Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

RN74 – Downtown, Seattle

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2011

There’s been a buzz in Seattle about the opening of RN74. I felt a tingle of excitement every time I walked past the site at the corner of the Joshua Green building, with glamorous expectations preceded by his reputation. A native of Ellensburg, it is a welcome home to Washington for Michael Mina.

The website blurb explains that ‘the cuisine at RN74 aims to be a perfect complement to the wines – creative, modern, but simple interpretations of regional French cuisine punctuated with seasonal, fresh ingredients and bold flavuors, all executed with a signature original twist’.

We dropped in for some snacks prior to a Sounders match and it was happy hour in the bar area. I always flinch when I see the ‘no minors, no firearms’ sign – a little culture shock, a brief reminder that I’m in America.

The bar was crowded and we spotted many Sounders fans proudly wearing the team jerseys and scarves. Wooden shutters darken the space and there’s an eclectic collection of lanterns and spotlights framing the entrance. The signature real time wine list display in the style of traditional train and flight schedule boards is in the main dining room and there is a static version in the bar area.

We were lucky to be seated at a booth just as the table was cleared. Happy hour discounts selected items from the wine bar menu and we ordered the maitake mushroom tempura, duck confit arancini and pommes frites to share. Service was efficient – the kitchen speedily cooked small plates, and wines were poured, cocktails shaken and water glasses refilled by the polished wait staff.

Presented in a deep basket, there was an abundance of maitake mushroom tempura. Meaty and earthy, it was seasoned with yuzu salt and paired well with the green onion mousseline. Although a light batter, it was a rich snack and best shared among a group.

The duck confit arancini with Bing cherry jus was an aesthetically pleasing dish. The crumbed balls were a mini celebration of duck. I would recommend having one plate all to yourself!

We’ve eaten more burgers and fries in the five months we’ve been living in Seattle than the last three years in Sydney, they’re ubiquitous on restaurant menus here! The RN74 trio of pommes frites was styled as a tasting flight with dipping sauces of, left to right, basil aioli, ketchup and classic aioli. Each cylinder of French fries was dusted with a spice mix, black pepper and chicken salt respectively.

Restrooms are probably taboo on a blog about restaurants but there’s a unisex dressing room with mirrors and a long counter at RN74. As you exit, there’s a sign that kindly reminds you to ‘check your dress before leaving’!


1 Response to "RN74 – Downtown, Seattle"

[…] First Friday Lunch Club at RN74. I had intended to return to RN74 for a meal after sampling their happy hour a couple of months […]

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