We don’t make it to West Seattle much. Sure, we’ve made the pilgrimage for amazing pastries and chocolates at Bakery Nouveau, and have had several omakase and kaiseki dinners at Mashiko’s. But West Seattle isn’t the first place we think of when deciding on where to go for food. So, after hearing good things about Spring Hill from foodie friends we trust, we hopped in the car and checked it out. Boy, am I glad we went.
We met up with some friends on a Sunday evening last month. Our friends arrived before us, and got to talking with a food photographer who was taking pictures for an upcoming menu. He had a lighting setup in the back of the restaurant, which I wouldn’t have minded borrowing for a couple of pictures! My distraction was tempered when hunger kicked in, and I focused back on the menu. I arrived thinking that I’d order off of the New Urban Eats prix fixe menu, but enough things on the main menu caught my eye that I switched plans and shared a few dishes with Dawn.
My butter lettuce salad with herbs, radish, parmesan, and citronette arrived, nicely dressed – simple, crisp flavors. Dawn made a great choice by going with the duck egg yolk raviolo with green sauce, which had thin slices of duck breast prosciutto layered on top and garlic chips on the side. A rich, decadent, perfectly executed dish.
Things really got rolling when the entrées arrived. The handmade pappardelle with Bolognese sauce had an alluring, intense flavor, so much so that our friend had to defend her dish from our roving forks. Wood grilled rib eye steak with twice baked potato rissolé, foraged mushroom ragout, and kale was cooked to perfection, and even had a subtle herb flavor in each bite of meat. As good as this was, everyone at the table agreed that my roasted duck breast was the winner, served with cabbage sausage, quinoa waffle, spaghetti squash, and orange-maple mustard. Now, I’m a huge fan of waffles with dinner (chicken and waffles, anyone?), and yet I was still surprised at how well the quinoa waffle went with the tender and succulent duck breast. Dawn’s sautéed black cod with smoked clam panzanella was as good as expected; apparently we’re on a black cod kick lately, as one of us seems to get this fish every time we go out.
For dessert, we all shared several dishes. A lemon meringue tart with lavender was fine, but I’m not a huge lemon fan, so this fell into the “a bit too tart” category for me. An ice cream sampler included orange mimosa sorbet (least favorite of our group), salted peanut ice cream (I could eat a gallon of this stuff, it was so good), and yogurt ice cream (tangy, yummy). But then there was the hot chocolate s’mores topped with cinnamon marshmallow, with homemade cinnamon graham cracker cookies with nutella filling on the side. While the cookies were a bit too dry and needed a touch of salt for flavor, the hot chocolate-marshmallow-gooeyness was simply outstanding.
My only complaint about dinner had to do with service: I dislike when bussers clear the table while people are still eating. And as happened this evening, I really dislike when someone reaches over me as I’m trying to take a bite of something, just to get the empty plate next to me. It’s one of my restaurant pet peeves, and a surprising number of waitstaff at upscale restaurants in Seattle do this. Nevertheless, our waitress was very nice, checked on us at all the right times, and graciously let us sit and catch up with our friends long after dessert was done without bothering us at all.
Spring Hill is on my must-visit-again list, and perhaps next time we’ll go for Monday night “spaghetti night”!
4437 California Ave SW, Seattle