Posts Tagged ‘Dungeness crab’
I succumbed to a Groupon deal a couple of months ago. I paid twenty five dollars for fifty dollars worth of food and beverages at Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar. We were at the Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub in the early hours of Sunday morning to cheer on the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup. Alas we were disappointed with the result and woke up lethargic. Within walking distance, the voucher was perfect for a lazy dinner.
As with many restaurants in Seattle, Seastar is dimly lit. The restaurant was full so we sat in the bar. A spacious area with individual tables, a communal bench and counter seating, it was a busy evening being the first day of the autumn Seattle Restaurant Week. A single glassybaby was our source of light to read the menu.
The menu was a combination of hot and cold seafood. We selected a soup, a sushi roll and the raw bar sampler to share. The large bowl of Dungeness crab and corn bisque was warming. Absent of corn kernels, the bisque had chunks of Dungeness crab and was drizzled with a Madeira reduction and fresh chives. The Port added a depth of flavour to the bisque.
We misread the menu and expected a plate of tempura but it was futomaki tempura! Coated in tempura batter, the sushi roll had cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, asparagus, green onion and daikon pickle. It was an odd sensation to eat warm sushi but the vegetables were pleasingly crunchy.
The three tiered raw bar sampler was presented with a flourish. On the bottom was scallop ceviche with mango-kiwi relish, lemon, lime and cilantro. Unripe fruits and acidic juices masked the sweetness of the scallops.
In the middle was a California roll of Dungeness crab, avocado and cucumber. These bite size morsels had plenty of fresh crab.
And on the top was ahi pokē. Cubes of tuna were marinated in soy, chilli, Maui onions and sesame seeds. Wafer thin taro crisps were the utensil topped with strands of daikon radish and green onions.
On a glass tile, the aloha roll was bursting with ahi, hamachi, salmon, avocado, cucumber and chilli. This sushi roll lacked the finesse of Japanese cuisine but had an abundance of glistening sashimi.
Service was mostly absent but it was value for money!
I consider Seinfeld the seminal sitcom of my generation. I have much affection for the flawed characters and how they navigate the minutiae of life. Jerry Seinfeld has toured Australia a couple of times but I deemed the tickets too expensive. I was very happy when I found out he would be in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre at an affordable price. This was the first show we’ve attended since we moved here and I really miss live comedy and theatre.
Conveniently located near the Paramount Theatre, we had reserved a table at Blueacre Seafood for pre-show dinner. I have tasty memories of the food at the Barton Seaver event several months ago and was looking forward to our meal.
There was an enticing three courses for thirty dollars Harvest Moon special but we resisted the prix fixe and opted for the seasonal à la carte menu.
A curved oyster bar is at the front, the main dining room is elevated by a couple of steps and wooden panels divide the space. Tinted glass panes filter the view into the large kitchen and tinged the booths a royal blue.
I spotted both owners, Chef Kevin Davis was in the kitchen and General Manager Teressa Davis was on the floor.
There are some similarities between Blueacre and its sister restaurant, Steelhead Diner. Complimentary bread is served with triangles of seasoned butter and the crockery is branded with the logo. The butter was dressed with a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of salt, an appetising contrast.
We had fun designing combinations from the extensive menu. Mr S ordered a cup of duck and andouille gumbo for his first course. The small container was full of sliced sausage and duck pieces, the spiciness absorbed by a scattering of rice.
I chose the jumbo lump Dungeness crab cake. A deconstructed crab cake, the tender chunks of meat is pressed into shape with no binding agent. A squiggle of mustard lime sauce and topped with mirliton salad, it was homage to the sweet Dungeness crab.
Mr S selected the Hawaiian tuna for his main course. Thick medallions of peppercorn crusted and seared rare fish was paired with whipped potatoes, frizzled leeks and sauce au poivre. The sharpness of the crushed peppercorns was tempered by the pepper sauce soaked starch.
I had the Totten Inlet mussels in green curry of coconut milk, grilled lime, ginger and chilli. The aromatic broth was soothing and light, and the mussels were fresh and plump.
We shared a side of fried sweet corn. I renewed my love for corn with this dish. The juicy kernels were lightly charred and coated in butter, espelette and sea salt.
We concluded with German chocolate cake with black walnut ice cream and cocoa soil. The layered chocolate cake was glossy and dense, textured with shredded coconut and chopped walnuts.
Jerry Seinfeld was entertaining and it was invigorating to laugh at his vignettes of coffee, marriage and food!
I love the convenience of AmazonFresh. We don’t have to borrow a car to do grocery shopping like we did in Sydney, or multiple stair climbs lugging bags from the garage. And they deliver beer and wine to your home! Our wines and spirits are either stored at my parents’ house or we gifted them to friends as we couldn’t pack them in the container to ship here.
You cannot purchase alcohol at supermarkets or convenience stores in Australia but we were mystified by the absence of liquor from AmazonFresh and the aisles of supermarkets. We did not know that that the state government has a monopoly over the wholesale and retail distribution of liquor in Washington!
Mr S was sad to part with a bottle of Scotch whisky that we bought from the distillery in Wick. Surprisingly we have spotted the distinctive Old Pulteney bottle at 9 Million in Unmarked Bills, The Whisky Bar and this week, at the Bookstore Bar.
With street frontage, the Bookstore Bar is affiliated with the Library Bistro which is inside the Alexis Hotel. A long and narrow room, there were shelves laden with books and interspersed with dozens of bottles of whisky. Auburn lamps lined the bar with more bottles of whisky cluttering the counter.
There were chalkboards advertising whisky flights and beers on tap. A small espresso machine was wedged next to a wine rack.
It was an eclectic collection of bottles and books, the place lively with football fans en route to the Sounders match against Manchester United. We quickly sat down at the last empty table for happy hour.
A condensed version of their main menu, there are about ten items available priced from three to seven dollars. We ordered three dishes to share – three cheese mac, Dungeness crab cakes and pulled pork sliders.
My first memory of pasta was macaroni, albeit a fusion interpretation. Cooked in a broth with diced ham, peas and corn, it is a popular side with a western breakfast at fast food restaurants in Hong Kong. I still eat it when I visit for nostalgia but I prefer macaroni with cheese!
Sometimes mac and cheese can be overwhelmingly creamy but this one had just enough cheese stirred through and not too salty. I would have liked more of the herbed bread crumbs for extra crunch to each mouthful!
Two small patties, the Dungeness crab cakes rested on mashed avocado and were doused with red pepper aioli. The deep brown crust protected the shredded crab. The richness of the avocado and aioli paired well with the sweet crab.
Mr S repeatedly said the pulled pork slider was spicy. I took a bite and it confirmed my suspicion that it was a ploy to distract. It was tender and juicy, smoky and caramelised. The bun soaked up every drip of the house made barbecue sauce. And that is why Mr S coveted my portion of the pulled pork slider!
An entertaining match, our seats were near a group of South Korean supporters who cheered loudly every time Park Ji-Sung touched the ball. Here’s the video of the coin toss at the top of the Space Needle and a fun video of the Sounders playing Kinect.
I have a vague memory of visiting the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, evidenced only by a souvenired exhibition guide. The temporary accommodation during our first month in Seattle was at the barren wasteland that is the west bank of Lake Union. Going into Downtown by foot necessitated a walk along Westlake, pre Amazon occupation. On those wintery mornings, I liked peering into the Tesla Store to admire the gleaming machinery. Sometimes I would stop and read the menu outside re:public, making a mental note to dine there.
I had read that re:public was now serving weekend brunch. Mr S was dubious of this as there are no hours or menu listed on the website. We compromised on Brave Horse Tavern as a backup option in the area. The South Lake Union neighbourhood has evolved in the six months we’ve been living in Seattle. It is now thriving with workers and restaurants. I noticed last week that food trucks were congregating in the car park near the corner of Harrison and Fairview.
re:public had an industrial chic feel with high ceiling, exposed air ducts and concrete floor. The televisions at the ends of the bar were on and there was a small crowd watching the Women’s World Cup final.
Mr S ordered the Dungeness crab omelette with asparagus, chèvre and arugula. I continue to be baffled by roasted potatoes at breakfast. Why not a slice of toast for the requisite carbohydrates? Is it merely to reduce white space on the plate? I digress. Chunks of crab meat, stalks of asparagus and dollops of goat cheese were cocooned in fluffy eggs.
I was intrigued by the duck confit crépinette. Served with a rösti and a sunny side up duck egg, the crépinette was a thick patty of duck confit. The flat and crispy rösti was the foundation for the rich disc of duck confit and a perfectly fried duck egg. Tender and gamey, it was a large portion of meat for breakfast. Thankfully a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice washed away the fattiness.
I’m happy that re:public has expanded to weekend brunch!
I’m an impatient person. I dislike lateness and just tolerate timeliness. I’m almost always early which perpetuates my impatience! Cooking risotto is a mental challenge - like a child on a road trip, ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’. As for roasting, baking or grilling, I’ve been known to turn the oven light on and sit cross legged in front of the glass panel, staring, willing it to cook faster with my Jedi mind powers.
We thought we had enough time for brunch on Saturday prior to an appointment. We slid into a booth at Steelhead Diner and quickly ordered. The restaurant was busy, all the tables and booths were occupied and most of the counter seats were filled. Although crowded, there was a pleasant hum to the place, a rhythm to the shuffling waitstaff.
There is an Australian connection at Steelhead Diner and Chef Kevin Davis’s love of fly fishing is evident throughout the dining room. The fly, an artificial lure or bait, features prominently as the restaurant logo, is the design on the plates and are displayed in acrylic boxes along the booth dividers.
Our booth had a view into the kitchen via a framed wall cut-out and it was a hive of activity, there was a silent efficiency to the chefs’ movements in a confined space.
And so we waited. Mr S sipped his drip coffee and I drained my freshly squeezed orange juice. And we waited. The booths on either side of us were served their meals. And we continued to wait. At this point, I got really agitated as we were at risk of being late for our appointment, so I asked as politely as possible about our meals.
I explained that we were now in a hurry and the waiter was apologetic, so much so that he returned with a complimentary starter of a slice of caviar pie with traditional garniture. I had momentarily mistaken it for a slice of cheesecake!
The biscuit base was replaced by finely chopped boiled eggs, the cheese was crème fraiche and the topping were four types of caviar. It was a kaleidoscope of colours with capers and diced red onions scattered on the plate. Creamy and briny, it was a heavy dish to nibble on for two.
I’m usually a slow eater but we ate our meals in record time. I hoovered my eggs Benedict, my plate emptied before Mr S’s. On soft, chewy toast, the ‘sequimbled eggs’ had chunks of Dungeness crab with two perfectly poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.
A gentle nudge with the knife released a golden ribbon of egg yolk, and it swirled through the sweet crab meat and mixed with the mild Hollandaise. I regretted not savouring each mouthful more.
A thick patty wedged in a Frisbee sized bun, the Wagyu beef burger was massive. With molten cheddar, sautéed onions and mushrooms, tomato and lettuce, the burger was rich and filling. I deftly snatched a couple of chips and the golden batons were crunchy and not oily, probably the best chips I’ve had in Seattle.
As we were paying the bill, one of the chefs poked his head out of the frame and apologised again for the lateness of our meals. Despite the rush, we appreciated the effort of both the waitstaff and the kitchen to redress the situation. And we made it to our appointment just in time!
In the three months we’ve lived in Seattle, we’ve had brunches at Dahlia Lounge, lunches at Seatown and Brave Horse Tavern and dinners at Lola and Serious Pie. Notice the plural – we’ve eaten Tom Douglas meals about a dozen times! We’ve also had Dahlia Bakery rustic breads for breakfasts and with soup on wintery nights, and devoured hot cross buns in defiance of the absence of public holidays for Easter.
We moseyed down to Pike Place Market in search of sustenance for an afternoon movie. We had sent our Mother’s Day wishes on Saturday due to the time difference and had forgotten that restaurants is likely to be full on Sunday. We decided 45 minutes was too long to wait at Etta’s for our grumbling stomachs and quickly went next door to Seatown hoping for a counter lunch. We were in luck and had a table by the window!
I’ve dined at Seatown twice before – once for weekend brunch where we shared a couple of sandwiches; and the second time I had the Seattle Restaurant Week lunch menu which is excellent value at $15 for three courses. The Seatown cream cake was a memorable dessert – a dense chocolate cake filled with a thick dollop of vanilla custard and served with toasted hazelnuts and a pot of Theo chocolate mocha ganache.
We knew what to order as we’ve reminisced about the Dungeness crab, avocado and fried egg sandwich. It is a sight to behold - wedged between the toasted English muffin are chunks of fresh Dungeness crab covering the slices of avocado and is topped with a fried egg, yolk just set. We savour each bite in appreciative silence.
I heart Tom Douglas.