Posts Tagged ‘espresso’
Our French friend loves eggs Benedict. The best I’ve had was at The Wolseley and we had breakfast there with her on our last day in London. Her favourite in Seattle is at B&O Espresso, her local café in Capitol Hill. In the neighbourhood for more than three decades, the building is approved for demolition and the closure of B&O Espresso is imminent.
A refrigerated glass cabinet displayed cakes and the espresso machine was gurgling. To the left of the entrance is a nook and to the right are two connecting dining rooms.
We were seated in the corner room which faces the intersection of Olive and Bellevue. The décor is quirky with stained glass panes, eclectic furniture, lime walls and vintage posters.
I spotted the Valencia mocha when I was perusing the beverages menu and it evoked a childhood memory of Jacob’s Club Orange. A latte with orange essence, nutmeg and Ghirardelli cocoa, it was an aromatic twist to a standard mocha.
A creamy mocha milkshake was topped with a sphere of cream and chocolate shavings.
Morsels of spiced kofta and molten pepper jack were folded into a just set three egg omelette. This was served with a generous side of tender potatoes and toast with Deer Mountain jam.
Soft poached eggs. Fluffy English muffins. Fresh Hollandaise sauce. The golden yolk cascaded and the pastel Hollandaise was viscous and tangy. It was a superb eggs Benedict, just how weekend brunch should be.
I hope B&O Espresso can continue to operate.
Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of Allan Aquila. This is not a sponsored post.
sozo (so·zo) – noun
To save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. To save a suffering one from perishing, to make well, heal, restore to health.
Sozo is an artisan winemaker that selects quality grapes from vineyards to craft their own blends. The company partners with not-for-profit organisations to distribute a portion of sales to assist those in need. Each bottle of wine has a medallion affixed to its label to indicate its contribution to Sozo’s commitment to the community. For example, ’5 lives’ is equal to five meals supplied by local food banks.
Winemaker Cheryl Barber-Jones collaborated with Chef Peter Jahnke on the wine pairings for the five course tasting menu.
The first course was pear, caramelised onion and St André tart, and Sozo Humanity Riesling. Amber and flaky, the tart had a delicate sweetness that was accentuated by the mellow Riesling.
A generous fillet of salmon perched on a mound of mushroom risotto, and Sozo Potential Pinot Noir. Averse to fish skin, I gently peeled it from the perfectly cooked flesh. Both the salmon and creamy rice was well seasoned.
The third course was duck confit with lentils, and Sozo Abundant Mourvèdre Syrah Blend. I love duck but unfortunately this was a little dry and lacked the sumptuous texture of confit meat. Traditionally coupled with Pinot Noir, the Mourvèdre Syrah was a delightful match with the game.
Abundant Mourvèdre Syrah Blend, one of four Sozo wines sampled.
The penultimate dish of braised beef with blueberry barbecue glaze, polenta and kale, and Sozo Generosity Syrah Tempranillo Blend was my favourite of the evening. Tender chunks of slow cooked beef were atop luscious polenta and wilted kale.
We concluded with an affogato. A single shot espresso and a scoop of espresso gelato was presented in a coffee cup. The espresso and vanilla ice cream are served separately in a classic affogato. The caffeine and sugar were appreciated after four diverse savoury courses that highlighted the Sozo wines.
Charmed by the smooth Riesling, Mrs W and I both purchased a bottle.
We were gifted a bag of Yemen Mocca Sanani as we exited into the crisp night.
Sozo is on the wine list of more than seventy restaurants in Seattle. Next time you dine out, consider this socially responsible winemaker!
I dislike mornings. With enough sleep, I still wake up in a fog. I perfected a silent routine in Sydney with the singular goal of hugging a cup of coffee at my work desk. I breathed in the caffeine aroma and slowly sipped the warm bittersweet liquid. A skim mocha was prerequisite to my human interactions.
I have weened myself off caffeine since moving to Seattle. My two, three cups a week are less functional and more enjoyment. And I indulged in one nearly every day we were in Whistler. Resting indoors with a hot beverage while snow flurries fluttered by the window were idyllic, a romanticised white Christmas for a Southern Hemisphere native.
The Starbucks near our hotel was crowded one afternoon and we crossed into a laneway to the provocatively named Hot Buns Bakery.
A cosy café with optimistic al fresco tables and chairs under an awning, Hot Buns Bakery is open for breakfast and lunch.
Above the entrance was a risqué surfboard adorned with the eponymous ’hot buns’.
Vintage skis and boots dangled from the ceiling.
Framed sepia portraits lined the walls and the dining room was marked with a manual parking meter.
Sweet and savoury crêpes, panini, soups and pastries were on the menu.
A frothy cup of Lavazza was welcomed.
We shared a cinnamon bun, a Hot Buns Bakery specialty. A sticky scroll of dense dough swirled with a gritty cinnamon paste and glazed, it was a delightful sweet treat.
I spotted a banana Nutella crêpe at the next table and it was a decadent snack. Conveniently located in Whistler Village, Hot Buns Bakery was a pleasant retreat after several hours on the slopes.
A weekend trip to Southern California was temporary reprieve from a wet and windy Seattle. We spent Saturday in Santa Monica and it was a delight to squint in the sunshine, wear flip-flops and splash in the Pacific Ocean again.
Our generation of Australians grew up with ‘Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide‘, a public health campaign against skin cancer, and sunglasses and hats are requisite outdoor accessories.
Ms D-R recommended Coast at Shutters on the Beach for brunch. With a panoramic view of Santa Monica Beach, the hotel is a sight to behold. Painted ivory and white, the building is resplendent against the blue sky and palm trees.
Coast is on the bottom level of the hotel with a beachfront entrance.
How apt that the hotel logo is a deckchair, symbolising an idyllic holiday!
Coast has counter seating, a communal table and a patio. The main dining room has wide beach frontage.
The communal table was laden with wine glasses for a cosy family gathering.
Nautical themed, the restaurant is spacious and welcoming. Our corner booth had vertical navy stripes. Framed black and white photos hung on the slatted walls.
Mr S’s espresso was served in a daffodil yellow cup.
Ms D-R ordered the traditional eggs Benedict with the Hollandaise sauce on the side.
The chicken Caesar salad was rustically chopped and lightly drizzled with a tangy dressing.
Topped with yoghurt, cinnamon and berries, the granola parfait was a generous size with plenty of fruit.
I had a simple but tasty breakfast of fried eggs on toast at the hotel so I opted for spaghettini pomodoro. Tangled strands of al dente pasta were tossed with tomato, basil and garlic. It was well seasoned and scrumptious, hearty sustenance for an afternoon walk.
Santa Monica is a charming spot and I fell in love with Shutters on the Beach.
I was exploring the Flatiron District after lunch at Shake Shack and I found myself at the entrance of Eataly. I stood on the sidewalk for several minutes, observing the speed of the foot traffic in and out. I finally walked in, thinking I’ll do a quick lap and exit.
All my senses were on alert. Cutlery clanging on china, diners conversing and shoppers ordering, the decibel of the din would be near noise pollution. The hum of human activity and the kaleidoscope of colours was a sight to behold. The aroma of freshly ground coffee wafted through the air. I breathed in deeply, to ease the anxious feeling of being enveloped in a large crowd, and to absorb caffeine!
I got lost in Eataly. Unlike IKEA, there were no arrows on the floor, no dividers for a path and no map. Directionally challenged, I weaved and wandered until I took a photo of every section and every restaurant.
The Eataly website lists twenty sections in their market and twelve places to eat. Below is a selection of them!
Wood fire ovens and counter seating at La Pizza and La Pasta for Neapolitan pizzas and al dente pasta.
Il Pesce serves fresh seafood including whole fish.
Paninoteca‘s chalkboard menu highlights regional specialties.
A pretty display of single portion cakes and tarts at Dolci.
With such a concentration of eateries, Eataly is ideal for progressive meals. Apéritif at Birreria, appetizer at one restaurant, main course at another, dessert at Dolci or Gelateria, and conclude with an espresso at Caffe Lavazza or Caffe Vergnano.
A stainless steel espresso machine is the centrepiece of Caffe Vergnano, a standing only espresso bar.
Caffe Lavazza is at the Fifth Avenue entrance and you can while away an afternoon people watching.
Cone, cup or to go, the Gelateria has three sizes and many flavours of gelati.
The market is well stocked with dried pasta.
Shelves are laden with sauces.
Marinated, stuffed and in brine, jars of olives aplenty.
A multitude of packaged biscotti.
Preserves and conserves of every fruit.
Chilled local and imported beer.
Sliced and packaged salumi.
Boxes of cheese wedges.
The butcher has some local and organic meats.
The requisite hanging and dangling salumi.
The bakery bakes daily on site.
Bags of flour are stacked high for handmade fresh pasta.
‘The mozzarella you eat at Eataly is never more than two hours old.’
I had a fleeting urge to roll one of these Parmigiano Reggiano wheels around Eataly.
The fishmonger’s seafood is ‘never frozen’.
The fresh produce are piled high in wicker baskets.
The greens and root vegetables are neatly presented.
Beautiful trays of mushrooms.
Some on vine, others wrapped in protective foam, the tomatoes were glossy and vibrant.
A curated bookstore on Italian culinary culture.
Basic dinnerware and glassware.
Melamine glasses and bowls in rainbow hues.
A ten point manifesto and a motto, ‘eat better, cook simpler’.
I left contemplating how local European style delicatessens and providores can compete with a corporate marketplace that is Eataly.
When I worked in the city in Sydney, there was an abundance of choice for lunch. Malaysian laksa, wonton noodle soup and Chinese BBQ pork, panzerotti and pasta, Indian curries and naan, Japanese gyoza and tempura udon - there are take-away food courts, cafés with seating and many restaurants offering lunch menus. I had sushi rolls, Vietnamese rice paper rolls and mix-and-match salads on rotation. Here in Seattle, I have become a regular at Boulangerie Nantaise.
Their homemade soups are soothing and have warmed me on the most miserable of Seattle winter days. I’ve seen French onion, tomato basil, market vegetables, spring asparagus, cream of chicken and broccoli cheddar on the chalkboard. Their pastries are temptingly displayed on the counter – the chocolate chip and walnut cookie is soft and chewy, and the palmier flaky and sticky. I can’t resist it if it’s in the day-old sale tray! I also sampled the walnut brownie a couple of weeks ago and it’s heavenly.
We rarely cook fish at home and I only eat salmon and tuna unless the fish is deep-fried and served with chips or steamed whole Chinese style. And thus, the le marin is my frequent lunch sandwich. I usually have it on whole wheat or multi grain bread which is freshly baked on site. With Dijon mustard smeared on one slice and mayonnaise on the other, the le marin is flavoursome. Each bite has the creaminess of the tuna, the acidity of the cornichon, the heat of the Dijon mustard, and the tomato and romaine lettuce cuts through all that with a refreshing crunch. It is healthy and delicious, just what is needed for a quick lunch.
The staff are friendly and loves a chat, the lunch combos are good value, they use organic ingredients, there are daily specials and are open seven days - Boulangerie Nantaise is the perfect local bakery and café!