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Blue Heron

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  1. A cut and paste belated report w/ photos of my dinner in July at Union Restaurant in downtown Seattle. I will preface it by saying I am a bit biased towards Union, I like Chef Ethan Stowell very much (as do many of us in the PNW!), and have had many good meals here. I enjoyed this one very much, too, and look forward to my next meal there.

    Chilled Corn Soup with Truffle Oil - a nice way to start a summer dinner.


    Dungeness Crab Salad with Avocado Basil & Watercress. A touch of lemon, too. Light and fresh, and I liked the avocado puree which lightly binded it together). Great flavors and feelings in my mouth while eating this dish!


    Chilled Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom (Morels) & Leek Salad and topped w/ Shaved Truffles. Another fresh & summery dish.

    Part 1


    Chilled Cauliflower Soup with Mushroom (Morels) & Leek Salad and topped w/ Shaved Truffles. (those truffles were a wonderful addition!)

    Part 2


    Orrechiette Pasta with Grilled Octopus, Ligurian Olives and Parsley

    I learned how to make this dish the week before in Ethan's cooking class! This is kind of a filling dish. Great full flavors, but I split this with my husband as I knew I could not eat it all myself, and I don't like to fill up on pasta :rolleyes: .


    Hubby's Lamb's Tongue w/ Potato Salad. The 2 bites I had tasted fabulous!


    For me: Seared Ahi Tuna with (diced) Green Beans in a butter sauce and sprinkled w/ Red Pepper. Tuna was warm on the outside, rare on the inside, with good texture & delicious.


    Roasted Squab with fresh Fig Confiture & Salsa. And more Morels, yum. Sorry the photo is dark.


    Strawberry Sorbet with Strawberry Consume


    Chocolate Profiterole and Cognac Ice Cream. This ice cream was amazing, as was the chocolate.


    We drank a 2003 St. Innocence Pinot Noir Temperance Hill Vinyard.

    Going from memory, my favorite bites or dishes that stood above the rest were the Crab Salad (always a favorite), the Lamb's Tongue, and the Cognac Ice cream w/Chocolate Profiterole. :) . On a previous occasion, the Squab was my favorite. They also make an excellent crispy Sea Bass dish.

    This is great restaurant, I highly recommend going if you have not been there yet.

    Service was also very good. I enjoyed the tempo of our meal, which was not to have long lapses between courses.

    Union Restaurant

    1400 1st Ave, Seattle (corner of 1st and Union, near Pike Place Mkt).

    (206) 838-8000

    Some links to other discussions on Union:

    Rovers or Union/ Seattle, Fine Dining in Seattle

    Sunday Dinners at Union, Oktoberfest and more...

    Ethan Stowell (Union) Cooking Class

    Pike Place Market, Union, etc...

  2. Do members know Olympia Jane from the PNW chowhound board? I think she is a member here, too. Ages ago I remember she mentioned she cans her own tuna nicoise or tuna antipasto. This is just part of what she has posted about it... "you can can your own Tuna Nicoise with fresh tuna, kalamata olives, capers, garlic, onions, tiny cornichons...so amazing. So fun. So rewarding...I digress, I wax poetic about Home Canning!"

    The full link

    I think it is tricky though (not to mention dangerous if not done properly), and I would love to get more details on how this is done.

    I am also one of the ones who lucked into Tuna (thank you DRColby)!


  3. I've had 2 meals there, and both were great, with good service, including being able to move to a better table when it became free. I would love to go again soon if anyone is up for it.

    BTW, when I asked, our waiter said they source some of their herbs ingredients from Min grocery, located behind them. When I went there afterwards, I found them very nice and helpful, in a small store kind of way.

  4. Wow. I hadn't heard the Scarlett Tree had a fire. Too bad. I didn't go there often, but years ago I lived a block away on 67th & Roosevelt, so would pop over for breakfast sometimes, or once in a blue moon sit at the bar and watch their cable tv sports channel after work. I only managed to get over once for the night time jazz/blues thing, however the vibe at night just wasn't my cup of tea.

  5. Where did you end up going?

    I would also recommend Canlis for an occasion like this. I attended a combo shareholders/retirement dinner party in their back room recently, and the food, wine, service and view were all top notch. I think there were about 20-25 of us back there. One highlight of the evening was they were serving Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon all night long... :rolleyes: .

  6. Thank you for the review crosparantoux. Especially the good news about your cod and truffle dish. That sounds so good.

    My only experience there was for a 3 course lunch last Nov. during the 25 for $25 promo (lunch $12.50). This was my write up in Nov:

    ... I left with mixed feelings (good fresh seafood, but not outstanding preparations, overall). My first course was Fried Catfish w/ hot-sweet honey mustard vinaigrette. This was excellent. Several perfect crispy pieces of catfish were served over a vinaigrette that I liked more than I thought I would, (it was more like a sauce), and topped with the most delicious thin crispy fried onion rings.

    My entree was blackened coho salmon w/ blue cheese butter, served over onion confit and topped with... more of those crispy fried onion rings. I was a bit onion ringed out by the time the salmon dish arrived, (however redundent, but I did eat them!). I thought there were too many competing flavors in this dish that didn't really come together well for me, and my husband agreed. The salmon was a bit overcooked, and the seasoning they used for blackening was not among the better ones I've tasted. They use Old Bay seasoning, which was predominate in both the blackened salmon and the fish n fin soup that my husband ordered. In fact the restaurant likes Old Bay seasoning so much they also have it as a condiment at the table (edit to add: :blink:).

    Dessert for 2 was Baked Alaska, and flamed with alcohol tableside. It was a huge portion, and could have fed 4 easily. It tasted pretty good, a chocolate cake bottom, blue huckleberry ice cream interior, and then toasted & alcohol laced meringue. We were so full by the time we finished that we skipped dinner that night. Service was good, too.

    Also, from 3-6pm, Oceannaire's happy hour includes 1/2 price oysters on the half shell. I'm not sure if that's every day, or M-F.

  7. I had a couple of red snapper ceviche tostados at Casa Feliz, the new place on Alki Beach, yesterday. "Traditional Mexican Tostado w/ fresh red snapper and onion, cucumber, cilantro, avocado, carrots & tomatoes." The fish tasted very fresh, the tortilla perfectly thin and crispy to the last bite, but I found the overall dish was a bit bland, imo (although I have no other red snapper ceviche experience to compare it to).


    A google search of Seattle ceviche...

    Seastar: " there's a halibut ceviche that's almost a salad, tossed with cilantro, onions, and jalapeños in a tangy pico de gallo sauce;"

    Bandoleone: "ceviche with pineapple salsa"

    Nishino: "scallop, shrimp and whitefish served ceviche-style"

    Tango: "Ceviché

    Our ceviches are

    a combination of

    various food styles,

    ingredients and

    imagination - there

    are as many ways to

    make ceviche as there

    are days in the year, enjoy!

    sample menu...

    Ecuadorian Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche 9.00

    roasted tomatoes, lime, avocado and chilies

    Northwest Escabeche 9.00

    pickled herring, jalapeño,

    carrot flowers, malanga chips

    Ceviche Mixta 10.00

    mussels, clams, calamare, baby

    octopus in a horseradish cucumber

    vinagreta with sesame seeds

    Oysters del Mercado Market Price

    a selection of northwest varieties ceviche sampler

    three 18.00 four 24.00 five 30.00"

  8. Had dinner there last night for Valentine's Day, here's the menu:

    That menu looks good. We were going to go for Valentine's day lunch but from across the street it appeared to be closed (chairs upside down on tables), so we walked down to Pike Place Market and had a nice lunch w/window table at Place Pigalle instead.

  9. The Lighthouse restaurant on Alki beach has been closed for remodeling and will re-open as Chez Million, a French restaurant. Looks pretty glitzy inside with new chandeliers, wall paper, artwork, furniture, etc. and looks almost ready to open.

    A new Mexican restauarant called Casa Feliz Mexican Grill & Bar is opening this week (following a remodel) on Alki beach in the spot that used to be Mamey's Cuban restaurant. It is directly below Siam ' Pura, a fairly new Thai restaurant (that I like) that replaced the Italian place that was there previously.

  10. When I looked up the planning on the City of Seattle site, it didn't mention a hotel, either. Hope it doesn't happen.

    Project #2404965 , 2536 ALKI AVE SW, in Design Review, but no permit yet. The land is currently occupied by a Pizza by the Slice place that I didn't even realize was there, as well as Alki Mail Dispatch, which is moving, & Surf Boutique...and next to Dukes Restaurant.

    I had an occasion to eat at Spuds earlier this month. The fries were great, the fried prawns had improved from my last visit, but I'm still not that keen on the coating they use.

  11. ... We went for lunch at Takohachi a few days ago and my husband and I agree, it is probably the best fried rice we have ever eaten! I took your rec and ordered the mackerel, which was very tasty.  I don't think I'd ever had it before except as sushi.  This was a rather large beautiful piece of fish that I shared with my husband, as a little mackerel goes a long way with me.  I took a photo and will post it soon.  I found the service a bit slow, but I think they were understaffed the day I was there, 1 waitress with all tables full (note, the place is small, though).

    This is my long overdue photo of our lunch at Takohachi.. from top down, miso soup, mackerel w/ pureed daikon on side. Bowl of bacon fried rice, (forget what the tiny bowl is), steamed rice topped w/housemade furikame (that came with hub's lunch), salad w/ 2 croquettes and bowl of udon (more of hub's lunch). Quite tasty, all of it.


  12. Ohmygod! A hotel at Alki! How awful!!!!!  I wonder what kind of hoops the owner had to jump through to get that approved. I've always thought a B&B would be cool, but that's just too much.

    I've heard that another grocery store may go into the Alki Grocery space.

    I attended the Alki Community Council meeting and learned that area is not zoned for hotels, but the owner is trying to get it rezoned...so the hotel is not a done deal yet. If the hotel including 2 restaurants doesn't go up, condos will go up in that space.

    Also, in the future, parking down at Alki may get more difficult, because some in the neighborhood are trying to get the parking rezoned with time limits in the residential area in afternoons and evenings for non residents... still in the works as well. That could possibly affect anyone planning on dining in the Alki beach area for more than 2 hours as parking near restaurants will become even tighter than it already is. We'll have to see what happens.

    I had lunch yesterday at Siam' Pura, upstairs with a window table and excellent view of the beach. I ordered from the lunch menu, Bangkok Beef (thin slices of beef stir fried w/ mushrooms, onions, green onions and sesame seeds) and a small cup of chicken w/coconut milk, galangal, mushrooms soup that was excellent. Neither dish had heat though, and I don't know if that was my fault for not asking for 2 stars or I didn't read the menu closely enough. But the quality of ingredients and flavor (especially the soup) was excellent. I look forward to returning.

  13. I'm bringing this thread to the top to update and relate a couple of changes and upcoming changes for Alki beach (W. Seattle).

    A new 48 room hotel is in the works for Alki Beach (right next to Dukes Restaurant on Alki). It will also include 2 new restaurants, a day spa and underground parking. 4 stories high. ugh. I don't think it (the hotel) fits with the neighborhood. I hope at least the 2 new restaurants will be good.

    The Celtic Swell Pub and Restaurant has replaced the old Liberty deli (across the street from Liberty statue). I have not eaten there yet, but they have a very warm & inviting gas fireplace insisde, to go along with the Irish and pub menu. I think they are also open for breakfast on weekends.

    The large grocery store on Alki Ave. that was not too long ago renovated has folded, as of a few weeks ago. I wonder what will happen with that large space?

    A Thai restaurant has replaced the Italian place who was upstairs of what used to be Mamey's Cuban restaurant. Mameys has also gone out of business, and renovations are underway for a small Mexican restaurant in that space. I hope it's a taqueria!

  14. Thank you Rocky for organizing this Taiwanese banquet for us.

    There were so many in attendance, and the way the tables were arranged, I regret I did not get to meet everyone before the night was over, and also regret I wasn't able to go to Ledlund's before hand for the pre-func.

    The highlights for me were the lobster dish... major delicious!, crispy duck (albiet a little salty), shredded pork w/preserved mustard greens (I will try to make this at home sometime), the crispy honeydew fish, and the fried rice. I didn't care for the green onion pancake (too heavy), but the flaky 1000 layer pancake was delicious. Their version of sticky rice in banana leaves is one of best I've enjoyed.

  15. LainerX and I had lunch at Takohachi yesterday, and the saba shioyaki is to die for.  It comes with your choice of steamed rice, curry rice, or fried rice.  My husband recently couldn't stop talking about the fried rice, which I never usually order, so I got it.  OH MY GOD.  It's better than any fried rice I've ever had, mostly due to the very generous amount of BACON.  And the mackerel was stunning.

    We had a lot of fun reading the little posters on the wall that have descriptions of some of the dishes on their menu.  Our favorite quote was "You can make your own hotness," which we thought might be a good headline for the cover of Cosmo or Maxim.    :biggrin:

    Thank you for the recommendation Kathy. We went for lunch at Takohachi a few days ago and my husband and I agree, it is probably the best fried rice we have ever eaten! I took your rec and ordered the mackerel, which was very tasty. I don't think I'd ever had it before except as sushi. This was a rather large beautiful piece of fish that I shared with my husband, as a little mackerel goes a long way with me. I took a photo and will post it soon. I found the service a bit slow, but I think they were understaffed the day I was there, 1 waitress with all tables full (note, the place is small, though).

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