Although it’s been open (to rave reviews, we might add) since last October, between our travels and all the snow that hit Seattle over the holidays, we didn’t make it up Queen Anne hill to try How to Cook a Wolf until early January. We’ve long been a champion of Seattle über-chef Ethan Stowell, who with business partner Patrick Gabre-Kidan and wife Angela, is building a restaurant empire in Seattle à la the-chef-with-the-Midas-touch himself, Tom Douglas.
First off, the 40-seat-space is as warm, inviting, and contemporary as has been widely reported. With beautiful blonde paneling wrapping from floor to ceiling, my first reaction was that I was dining in a hollowed-out pine tree! An elegant hammered copper band runs just above eye level, while the bar bustles with activity.
The place attracts all ages and somehow makes everyone seem hip. We ate our way through a majority of the menu, beginning with the Hamachi Crudo, gently sauced with creamy lime, and sprinkled with chili flake that packed a real punch. Seared Escolar, a meaty, oily fish similar to marlin or swordfish, was Spencer’s fave. It was lightly seared and served with celery slices and tops, chopped Taggiasca olives, and blood-orange segments that perfectly offset the richness of the fish. Seared Albacore was another star of the evening, the ruby-red center of the fish glistening and tender, accompanied by sautéed cauliflower florets, golden raisins, and pine nuts and white-bean purée.
Two salads shone–Roasted Beets in a creamy orange vinaigrette with parsley and red endive and Frisée Salad with green apple slices and crunchy pistachios.
From the Pasta section of the menu, we opted for the Tagliatelli with Clams, Garlic, and Chiles, a simple dish we’ve tried and enjoyed several times at one of chef Ethan’s sister restaurants, Tavolàta and Union. It held up to our fond memories, but we were so stuffed from sampling all the “small” plates that we took more than half of the generous portion home for later enjoyment (mixed into a seafood stew the next evening).
We look forward to welcoming this dynamic trio’s fourth venture, Anchovies & Olives, which just opened upon Capitol Hill. And this time around, we promise to try it sooner rather than later.