For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been reprinting some of our favorite Dishes of the Day from the last year or so while we enjoy some time out of the office.
Here you’ll enjoy not one, but SIX, Dishes of the Day and gorgeous photos from all over our fair city.
Due to a bunch of social and professional commitments, we’ve been eating out even more often than usual the past few weeks.
The idea of writing individual restaurant reviews on each place is so daunting–and we’ve had so many outstanding and memorable single dishes at various places–that I decided to choose six of my favorite dishes, merge them into one list, and declare them Dishes of the Day (DoD).
Three of my six recent best-of-the-best dishes came from one restaurant alone–Cicchetti kitchen & bar–which is located in the Eastlake neighborhood just north of downtown Seattle.
This is one of Cicchetti’s amazing “small plates,” which was actually pretty generous–I managed to consume every last crunchy bite. It’s called Fattoush Salad, a medley of diced red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, romaine lettuce, olives, and a few fried flat-bread strips accented with fresh herbs (lots of mint, which I adore!) and dusted with sumac powder. Superbly tasty and even relatively healthy at the same time (eat your veggies!)!
We also loved Cicchetti’s “Cicchettti” (small bites) appetizer platter, in which you get to choose among a long list of possibilities to custom-craft your desired nibbles.
We opted for the Fried Almonds drizzled with honey and Turkish spices (addictive!), the Mahon Riserva (Spanish) cheese with quince paste, and the Housemade Yogurt with brown butter, all accompanied by homemade flat bread (which we, sadly, couldn’t eat due to our low-carb diet).
My third Dish of the Day–another gorgeous “small” plate from Cicchetti–is the Charred Octopus with Chickpeas, Salsa Verde, Taggiasca Olives, and Caramelized Cauliflower. Who ever thought all those divergent ingredients could be so tasty when cooked together?!?!
This octopus cooked just so–tender and not-at-all chewy–rivals another preparation I count among my all-time favorite octopus dishes. It hails from Lecosho, but, sadly, is off the menu there right now. The lighter, more seasonal substitution features grilled octopus with green beans, smashed fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, chermoula, and baby herb salad.
The Baby Artichoke Salad at Barolo Ristorante in downtown Seattle is one of my perennial favorites, and one I’ve written about before here on my Northwest Notes blog. Once again, it is more than deserving of being named Dish of the Day, and I order it every time we eat at Barolo.
And although I don’t eat pork, so didn’t actually taste these Uli’s Merguez Sausage Soft Tacos with Cucumber Raita and Crispy Shallots that Debra Prinzing, a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based outdoor design expert and dear friend of mine ordered when we celebrated Happy Hour at ART Restaurant & Lounge in the Four Seasons Seattle Hotel a few weeks ago, they deserve a Dish of the Day award for creativity, presention, and the fact that they feature Uli’s Famous Sausage, which is located in the bustling heart of the Pike Place Market.
While sipping, supping, and chatting, Deb gave me a copy of her latest book, “The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local, and Sustainable Flowers,” and I liked this smart, important, well-written tome so much that I chose to review it for my monthly Amazon Al Dente blog post. I
f you’ve ever wondered about the new “slow flower” movement. . .where the flowers that grace your table come from. . .how they’re grown. . .their carbon footprint. . .and how to design your own bouquets at home. . .this book’s for you.
Meanwhile, congratulations to all six of our Dish of the Day winners!