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Lampreia


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#1 thelastsupper

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 02:47 AM

Has anyone been to Lampreia? I have heard wildly ranging stories about it.

#2 nightscotsman

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 09:36 AM

I've only eaten there once, a few years ago. It was easily one of the best meals I've had in Seattle. I didn't take any notes so I can't recall what the hell we ate, but I remember it being not overly complex, nicely ballanced, clean flavors, artfully minimalist presentation. The service was very European - friendly and attentive, but not overly so or pushy - and the general atmosphere was formal, but relaxed. I've heard some people complain the service is cold and uptight and the chef has big ego and is dismissive of diners requests, but we had no problem with staff behavior or with letting the chef serve dishes as he felt best.

#3 MsRamsey

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 10:34 AM

I tried to make a reservation unsuccessfully recently. It was the chef who answered the phone. At the end of the conversation he said "Thank you for thinking of us." A small thing, but it left an impression, and I intend to eat there someday soon.
"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."
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#4 Schielke

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 06:31 PM

It has been on my list for a long time.

I think that the stories of the crazy chef need to be taken in context.

I doubt any eGulleteer would have any trouble at Lampreia.

Now, a self-important blonde-dyed yuppie that eats there because it is expensive might get miffed when the chef won't accomodate "no butter" in a certain dish.

Ben
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#5 thelastsupper

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 04:39 PM

Right. I am thinking about going soon too. I wonder if it is possible to just go and sit at the bar and eat a few plates . . .?

#6 nightscotsman

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 05:00 PM

Right. I am thinking about going soon too. I wonder if it is possible to just go and sit at the bar and eat a few plates . . .?

I don't think they have a bar - it's a very small place.

#7 thelastsupper

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 06:47 PM

I had heard that they had a little bar, but maybe that's been changed recently?

#8 SeAAttle

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 11:22 PM

We have been once - more than a year ago. The evening was memorable only for the very snooty waiter and the rather substantial bill. I do not recall what we had but we left vowing not to return.

Admittedly, this is not a fair evaluation. Our general rule is to try a restaurant three times before deciding its merits. I would be very interested to know any recent experiences.

#9 Eat_eat_eat

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Posted 08 February 2003 - 08:05 PM

I ate there a few years ago. I had the duck and my date had the chicken. Although the duck was extremely tasty with a good sauce, I was very disappointed with its size. My date's food was quite bland. It was the organic chicken? She didn't want to order something too expensive. The bill was still quite hefty in the end.

Edited by Eat_eat_eat, 08 February 2003 - 08:05 PM.


#10 malarkey

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 04:01 PM

welcome, Eat!

IMHO one should not go to Lampreia looking to 'have something not too expensive'. This is one of those places where you know up front its gonna cost and you order whatever you want or even let the chef bring out what they think is fabulous. This is a 'special occasion' type of place, a place for splurging, not being conservative.

That being said, I too have heard the stories of the nazi chef and his nervous staff. Doesn't sound like a pleasant working environment!

Born Free, Now Expensive


#11 thelastsupper

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Posted 09 February 2003 - 11:28 PM

IMHO one should not go to Lampreia looking to 'have something not too expensive'. This is one of those places where you know up front its gonna cost and you order whatever you want or even let the chef bring out what they think is fabulous. This is a 'special occasion' type of place, a place for splurging, not being conservative.

That sort of answers my question. I have no problem letting the chef take control of what I'm eating. I knew the place was expensive (for splurging). I wanted to know if the price justified the food. I don't mind small plates-- if the food takes me off somewhere . . .

Malarkey, have you eaten there? I would be curious to know what you had.

#12 malarkey

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 09:35 AM

I have not eaten there, but know many who have. they all said the food was sublime, even those who weren't entirely happy with the ambiance of the place. I would imagine the food is tasting portion size. I also know someone who went there and ordered all appetizers. if YOU go, let us know :smile:

Born Free, Now Expensive


#13 thelastsupper

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 01:28 PM

Will do.

#14 ned

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 04:59 AM

I have recently moved to New York but in the past was a frequent flyer at Lampreia. I don't think there is another restaurant in Seattle that takes food more seriously than Lampreia.

Scott Carsberg, chef/owner of Lampreia is an odd guy: obsessive, can be prickly, has a very strange sense of humor. He's an artist. He seldom leaves the restaurant. He demands perfection from himself, his suppliers and his staff. I guess what I'm trying to say is that all of the oddities that people in this thread have noted occur as by-products of making pretty transcendent food.

Also, enough with the small portions nonsense. Forgive me. . . If you judge food by quantity, well TGI Fridays comes to mind. I've never left Lampriea hungry. The small plates allow you to eat rich food, an app, entree, cheese and dessert and go home not feeling sick. If you just get an entree, that's not really what the place is about.

I often get two or three appetizers and skip the main course. Scott does most of his best magic with appetizers. If you have a deep pocket and eat there on a not so busy night, ask him if he'll do you a tasting menu. He once did this for me and it's a meal I'll never forget.

Finally, the waitstaff do seem a little stiff. Don't worry. You don't have to be. There's humor underneath the veneer. Also, they are certainly very informative about what is often tricky food. Scott's zealotry is infectious, the waitstaff is reverent about the food and the experience because he is.

Happy eating.
You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

#15 Foodie-Girl

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 09:37 AM

My husband and I ate there last year and came away with different opinions (which is somewhat unusual for us as far as food/atmosphere is concerned).

I really enjoyed it and appreciated the formality of the service (a very nice change from waitstaff who ask "What can I get for you-guyses to drink?" ) and I'm a big fan of small plates versus one humongous main course.

My husband thought a couple of the plates were simply TOO small...ie one lonely shrimp on a plate albeit beautifully presented.

I suggest you just go and see for yourself, as there seems to be a variety of opinions on this board and elsewhere.

Tonight, however, it's a sure-thing for us...The Herbfarm! It will be our third visit and yes, it's very expensive, and yes, the cancellation policy makes one fearful of coming down with the flu or something...but I think the setting, service, quality and imagination of the chef make it worth every penny.

Just my 2 cents worth!

#16 Ye-Ye Girl

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:58 AM

My experience at Lampreia exactly mirrors what NSM said. One of these days I'll go back. I'd take The Dude, but the place wouldn't interest him, so I'll have to find someone else to go with.

#17 LEdlund

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 11:06 AM

so I'll have to find someone else to go with.

I'll go with you :biggrin:

I love Lampreia.
Practice Random Acts of Toasting

#18 mildbore

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 12:21 PM

We have eaten at Lampreia several times over the years, the last a bit less than a year ago. The food is superbly done. With every dish we say, “That was really nice.” At the end of the meal we don’t leave hungry, but we are not truly satisfied either. I guess we admire this food more than truly enjoy it.

#19 chadum

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 06:15 PM

I took my wife there in May for her birthday. We were the first diners there and for half of our meal.

I thought the food was very good - obviously there was a tremendous amount of attention paid to each preperation. It is very European I suppose, in the small plates, successive courses with palate cleansers.

The service was stuffy but in a manner that was completely expected and appreciated for this kind of meal. Each course was described in detail, the soup was poured at the table (which I have seen at Cascadia one block away recently.) and the cheese course was presented as secret treasures to select from.

overall I thought it was worth the price but certainly a special-occasion type of place for the likes of me.

I think fussying over price can be downright depressing since with many things, dining is a diminishing return type of experience: spending progressively more money only gives you slightly better experience but that is often the cost of going that high.

#20 pastramionrye

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:07 PM

Hello people of the NW...

I am from the other Washington....the one with too many Bushes.

Anyways, made it out to Seattle and Bainbridge for a great friend's wedding.

Before we headed over to the island, me and 3 others had a fantastic meal at lampreia. 8 courses, great wines and a leisurely and memorable meal. OUr service was excellent too.

I had head so much about lampreia, being in the restaurant business myself, and my expectations were not disappointed.

Wonder if any of you have had more recent experiences at this Belltown jewel?

Also....recap.

other meals while in Seattle....lunch in the park adjacent to Pike Place market, eating cheeses, mortadella, a spanish chorizo, a nice red wine and a sauternes that we picked up from the italian market (delavonti's????). very beautiful sunday.

also, a disappointment of sorts was my Seattle sushi experience at Maneki. The pieces of fish on the rice was way too big. the rolls were ok...
Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

#21 Foodie-Girl

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:21 PM

YES, I ate there just a week or so ago...had the Tomato Tasting Menu....fantastic!!

Is this the menu you had?

#22 Foodie-Girl

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:48 PM

P.S. I'm a huge fan of the chef now as when my friend and I asked for a cab to be called he came to the door and said he'd walk us out.

No cab in sight he proceeded to whistle one down...across the street with no intention of making a u-turn.

Scott literally walked us to the cab...had a nice chat with him along the way...he's way cool in my book !

#23 Kyle_Larson

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:33 PM

Hi,
I had the pleasure of dining at Lampreia a little over a year ago with my girlfriend (who is an absolute die hard fan). Easily one of the most unique and fantastic dining experiences I've had. Scott Carsberg is a genius. The presentation is nothing but class, which could be interpreted as snooty, although, it didn't bother us. We enjoyed a fine meal and after the meal Scott came out and talked to us for a few minutes. I know the reviews on this restaurant are polarized, I think that may have to do with the price, but this place is totally worth it. Just know before you go, it is pricey but it is soooooo worth it.

#24 pastramionrye

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 06:46 AM

the meal i had was expensive; but anyone who goes to one of these places and complains about the prices is somewhat foolish. you should know what to expect.

our food was beautifully plated. refined. minimalist. and it tasted wonderful.

foodie girl our tasting menu was based off of the regular menu. the chef just sent courses out to the table. we never even looked at the menu.
Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

#25 lemony

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 05:12 PM

expensive but worth every penny. i agree with a previous post re: scott carsberg's genius way with food. he may be tempermental, over the top, and effusive at times but the best usually are.

service is kind of cold at times but somewhat refreshing. i really don't ever need to know my server's name, nor do they need to know mine. i'm there to enjoy the food, not make new friends.

go. enjoy. you will not be disappointed. broke, perhaps, but you can always make more money.

lemony

#26 Schielke

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 04:40 PM

Katie and I went to Lampreia Saturday night to celebrate our 6 mo. of Wedlock. :smile:

We had a really great time and am glad to see a restaurant such as Lampreia in Seattle. I am planning on writing a full review and dont have my notes with me so it will have to be delayed.

FYI, they are currently offering an "All about apples" tasting menu that looked pretty good!

Ben
Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster



I have two words for America... Meat Crust.
-Mario

#27 little ms foodie

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 04:44 PM

Katie and I went to Lampreia Saturday night to celebrate our 6 mo. of Wedlock.  :smile:

We had a really great time and am glad to see a restaurant such as Lampreia in Seattle.  I am planning on writing a full review and dont have my notes with me so it will have to be delayed.

FYI, they are currently offering an "All about apples" tasting menu that looked pretty good!

Ben

View Post


Ben,

You can view and download this beautiful "All about Apples" cookbook here

I look forward to your review. I've heard a couple of very good things lately.

Edited by little ms foodie, 18 October 2004 - 04:44 PM.


#28 jbonne

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 06:05 PM

i think i'm responsible for one of the wildly ranging stories, so i'll chip in an abbreviated two cents. (i have every intention of committing to the Web a fuller assessment when i have a free moment.)

after just one visit, i think i can confidently say that Scott Carsberg is brilliantly talented, and Lampreia shows Seattle's true potential for food greatness.

like so many others, the stories of moody chef antics and bizarre service kept us from making reservations sooner -- though it's been on my list forever, and i now regret not having made the visit years ago.

Carsberg's dishes are both brilliant and delectable, a rare combination these days. i'm utterly sick of extravagancies that don't actually feed me and delight my palate, but the items at Lampreia are masterpieces of well-chosen taste. the appetizer tart with shaved salads and zucchini pesto (more or less detailed in the latest profile of Carsberg in the NYT, which -- tellingly, i think -- seems to have devoted more print to Lampreia than most of the local media) is a perfect selection of balanced tastes. the fact that such attention is paid to a veggie starter was an immediate sign to me that we were in the hands of a master.

even when an item didn't quite gel -- the pineapple ravioli were a bit tricky to consume -- the care and attention to detail pleased me. (those are ravioli *made out of pineapple flesh*, btw, not out of pasta.)

and taste clearly rules the day. an element of our cheese course -- a simple hunk of Pecorino, presumably broiler-softened on a cedar plank and drizzled with white truffle honey -- may be one of the most divine things i can recall eating. at that moment, i felt we were paying not for Carsberg's elaborate preparatory talents but his sublime understanding of taste. that, more than anything, is why i like giving chefs my money.

as for service, it was a tad formal, but also marks perhaps the second time i've witnessed proper European service in Seattle, right down to the petit fours at meal's end, the use of tableside trays to present food and the fact that no plate was brought until we were quite ready and primed. forks were placed upside down, so they could easily be picked up for European-style usage.

our server was able to pinpoint the genesis of most of the Italian cheeses we selected. perhaps most important, he didn't flinch when we indicated we wanted to order several intermezzos rather than go straight into an entree. this, for those worried about cost, is a wonderful way to explore some of the best innovations on the menu. it also gave us latitude to have a full cheese course and dessert, including an extraordinary glass of Montbazillac. we felt just about full after that, no entree needed.

another note on prices: the apple tasting menu, essentially outlined in Carsberg's new e-cookbook, is $68 for at least six courses, including foie gras and an entree. that strikes me as eminently reasonable. (we're now hatching plans to return for the tasting menu.)

the wine list was well-balanced, too. We found a Giuseppe Cortese 1998 Barbaresco Rabaja that was an absolute bargain. My only wish is that they decanted it -- a '98 could use a bit of time to breathe -- and that they weren't quite so quick to refill our glasses.

in a brief stop by our table, Carsberg was charming and even a bit sheepish -- in no way helped by my gushing at how much we were enjoying ourselves.

not only does Lampreia wipe away nearly every one of its Seattle counterparts, i'd argue it's a world-class restaurant. we kept comparing it to a recent meal at a Michelin two-star in France. Lampreia blew it out of the water.

#29 SeaGal

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 03:29 PM

My husband took me to Lampreia for my birthday last Saturday (Dec 18th). It was our first time there and we were extremely happy with our meal, the decor and the service. We were warmly greeted and found the service very professional, but not at all stiff.

I really like the modern, but warm decor. We had reservations for 8:30 on a Saturday night and there were several other tables there, but not as many as I would have expected for a holiday Saturday night.

We started off with seared foie gras with slices of pears poached 3-ways: saffron, pistachio and the third I'm not sure, but it was reddish and could have been port or wine. The foie gras was excellent and slices of pear were perfect. We each had a glass of a really wonderful Montbazillac which as perfect with the richness of the foie.

Next up, my husband had quail baked in terra cotta (which they brought out to show him before cracking it open) over a bed of pureed beans (I can't remember if they were lentils or white beans) with truffled cheese on top. It made me think of really, really high-end refried beans and when the chef came to the table, he said he used foie gras fat in the puree. This dish was amazing, the flavor going way above and beyond the ingredients.

I had crab salad encased in thinly sliced apples with an apple gelee. This dish was the essence of dungeness crab and was very rich. I had a glass of Gruner Veltliner with this.

We had ordered a bottle of a 1997 Cote Rotie and my husband drank this with his second course and I joined him for the main.

We both had lamb loin for our mains. Cooked perfectly medium rare with a mustardy breadcrumb crust, it was served with a whole line of artful dabs of purees and garnishes. There were cipollini onions, purees of zucchini, green bean, and eggplant, tappenade and some other things that I can't remember. The sauce with the lamb was a beautiful and flavorful reduction of some kind (can't remember that either :sad: ) This plate was beautiful and was sooo good.

By this time, I was getting quite full, so decided to skip dessert and have the cheese plate which had the most wonderfully ripe gorgonzola dolce that I've ever had. Also had an aged pecorino, a washed rind cheese and a young cow's milk cheese. This was served with dabs of fruit purees, a toasted almond and some honey.

My husband had the warm chocolate dumplings with chocolate sauce--they were sublime. I've decided that next time I'll only order two courses so I have room for dessert. BTW, I thought the portions were quite generous. At the end of the meal, they also brought out a little plate of tiny treats-lemon shortbread, coconut macaroon, peanut butter cookie and chocolate truffle. They wrapped them up for me, as I was so full. That chocolate truffle was sublime. :wub:

They had a tasting menu and I'd love to try it next time. For there will be a next time. I loved this place. :wub: It wasn't cheap, by any means, but it was well worth the money for a special occasion.

At the end of the evening, the chef(!) helped me into my coat and walked us out the door. I've never had that happen before :smile:
Jan
Seattle, WA


"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."
--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

#30 jbonne

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 03:42 PM

just curious: what's the current tasting menu? we didn't have the apple tasting menu last time, and now i regret it.

i don't regret our food choices at all, just that the apple menu was astounding ...