Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Cure – Capitol Hill, Seattle

Posted on: Sunday 26 June 2011

‘I don’t remember it being this steep’, I wailed. I’m oblivious to gradients when driving but you feel every degree when walking. We trekked up to Capitol Hill on a weeknight for a screening of Stephen Sondheim’s Company at the Egyptian Theatre. On a plateau opposite Cal Anderson Park is Cure, a small bar specialising in cheese and charcuterie.

A simple sign indicates the entrance to the bar and it’s a long and narrow space inside. There’s counter seating and bar tables at the back. A glass panel has the dual purpose of being a menu board and enclosing the charcuterie section where the cured meats are sliced.

It was a quiet place to recover from our walk as we sat and watched the playful action on the tennis and basketball courts across the park. Cure has a short menu with a selection of individual meats and cheeses, house plates, side dishes and specials.

The gentleman guided us through the menu and helpfully answered our questions. We ordered a customised trio house plate of culatello, lomo ibérico and queso patacabra, and the lemon, basil and garlic olives.

Garlic was the dominant flavour in the olives with hints of lemon and basil. We broke off shards of the sliced baguette to dip into the brine.

The menu described culatello as ‘the little backside, like prosciutto but better’. That is an emphatic statement to make to a prosciutto lover! I was sceptical of the claim, unwavering in my loyalty. Of a lighter hue than prosciutto, the culatello was delicate and tender. It had a similar melt in mouth feel to prosciutto but with a mellower taste.

Iberian pigs are fattened by a diet of acorns and the lomo ibérico, cured tenderloin, was meaty. A Spanish aged goat cheese, I found the queso patacabra to be a firmer texture and lighter flavour version of chèvre, a pleasant pairing for the cured meats.

This production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company with the New York Philharmonic was staged and filmed in April 2011. The stellar cast included Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone and Christina Hendricks. ‘Here’s to the ladies who lunch … I’ll drink to that!’

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