World’s Best 50 Restaurants Named

May 12, 2014

The willows inn on lummi island soup northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

Late last month, Restaurant Magazine released its list of the world’s 50 best restaurants during a ceremony in London.

Copenhagen’s Noma, a four-time winner, reclaimed the title from El Celler de Can Roca, located in Girona, Spain, which came in at number two, after having knocked out Noma last year.

It is fun to look at the world’s 50 best and see how many you have eaten at (or, in many cases, even heard of)!

Seven U.S. restaurants made the cut this year, including Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Per Se, and Daniel (all in New York City); Alinea in Chicago; Coi in San Francisco; and the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

Here’s the complete list. I like to print it out every year and save it on my computer in case we travel to any of the world’s best 5o spots.

The willows inn smoked salmon appetizer northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

The world’s top-50 restaurants are as follows:

1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
4. Eleven Madison Park, New York
5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
7. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9. Alinea, Chicago
10. The Ledbury, London
11. Mirazur, Menton, France
12. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
13. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
14. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
15. Central, Lima, Peru
16. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
17. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
18. Astrid Y Gastón, Lima, Peru
19. Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
20. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
21. Le Bernardin, New York
22. Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal
23. Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm, Sweden
24. Amber, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
25. Arpège, Paris, France
26. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
27. Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
28. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
29. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
30. Per Se, New York
31. L’Atelier de J?el Robuchon Saint-Germain, Paris, France
32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia
33. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
34. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
35. Martín Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain
36. Mani, Sao Paulo, Brazil
37. Restaurant André, Singapore
38. L’Astrance, Paris, France
39. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
40. Daniel, New York
41. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
42. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
43. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
44. The French Laundry, Yountville
45. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
46. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
47. The Fat Duck, Bray, UK
48. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
49. Coi, San Francisco
50. Waku Ghin, Singapore

Photos by Braiden Rex-Johnson, taken at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island (Washington State), during dinner at the restaurant there, manned by former Noma employee and James Beard award-winning chef this year, Blaine Wetzel. You can read my Seattle Times review of our experience here. 

Welcome to the ‘Hood: Aragona Restaurant

January 20, 2014

Aragona rendering northwest wining and dining website link

Last summer, we got wind that Thoa’s Restaurant & Lounge would be pulling up stakes. One of several restaurants owned and operated by my friend and fellow Seattle Dame Thoa Nguyen, the restaurant was located in the base of our condominium building at First and Union for an impressive period–10 years.

We wondered who might take over the large space with a bar at the front, kitchen behind glass, and peekaboo views of Elliott Bay.

Soon, word leaked out that über-successful Seattle chef Jason Stratton, the genius behind northern Italian-leaning Cascina Spinasse and Artusi in Capitol Hill, was interested.

We saw the architect’s rendering (above) and learned the concept of the new space, named “Aragona,” would be regional Spanish food. Having studied in Madrid for four months while I was in college, and falling in love with both the people of that Iberian country and its cuisine, I was psyched!

Aragona jason stratton tour northwest wining and dining website link

We watched the construction, heard the whine of the saws and banging of the hammers, and even sniffed the glue and shellac when the workers laid the floors, so felt very invested in the latest iteration at First and Union.

A few weeks before opening, we enjoyed a hard-hat tour, with Chef Stratton pointing out artistic details and the many new facets to the restaurant. . .

Aragona female chef northwest wining and dining website link

And chatting up Aragona’s Chef de Cuisine, Carrie Mashaney, who previously served as chef de cuisine at Spinasse and gained wide acclaim last fall after appearing on Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

Aragona wine guy chris northwest wining and dining website link

Behind the wine table (pouring a dry Fino Sherry and Spanish wines from small producers), we recognized a former buddy from RN74–Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe.

Aragona jason kitchen northwest wining and dining website link

Stratton took us behind the scenes in the gorgeous new kitchen, completely outfitted with new equipment including a plancha (a flat-top grill widely used in Spain and Latin America to cook fish and shellfish).

Aragona column northwest wining and dining website link

This stunning column really spoke to me. . .a modern update of the many beautiful columns and pillars one sees everywhere in southern Spain. In a press release, it’s described as “the visual showpiece of the dining room. . .created by internationally recognized Seattle mosaic artist Kate Jessup.”

The column is surrounded by a central service table that will be used for decanting wine, carving ham, and dishing out paella-like rice dishes.

Aragona food northwest wining and dining website link

We enjoyed a variety of nibbles that afternoon including savory cookies and olives. . .

Aragona food northwest wining and dining website link

flatbread and nut-covered cheese balls.

Aragona group shot northwest wining and dining website link

Here’s an overview of the main dining room taken from the private dining room at the back and looking toward the bar (with the kitchen on the left).

Aragona logo northwest wining and dining website link

And here is the lovely logo that evokes the proud traditions of España.

Just a few weeks later, after many hours of overtime work by the construction workers and staff, the restaurant opened for business on December 9.

Aragona restaurant main dining room interior northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

We were lucky enough to be included in the Family and Friends dinner the evening before, and were blown away by the glamorous transformation of the interior, which manages to be contemporary, warm, and elegant while still nodding to restaurants in Spain. Here (above) is the main dining room.

Aragona bar area northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

The bar offers a separate, more small-plate menu and multiple wine-by-the glass options, which will be perfect for theater-goers and music lovers for pre-Benaroya-hall events.

Aragona restaurant jason stratton owner chef and carrey sous chef northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

Here are Jason and Carrie looking relieved that their latest “baby” is finally open for business.

Aragona restaurant octopus cauliflower puree northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

We fought over the Grilled Octopus and Cauliflower Purée with its lovely charry notes and buttery richness.

Aragona restaurant dessert northwest wining and dining downtown seattle website link

Although we didn’t have room for dessert, here’s a photo of one of several tempting options.

Rave reviews are already starting to stream in for Aragona. Please have a look at our friend and colleague Bethany Jean Clement’s complete, and very positive review from The Stranger’s January 15 issue.

Nicole Sprinkle, in The Seattle Weekly, also weighed in with a review in the January 21 issue, while Zach Geballe praised the impressive and inventive wine and Sherry offerings.

Architectural rendering and logo courtesy of Aragona.
Top eight photos by Braiden Rex-Johnson. Remaining photos courtesy of Aragona. 

Tamara Murphy’s Tantalizing Terra Plata

June 19, 2012

Although Spencer and I eat out quite a bit, with such a wide array of cuisines and restaurants outside our front door, we usually just stay within blocks of our condominium building in downtown Seattle.

So I am embarrassed to admit that, up until a few weeks ago, we hadn’t enjoyed the many tantalizing tastes at Tamara Murphy’s “new” (at least to us!) Terra Plata, just up the hill from our condo in the Melrose Market.

“Earth to Plate” sums up the zeitgeist and ambience of this remarkable restaurant. Two long, hard years in the making (Tamara’s stories about landlord problems could curl your eyelashes!), the wait was well worth it.

Here’s the gorgeous Deviled Duck Egg with Salmon Roe that Tamara sent over as a pre-dinner surprise. Gamy, rich, and super-creamy, this perfect-for-sharing appetizer was the epitome of divine excess (in the very best of ways)!

We also ate way more than we should have (at least for our waistlines’ sake) of chef Tamara’s super-fun Blistered Shisito Peppers. Part of the Snacks and Small Plates offerings, the deep-fried peppers were accompanied by a super-smooth aïoli, and sprinkled with really good, crunchy sea salt. These things are addictive!

From the “Earth” section of the menu came a delicate Spring Mesclun Salad studded with tender baby radish slices, green-apple wedges, candied hazelnuts, Cabrales (Spanish blue) cheese, and Champagne vinaigrette.

From the “Sea” section of the menu came The perfectly cooked Mediterranean Mussels with Sofrito (“a sautéed mixture of seasonings and finely chopped vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and peppers, used as a base for many Spanish, Caribbean, and Latin American dishes, according to The Free Dictionary), Olives, Anchovy, Lemon, and Parsley.

Spencer’s Whole Fish–a black sea bass that evening–was annointed with lemon butter and served with a wild watercress-and-radish salad. This bad-boy bass was almost too good-looking to eat, but Spencer managed to devour every last bite.

We washed down this earth-to-ocean feast with a bottle of Barolo that played surprisingly well with both our entrées.

Terra Plata’s interior space is beautifully executed, with an open timbered ceilingk, hardwood floors, plenty of ambient light from the wrap-around windows, and an inviting bar that welcomes locals and regulars, many of whom seem to who know each other and the bartender.

A rooftop garden is opening this summer. . .if “summer” ever arrives this year, what with our especially long stretch of “June-uary” weather so far.

Here’s chef Tamara and crew working the line. . .keeping Terra Plata the earthy, homey, and comforting–yet tantalizing– culinary treasure, it is.

30 Years of Wonderful Memories: RIP Chez Shea

April 24, 2012

It seems almost surreal that I am writing this Ode to Chez Shea, the über-romantic and sexy restaurant in the Pike Place Market, rather than the totally glowing Resto Review entitled, Chez Shea Shines Anew, that I had originally intended.

When announced last Wednesday, April 18, that the 30-year-old stalwart in the Market was closing its doors. . .to be replaced by a coffee company, no less (just what Seattle needs is another coffee shop. . .not!), I was heartbroken.

For over the 22 years we’ve lived in Seattle, we’ve dined there many times. Original owner Sandy Shea gave me a recipe for my very first Pike Place Market Cookbook. And then-chef Peter Morrison shared his Oysters Chez Shea recipe for my original Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook. We had our favorite oh-so-French female server there and have known Lotta Hashimura, the general manager, for years.

If I had been able to write my review, I would have raved about the classically prepared Escargots, pictured above. Pure garlicky, buttery bliss in a single bite.

Or the absolutely decadent Prawns Barcelona. More garlic, crispy kale, sherry, and more butter. . .but also crunchy toasted almond flakes. And such a generous serving!

A lovely bottle of Meursault (French Chardonnay) paired perfectly with both dishes and was served at exactly the right temperature (not too cold, as is often the case with white wines in restaurants).

A bite of salad to pep up the taste buds again. This one included Anjou pear, orange segments, toasted Marcona almonds, and a sprinkling of fresh goat cheese for saltiness and tang. Don’t forget the Tangerine Vinaigrette!

This Dungeness Crab Salad is one of the most simply perfect things I’ve tasted in months–the freshest crab meat interspersed with green mango, wild watercress, paper-thin radishes, citrus segments, kaffir lime leaf, and Asian herbs, including cilantro and the magic ingredient–shiso–a Japanese leaf that has minty/menthol-y/astringent flavors, and that I love. This one was lightly tossed with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette. Perfect!

Chilean Sea Bass with darling baby zucchini and just the right amount of Saffron-Tomato Sauce. . and a beguiling ring of Parsley Oil.

Spencer’s Rack of Lamb Persillade aligned with military precision and sauced in a Rosemary Jus. . .

RIP and thanks for the memories, Chez Shea.

Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnylicious Menu

February 28, 2012

While many people who read Northwest Notes regularly might not believe it, Spencer and I are aficionados of The Cheesecake Factory in downtown Seattle and often enjoy Saturday or Sunday lunches there while we are downtown running errands or going to the nearby Meridian or Pacific Place movie theaters.

A few Saturdays ago, we were pleased to discover the popular chain restaurant now offers a Skinnylicious menu, described as “a collection of fresh and delicious menu options with lower calories and signature rich taste. Skinnylicious redefines low-calorie flavor in The Cheesecake Factory tradition.”

Intrigued, especially since we have recently adopted “la vida low-carb” (the low-carb lifestyle), we were pleased to find not only Skinnylicious Small Plates & Appetizers (all under 490 calories), Salads (590), Specialties (590), Fresh-Baked Flatbreads (490), and even Skinny Cocktails (150 calories or less).

Here is the Beets with Goat Cheese small plate I enjoyed, although I turned it into a main-dish salad by adding a piece of grilled salmon.

Spencer adored his B.B.Q. Chicken–charbroiled chicken breast (three of them pounded thinly) served with green beans and corn succotash. (While the corn succotash is probably not the most low-carb item, a guy has to splurge every now and then!)

We’ll be back to try the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Tacos (butter lettuce leaves filled with grilled chicken and your choice of Asian, Mexican, or Mediterranean accompaniments) or the Skinnylicious Asian Chicken or Herb-Crusted Salmon Salads, perhaps even accompanied by a Skinny Margarita or Red Sangria.

Now, if they could just figure out how to make the cheesecakes and tortes Skinnylicious, too!


Best Dishes from Carmel

February 14, 2012

Over Christmas week, we spent four days in the Napa Valley and four days in Carmel. Carmel is our spiritual home, a place we often dream of living in, but sadly, could never afford.

Anyway, it is so fun to visit. And whenever we are there, we have our favorite restos we frequent time and again.

One of those is Grasing’s, chef-owned and operated and a favorite among locals and visitors alike with a great menu. We always begin with Kurt’s Crab-Stuffed Artichoke with Lemon Aïoli. It’s a taste of California that can’t be beat!

Next comes the chef’s signature California Red Abalone Doré. It’s served in the beautiful shells with a generous amount of both shellfish and salad. YUM!

This year marked our 30th wedding anniversary, so once our server found out, she gifted us with an Eggnog Crème Brülée. Since eggnog is one of my favorite flavors, and pudding is one of Spencer’s favorite foods, we were both in dessert heaven!

Another Carmel restaurant we’re always drawn to is La Bicyclette. You get a three-course meal ranging in price from 29 to 45 dollars and each dinner includes the same first and second course (Persimmon Tart Tatin with Midnight Moon Fondue and Chicken-Orzo Soup the evening we were there), plus the diner’s choice among four entrées (Pan-Roasted Filet Mignon with Foie Gras Wellington and Asparagus, Slow-Roasted Lamb Roulade, Smoked Serrano Honey-Lacquered Bobwhite Quail, or Pan-Seared Scallops, for example). You can also order à la carte items from the regular menu; dessert is extra, and worth it (more on that below).

Here are La Bicyclette’s amazing Escargots (ordered à la carte so we could stay somewhat on our low-carb lifestyle). What set these apart was the addition of chopped hazelnuts and bread crumbs along with the garlic-y good drawn butter. Ooh-la-la!

Scallops were fresh-off-the-boat, large, and perfectly cooked to still rare in the middle. Root veggies and asparagus, plus a parsnip purée and Chimay Beer sauce rounded out an extraordinary dish.

Dessert is a Chocolate Mousse made for sharing. Not only is it the perfect consistency but there is a generous sprinkling of chopped white, milk, and dark chocolate atop. Talk about gilding the lily!

At Pèpe’s Little Napoli, an Italian restaurant right across the street from La Bicyclette, Spencer and I enjoyed a unique appetizer–Meatballs on a Stick!

For lunch, we make a point to go to Forge in the Forest because (even in late December) we can often sit outside (if it isn’t rainy or windy) and stay warm (thanks to numerous heat lamps that stud the patio).

I always opt for the Balsamic-Grilled Castroville Artichoke with a Wholegrain Mustard Dip (not unlike a very rich aïoli). Artichoke heart is one of my favorite things in the world, that interesting cross between potato and asparagus.

Other places we like to eat in Carmel include A.W. Shucks Cocktail & Oyster Bar, Christopher’s, and Andre’s Bouchée. So many restos, so little time, alas.

From the sublime food in Carmel, here’s the Jack Daniel’s Chicken we had at the San Francisco Airport at TGI Friday’s. It was the best option for people such as us trying to live the low-carb lifestyle (especially after enjoying several desserts, as outlined above!). And actually, it wasn’t too bad, especially since we got to choose our own sides (two veggies). But I always wonder why a food city such as SF doesn’t have better restaurants at its international airport?

Dining Around the Napa Valley

January 13, 2012

Over Christmas week, Spencer and I spent four days in Napa and four days in Carmel, California. It was a glorious time for beach walking, restaurant hopping, picnics centered around wine and cheese, and just being together.

Here are our dining highlights and fondest food-related memories from Napa. In a subsequent post, I’ll cover our best dishes from Carmel, so please stay tuned.

Bouchon Petit Plateau, a seafood tower comprising half a lobster, eight oysters, four shrimp, four clams, and eight mussels. Yes, this was my entrée, and yes, I did manage to eat each and every bite all by myself!

Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller’s new(er) resto in Yountville that joins Bouchon and The French Laundry, offers credible crab cakes; well-roasted monkfish and vegetables; and a rare, perfectly cooked and toothsome ribeye.

But, perhaps surprisingly, the star dish was a a salad made of French Laundry baby greens (grown right up the street), tossed with toasted almonds, citrus segments, red onion slices, beets, and a citrus vinaigrette. A crunchy crostini with a big dollop of Laura Chenel chèvre completed the dish. I’ve never tasted greens so delicate, fresh, and full of flavor!

Ad Hoc is currently closed until March for remodeling, as is Bouchon Bakery, which suffered a fire in late 2012 and has been unable to operate at full steam ever since.

Bistro Jeanty Escargots with Garlic Pastis Butter, properly served in the traditional way, in the shell (!), along with an escargot holder.

Not to be outdone were the Bistro Jeanty Moules au Vin Rouge, Mussels in Red Wine Sauce. Ooh-la-la!

For Christmas dinner, we enjoyed Sautéed Duck Breast with Chestnut & Pearl-Onion Confit, Parsnip Crème, and Thyme Jus at Brix (perhaps best known for its hearty Sunday brunches and gorgeous patio).

Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mustards Grill delighted for lunch with a Grilled Ahi, Basil Aïoli, and Pickled Ginger Sandwich, a veritable bargain at just $14.95. I guess I was too focused on eating, because I forgot to snap a photo.

Korean Food for the New Year

January 6, 2012

I must admit that I am not an expert when it comes to Korean cuisine.

I tested two recipes for my original Pike Place Market Cookbook that were submitted by Deluxe Barbecue, an old-time business has long-since been supplanted by a sushi place.

And everyone who’s a foodie knows about the nation’s national dish and passion–kimchi–fermented cabbage that comes in many different styles and variations.

But last month, when Spencer and I needed to make a Uwajimaya run for green tea and sake, we stopped off in the food court for lunch.

Shilla at Uwajimaya caught my eye, not only because I suspected it was an outpost of the venerable downtown Seattle Shilla, but because it was a step up from the pre-cooked, hot-table food offered elsewhere at the busy food court.

Shilla at Uwajimaya owner Ike Lee

Cooking to order, à la minute, Shilla’s owner Ike Lee told me he is a former owner of the original downtown Shilla. He’s an affable and faintly hucksterish (in a good way) sort of guy. It’s immediately apparent that he owns the place and he thrives on making his customers happy.

I happily settled in with the Tofu Soup with Seafood.

“Take the soup with a small bite of rice first,” Lee advised. “Koreans have a more spicy palate than Americans, so you need the rice to mellow the soup.”

Good advice, as the soup was pleasingly, warmingly, meltingly spiced.

Here is Spencer’s Spicy Chicken, which he asked for “extra-spicy,” so I could hardly even sample it!

Entrées came with brown or white rice, kimchi, and a chopped romaine salad with a light soy-sauce dressing.

We got out of there for less than $20 and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Thanks, Ike!

My Seattle Restaurant Recommendations

December 27, 2011

A couple of months ago, Rhonda May, an esteemed editor friend of mine from Vancouver, British Columbia, told me she was planning a trip to Seattle and asked if we could meet up for a drink.

Rhonda publishes CityFood Magazine and website, and I’ve written articles on the Seattle dining scene for her in the past and regard her highly.

Unfortunately, we were already slated to be outta town that weekend, so I had to take a pass.

But when she asked for a few pointers, I composed a quick list, which I share with you today in case you’re in search of reliable places to take family and friends for holiday outings, or just places you might want to try yourself for a drink or a meal.

1. Be sure to wander around the Melrose Market and the Taylor Shellfish facility up on Capitol Hill. Lots of people like the resto Sitka & Spruce there–I’m not so much of a fan so you can decide for yourself.

2. In the same ‘hood are many of Seattle’s new, trendy restos. A particular fave is Cascina Spinasse for its Tajarin (thin, handcut noodles with sage and butter or meat ragu).

Skillet Diner is also always packed but we haven’t tried it yet.

Anchovies and Olives is one of Ethan Stowell’s four restos. I’d opt for Staple & Fancy (his Ballard neighborhood resto) cuz you can also have a look at Walrus & Carpenter which is right next door.

3. Ballard is also a “hot” resto neighborhood. Maria Hines (Tilth) has her new Golden Beetle there. We also enjoy Joule and Revel (newer than Joule–upscale street food) in the Wallingford and Fremont ‘hoods (same two owners), respectively.

4. Still like Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market or chef Kevin Davis’s newer resto Blueacre Seafood more uptown near Pacific Place shopping mall–reminds me of Vancouver restos because it’s big and cool.

5. Lecosho on the Harbor Steps has one of my all-time fave dishes, Grilled Octopus with Garbanzo Beans. Salads are excellent, too. Good happy-hour values (and HH is VERY hot right now).

6. Lots happening in the new South Lake Union area–you can take the South Lake Union Transit (SLUT!)–street car–to get there and walk all around. Tom Douglas has five restos there (!) and Chris Keff relocated her long-running Flying Fish there from Belltown, which is more of a bar than resto scene lately (and more dangerous as a result, sadly). Seastar is also known for its good seafood and excellent wine list. The Whole Foods Market there is huge and an anchor of the ‘hood.

7. The Eastside has lots of clones of downtown Sea restos and has really grown up A LOT in the past few years. At The Bravern you’ll find John Howie Steaks (Howie owns Seastar and there’s one of those on the Eastside as well) and the gorgeous second location of Wild Ginger, always reliable. Nearby is a location of El Gaucho (steakhouse), Joey’s, Palomino, Cheesecake Factory, ‘Z Tejas, etc.

Happy Holiday Eating and Drinking to one and all!

Feeling Purple

December 6, 2011

We were out in Woodinville picking up some wine a couple of Saturdays ago and happened in to the Purple Cafe & Wine Bar location there for a late lunch.

We have had inconsistent experiences with the Purple downtown, but decided to see what one of its  Eastside outposts might offer.

We were very happy with two salads we tried.

Purple Roasted Beets Salad, with Grilled Salmon, included multi-colored beets, generous knobs of Laura Chenel chèvre (goat’s-milk cheese), orange segments, toasted pistachios, and a honking-big piece of perfectly cooked (rare in the middle) salmon was my lucky choice. Orange-balsamic vinaigrette was the perfect light dressing, and arrived on the side, as requested.

Spencer did just as well with his Purple Chop Salad with Blackened Salmon astride. It comprised romaine hearts, bacon, avocado, garbanzos, roasted red bell pepper, blue cheese, and red onion tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.

The following Saturday we unabashedly ate lunch at the Purple downtown, where their winning ways with salad continued as SJ ordered another Purple Chop Salad and I tried the Apple, Walnut, Stilton Salad, again topped with a lovely piece of grilled salmon.

At $9 to $10 for half salads (which is plenty for most people), $12 for full sizes, plus $4 if you add pulled chicken, $6 for prawns or marinated flank steak, and $7 for grilled salmon or a crab cake, Purple in its various iterations offers a plethora of toothsome and carefully-cooked main-dish salads to appeal to almost any appetite.

The Cranberry Chicken Salad with grilled chicken, bacon, almonds, scallions, celery, apples, dried cranberries, parmigiano-reggiano, and cranberry-dijon vinaigrette would be particularly festive this time of the year.

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