diner for breakfast. We'd been there for dinner before but never for breakfast. We sat down at the counter. 

G ordered the Bacon Jam Bloody Mary. I passed because I wanted to be fully with it for my photography workshop. I had Chilaquiles which is my fav dish to order in Mexico so when I see it on a menu locally I usually give it a try. They were pretty good. They could of used some shredded chicken to help balance some of the acid from the tomatillo salsa. G had had a crazy breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon, cheese sandwiched between to hotcakes. He loved it.

I spent my day learning how to make food prettier in pictures for the day (although not evidenced by the photos on this post obviously...still struggle with how to get good photos in restaurants with low lighting), G tried a few pizza places and coffee spots until he picked me up late in the afternoon.

Sunday night we made reservations at Restaurant Zoe as it was voted one of 2012's best restaurants by the Seattle Met. It was directly across from Skillet Diner so we had already checked it out through the window when we walked by on our way to breakfast. The vibe was hipster cool surrounded by urban rustic kind of decor. I loved it and felt immediately that I was going to like this place. We noticed that they had a chef's tasting menu that we decided to indulge in with the wine pairings. We were kind of digging the no choices idea of the evening. 

We started with the most deliciously sweet and briny oyster as our first course.

The next two courses tied as my most absolutely favorite dishes of the night or maybe ever. Yes, they were that good. The first was Steak Tartare with grilled scallion puree, cornichons and the most delicately delightful fingerling chips. It was such a good dish. As weird as it sounds it tasted like the flavors of a perfect burger.

Next, was an absolutely beautiful dish (that I didn't get a photo of because at first whiff of its aroma I knew I couldn't waste any time in tasting it with taking a photo.) Fresh Ricotta Gnudi with Oyster Mushrooms and Truffle Oil. This was OMG good. No kidding it was soft and luscious in your mouth with the woodsy flavor of the mushrooms and the richness of the truffle oil. So GOOD!

Next we went onto Grilled Arctic Char with Cauliflower Puree and Steelhead Roe. This again was a superb dish, not my personal favorite because arctic char is just too soft of a fish for me to enjoy, kind of like a trout texture. But the flavors were great overall. G loved it. 

Finally we ended with dessert; a chocolate coconut tart and a version of creme brûlée. Needless to say we were stuffed beyond belief and so happy with both our choice of restaurant and meals. And each dish additionally was paired with an amazing wine. It was a great night. 

The next day we took advantage of our 12:00 hotel check out time and had a leisurely get up morning. Took our time, enjoyed the Jacuzzi tub and headed over for a late breakfast in the South Lake Union area to Tom Douglas's Serious Biscuit. We've hit this spot before but G LOVES it so its worth a revisit again and again. 

I had the ham, egg, Beecher's cheddar biscuit with apple mustard. Let me tell you the biscuit was amaze balls and that apple mustard was the bomb. 

G had the chicken fried steak biscuit and he was in heaven.
Definitely somewhat of a gut bomb of heaviness to get us through the rest of the day. Literally, these sandwiches kept us full and satisfied all day. 

Our winter 2013 Seattle restaurant crawl was fantastic. It was the perfect combo of trying some new spots and hitting a couple of old favs too. 
It was a great weekend all the way around.

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