Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘gastropub

After a fun afternoon tenpin bowling at Garage Billiards, we sought reprieve from the darkness that was the end of daylight saving. The sister restaurant of the soon-to-be relocated Restaurant Zoë, Quinn’s gastropub is at the busy corner of Pike and 10th.

I love the architecture of Capitol Hill. Single or double story buildings are converted into spacious gathering places with floor to ceiling windows and mezzanine levels.

The entrance curtain parted to reveal a moodily lit loft. The bar is at the front and there are tables on the ground floor and upstairs.

We were seated by the window upstairs with a view of neon signs and street traffic. The wall was decorated with animal themed artwork, including these drawings of a plump pig and cow.

A majestic sheep grace the cover of the menu.

Water was served in recycled liquor bottles of varying shapes and sizes. Ours was Sazerac rye whiskey.

We chose a cider each. In a salvaged jar was a draught apple cider blended with apricot. In a flute was a pear cider made in the style of Champagne.

Topped with a pink cow shaped pin etched with ‘M rare’, the burger of Painted Hills beef, bacon, cheddar and mayonnaise was served with a bowl of French fries. The thick beef patty was juicy and the sturdy bun held the burger contents together without getting soggy.

Two generous portions of battered fish fillets rested on French fries, and were plated with pots of tomato sauce and tartare sauce. The batter was light and crispy, coating the succulent and flaky fish evenly. It was the best fish and chips I’ve had in Seattle!

The dessert items were priced at three dollars each and were perfect tasting size. I paired the chocolate ho ho with coffee ice cream. Studded with roasted hazelnuts and a round wafer, the ice cream was smooth and creamy but light on caffeine.

The chocolate ho ho was a cream log encased in chocolate ganache. It was pleasantly sweet with the texture of sponge cake.

We look forward to the re-opening of Restaurant Zoë in January 2012!

We had an errand in South Lake Union a few Saturdays ago and galloped (pun intended!) into Brave Horse Tavern for lunch afterwards. With the Amazon and biotech workers absent, the area is quiet except for the crowd waiting for tables at Portage Bay Café and the looping blood orange coloured streetcar.

Above Cuoco and next to Ting Momo, Brave Horse Tavern is an English style gastropub - it has a casual atmosphere with relaxed service and a hearty menu. You can play darts and shuffleboard, share some snacks and sample the eclectic beer list on the wooden benches or perch at the bar for a cocktail and a counter meal.

Mr S bypassed the small brunch menu and opted for the BHT burger consisting of Painted Hills ground chuck on a Dahlia Workshop bun with smokey burger sauce, iceberg lettuce, dill pickle, mayonnaise, cheddar and caramelised sweet onion. Skewered and teetering on an angle, the beef patty is thick and charred, and the caramelised sweet onion and condiments combine to make a juicy and tasty burger. There is a generous serving of hand cut fries on the side.

‘These pretzels are making me thirsty!’ To me pretzels are synonymous with New York and this malt boiled, hearth roasted version is homage to Big Apple street food. There are many savoury accompaniments available and I ordered the only sweet one – a brick oven pretzel with a pot of Theo chocolate and toasted hazelnut. It is a huge glossy knot, sprinkled with salt crystals and a dark, earthy colour. It is soft and doughy, and I dip chucks of it in the Nutella like chocolate with glee.

As we were leaving, we noticed a group of people playing shuffleboard and there is outdoor seating. Brave Horse Tavern is perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon!

April didn’t get the memo about spring and we were in need of hearty pub fare. We found refuge from the evening chill at Spur Gastropub. It was a Friday and the long wooden tables were full with two large groups and we were seated in the dining area on an elevated platform. We were mesmorised by the black and white photos projected on the wall behind us, images of ye olde Seattle.

Our waitress explained that the menu is sequenced from light to heavy – from appetizer size servings to main meals. She recommended the sockeye salmon crostini to start with while we mulled over the other items. The sockeye salmon crostini was indeed scrumptious, there were three to the plate and we graciously agreed to split the third. There were two ladies at the table next to us and we noticed they had ordered five dishes to share. I was astounded by the amount of food (course number two was a selection of cheeses) – it was definitely not tapas portions!

I ordered the tagliatelle with duck egg, oyster mushrooms and pine nuts. It is a beautifully plated dish with the ribbons of fresh pasta, glossy duck egg (sous-vide I think), parmesan foam and shavings and the curls of spring onions to add a splash of colour. The crunch of the pine nuts provides reprieve from the richness of the yolk and textural contrast to the mushrooms.

Mr S decided on a traditional pub meal of burger and fries. The shoestring fries were crunchy and the burger juicy and cheesy. The standard that all burgers are compared to are the waygu burgers at Firestick Café and Becasse in Australia and Mr S rank the Spur version close to them! We also had a side of house baked brioche which was light and buttery.

I wanted to love their desserts but my palate was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the flavours of oak aged chocolate with sherry and kumquat.

I preferred Mr S’s apple and caramel with brown butter sponge and ice cream. It is aesthetically pleasing and has a familiar combination of ingredients.

Despite the dessert stumble, I would gladly return to Spur for their cocktails and savoury dishes!


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