Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Many courses

Scallops with akura and cucumber
Seattle, Washington, January 6, 2015—
WE DON'T OFTEN go for those multi-course chef's tasting menus, but after a difficult day on the road I was in no mood to make any decisions, and the friend with whom we were dining, and who had recommended this restaurant, wanted to go the route, so why not. And this is what was brought to the table:
first course
Housemade mozzarella with onion agrodolce
Raw scallop with akura and cucumber
Parsnip soup with fried sage
Little gem lettuce, sieved egg, radish in Champagne vinaigrette
Fried Pacific oysters with Calabrian aïoli
Beef tartare with garlic toasts
Speck with Pecorino and crouton

second course
Strazzapreti with lacinato kale and beef brisket
Butternut squash ravioli with sage, walnuts, and brown butter

third course
Grilled striped bass with cauliflower and pomegranate
Grilled New York strip steak with kale, pancetta, and balsamic vinegar

fourth course
Chocolate terrine with salted caramel
Citrus ricotta cheesecake with honey and strawberry jam
Chocolate gelato with crushed chocolate wafer
I had my share of this succession of things, and so did my constant companion, and we agreed that every item was really quite good. I will say I'm not fond of any "surf and turf" combination, and it strikes me as odd at best, a little wilful or depraved at worst, to serve grilled fish and beef simultaneously. What to do, for example, about wine? So, delicious as the steak was (and perfectly grilled, which is to say almost raw), it was the earlier courses that pleased me the most — until I tasted that cheesecake and the terrine. They were delicious. There are people here who really know what they're doing. Oh: and the meal was not horribly expensive.

Rioja blanco, Muga, 2013; Pinot noir, Walnut City (Willamette Valley), 2012 (Burgundy style; very good)
•Staple and Fancy, 4739 Ballard Avenue Northwest, Seattle; (206) 789-1200

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