Cherries!

June 28th, 2009 by Dawn

I spend all year dreaming about summer produce, especially our local Washington fruit.  For a couple weeks now, I’ve gone strawberry-crazy, making ice cream, jam, and eating them plain with a touch of our really nice balsamic from Italy, which is sadly almost gone.

Cherry season!

I was about to make a strawberry tart this weekend, when I realized that cherry season is quickly slipping away!  Next week is already the last week of sour cherries from Mair Farm-Taki at the U-District market.  Why does it all come at the exact same time, and in spades?  I spend twice as much time in the kitchen in the summertime, it seems.  Not wanting to miss out, I grabbed a bunch of cherries this weekend, and we have quickly switched over to cherries in everything.

We had a breakfast of cherry baby dutch pancake, with Skagit River Ranch bacon.  Dessert tonight was a sour cherry almond cobbler.  Plans for the next week include salmon with grilled sweet onions, sweet cherries, and balsamic; David Tanis’ cherry-almond clafoutis (from A Platter of Figs), and Jerry Traunfeld’s goat cheese handkerchiefs with tart cherries and sage (from The Herbal Kitchen).

And then it’s on to apricots, peaches, blueberries, and blackberries.

Cherry almond cobbler; cherry baby dutch pancake 

Sour Cherry Almond Cobbler
Adapted from Ripe for Dessert, by David Lebovitz
Serves 8

David’s recipe uses sweet cherries, but I love the bracing tartness of sour cherries in my pies and cobblers.

For the filling:
5 cups sour cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 2 pounds)
1 cup sugar
3½ tablespoons cornstarch

For the topping:
7 ounces almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 cup flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk

Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling: Mix the cherries with 1 cup of sugar and the cornstarch and arrange them in an even layer in a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

To make the topping: Beat together the almond paste and the 1/3 cup of sugar, until the almond paste is finely broken up.  Beat in the butter, then beat in the egg and the vanilla or almond extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter and almond paste mixture, stir in the milk, and finally the remaining dry ingredients.

Spoon the batter evenly over the cherries in the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Corson Building Sunday brunch

June 7th, 2009 by Dawn

The Corson buffet

I’ve been waiting for The Corson Building to start brunch for what seems like for-e-ver.  At around the time that The Corson Building opened last year, my favorite brunch in Seattle, the one at sister-restaurant Sitka and Spruce, closed.  It was a sad day when we walked up on a Sunday morning, only to find that brunch was gone.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we were at the Corson Building today on their first day of Sunday brunch service.  This time around, they take reservations along with walk-ins, unlike Sitka which was walk-in only.  We were happy to find brunch just as we remembered (although here with grapefruit juice! – my morning drink of choice).  There’s the buffet full of cold salads made with local produce, homemade yogurt with local honey and nuts, pâté with kumquats, and fresh baked almond macaroons.  And then you have your choice of one of the two hot dishes made-to-order – today I ordered the poached egg with locally-foraged boletes and a touch of creme.  A simple, delicious dish, which I finished by dredging my bread through the runny yolk and creme mixture.

Poached egg with porcini mushrooms

One thing that’s sadly missing from brunch at The Corson Building is U.S. barista champion Bronwen Serna’s espresso drinks.  That was one of the things we looked forward to most at Sitka, but The Corson Building has no espresso machine and therefore no Bronwen.  Anyone know where she might be serving espresso nowadays?

Although tasty, I don’t know if we’ll be going back as much as we frequented Sitka for brunch.  Eastlake is a quick jog down the road, but Georgetown just isn’t as convenient for us.  But we chatted briefly with Chef Emily Crawford afterwards, and she remembered how Eric wanted to try the fried chicken and waffles, which they once had on the menu last year.  She thought they might try that later this month.  I hope we don’t miss it again!

The Corson Building
5609 Corson Ave, Seattle
(206) 762-3330

Corson Building on Urbanspoon


Maximus / Minimus

June 5th, 2009 by Eric

Who would have thought that Seattle would have not one, but two retrofitted Airstream trailers serving delicious street food?  Not I.  So when fellow food-blogger Keren Brown announced that this month’s blogger get-together would be at the newly-opened “pig truck,” aka Maximus / Minimus, we couldn’t wait to go!

The line for pork sandwiches

Maximus / Minimus is the brainchild of Kurt Beecher Dammeier – yes, the same person behind Beecher’s Cheese and other Seattle food endeavors.  Kurt explained to our group yesterday that his son, Max, has been getting more rambunctious lately as he approaches his teens, so Kurt has taken to calling him Maximus.  Kurt liked the name, and as he’s been working out a plan for bringing his pulled pork sandwiches to the masses, he thought about using it.  But, that word alone wasn’t quite right, until one day he thought about adding Minimus after it, and suddenly the yin-yang theme crystallized: offer every item on the menu as either Maximus (hot and spicy) or Minimus (sweet and sour).  Couple that with the pork theme, and you’ve got yourself a pig truck.

The “SOMEPIG” mobile; a Minimus cup of Hibiscus Nectar; the menu
The “SOMEPIG” mobile; a Minimus cup of Hibiscus Nectar; the menu.

Vegetarians and vegans need not fear a visit to the pig truck, because there’s a veg sandwich with fennel, onions, and bulgur on the menu, which we hear is quite tasty.  Sides include chips (thinly sliced potatoes, beets, and sweet potatoes fried in rice oil, with fried green beans and jalapeños on top) and slaw (spicy or sweet, of course).  In the eco-friendly cup, pull yourself some Hibiscus Nectar or Ginger Lemonade from the spigot built into the side of the truck.

Sculpted metal pig’s ear; reflection of the sandwich line; one of everything
Sculpted metal pig’s ear; reflection of the sandwich line; one of everything.

So, how was it?  Keep in mind that this was just the second day the truck was open.  Dawn and I got chips (no min/max choice here), plus min and max versions of the pork sandwiches, slaw, and drinks.  The difference between the Minimus and Maximus pork sandwiches was subtle.  The Min was a little sweeter, and the Max not spicy enough for our taste.  Kurt told us that we can order “extra hurt” on the Maximus to make it spicier; I’ll do that (or maybe even a “double hurt”) next time, but I hope they make the Maximus spicier by default.  The veggie chips were crisp and nicely seasoned.  The Minimus slaw (sweetened with tamarind) had the edge for me, and we both preferred the hibiscus nectar Minimus drink.  All-in-all, it was pretty good.  We ordered too much food, so I’d recommend splitting slaw or chips with someone.  Will we go back?  If we’re in the area, say before a downtown show, then sure.  And it would certainly make a good stop for downtown lunch.  But I don’t think we’d make a special trip there just for the truck – for us, Skillet still has the edge on Seattle street food.

Maximus / Minimus
2nd & Pike, Seattle
(206) 601-5510

Maximus Minimus on Urbanspoon


The Sweet Life in Paris

May 11th, 2009 by Dawn

Pierre Hermé Ispahan croissant

Eric and I are just off the plane last night from our vacation in France and now recovering from jetlag.  Our typical routine when we return is to awake by 4 or 5:00 a.m. (since it’s impossible for us to sleep any longer) and head out to breakfast somewhere.  Last time, we discovered that Seattle breakfast places don’t open until the oh-so-late hour of 8 or 9, which is no good for hungry people wandering Seattle at 6:30 a.m.  So this time we headed to The Original Pancake House, which we were certain was open.  Nothing like a good American breakfast to welcome us back!  This afternoon, we’ll finish up the last of our bag of Parisian pastries we delicately hand-carried on our return flight – canalé, financiers from Maison Kayser, macarons from Pierre Hermé, and my favorite bite of the trip, an Ispahan croissant from Pierre Hermé, which is filled with their signature rose-flavored almond creme, raspberry gelée, and studded with red flecks of raspberry on top.  The croissant is only one delicacy from the famous Ispahan flavor family from Pierre Hermé, which includes Ispahan macarons, Ispahan bûche de Noel, and more.


Standard parallel parking distance in Paris; breads at Maison Kayser; cheeses at Fromagerie Laurent Dubois.

Now it’s back to reality, work, unpacking, and getting our photos downloaded to our computer.  We’ve found that putting together our photo album and writing our travelog usually takes a few weeks, and even more so this time around since we’ll be busy attending the first International Food Bloggers Conference next weekend.  So hang tight for a little while, or if you can’t wait, go back and read about one of our past trips here (note that we typically only write travelogs for the trips of two or more weeks – try clicking on one of the European links).

In the meantime, I encourage you to pick up a copy of David Lebovitz’s new book, The Sweet Life in Paris.  We headed over to WH Smith just to get a copy while we were in Paris, where their window display was plastered with copies of his book.  The lady at the checkout reminded me that he would be there to sign books only a week later, which would be after we’re back in the U.S. – what I would give to get my book signed!


Les Papilles bistro; our Paris kitchen; Pierre Hermé pastries.

I read it cover to cover, sitting on the Metro, and while giving our feet a break in our Latin Quarter apartment.  We dropped everything to try out his mouth-watering recommendations, which for a lucky week were just a Metro ride away, and we were laughing on every page at his accurate descriptions of Parisians.

Case in point was this excerpt:

“Oh, you were waiting in line?” more than one person has said to me when I’ve busted them for trying to cut in.  “No, not really,” I want to come back with, “I was just standing here in the supermarket with a basketful of items at the register, since I had nothing else to do today.”

One dame who stepped right in front of me at the busy Ladurée on the Champs-Elysées actually turned to me when I spoke up, and said, “Is there really a line?”

To clarify it for her, I pointed out the ten people in single file in front of me and the twenty people waiting behind.  I don’t know how her definition of “a line” differs from mine, but I gave her plenty of time to ponder that as she skulked back to the end of it.

Eric witnessed this in action at the airport on our way home.  He went to purchase a bottle of water for our flight and was standing in line directly behind the tallest person he’d ever seen (Eric didn’t even come up to this guy’s shoulders), with a clear line of people behind him.  This guy was wearing NBA gear and didn’t look like someone you’d want to mess with.  So a Parisian steps in front of him and starts to get out his change to pay for his Perrier.  The basketball player says in a low, deep booming voice, “Hey, this is a line.”  The Parisian looks at him, pauses, and says, “Sorry.  I did not see you.”  What!?  There is no way you could walk into this store and not see this tall guy dressed in bright white.

Page after page in David’s book are hilarious real-life stories like this.  When I’m feeling nostalgic for Paris in a month, I definitely plan to re-read this book.  In the meantime, I’m going to pretend I’m still in Paris as I eat my Ispahan.


Croissant taste-off

April 19th, 2009 by Dawn

Croissant taste-off

Eight of us were tasked with scouting the city to retrieve croissants for our taste-off this morning.  We paired up, fanned out around Seattle, and came together at Kye and Eric’s house with croissants, jam, and coffee beans (for our separate coffee taste-off) in hand.

Kye secretly labeled each of the croissants with letters so we only had appearance and taste to go off.  Each couple split one croissant from each of seven different bakeries, and we had to stack-rank the following bakeries:

We summed the rankings to arrive at an overall ranking across our group of eight people (e.g. the best possible score for a croissant was 8, if everyone ranked it first on their list, and the worst possible score was 56 if everyone ranked the croissant seventh on their list).  Note, although I’ve mentioned prices in the results, prices were not known until the rankings were revealed at the end, so did not influence the results.

Costco Bakery 7th place: Although there were some interesting surprises in the results, no one was surprised that the grocery store croissant from Costco ranked lowest, with a score of 56 (meaning we universally considered it the worst).  It was an unappetizing pale color, and larger than the others, with absolutely no crunch to the soft exterior. Not even worth the $0.35 price tag.
 
Le Fournil 6th place: Many were surprised that Le Fournil, generally regarded as a good bakery, ranked so low (although the competition here was admittedly fierce).  With a score of 40, it garnered comments that it had a slightly sour taste, was fairly flat in flavor, and didn’t even look like a traditional croissant since it was so big.  It was inexpensive vs. the higher-ranked croissants, at only $1.45.
Le Fournil on Urbanspoon
 
Honoré Bakery 5th place: It was a bad day for Honoré Bakery.  Their very-dark croissants were clearly overbaked today, with many saying that it had a slightly burnt flavor.  Although it garnered one ranking as high as second, its overall score was 33.  The price was right in line with the going rate for good croissants in Seattle: $2.25.
Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon
 
Sweet & Savory 4th place: The appearance of the croissant from Sweet & Savory seemed to rank it lower than some of the others, with a score of 31.  While the flavor was quite good and buttery, the exterior didn’t have the nice crunch some were looking for, and it had a flat tan color instead of the golden color of the best croissants on our list.  Some commented that it didn’t quite look like a croissant.  And with a price tag of $3 it was definitely not a bargain.
Sweet and Savory on Urbanspoon
 
Columbia City Bakery 3rd place:  Columbia City Bakery had a decent croissant for $2.25, with a toasty buttery flavor, not as sweet as some.  It was the most symmetrical, evenly colored croissant of the bunch, although apparently that bakery had heard that their croissants would be part of a taste test, so that may have biased the appearance.  The exterior was nice and crunchy, but there were fewer layers inside than others.  Overall, it received a score of 30.
Columbia City Bakery on Urbanspoon
 
Cafe Besalu 2nd place: First and second place were very close.  The results were interesting because our second place croissant from Cafe Besalu garnered the most (five) first place votes, but since it was almost too buttery for some, with a lot of air inside, a few lower rankings pulled it down to a total score of 19.  Those who liked it commented that they absolutely loved the butter flavor.  This, too, had a price of $2.25.
Cafe Besalu on Urbanspoon
 
Bakery Nouveau And our winner… Bakery Nouveau!  With a score of 15, it was the most universally liked.  Seven out of eight of us had it in our top two.  This croissant ranked with many as the best looking, with more layers than any other croissant, and a nice buttery, slightly sweet flavor that no one felt swayed too far in any direction.  And with a price of $2.25, it was right in line with the other well-liked croissants in town.
Bakery Nouveau on Urbanspoon
 

The results
The tasty conclusion


Stumptown vs. Zoka

April 19th, 2009 by Eric

At this weekend’s croissant smackdown event, a few of us went the extra distance and orchestrated a Stumptown vs. Zoka coffee comparison.  I’m generally an espresso/macchiato/cappuccino drinker, with Espresso Vivace providing my caffeine source at home.  But I appreciate a good French press coffee, and the coffee cuppings and classes I’ve participated in at Victrola were all enlightening.  So I was all for it when our friend Michael suggested we stage this comparison.

The competition

Stumptown, based out of Portland, is the current darling of the coffee roasting world.  In addition to five coffee shops scattered around Portland, they opened up two coffee bars in Seattle in the past year-and-a-half, and now have their sights on the NYC market.  The New York Post even gave their beans (served at Momofuku Milk Bar) a “Post pick” earlier this month over several serious contenders.

Zoka is a much smaller roasting operation based in Seattle, with two popular coffeehouse hangouts in the city and a third in Kirkland.  In addition to their wide range of coffee beans, Zoka has a nice selection of high-quality teas and decent baked goods in their cafés.

We compared three freshly-roasted beans from each roaster:

Sumatra: Stumptown’s Blue Batak vs. Zoka’s Lake Tawar
Ethiopia: Stumptown’s Wondo vs. Zoka’s Sidamo
Costa Rica: Stumptown’s Don Mayo vs. Zoka’s Helsar de Zarcero

This was a single blind tasting – our non-coffee-drinking administrator assigned a letter to each region and a number 1 or 2 to the roaster, which was randomly chosen for each region (that is, “roaster 1” in the first round did not necessarily match “roaster 1” in the second round).  The participants sampled five-minute French press brews, one region at a time.

The result was surprising to all of us: Zoka crushed Stumptown across the board, with zero votes for Stumptown!  Zoka’s Sumatra was nutty and its aroma immediately reminded me of a favorite coffee I’ve had in Europe, whereas the Stumptown Sumatra was too acidic with little aroma.  The Ethiopia brews were distinctly different, with the classic blueberry flavors coming through clearly in Zoka’s roast, while Stumptown’s offering seemed muted and again too acidic.  The Costa Rica beans were the only ones where everyone agreed the difference was subtle, and yet all votes swayed toward Zoka.

Finally, we ranked our favorites across the regions:

3. Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero
2. Sumatra Lake Tawar
1. Ethiopia Sidamo

I think this warrants several follow-up competitions.  Victrola vs. Caffe Vita?  Zeitgeist vs. Lighthouse?  Zoka vs. Blue Bottle?  The possibilities are tantalizing.  Post your favorite roasters, and we’ll see about organizing more face-offs.

Zoka coffee beans

University Zoka
2901 NE Blakeley St, Seattle
(206) 527-0990
University Zoka on Urbanspoon

Stumptown Coffee
1115 12th Ave, Seattle
(206) 323-1544
Stumptown Coffee on Urbanspoon


Homegrown Sandwiches

April 18th, 2009 by Eric

Is Fremont becoming the Seattle sandwich mecca?  First Paseo, then Baguette Box, now Homegrown Sandwiches.

 Homegrown menu

Light pours in through the tall windows in front, with equally tall chalkboard menus lining one wall, detailing the numerous options.  We’ve visited Homegrown twice since they opened last month, and word of their opening has clearly gotten out – every seat was filled on both visits, with more people standing around, waiting for to-go orders.  Homegrown’s environmental mission is summed up nicely on one chalkboard that lists each sandwich ingredient with three possible checkboxes: local, organic, and sustainable.

Dawn and I both enjoyed the grilled cheese with melted Beecher’s Flagship and caramelized onions – it’s like eating a French onion soup sandwich.  Everything else we tried (the Reuben, a turkey and avocado, and a sweet potato and black-eyed pea cake) was basic but tasty.  The staff is very friendly and helpful, though it seems like they’re still figuring out their system, given mistakes with orders on both of our visits.

I like the sustainable approach that Homegrown is taking, and I’ll be back next time I’m in Fremont to try more sandwiches.

 Reuben and grilled cheese sandwiches

Homegrown Sandwiches
3416 Fremont Ave N, Seattle
(206) 453-5232

Homegrown Sandwiches on Urbanspoon


Rover’s brunch: a tasty beginning to a beautiful Seattle day

April 5th, 2009 by Dawn

Rover's beignets

I had requested beautiful weather for my birthday, and woke up to the warmest day yet this spring.  The sun was streaming through the arboretum as we headed to Rover’s this morning for their first ever brunch.  We were even the first to arrive.  (After seeing our photos in A Day at elBulli last month, whenever we’re the first to show up anywhere, we importantly declare to each other, “The first guests arrive.”  Flip to page 19:45 if you have the book.)

They offer two- and three-course fixed price menus ($25 and $35, respectively), but we designed our own two course brunches from the à la carte menu.  Eric’s braised pork belly with poached eggs and harissa hollandaise was out of this world, and my arugula, mushroom, and herbed goat cheese omelette was light and fresh tasting – perfect for a spring morning.  We finished with selections from the “Sweets” section: the most gourmet coffee cake ever for Eric, and beignets for me.  We were stuffed and happy as we rolled ourselves out into the sunshine.

Now I’m planning to curl up with my new book, Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris, to decide what we should do on our vacation there this year.  And maybe I’ll try out my new game, Foodie Fight, with Eric.  If only the weekend could last another day…

Rover’s
2808 E Madison St, Seattle
(206) 325-7442

Rover's on Urbanspoon


Sukiyaki at Chiso Kappo

March 22nd, 2009 by Eric

Earlier this year, our friends Eric and Kye were telling us about the Japanese dish called sukiyaki, and how it’s difficult to find at restaurants in Seattle.  Eric’s description of it sounded so good – cooking sliced meat, noodles, and vegetables in a rich, bubbling broth of soy and sake, then dipping the hot food in raw egg just before eating, for an extra touch of flavor.  When he mentioned the possibility that Chef Taichi Kitamura of Chiso Kappo might be able to prepare a special sukiyaki dinner, our immediate response was “Sign us up!”  Eric twisted a few more people’s arms, and before long the anticipated day arrived and nine friends sat at a long communal table to enjoy this unique dinner.

Appetizers at Chiso Kappo
Top: bluefin tuna in yuzu juice, served atop Chinese mustard greens. 
Bottom left: our waitress describes the appetizers. 
Bottom right: Highly-sought-after Shigoku oysters from Taylor Farms.

Sukiyaki dinner
Left: Taichi explains to his captive audience how to prepare sukiyaki. 
Top right: udon noodles, crysanthemum leaves, baked tofu, shirataki noodles, and thinly-sliced rib eye steak.
Bottom right: almond pudding with lychee fruits and goji berries.

Sukiyaki
Lifting shiitake and enoki mushrooms out of the delicious, bubbling  soy/sake/kombu/sugar broth.  On the right, cracked egg and dipping bowl.


David demonstrates eating sukiyaki at Chiso Kappo.

Chiso Kappo
701 N 36th St, Seattle
(206) 547-0937

Chiso Kappo on Urbanspoon


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 16th, 2009 by Eric

Chocolate Guinness Stout cupcake with Bailey’s Buttercream

Ah, I love springtime.  Days are longer.  Birds chirp happily in the morning.  There are hints of nice weather to come.  Everyone seems to be celebrating their birthday, including me!  And birthdays make me think of cupcakes.  While I’d never turn down birthday cake, I’ve had a thing for cupcakes ever since childhood.  I consider myself quite lucky that my favorite cupcake is made just down the street in Wallingford at Trophy Cupcakes.  The only downside is that I have to wait all year for it to return!  The magic flavor: Chocolate Guinness Stout with Bailey’s Buttercream.


Freezer food

March 14th, 2009 by Dawn

Eat Local pizza; Marcella Hazan's Bolognese sauce

Hm, I’ve been slacking on the blogging front, haven’t I?  Life has gotten a bit crazy lately, but here I am again.  During crazy times, we often find ourselves digging around in our freezer on weeknights, looking for something that might make a quick and easy dinner.  Which got me to wondering, what do other people keep in their freezers?  I love it when I find a great recipe that’s perfect for making a big batch and freezing.  Here’s what you might find in our freezer:

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce – It takes hours to cook Marcella’s Bolognese sauce, but it’s the perfect thing to have on the stove on a cool weekend afternoon.  With beef and pork (optional), milk, white wine, tomatoes, and a touch of nutmeg, it leaves you looking forward to Sunday dinner.  We make plenty of extra for our freezer.  Just defrost and heat, add a dab of butter to the sauce, mix in with your favorite pasta, and grate some parmigiano on top.

Tom Douglas’ fruit crisp topping – This stuff is perfect for a super-fast dessert.  I make a triple-batch and freeze it.  Then when I’ve got some lovely fruit – apples, peaches, cherries, whatever – I just cut it up, mix in a touch of sugar, throw it into a pie dish with some crisp topping, and pop it in the oven.  A large apple is perfect for one of our individual-sized Emile Henry pie dishes, and then the two of us can share a yummy apple crisp.

Tamales – These are newcomers to our freezer.  I wrote a couple months back about making tamales at our friend Kathy’s house.  Our freezer stash of tamales has dwindled, though, so we may need to make some more.

Bruce Aidells’ chicken and apple sausage – This homemade sausage is great both for breakfast and in savory recipes.  It’s juicy and better than anything I’ve bought in grocery stores.  It’s not too hard to make, actually, unless you want to stuff it into links which takes longer.  We just form it into patties for the freezer.  Bruce Aidells has a recipe for French toast stuffed with sautéed apples and some of this sausage, which is a great Sunday breakfast.

Jerry Traunfeld’s apple black bean soup – a great winter soup, especially during the time when apples are the only fruit available at our local farmer’s markets.  Jerry’s absolutely right in his intro paragraph which says that it makes a huge pot – one recipe is plenty for several meals.

Vij’s – You’ll always find a cooler in our car on our way over the border to Vancouver, so that we can bring back cryovaced packs of our favorite Indian food for our freezer.

Soup and rolls from Dahlia Bakery – Every few weekends, we’ll stop in for a morning fried egg sandwich (the gourmet version of a McMuffin), and if we get there late enough, the lunch items are just coming out of the kitchen.  We might grab a soup or two, which comes with one of their traditional rolls, and freeze it for a weekday lunch at work.

Fu Man Dumplings – You need to call ahead 24 hours in advance to pick up a bag of Fu Man dumplings to-go.  With some of their super-garlicky sauce, the dumplings make a yummy snack.

Eat Local – We’ve mentioned this place on Queen Anne on our blog before.  Now they’ve set up tent at the U-District Farmer’s Market each Saturday, which means that you might find their dinners in our freezer a little more frequently now, or maybe one of their cracker-bread pizzas, pictured above.  Just as the name of the store implies, everything is made using local ingredients, and is quite delicious.

So, what do you keep in your freezer?  Favorite recipes?  Trader Joe finds?  Food that you’ve always got to have on hand?


Anchovies and Olives

February 21st, 2009 by Eric

Ethan Stowell’s fourth restaurant, Anchovies and Olives, opened Thursday night in Capitol Hill.  We stopped by yesterday to see the space and try a few dishes.

Gnocchi with lobster and mintGnocchi with lobster and mint

A&O is on the corner of 15th and Pine, making it a great spot for people-watching, with a seemingly never-ending parade of folks outside.  Inside, the high-ceilinged space is simple, with an open kitchen like Tavolata and How to Cook a Wolf.  The food is reminiscent of both places, but here, it’s focused on seafood, with a seafood component in every dish.

Anchovies and Olives

Highlights for us included romanesco cauliflower salad with soft-cooked egg (perfectly dressed and seasoned), gnocchi with lobster and mint, and ocean trout with yellowfoot mushrooms and sunchoke purée.  We had heard good things about the spaghetti with sea urchin from friends who went the night before; the flavors were all there, but the pasta was undercooked and too chewy.  We neglected the crudo appetizers tonight, but intend on trying them next time.

Dessert options are simple – a sorbet, a gelato, and a cheese plate.  Dawn enjoyed the grapefruit campari sorbet, while I had a sweet ending of chocolate and orange gelato.

Anchovies and Olives
1550 15th Ave, Seattle
206-838-8080

Anchovies & Olives on Urbanspoon