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Everything posted by Fish

  1. We hit clarklewis on Thursday night - it was fabulous. I really like the menu, and being able to order small and large versions of each item - one of my favourite restaurants in S Africa was doing that years ago, and I never figured out why no-one here was doing it. Everything looked so good, and we finally settled on: Bread and butter (kind of a pain that you have to order and pay for bread, but not a big deal) Artichoke salad (thinly sliced raw artichokes with parmesan and lemon juice) Minestrone soup Lamb for me (small order = one chop !) Squab for my SO A side of carrots. Everything was very, very tasty. We liked the ambiance and decor. And it was very reasonably priced. After our meal at Zoe in Seattle on Wednesday night, we were delighted with how light all the dishes were. All in all, a great recommendation - thanks Jim ! We also hit the Pearl Bakery several times (we were staying nearby), as well as Ken's and St Honore (the choquettes are amazing !). We also got to have a few tidbits from Cafe Azul (*sniff*). Lovely town you have there - we'll be back, if only for the bakeries ! - S
  2. In the interests of scooping the papers, rumour has it that Thomas Soukakos, original owner of El Greco, is climbing back in the saddle and will be opening a Mediterranean deli type place on Capitol Hill sometime in the next couple of months. Thomas is a great guy and his food is excellent - I can't wait to see what he's got for us. - S
  3. OK, I'm totally going to regret this when I can't get a table but ... why bother with Crave when you can go to El Greco ? Good service, delicious food (it's what Crave aspires to be) and a breakfast cook (Romero - great guy!) who, like any competent chef, can put out six meals with sides at the same time. Oh, and the French toast, which is soaked overnight, is easily the best in Seattle and believe me, I've tried many of the other supposedly good examples (Cafe Campagne, Etta's, Coastal Kitchen amongst others). We go to El Greco often. OK, very often. Every now and again we feel we should try someplace else to keep things interesting, and we're always disappointed. OK, now forget everything I said. Keep going to Crave or wherever, and make sure the lines at El Greco stay reasonable As for Crave, I was very excited to see their menu when they were about to open. We went there for dinner a few weeks after they opened, and were very disappointed. I had the roast chicken, my SO a gnocchi dish: the chicken was boring boring boring, and the gnocchi were unremarkable. The desserts were OK - certainly nothing remarkable. We won't be going back.
  4. Flying Fish. It's a great restaurant, the entrees are mostly under $20, they have veggie options if I recall. If that seems a bit excessive, the cafe at Ray's Boathouse is where we usually take non-foodie out-of-towners. Decent food, something for everyone and a wonderful view. - S
  5. OK, PDX'ers, we're coming down for a couple of nights and need a good place to go for dinner. Nothing super-high end, just well executed neighbourhood food. We'd normally hit Cafe Azul, but ... *sniff*. Oh well, at least we get to have dinner with the Archibalds. I'm also looking for good bread - I've heard Portland has some kick-ass bakeries. Where where where ? - S
  6. Surprising that the bread is bland, since it's made with pork fat. Yup, if you're vegetarian or otherwise opposed to eating pork, don't go near the bread at La Spiga. We asked them many times if an apparently vegetarian crescione contained any meat, and were always assured that it did not. I'm not sure about you, but to me, pork fat is meat. Since we discovered this, we haven't been back to the place - this is one restaurant whose closing I'm looking forward to. - S
  7. Hey Carla Your pizza dough is sublime ! It's the only restaurant pizza I'll eat - excellent ! I was the freak who stopped by a few months ago and asked to check out the dough. For those who haven't been to Lago, it rules. We're there every other week or so, and usually order the veggie antipasto plate (plenty for four) plus a few other goodies: favourites include the fabulous steak, the lasagna (amazing) and, of course, the pizzas. Ahh, the pizzas. Some of you may have come to the pizza party last summer over at chez Really Nice! - that's the level of pizza I expect, and Lago is the only place that delivers it. Thin delicious crust, tasty tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, fired in a not-too-shabby dome oven. If you haven't been, get over there. - S
  8. Ask for John at Wholefoods (big guy with a beard). I bought a bunch of lamb from him for a big party, and he was great. - S
  9. I just spoke to Claire and Shawna (the Archibalds are old family friends). They're very sad about the end of Cafe Azul, but alas, the end has come. Anyway, if anyone is interested in buying the restaurant, I have the details of who to talk to - PM if you're interested. Claire was very gratified to hear about all the good things you guys have been saying about her food. Hopefully once she's feeling up to it I'll be able to convince her to do a Q&A here. - S
  10. I'm having a problem getting my creme brulees (cremes brulee ?) perfect. The custard is smooth, but when I bake it, some of the portions develop a soft, foamy top that I don't like. Is there a trick to getting a smooth, firm top ? The two things I suspect I'm doing wrong are: 1) Beating the custard with an electric beater rather than a whisk. The surface gets foamy, but I skim all the foam off. Still, I wonder if using a whisk, at least when adding the cream to the egg mixture would reduce foaming. 2) Amount of water in the bain marie. Could it be that I don't enough (or that I have too) water ? I fill to just below the top of the custard in the ramekins. Anyone ? - S
  11. We went a couple of months ago, just after they opened. Bottom line: very good. There were 8 of us, so we did they Supreme (I think that's what they call it), where for $20/person, they bring out pretty much everything on the menu. Everything was delicious, though I seem to recall the lamb disappearing quicker than everything else. My only complaint was that you're expected to eat *everything* with your hands: couscous, hot chicken dishes, etc etc etc. Not only is it messy (though they give you a huge napkin to cover yourself) it's also impractical. It's definitely worth going though - just make sure you practice eating couscous with your bare hands first. - S
  12. I haven't been to Cafe Nola in Winslow for years (5 or 6 at least). Does it still exist ? It used to be wonderful - is it still good ? Other Bainbridge suggestions ? - S
  13. A friend of mine asked me to post here. He's looking for Portland recommendations. Nothing toooooo expensive, but $20-ish entrees would be fine. Any suggestions ? - S
  14. Guess I won't be eating there, then ! Sounds pretty horrible. OTOH, I make a point of never, ever eating out on Valentines Day. It's much nicer to have a nice romatic dinner at home and avoid the madness of restaurants. - S
  15. As someone who has a very unfortunate reaction to alcohol (3 drops and I fall asleep ! ) I really appreciate and enjoy the non-alcoholic "cocktails". The "Clear Conscience" is especially delicious, and made me think about using cucumber for flavouring in new ways. And, oh yeah, the food is excellent. Seattle needs more places just like this: interesting (but not fussy) preparations with delicious local ingredients. I just wish they'd change the menu more often. And maybe scale back the truffle oil a bit. - S
  16. What's the scoop ? I've driven/ridden by a few times and it looks good from the outside. Is the food any good ? The user reviews on Citysearch aren't promising, but you never know with Citysearch. - S
  17. How can I keep my white plastic cutting boards white ? Bleach works well, but I really don't like the smell of the stuff (not to mention it's fairly dangerous stuff). Suggestions ? - S
  18. Right now, Dahlia Bakery have a special corn bread available. It's a regular wheat loaf, but with whole kernels of corn baked in. I'm sitting here eating a thick slice, smeared with butter and topped with a pinch of salt, and it's fantastic. I think it's an August special, so get some while you can. Wow! - S
  19. Fish

    Summer truffles

    So where can I buy these ? Would it be a disaster if I just used bottled black truffles ? - S
  20. Not that I know of - it's not like there are more restaurants in town than you'd find here. Of course, the fact that the winelands are so spectacular there (300 year old estates etc) makes the whole area a major tourist destination, kind of like Napa, whereas the Washington wine country seems a whole lot more industrial. - S
  21. Fish

    Summer truffles

    I've been fascinated by the corn agnolotti recipe in the French Laundry cookbook for a while, and I think I'll have enough time in the next few weeks to attempt it. I was reading through the recipe earlier today, and noticed that it calls for summer truffles. What's the difference between a summer truffle and a "regular" truffle ? Anyone know where I can get one ? Thanks - S
  22. This has bothered me for a while. In S Africa ("the old country"), and particularly in the winelands near Cape Town, there are many (more than 10) world-class restaurants, serving incredibly good food. Almost every wine farm has a good place to eat. Here in Seattle, if you go any further out of town than Woodinville, you're not likely to find anything special. A really fun thing to do on a weekend was to go for a nice drive to a wine farm, eat a nice lunch, and then go home. Why aren't there more good country restaurants here ? - S
  23. Michael, In "The Making of a Chef" you wrote about a bread you made involving chilis and cornmeal. I don't suppose, somewhere in your notes, you have a more information than what was in the book ? That bread sounded fantastic ! Thanks for all the wonderful books - I've read all of them over (and over and over) ... currently re-reading "Soul of a Chef" in preparation for my second visit to The French Laundry, next month. Reading about the care and effort put into the food made me appreciate it so much more when I ate there last year. - S
  24. Le Pichet is in the free ride zone. Hop on a bus heading towards the stadium, and hop off again in Pioneer Square. From there, it's a short walk to the stadium. Hope you have fun at the game. - S P.S. David, we really wanted to eat at your place over the weekend, but we ran out of nights and stomach space.
  25. Hmm, I've never had undercooked fries there. They've all been perfectly cooked, delicious, and gone in under a minute Glad you liked it. - S
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