Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘Dana Tough

I attended my first Foodportunity yesterday evening at the Palace Ballroom, a networking event founded by the inimitable Keren Brown.

A screen projected the live Foodportunity Twitter feed.

The lovely Keren spoke briefly to thank Foodportunity’s sponsors and supporters, and drew the winners of the business card raffle.

My first taste was at Metropolitan Market, the main sponsor of Foodportunity. Imported wheels of Zola Gouda were stacked on the table.

A generous portion of creamy macaroni and cheese was sprinkled with bread crumbs and Parmesan.

I interspersed savoury dishes with desserts. Next was Fat Cat Fudge, a smooth chocolate fudge that was moderately sweet.

I spotted The Coterie Room in the corner and happily crunched on a decadent snack of ham crackling dipped in black truffle fondue.

In the same area was Inn at Langley. On a wooden paddle was a disc of smouldered spruce panna cotta with truffle honey foam and pine nut sugar.

The Chef in the Hat was momentarily absent but the silver forks of coffee cured salmon with celeriac by Rover’s were scrumptious.

One of the few restaurants with signs of their food, Local 360 had a rustic chalkboard written in cursive script and illuminated by tea light candles.

Except I didn’t notice the sign until after I ate the bacon wrapped rabbit saddle with cheesy grits and maple truffle jus. I don’t eat rabbit. But the meaty cylinder topped with a jelly cube was an appetising pairing.

Mike Easton was resplendent in a customised apron and demonstrated artisan pasta making.

Cooked on an induction stovetop at the stall, the malloreddi alla Siciliana was exceptional.

Fumie’s Gold had silver platters of sweet treats. I sampled the green tea cookie and it had a balanced matcha flavour.

The profiteroles and tiramisu were tempting!

My first loop concluded at the entrance where Mt Townsend Creamery was. Cirrus is a favourite and there were nibbles of Seastack.

Light and citrusy fromage blanc was spread on apple crisps.

I meandered back to the restaurants I had skipped due to crowds. At Blackfish from Tulalip was house smoked sockeye salmon with chèvre cucumber purse on a bamboo square. The salmon was surprisingly dense, tempered by the mandolined cucumber and goat cheese.

On a wooden board at Volunteer Park Café was crimped puff pastry with caramelised onion, a smear of chèvre and black trumpet mushrooms. I have fond memories of their grilled figs at Keren’s book launch party and these morsels were a highlight too!

The last dessert was by Main Street Cookie Company. Made with quality ingredients, the chocolate chunk and dark chocolate cookies were perfectly baked.

I hovered at Lucky Palate, curious about the contents of the paper cups. A vegetarian meal delivery company, the quinoa and farro were both textured and healthy.

A scarlet tablecloth greeted us at Tipu’s Chai. Steeped in herbs and spices, chai is a traditional Indian beverage.

A stainless steel and glass dispenser poured the Tipu’s Chai Now, a vegan instant chai. It was soothing and aromatic.

The penultimate was Tabby Cat Pickling Co.

Jars of pickles were scooped into bowls and the curried cauliflower floret was piquant.

And just before I exited, a friend‘s mother recommended the sizzling sausage by Tom Douglas.

Fluffy buns encased a spicy pork belly and octopus chorizo with fennel. It was a warming conclusion to a fun first Foodportunity.

Sincere thanks to Keren for connecting the Seattle food community!

We celebrated our first anniversary in Seattle with dinner at Spur. We had a cosy evening at the gastropub during the miserable spring of last year and loved the experience. Located next to The Coterie Room, Spur is the original restaurant by Chefs McCracken and Tough.

The ambience was warm and bistro like. A narrow room is split into two, long communal tables on the right and individual tables on the left. Plush armchairs are at the entrance and the open plan kitchen is at the back. Mirror panes line the wall to create the illusion of space and illuminate the high ceiling.

The menu is categorised into seasonal and staples. In a nostalgic moment, we ordered the same dishes as we did nearly twelve months ago.

Pimm’s is a classic English liqueur and we sipped on a refreshing twist, the West Coast Pimm’s. Poured into a tall glass with lemon, cucumber, mint, basil and ginger ale, it was a fizzy beverage with a citrus bouquet.

Dotted with capers, a plump piece of sockeye salmon was atop pillowy mascarpone on a crostini. At four dollars each, they were appetising bites.

Cut in half and served with a mound of shoestring fries, the grass fed beef patty, red onion jam, cheddar and thyme were sandwiched in a buttery brioche bun. It was a juicy burger, the delicate sweetness of the red onion jam accentuated the savoury beef.

Parmesan foam, shaved Parmesan, glossy sous vide duck egg, finely sliced green onions, crunchy pine nuts, meaty oyster mushrooms and silky tagliatelle, my main was a delectable combination of textures and flavours.

We reminisced and reflected, making the time to pause over a delicious meal at the end of a hectic week.

Online shopping is easy in America. There are many aggregate websites that curate brands with cheap delivery and free return. I like browsing the ones with a short sales period such as One Kings Lane and Gilt as there tend to be bargains for items that are on your wish list.

When Gilt City launched in Seattle I was curious as to how it would be positioned in a crowded market. They seem to have targeted a demographic keen on a lifestyle of culture, health, fashion and food. Maybe I’m one of those people as I’ve purchased vouchers!

Gilt City Seattle and Seattleite hosted the Fall Comforts Taste the Season event at Wing Luke Museum yesterday evening. The autumn gastronomic celebration coincided with the ‘Fields to family: Asian Pacific Americans and food‘ exhibition.

Concentric circles are suspended from the ceiling at the entrance. The bells can be rung with a donation, to ‘clear the air, send a wish, say hello’.

This list of restaurants was what enticed me to attend! (Image courtesy of Seattleite website.)

The GastroGnomeLovely Lanvin and her neighbourly friend Phia were my dining companions. The GastroGnome and I needed a cool drink after a brisk walk on a mild day. Golden Beetle was mixing two cocktails and I had the Cargill. Hendrick’s gin, lavender liquor, black pepper syrup and lemon juice was a refreshing apéritif.

The tasting room was resplendent in Chinese red. Tables surrounded the perimeter and were decorated with an autumn theme.

Our first sample was the cassoulet from RN74. A generous ladle eaten with a petite spoon, the bean stew was peppery and warming, and crunchy from a scattering of bread crumbs.

Pork rib was braised in foie gras nage and wild mushroom, and topped with harissa jam. This morsel from The Chef in the Hat was tender with intense earthy flavours.

A mini tray of Foodz Catering brie and truffle mac and cheese was al dente and creamy.

Foodz Catering also had peppers stuffed with feta and pistachios, a sweet and savoury snack on a bamboo skewer.

Platters of corned lamb Rueben with sauerkraut and green curry aioli were substantial from Revel.

Artusi had scoops of eggplant and stone fruit caponata with cherry tomato and toasted pine nuts. The vinegar was balanced with the sweet fruits and the silky eggplant contrasted with the seeds.

Pork cheek pibil with potatoes was stacked in a cup by Poquitos. The chunk of meat was a little chewy but the diced potatoes were spiced and crispy.

Bastille had mussels with Rockridge hard cider, young ginger and fennel pollen with potato chips. In an aromatic broth, the plump bivalves were briny and fresh.

My favourite dish was pasta fagioli from Staple & Fancy, served by Ethan Stowell! Borlotti bean and ditaloni pasta in broth made with Parmesan rinds and bacon, and sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano. This was the definition of hearty comfort food!

We meandered through the Fields to Family exhibition. It was an interactive display of the ‘sights, sounds, tastes and smells of foods in the homes and restaurants of diverse Asian Pacific Americans’.

Wok accoutrement hung on the wall.

On the left is a fortune cookie machine, and on the right is a noodle press and dough roller.

Framed photos of Chinese restaurant neon signs.

The story of Bing cherries.

We returned to Spur for dessert. Chefs McCracken and Tough paired freeze dried house made cereal with whole milk ice cream.

It was theatrical to watch the canister of liquid nitrogen being poured. The ice cream tasted of wholesome milk and cereal flakes were the sweetener.

A final treat was dianne’s Delights cake pops. Pumpkin, chocolate or vanilla, these whimsical desserts on a stick were popular.

Cheers to Gilt City Seattle for a food and drink event where the chefs were present!

coterie (co·te·rie) – noun
A small group of people with shared interests or tastes, especially one that is exclusive of other people.

A sister restaurant of both Tavern Law in Capitol Hill and Spur on the same block, The Coterie Room completes a trifecta of eateries by Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough. Located in a corner brick building with dual street frontage, expansive windows let light inside as afternoon faded into twilight.

The dining room is simply decorated with slate coloured window frames, wooden furniture and pale walls. Its elegance is accentuated by a sparkling crystal chandelier and mirrors.

Our table was next to the living wall, a vertical planter box of cascading leafy greenery.

Categorised into small plates, main courses and family style, the menu features hearty fare. It was torrential rain outside and we were comforted by a glass of red wine, and a warm Grand Central Bakery rosemary and ginger roll with a pot of salted butter.

Our waitress kindly explained the sizes of the dishes and we agreed that we must return with a coterie of friends to sample more of the menu! We opted for three small plates and one family style to share.

First was sweet onion mac and cheese with duck ham. Served in a small graphite cocotte, the cute cast iron container of orecchiette was topped with crispy shallots. The al dente and creamy pasta was punctuated by morsels of duck ham.

The second small plate was marinated beets. I love the deep magenta colour of beetroot, staining your fingers as you cut into the bulb. Roasted beets have an intense earthy sweetness, perfect in a salad of peppery arugula, crunchy pistachios and a dollop of Cowgirl Creamery cottage cheese.

Four portions of golden buttermilk fried chicken were presented with a flourish. The drumsticks and thigh cutlets nestled on a mound of potato and bacon hash. A tuft of frisee salad was the requisite fibre. Caramel and glossy, a puddle of chicken gravy was soon absorbed by the hash. Cooked sous vide and then deep fried, the crunchy crust protects the juicy protein.

A side of heirloom baby carrots were bright batons coated in coriander butter and Taggiasca olive vinaigrette, and dotted with parsley.

The dessert menu was concise with only three items.

Mr S is partial to fruity desserts and ordered the pear sorbet with brown butter soil and roasted pistachios. The subtle flavour of the pear sorbet was highlighted by the slightly salty condiments.

Egg shaped cinnamon fritters were dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by a caramel apple dipping sauce. These fluffy treats were reminiscent of the zeppole at Tavolàta .

The rain had subsided and we left content with boxed leftovers.

The same week of the Sharone Hakman and SousVide Supreme demonstration and tasting, Myra tweeted a Rue La La deal. I only had fried chicken in mind when I paid twenty five dollars for fifty dollars value in food and beverages at Tavern Law.

Twelfth Avenue on Capitol Hill was buzzing on a Friday evening. By the owners of Spur Gastropub, Tavern Law celebrates the history of the speakeasy during the prohibition era. A vintage typewriter greets us at the entrance and it’s a charming space within.

A mural of an elegant lady in a floral blue dress grace the wall and a roulette wheel hangs at the bar.

A built-in bookshelf and gilded mirror complete the décor.

In an effort to cool down and be presentable after the humid ascent, I sat inside and gulped glasses of water while waiting for Ms S.

I stared at the scratched vault door and wall mounted rotary dial telephone, pondering their purpose. After much squinting, I read ‘Needle and Thread’ on the framed sign. After observing several people lingering nervously by the phone, I realised Needle and Thread is Tavern Law’s homage to the speakeasy!

Ignoring the creased paper the food menu is printed on, I perused the extensive drinks booklet, appreciating the explanation of cocktail terms like sling and sour.

We moved to a table on the sidewalk to enjoy the beautiful late summer weather. The English gin fizz with Earl Grey infused gin, lemon and honey was a refreshing apéritif.

We ordered a plate of fried chicken each. It was a sight to behold – two golden crusted portions perched atop a bed of mashed potatoes. Cooked sous vide and then deep fried, the light and crispy skin protected the tender and juicy meat. The coating had a slight sweetness that balanced the savoury protein and creamy starch.

The service was a little haphazard, so much so that our bill was delivered without being asked about a second drink or dessert.


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