Posts Tagged ‘wood fire pizza’
It was a blissful afternoon of shopping in Portland. Alder & Co., Canoe, Flora, Hive and Woonwinkel were a modern collection of stores with curated homeware, jewellery, artworks and furniture. The contemporary aesthetics and stylish designs were stimulating! We re-caffeinated at Caffe Allora and joined the queue at Ken’s Artisan Pizza for dinner.
We were seemingly banished to wait at the back of the restaurant in the Bermuda Triangle of the dishwashing nook, an iron rack of logs for the wood fire oven and the bathrooms. I was surprised by a sprig of eucalyptus flower, leaves and gumnut at our table. I admired the vibrant hue as we sipped wine and whiled away two hours.
The wood fire oven is at the front of the restaurant where all the pizzas were made.
Paola‘s family serendipitously arrived as we were seated. It was nearly nine o’clock on a Friday night and Ken’s was buzzing.
Myra recommended the wood oven roasted vegetable plate. We ordered quickly as we were hungry and two of us were returning to Seattle afterwards. Clockwise from top right: carrots, chard, porcini and Asiago Vecchio; white runner beans, artichokes and tomato sauce; and polenta, kale, red pepper, almonds and chilli sauce. Tender and mellow, it was a requisite serving of vegetables.
We shared three pizzas. Ken’s crust was puffed and charred, a chewy dough that was sturdy support for the pizza toppings. The fennel sausage, onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and hot Calabrian chilli pizza was spicy and bold.
I’m ambivalent to bacon but the guanciale pizza was a crispy homage to cured meat.
Last was my beloved prosciutto with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. Generous ruffles of prosciutto di San Daniele were unctuous and sweet.
A creamy chocolate custard concluded our day in Portland. Paired with a quenelle of cream and studded with hazelnut crunch, the terracotta bowl was emptied with the assistance of an adorable mademoiselle!
Portland, we will return!
I’m an expert at booking tickets. I note the on sale details on my calendar and I’m on the website at the precise time to click ‘purchase’. Thanks to this quirk I have learnt to brine and roast chicken, knead and throw pizza dough, bake macarons, and pleat dumplings at The Pantry at Delancey.
On a residential street in Ballard adjacent to Honoré Artisan Bakery, Delancey occupies two simply decorated rooms.
I was seated at the counter with a view of the custom made wood fire oven.
A row of lights above the counter were inverted cylindrical Weck jars.
The ornate silverware was engraved with an elegant cursive ‘D’.
Each setting was spaced with a votive candle, and dainty glass bowls of chilli and sea salt flakes.
Chef Brandon Pettit cooks every pizza at Delancey. An assistant stretches the dough and tops the wooden paddle with ingredients. Brandon then slides the pizza into the wood fire oven. As I was eating alone, I observed the dexterous pair in harmony.
I ordered the crimini mushroom pizza with olive oil, onion, mozzarella and thyme. Thin slices of crimini mushrooms were intertwined with slivers of onions and molten splotches of mozzarella. The textured crust had charred blisters, and was both crispy and chewy.
Each bite was a joyful union of flavours, the bread and toppings waltzed in time and sang in tune. After the pizza class with Brandon and being recommended by just about every Seattleite I know, I’m a Delancey convert.
I caressed my flat foil package of leftover pizza home for supper the same night.
There is a pattern to my notorious indecisiveness. At least once a week, we exchange a conversation like this.
Mr S: ‘Where would you like to go for dinner?’
Me: ‘I don’t know, let me think about it.’
Mr S: ‘Have you picked a restaurant?’
Me: ‘Here’s a shortlist, you decide.’
Exasperated, Mr S would say ‘let’s go here’. And then I would change my mind!
Inside is an open kitchen where you can sit at the counter and watch your pizzas cook in the wood fire oven.
There was some shade from the wide umbrellas with a panoramic vista towards Queen Anne and a clear view of the Space Needle.
We shared an antipasto and a pizza. The bruschetta had ruby orbs of Roma tomatoes resting on thick slices of crusty bread. Macerated in garlic, basil and sea salt, the tomatoes were juicy and flavoursome.
We’ve never sprinkled chilli flakes or grated cheese on pizza until we moved to Seattle. Condiment shakers are common here and the addition of chilli flakes gradually increases my spice tolerance.
Blistered and charred, the prosciutto e porcini pizza had a thin crust and a scattering of ingredients. Prosciutto cotto and porcini mushrooms were a meaty combination, and the mozzarella melted and bubbled into the crevices of the dough.
Our order was lost for a while and the waiter apologised for the minor delay with free dolce. Yes please!
Presented in a deep square bowl for two, the tiramisu was a sweet conclusion to the meal. Layers of espresso and liqueur soaked savoiardi and creamy mascarpone were slowly savoured as we watched the sunset.
The sun dropped behind the Space Needle, creating a shadowy dusk as day descended into night.