Tag Archives: goat cheese

What I ate this weekend

I swear, every time I visit Seattle, I love it more and more.

And this time was no exception.

It goes without saying that I ate copious amounts of chocolate this weekend. No, make that obscene amounts of chocolate. Chocolate bars, cocoa nibs, truffles, single-origin products, blended products, chocolates I loved, and chocolates I…didn’t.

But this post is not about chocolate. Forgive me. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the deliciousness that I ate this weekend.

I went for dinner at Steelhead Diner, which is a gem of a place in Pike Place Market. Platters of oysters on the half-shell, flash-fried geoduck, little battered smelt with hot mustard, mussels with chorizo, crab cakes with crazy giant pieces of whole crab leg…oh, I’m just getting started.

One standout was the caviar pie, a delicious slice of four colours of caviar on creamy mousse (creme fraiche? cream cheese?) on a bed of finely chopped red onions, hard-boiled eggs and capers.

The other one was the house cured beef bresaola, all smoky and rich, served with the season’s first Rainier cherries, goat’s cheese, tangy olive oil, and twisty-turny bread sticks.

As if that wasn’t enough, dessert was – quite literally – the world’s best pie, from the expert herself. I mean, I pride myself on my pie. I’ve been working on the crust recipe for years. But hey, I know when I’ve been beat. Crumbly, sweet, and infinitely delicious, this was The World’s Best Pie.

I also had breakfast at Tilikum Place Cafe. (Hrm, website maybe be broken? It’s not working for me.) Lovely pastries. Beautiful blueberry muffins, still-warm raspberry cake that was positively juicy, all of it washed down with a pot of insanely robust coffee. Whether you pick the house-made sausage, delectable baked beans, creamy baked eggs or the insanely cute Dutch baby, I think you’ll be happy and full.

Both meals were marked by great food, and more importantly, great company. As in, great company. You know who you are – thanks for the good times.

Steelhead Diner
95 Pine Street
Seattle, WA
206-625-0129
Steelhead Diner on Urbanspoon

Tilikum Place Cafe
407 Cedar Street
Seattle, WA 98121
206-282-4830
Tilikum Place Cafe on Urbanspoon

Rioja gets it right

Rioja was one of the presenting restaurants at the opening reception for the IACP conference in Denver, and didn’t disappoint. Their offering of homemade arugula ravioli, oak barrel smoked chevre on brioche, and salmon tartare with Valencia orange gastrique was just a glimpse of what they could do.

On the last night of the conference, after the IACP awards ceremony, it seemed like Rioja was the unofficial post-ceremony nosh nook. Despite the throngs of people and our lack of reservation, we managed to score a seat in the front window.

The homemade pasta is spoken of so reverently that I wanted to try them all. I restrained myself and tried just two. To start, I had the pea pod ravioli with mushrooms, peas and spring garlic. The pasta was delicate and smooth, and the ravioli actually tasted like peas. It’s not often that you have a pasta filling that actually tastes like its description says. This was followed by the artichoke tortelloni with queso de mano cheese and truffle essence. I love artichokes and I love truffles. Need I say more?

The nice thing about Rioja is that they offer their pastas in appetizer and entree size, so two appetizer-sized pastas left me comfortably full with room for dessert. I couldn’t resist the beignets, served piping hot and dusted with icing sugar. Inside a fragrant (and deep-fried, yum) dough is tangy and sweet goat’s cheese and black mission fig compote. Paired with a sparkling muscat (with notse of pear, pineapple and lychee), it was a wonderful way to end the week in Denver.

Rioja’s surprisingly affordable: three courses and two glasses of wine only set me back $40, including tip and tax.

Rioja
1431 Larimer Street
Denver, CO
303-820-2282
Rioja on Urbanspoon

Dine Out Vancouver: YEW restaurant + bar

I had heard good things about YEW restaurant + bar, but I confess that my main reason for going there was to see the space. Well, neither food nor space disappointed. The food was amazing, the presentation beautiful, and the service was spot on.

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Whip it (whip it good)

The Whip is one part art gallery, one part restaurant, and one part bar. Given that it’s on a less-gentrified stretch of Main Street, it’s also a popular hipster hangout – but please don’t hold that against it.

I met Elisa for brunch there on the weekend, and the quality of food really blew me away. I’ve only had evening appetizers there, and while the food was well-prepared, it wasn’t terribly inventive or amazing. Apparently they’ve got the A-team working weekend brunch, because it was some kind of wonderful.

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Beets: they’re worth the work

One beautiful summer morning, I was standing in my kitchen peeling beets when my roommate walked in and asked what I thought about getting a new couch.  He had gone to IKEA the night before, and the couch he had been eyeing for months was finally on sale.  The only catch: it was white.  It was a giant, white couch.  Now, the whole time we were talking, he was puttering around making coffee and not watching what I was doing.  There was a certain poignancy to the moment when he looked at me, said the word “white”, and saw my hands and arms stained fuschia with day-glo beet juice. 

And that’s the thing with beets.  They’re sweet, delicious, and really good for you, but you better be prepared to clean up beet juice from places you never expected to find it.  Beet juice is tricky that way. 

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Eating and swapping

Tonight my roommates and I hosted a clothing swap, which is partly an excuse to get new clothes, and also an excuse to cook for an army.

Tonight we feasted on my roasted red pepper and herbed goat cheese lasagna, Kelly’s gourmet salad (mesclun, belgian endive, baby peppers, heirloom tomatoes, baby mozzarella), and Karen’s hearty soup (root vegetable with walnuts). For dessert we had Kara’s cheese plate (blue cheese, two kinds of goats cheese, pomegranates & grapes) and Sally’s pumpkin tart. Yum.