Posts Tagged ‘Pioneer Square’
I celebrated Australia Day (26 January) with a private lunch at Salumi courtesy of Naomi. Founded by Mario Batali‘s father Armandino, Salumi is a family business that produces artisan cured meats with a retail store in historic Pioneer Square.
Resplendent in firecracker red, a tasselled Chinese lantern was sketched on the chalkboard. There was a Chinese New Year sandwich special on the menu for the Year of the Dragon.
A queue crammed in the narrow corridor and I weaved through the crowd to get to the back room. The blushed wall had a slot with a view of the communal table. A mosaic plaque was homage to the swine.
Opposite is a window into the storage facility where sausages dangled on a metal rack.
A pink chequered vinyl tablecloth brightened the room.
Translucent slices of salumi curled together.
Four rosy shades of salumi fanned around a platter.
A bowl of marinated mixed olives whetted our appetite.
We nibbled as introductions were made and wine was poured. The first course was tomato and mozzarella bruschetta, a classic.
Jalapeños were halved and stuffed with cream cheese and flecked with meaty fragments. Laced with heat, these morsels were bites of fun.
I was happy that the next course featured vegetables for a requisite serving of healthiness. Crunchy green beans and plump cherry tomatoes were tossed with slivers of bacon.
A traditional New Year dish, the cotechino and lentils were a taupe grainy mass studded with discs. With the exception of dal, I’m ambivalent to lentils but I liked the chewy texture of the boiled pork rind sausage.
Blistered and golden, next was a crisp edged frittata with cubes of fleshy potatoes.
A shallow bowl of aromatic soup was a welcomed palate cleanser. A deeply savoury broth, it reminded me of Chinese herbal soups that cure all ailments and enriches the soul.
A loyal carb lover, the highlight was the pappardelle with chicken, garlic, leeks and Vermouth. It was a symphony of harmonious flavours.
Just when we thought the meal was at its crescendo, the scent of truffles preceded the tray of polenta. I scooped a tasting portion on my plate and decanted some in a container to take home.
Dessert was wine poached pears cut into the shape of Dr Zoidberg from Futurama.
Shards of crackling concluded three hours of dining and wining, much as we did at Momofuku Seiōbo.
We slowly straightened from our chairs and waddled out for fresh air after indulging in the ‘chef’s whim menu’.
Weekday lunch with Mr S is a rarity so we make an effort when our schedules align. Already late for the Mariners game, we walked briskly to Built Burger hoping for a quick meal. We nearly missed it as there is no sign on its frontage, identifiable only by a sidewalk board.
Painted blue and white, the interior is plain and narrow with two rows of tables and chairs. The focal point of the space is the ordering counter framed by a vintage banner of a boy yelling ’we want beef’ into a megaphone.
On one side of the wall is a Built Burger poster advertising their online store.
On the other wall is the Built Burger guarantee, the standard menu and the specials chalkboard. The burgers are creatively named and there are tasting plates of sliders and sides available.
I shuffled back and forth as we queued. The group before us were taking their time ordering, with questions about every item. Murphy’s Law!
The dining room was sparsely occupied. As we watched the kitchen we reminisced about our first baseball game, a New York local derby. We caught the Subway there and back, snacked on hot dogs and it reminded us of cricket.
As we were in a hurry, it felt like a relatively long wait for our burgers. Mr S chose the Magnificent Chorizo which was a patty of Mexican chorizo, beef and roasted poblano peppers served with Cotija and cilantro lime slaw. It was a small and juicy burger but I couldn’t detect a distinct chorizo flavour in the bite I had.
We shared a side of hand cut fries with horseradish mustard which were a little oily and limp, although the condiment was deliciously pungent.
I selected the 21 Gleason special burger with a thick grass fed beef patty, roasted garlic aioli and arugula wedged between toasted brioche. This was a simple burger that highlighted the quality of the meat. The buttery brioche, peppery arugula and mild aioli combined well with the tasty chunks of beef.
We left satisfied and ready for our second baseball game but we were not as enthused as the cartoon man!