Welcome to part two of my trip to Seattle. In part one, I blogged about the professional aspect of my trip—attending the AWP Writers Conference and Bookfair, and meeting other members of my publishing family. Today, I am blogging about the pleasure portion of my trip. Two of my favorite people reside in Seattle and all time not spent at the conference was spent with one of them.
Megan is a graduate of culinary school and she and her boyfriend moved to Seattle last year with plans to advance their careers and eventually open their own restaurant. Megan has recently been promoted to Sous Chef at Altstadt, a restaurant in Pioneer Square. (Congrats, Chef Meg!) Although I didn’t make it to her restaurant, Megan and her boyfriend were responsible for some serious fine dining on my part this weekend. On Friday, I met the two of them for lunch. I thought we would go someplace casual for a sandwich or something but, considering the company I was keeping, I should have known better since eating is never casual with them. We wound up at Lola —a Tom Douglas restaurant. For those of you who are not familiar, Tom Douglas is one of the top chefs in the Northwest and owns numerous restaurants in the Seattle area. I had brunch with Jason at Lola while we were dating, but this was the first time I was there for lunch. I had no idea it was even a Mediterranean restaurant since the brunch menu has all the basics. One of the best parts about dining with Megan and her boyfriend Julio is that they are both chefs and take their eating experiences very seriously. They like to try a lot of different things and so we usually share . I also tend to go out of my comfort zone and try things I probably wouldn’t have ordered with my other friends. For lunch, we shared three different kebabs – lamb, squid, and haloumi cheese. I never would have chosen the squid and it wound up being my favorite. Well, in a three-way tie for first place 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t think at the time to take pictures, but trust me, it was delish.
On Friday night, I had dinner with Jason and of course I got to choose where we went since I am the visitor to his city. I fully intended to pick the place that has always been my favorite, The Crab Pot. For one, it is by the waterfront which I love, and secondly, patrons are expected to wear bibs. Since I should probably don a bib whenever I eat, I love going there. It’s incredibly laidback, messy, and, of course, tasty. But, at Jason’s suggestion, we ended up going a bit more up-scale to Sitka & Spruce, a New American restaurant in Capitol Hill. The ambiance was really cool—wide open with high ceilings and mostly communal tables with only a few individual tables and bar-like seating lining the periphery. We sat at an individual table and after looking at the menu decided to share a bunch of small plates. Appealing to both of us immediately was a bread dish described as being accompanied with “soft butter.” I’m definitely a fan of bread, especially loaded with easily spread creamy butter. Among the other platters we shared were fried chickpea fitters, some sort of grilled leek dish a potato dish and clams with a bacon sauce.
Saturday night, Megan and I went to the restaurant where Julio works, Spur. Spur is a gastropub in Belltown. Julio was working that night and informed them that his girlfriend would be there. This was not the first time I joined Megan at one of Julio’s restaurant and I have never left disappointed or hungry. A great thing about eating at one of Julio’s restaurants is that I don’t need to order a single thing because random dishes are continuously sent from the kitchen to our table. The food was outstanding! From the first dish, a salmon crostini, to the last, a dessert plate consisting of pear sorbet, sponge cake and meringue, it was a culinary experience I will never forget.
The only dish that did not thrill me was sweet breads and I think the psychological aspect of eating pancreas was to blame rather than the food itself. I highly recommend this restaurant in terms of food, service, and ambiance.
For my final meal in Seattle, Jason took me to Chinatown. We ate dim sum at The Purple Dot. Although I’ve eaten dim sum before, I’ve never been to a dim sum restaurant and always wanted to. A waitress circles the restaurant with a cart filled with various dishes and you choose what you’d like to eat. It was fun! We ordered four different things. I enjoyed the dishes with varying degrees —some a lot and some not-so-much but I would definitely do that again.
Finally, I can’t leave the Emerald City without my farewell Vanilla Latte. Yum!
As you can see, my healthy appetite and palate for good food was not disappointed by my long weekend in Seattle. Now it’s time to put on those running shoes and burn off those extra calories!