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Posts posted by jrt

  1. Looking around some, I don't see more than a post for Firenze.

    The folks at Firenze are good: the service is good and serious, but mostly the pasta is right on. Seriously... as much as I love all kinds of food, I rarely order pasta in this part of the world if I'm not at Firenze. I order the bolognese off the menu but always ask them to use penne instead -- I should probably be asking for rigatoni, but it's great as penne. Great great great.

    I've actually taken a taxi from downtown Seattle (where I live) to Crossroads Mall to have some rigatoni al'Amatriciana (sp? probably) because they seem that good to me (a novice/newbie to Italian food admittedly).

  2. We've also had nothing but bad experiences at the Lower Queen Anne McMen's and we won't go back.  Is there anyplace else in that area that does a good burger?


    In Lower Queen Anne? Note that I'm aware of, but not far away are Cyclops and Rendezvous, both in Belltown and each does a decent burger. Cyclops' is much better than the vous', IMHO. They used to make a cinnamon spiced catsup to go alongside it, but it appears it wasn't liked by many (probably just myself :angry: ).

  3. Amen to the Palace burger. Share the burger and start with the house-made sopresatta if it's on the menu, or (especially) the pork cheeks if they're available. A lot of folks turn their noses up at Palace, but there are some things they do just about perfectly every time and the burger is one of 'em.

    edited to add:

    Oh, and about the Captain Neons at the McMennamin locations: I agree... great burgers somewhere between the "flat" and "gourmet" styles Anita describes. The meat is almost certainly prepressed and quite small, but the buns and sauce are great. The fries are sloppy...

    As a side note, I refuse to eat at Six Arms. I used to live in Oregon and ate at McMens all over the place, but Six Arms is consistently awful IMHO. I don't know what it is.

  4. Cherry Street Coffeehouse? - 1st Ave.

    Yes, Cherry Street does have beer and I believe wine as well. Personally, I love this shop. I called it 'Happy Place' for years when I lived near there -- I'm not even remotely religious, but all of the spiritual ramblings on the wall have always made me feel warm and fuzzy in that non-human moment between waking up and having an itty bitty latte.

    The food is decent to good and the service is almost always great.

    It doesn't hurt that there's a hair salon almost next door and many of the patrons as well as employees frequent the place. :wink:

    (edited to say 'lived near there' as opposed to 'lived there' -- I've never lived in a coffee joint)

  5. Dropped into Osteria La Spiga last night with a friend a bit late -- it the only time they could get us in (we called last night at 6:00) was 9:00. We had a few cocktails up at a bar up the street and came in. They sat us promptly and curteously.

    We had a nice bottle of red and started with a plate of prosciutto which was cut super-thin and was wonderful. They served us some bread with this and I don't know if it's what they always give you no matter what you order, but I thought the bread was strangely thick and flavorless.

    Then we moved on to the day's starter special, the gnocco fritto. This was the highlight of the meal, I think -- three of the pieces of puffed fried dough were topped with a pistachio prosciutto and two others were served warm with a cured meat and mozz. Delicious.

    We then ordered the tagliatelle ragu with the wild boar and white wine that seacrotty mentioned. I agree that it was just slightly overcooked, while my dining companion felt it was expertly done. The server spent quite a bit of time at our table BS'ing with us and made us feel very welcome.

    Our tab was about $70 before the tip -- I'll definitely be back.

  6. While Le Pichet is, in a way, "French trucker food," I do consider it to be one of my absolutely favorite restaurants anywhere. I used to go in once a week on Saturdays, but that precious little timeslot has been compromised by Matt's in the past few months. :)

    For me, the kicker of Le Pichet is its wine list. There are precious few places in the city where you can get so many tastes of so many reasonably priced wines from a relatively knowledgeable staff.

    Also, it doesn't hurt that its street view gets better with each glass of wine.

  7. Great recipe from Eric Ripert: bake the potato, scoop its guts out and mix with some salmon roe, smoked salmon, sour cream, stuff it back into the potato and then top with chives and caviar.

    I did a few of these at Thanksgiving and they were as interesting as I had thought they would be -- very common ingredients paired with very uncommon ones always raises my eyebrows.

  8. Great looking dinners tonight.

    I seared a couple little cod fillets, stuck some thinly sliced chorizo and (previously frozen) wax beans between them, and had a butter & sherry sauce over it. (From 'A Return to Cooking'.) Had a few glasses of Camraderie Cellars Cabernet Franc with it, followed by a Sauternes and a few ginger cookies.

    My favorite DJ is on our listener-supported radio station, so it was a great match.

  9. The little lady is expecting... so she ate something like ten pickles, some crackers, and an absurd amount of pistachios.

    I had some morbier, a few sweet onion crackers, a vodka-soda-orange-zest cocktail, a handful of (previoulsy frozen) raspberries, and some spicy Turkish sausage. She drank a Coke faster than I could hand it to her. And then more pickles.

    I should learn to how deep-fry pickles.

  10. This is a great topic... I'd also say it's a question of which meals I can make from the cabinet versus what I can make if I stroll down to the butcher and market.

    I'd have to say evenings with cheeses, olives, and associated spreads tends to work well. Though they may seem budget-busting at first, they last long enough to pay off better in the long run than, say, canned or (especially) jarred items. And they're usually more exciting, too :)

    One of my favorite low-cost, easy to stock dishes is a cannelini/great white northern bean and tuna salad. Canned/pouched tuna with aforementioned bean, a glurg or two of EVOO, some ripped up flat leaf pars, and (if it's on hand -- like I said, it pays off) some grated parmesan, you've got a good meal of which a bowl will last a whole movie.

    And let's not forget some dried sausage and hard cheese. Five to six bucks to get ya through three or four days? Not so bad. True, Top Ramen is cheaper. (I eat those raw, maybe I'm alone in that one.)

  11. dark, stormy and rainy in Seattle..... just like in London right???

    Shepards pie! in the dish...


    That Shepard's pie must be perfect for the always rainy Seattle weather :rolleyes:

    Yikes, awfully rainy here in Seattle tonight. I threw together some sundried tomato "tapenade" and had it with a few crackers and slices of aged manchego with a handful of olives to boot. O'Reilly's here, too. :)

    It's a sundried tomato eatin' television watchin' kind of a rainy night.

  12. ...

    Tastes great with Rouge Mocha Porter


    Chufi - Dinner looks great, as did yesterday's cheese dinner

    Yetty - Did you make the dough yourself?



    Oh my... that dinner looks great, but the porter? Have you been to Rogue? I can't belive what a wonderful beer that is. Oh. Heart. Breaking. Need. Rogue. Beer.

    Great looking dinners. Did you throw the tortillas on the grill, too? Sorry for the beer tangent. :)

  13. ...

    This veal ragout has become a family favorite. We often substitute pork. Veal is impossible to find here with any regularity.


    I love this kind of cooking.

    I haven't made a stew in at least a year. This thread raised my eyebrows, but the recipe you pointed to got me off of my rear. I went down to the Pike Place Market (here in Seattle), picked up a few ingredients I was missing, and put together something somewhat like the destintation that the recipe predicts. Here in downtown Seattle we only have two butchers at the Market -- my regular is closed on Sundays -- so I ended up substituting beef shoulder for the veal.

    Normally, I wince when I hear about cinnamon-spiced red meats. I figured it wouldn't kill me, though, and it's turned out surprisingly well. I went a bit off the tracks, as far as the recipe is concerned... had to throw in pimenton (sp?) and gave it a killer viognier... anyway... I'm talking with the later wine's voice now...

    It'll make a great lunch over the next few days.

    Went well with the O'Reilly's pinot noir.

    Thanks for the link, Fifi.

    The beef:


    Just before adding it:


    The final product:


    ...oh, and what I picked at while watching some football games and making this meal :wink:


    (Mimolette breaks my heart.) Obviously, there's quite a bit of cheese leftover. The wine, on the other hand, is gone.

  14. Based on some of the reviews in this thread, I tried to go to Dandelion with two friends last night. We couldn't get in...

    I called in the late afternoon to arrange reservations, but was greeted by an answering machine that told me 1) they don't allow reservations for groups with fewer than four people and 2) they leave half of the room unreserved for walk-in customers. Since there were three of us, we decided to just walk in.

    We dropped by the restaurant around 8:00 and were told by the staff that the restaurant could seat us in "about half an hour" and that we could just go "down the block" to a bar. We didn't see anything in the direction they gave us, so we ended up walking to Market and having a drink at a bar there.

    They called one of our cell phones about half an hour later to tell us the wait would be an additional 25 minutes, so we ordered another round of drinks. By the time the next call came in, we still had to settle with the bartender and walk the five or so blocks back to Dandelion and told them as much.

    Their response? The kitchen is closing any minute. Basically, a "screw you, thanks for waiting." I usually give a place a second chance, but these cats can forget it.

    What's strange is that in the last few years in this city of eating out literally four or five times a week, I haven't even heard of that kind of nonsense.

    Oh, and they stopped serving breakfast. What's up with that? <- added

  15. My personal favorites for (what I call) a real cocktail would have to be any of the following (in no particular order): Cash or Lee at Cyclops and any of Derrick, Eric, or Sandy at Palace Kitchen.

    All of those folks know how to serve cocktails without skimping or shortcutting. Every time I go into Cyclops when Cash is working, my regular drink is on the bar before I'm sitting at it. Gotta love that.

    (my first post:P)

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