Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Heart Seattle

So I am begrudgingly back from Seattle, the city that I feel still serves the best food in the land.

To commemorate the impetus behind the visit I purchased this artisan's plate of "the salmon." Ah yes, copper river salmon, you were mine. *sigh*

And it was cold, and cloudy, and one day rainy, and just to tease me on my departure day it was bright and sunny...but no matter; it was great to be back!

Instead of going back to old haunts per usual, this creature-of-habit tried some new stuff, and rediscovered some old. While all this news now appears on the City List at right, there are still a few more bits to share about why I Heart Seattle:

1) Visiting Queen Anne -- a tiny neighborhood on a hill overlooking Elliott Bay near Seattle Center that is filled with greenery and charm.

2) Discovering Black Bottle -- a newish wine bar/small plates restaurant that has the coolest industrial Brooklyn decor and vibe.

3) Trying Dry Soda -- lemongrass was good but lavender was the best! What a great thing to use as a cocktail mixer if it hasn't already been discovered.

4) Remembering why I love the restaurants of Tom Douglas -- one bite into a mushroom appetizer speaks volumes on Pacific Northwest Cuisine and why it rocks my world.

5) Sitting in an oasis of a coffee shop -- with 20 clean armchairs each with a street view, where the music is soothing, people of all ages have enough room to each get a seat, and the coffee is perfect.

6) Witnessing restaurant originality again -- the restaurants of Seattle have more creativity than restaurants in other great cities, yet you don't pay the same high price for it. To experience this level of freshness in New York in these days of the super chef, you would pay 3-4 times as much. Here it's just how restaurants are.

7) Delighting over a new kind of condiment table-setting at Steelhead Diner -- sure they had ketchup at this "diner that isn't really a diner," and Crystal hot sauce. Add to this a bottle of pepper vinegar. But the coolest was, while eating a fantastic salad with pine nut vinaigrette, what appeared to be salt & pepper shakers. One contained a house-made Cajun seasoning, and the other contained... smoked sea salt? This is expensive! So to have all that on every table, such a unique and generous selection, made me smile.

8) Copper River Sockeye Salmon -- and we've come full circle to the reason behind this visit. It turns out that I'm not a huge fan of the king variety; the sockeye is the kind I find transcendental, sooo deeply orange/pink in color (like a salmon-colored shirt, that color salmon), and so rich with flavor you can't imagine.

Til next time Seattle!

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