April 15, 2013
The first week in April, from Thursday at 1:30 p.m. to Sunday at 11 a.m., we enjoyed showing my brother and sister-in-law around Seattle.
Here’s the cute “pig” blackboard sign in our condo that welcomed them to town.
We had our first lunch at Place Pigalle in the Pike Place Market (oyster stew, beet salad, duck confit, crab cakes). Here’s a gorgeous shot of Place Pigalle’s oyster stew, one of the best, if not THE best, version in town.
At Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant & Satay Bar, in downtown Seattle, three of us ordered the justly famous Seven Element Soup, which is available only at lunchtime (pity!). We also managed to down platters of Seven-Spice Beef, Siam Lettuce Cups, Hanoi Tuna, and bok choy.
My brother was here partly for business reasons, so on the day he crossed over the mountains to attend a meeting in Yakima, Spencer and I took sis-in-law on a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island for a nature walk, exploring downtown, and lunch at our friend, Greg Atkinson’s, lovely Restaurant Marché.
We loved the menu, and enjoyed wild salmon, the Market Vegetable Plate (a daily-changing entrée with “five veggies five ways,” such as braised greens, grilled asparagus, carrots, and pea flan the day we were there).
Here is my gorgeous Salade Niçoise with a very generous portion of perfectly cooked albacore tuna riding atop. The recipe is on Greg’s website and would be a snap to whip up at home.
And although we really weren’t hungry, we had to try a scoop at Mora Iced Creamery shop just outside of Marché. Pistachio, Gianduja (Italian hazelnut chocolate), and Coconut were our delectable choices.
It was thrilling to see my dear friend Debra Prinzing’s book, “The 50-Mile Bouquet,” prominently displayed in the front window at Intentional Table on Bainbridge, in the Madrone Lane area just outside Marché.
Our three dinners began in grand style at Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market, just across the street from bro and sis-in-law’s hotel, the beautiful, boutique-y Inn at the Market. In a bit of New Orleans-style lagniappe, chef Anthony sent over one of our absolute favorite dishes in Seattle–Caviar Pie.
After devouring that, we ordered more: Dungeness Crab Cake, Kasu Cod, troll-caught salmon. . .
and the gorgeous whole Idaho Trout swimming in a brown-butter bath and sprinkled with a plethora of plump pecans. Yum!
Vowing never to eat (or drink) again, we somehow managed to rally the next evening at Terra Plata, where the truly addictive Shisito Peppers with Aïoli didn’t last long.
Nor did the Roasted Olives, Medjool Dates, or Scallop Crudo (pictured above).
Scallops with Melted Leeks and a fried quail egg was my entrée; the meat eaters enjoyed the Braised Short Ribs.
Two desserts sated our sweet tooths (teeth?!?!). Here’s the Pavlova. . .
And the Apple Tart.
For our last supper (sounds rather dire!), we lived it up at the always ebullient RN74 in downtown Seattle. Sis-in-law loved the Tomato Soup Fondue, while bro ordered a gorgeous Green Pea Soup with Dungeness crab. Spencer opted for escargots (served in the shell!), and I got the Butter Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese.
Here’s the generous portion of Black Cod with Bok Choy and Wild Mushrooms that I ordered. Beef Bourguignon, Duck Breast, and Beef Filet satisfied my dining companions.
From the Last Bottle list (an ever-changing board, much like a railroad-station board) we chose a 2005 Woodward Canyon Winery Red Blend (made up of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc and Merlot) that was drinking absolutely perfectly (and a steal at $110, which is the reason we love the Last Bottle List so much!).
Bro and sis-in-law wanted a really good Dungeness Crab Benedict for their final meal in Seattle. So bright and early (at least for Spencer and me) at 9:30 on Sunday morning, we trotted down the hill from their hotel for brunch at Etta’s, one of legendary Seattle chef Tom Douglas’s 10 restaurants.
By now, even intrepid eaters such as Spencer and me were in a food and wine coma. So I was very appreciate of the brunch special of the day since it was a bit on the lighter/healthier side: Salmon Cake and Grilled Asparagus and Arugula Salad (well, maybe the fried egg on top wasn’t so healthy!).
The relatives raved about their Dungeness Crab Cakes Benedict, and Spencer chowed down on one of his long-time favorite dishes about town: Etta’s Breakfast (scrambled eggs, house-made chicken sausage, home fries, and sour-dough toast).
Here we are about to chow down at Etta’s, looking happy, and perhaps a few pounds heavier, after so much good food and drink in such a concentrated amount of time.
Of course, we did some sightseeing along the way (had to burn off some of those calories!) and enjoyed (and highly recommend) Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. We had been last May with Spencer’s cousin and wife, so feared we might be bored going again so soon. But we had a great guide–Dietrich–who has been working for the company on and off since 1989. He looked at things from an architectural standpoint as well as historical, and we all agreed we learned a lot and had a lot of fun doing it.
We also spent a few hours at the Seattle Art Museum’s current exhibit: Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasure of Kenwood House, London. The paintings were truly inspiring, but perhaps most noteworthy (downright awesome) were the Rembrandt etchings.
The weather was downright ugly (drizzle, heavy rain, a little sun, sunshine while it was raining!), and here is proof–a downed mannequin in front of the Utilikilts store in Pioneer Square.
More proof of the inclement weather; brooding skies as shown from the ferry coming back from Bainbridge Island.
Bro and sis-in-law promised they would be back soon, so I’ve already started thinking about what we will do next time.
For starters? How about a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel?