Posts Tagged ‘ravioli’
All of Tom Douglas‘s restaurants are in our neighbourhood. Seventeen months in Seattle and we’ve dined at each of them except for Palace Kitchen. Every time I walk by I remind myself that we must have a meal there. And I finally did last week! Located on the corner of 5th and Lenora, it is adjacent to Palace Ballroom and in the midst of a couple of construction sites.
At the centre of Palace Kitchen is the bar, and two dining rooms are to its left and right. Window panes slide open for fresh air on warm nights and natural light filters in on long summer days.
A jewel toned goblet of strawberry lemonade was garnished with a lemon twist. A second beverage of sour cherry fizz was tart and minty.
Shirley and I shared three courses. First was ‘plin’, a Piedmontese style ravioli, filled with roast pork and chard. The pinched pasta were in a puddle of sage and parmesan butter. I spooned the fragrant sauce over each of the cute al dente morsels. Next time I’ll order a side of bread to mop the plate!
Palace Kitchen is famed for their applewood grill. The chicken wings were golden and sticky, laced with an intense smokiness. A sea foamed coloured coriander cream tempered the succulent poultry.
A vibrate mound of lettuce was studded with spicy garbanzo beans, fava beans, chopped boiled egg, drizzled with herbed dressing, and dotted with sliced radish. It was a healthful salad, spicy and crunchy.
Our second salad was compliments of Chef Dezi. Fava beans from Prosser Farm were grilled and tossed with ‘extra virgin’ (first press) fish sauce, ricotta salata, mint, radish greens and marinated peppers. The charred pods of tender beans were exquisite, a luscious contrast to the peppery greens.
An oval dish of silky orange blossom panna cotta was topped with seasonal strawberries and a brittle pistachio wafer.
Tiered discs of malted chocolate milk cake and cream were paired with shards of cocoa rice crispies and a quenelle of chocolate crémeux. A decadent treat, this was malty, chocolaty, and redolent of Milo and chocolate crackles.
I shall not wait another seventeen months before I dine at Palace Kitchen again!
It snowed in Whistler on Christmas Day and I loved it. Snowflakes zigzagged gently from the sky and dusted every surface. I was delighted with my first white Christmas. The powdered slopes were serene and the magic carpet was quiet. We skied in the morning and relaxed in the afternoon.
Survivor like torches guarded the entrance of the restaurant.
A cascade of glass globes were strung together as a sparkling chandelier.
The interior was warm and welcoming. On the far left was a champagne bar and Belvedere Ice Room. The main dining room was buzzing with families and friends celebrating Christmas. We were seated at a table with a view of the busy kitchen. Service was traditional fine dining style with a cocktail cart, sommelier and a plethora of staff.
Enticed by the cocktail cart, we ordered apéritifs as we composed our three courses. The bartender was a little absent minded. Ms S asked for recommendations for a refreshing cocktail and he referred her to the menu. Intrigued by dehydrated beer as an ingredient, Mr L ordered a Caesar. Unbeknown to our group of Australians, Caesar is a Canadian cocktail with Clamato juice which was not listed. We had the same expression after one sip each and it was abandoned.
An amuse bouche of salmon tartare whetted our appetite.
My first course was arctic char. From left to right: gravlax and celeriac, tartare and blini, and smoked and sorrel. Similar texture and milder flavour to salmon and trout, the morsels were perfectly paired.
Photographing was a challenge in the dim lighting! Ms S selected the Pemberton beets and carrots with shaved ricotta salata, spicy greens and white balsamic. It was artistically presented and I sampled a lump of white beet which was sugary.
The gentlemen had the wild mushroom soup with truffles. Poured at the table, the soup was a thick liquid with an earthy aroma.
A tangy citrus granita was the palate cleanser between courses.
The sommelier recommended a local wine, Foxtrot 2008 Pinot Noir. It was a classic match for our game main courses.
Three rare slices of Yarrow Meadows duck breast rested on a plump duck confit ravioli, squash purée, cauliflower florets, beets and pumpkin seeds. The dish was well seasoned and the meat tender, and the components were a delectable combination.
Mr S chose the wild game tasting plate of wild boar wrapped in venison and braised bison short rib with wild mushroom and heirloom bean ragoût. The other couple picked the chef’s Christmas special of goose.
We spotted a cheese cart and the fromage expert was friendly and helpful. We shared a bleu, a local cheddar and a semi soft, with raisins, candied walnuts, fig jam and crisp fruit bread.
I was determined to photograph dessert and I persisted with the single flickering candle as my light source. Served on a slate plate, the geometrical coconut and pineapple had frozen coconut mousse, Meyer lemon and kafir lime sorbet, pineapple and espelette jelly, rum caramel macadamia and cilantro. It tasted like a sophisticated piña colada!
A deconstructed St Honoré was a log of vanilla crème chiboust, coffee Chantilly, crispy malt Irish cream and brown butter milk jam.
On a rectangle of bourbon cake, the apple and caramel had a wheel of salted caramel maple parfait, apple pavé sour cream ice cream and crumbled bacon.
Petit fours concluded our Christmas dinner. From left to right: nougat, peppermint bark, ginger snap and hazelnut ganache.
It was a fun festive season in Whistler!
We’ve had meals with several Australians in the last couple of weeks. Some were visiting for work, others were on holiday. There’s a homely comfort to hearing an Aussie accent, laughing at a sarcastic comment and understanding a cultural reference.
Our sunburnt country is girt by sea and with the exception of New Zealand, it takes many hours on a plane to get to another country. In this tyranny of distance, Aussies tend to travel for weeks and months and not days.
Sustained by a warm day and long daylight hours, Mr N overcame jet lag for dinner at Cuoco. Occupying the street level of the Terry Avenue Building, the restaurant is resplendent in its restoration with brick walls, wooden beams and Georgian windows.
A wide entrance welcomes you with a view of the open plan pasta making area, lined with Atlas Marcato pasta machines in rainbow hues. We were ushered to the bar for an apéritif before being seated at our table.
I noticed a couple of private dining rooms, ideal for business meetings and special celebrations. I read on the website that there’s also a chef’s table, a concept that’s popular (and expensive) in Sydney.
The tables had dividers or were generously spaced which made for good conversation. As with all other Tom Douglas restaurants, Cuoco is dimly lit but we were lucky to be by a window.
We shared house made bread with extra virgin olive oil tasting. Fresh and fluffy, the thickly sliced bread had a chewy crust and a soft centre for soaking up the fluorescent liquids.
Our waiter was congenial and knowledgeable about the menu. Mr S ordered spaghetti with garlic, anchovy, breadcrumbs, chilli flakes, Parmigiano and grilled wild prawns. A dryer style pasta with flavoured breadcrumbs, the combination was a pleasant textural contrast. The prawns were succulent and added bulk to the meal.
Mr N craved a classic dish after seventeen hours of airline and airport food. The seven layer lasagna with tiers of Bolognese and besciamella was cosy and soothing.
I don’t recall ever eating lamb in pasta so I was intrigued by the lamb ravioli served with garlic, spring onions, English peas and Pecorino. Plain in appearance, the flat, jagged edged parcels were silky and protected a dollop of finely minced lamb.
A bowl of Bing cherries was the dessert special but my love for chocolate and hazelnut pairings prevailed. Salted, roasted and crushed hazelnuts were scattered on top of a slice of chocolate Nutella semifreddo. The waiter brought three spoons but only one was used – mine!
It was still dusk as we left. Mr N commented that Seattle is a liveable city in summer and we wholeheartedly agree.