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[Seattle] Farewell & Welcome: Closings, Transformations, Openings (Part 2)


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Just to be clear, the menu was written something like this (from memory, so paraphrasing a bit):

"Lobster and Caviar"

Lobster mushroom bisque with a seared diver scallop and beluga lentils.

Also, although I agree that it is using a similar wordplay as the french laundry, the chef used to work there. Not sure if that makes it OK or not. But in my mind, it makes it more acceptable.

Speaking of Alinea and the topic of this discussion. Do you think a place like Alinea, minibar, or el Bulli could make it in Seattle. Personally, I am not sure they would find an audience here. This is what I mean by the statement you pointed out.

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Have no fear of Elemantal. Here's the secret. Show up after 10pm on a weeknight. Let Phred serve you the 3 course menu+wine pairing. I think it came to $42 total! That's including everything! They refuse to take tips! Expect to stay till midnight and take a cab home. You'll have a wonderful time!

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Thanks for the tips, hhlodesign. I know I'm going to have to gather my courage and try it soon!

Also: Bal Mar in Ballard is opening on Friday. I don't know about DirectTV, Budweiser and Bacardi, but the place will have two bars (one upstairs, one downstairs), plus billiards upstairs. And food of some sort -- I wish I'd convinced the guy I was talking to outside to sneak me a menu.

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ok, I totally see what you are talking about. However don't you think that by adding quotes or mearly having the servers reinforce the actual ingrediants it would halt the misunderstanding?

I personally think that it is a clear rip off from the French Laundry but that is just me......

Other restaurants do the fun play on words but I always notice that they really make a point of describing it. Unless you are talking about someplace like Alinea in which case anything goes!

since i can't afford to go to the french laundry once a month, i'd totally welcome rip-off in seattle!

and practically every dish on FL's menu has been copied by one restaurant or another. crush serves a coffee and doughnut dessert. i've seen their caesar salad at a few places. oysters and pearls, too. what about the fact that per se has the same items as french laundry? is it okay because they're both run by Keller?

if using clever words to describe dishes is a rip-off, there are hundreds of restaurants in this country that are guilty of that: crush, crave here in seattle. wd~50, db and aix in new york, tru in chicago, etc.

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Does anyone know the status of the new Farestart Cafe that's going to be on Westlake?  Are they still planning on moving there? 

Yes. They've raised most of the $8 million needed to purchase and renovate the building so they can double the size of their restaurant, their contract meals businesses, and their training programs for homeless men and women. The plan is to start construction soon and finish late in 2006. In the meantime they continue to serve daily lunch and weekly guest chef dinners at their Belltown restaurant. More info including the guest chef lineup is on the FareStart website.

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Went back to Bistro Magnolia last night and I have found Steak Frites nirvana. Met up there last night for drinks, tapas, and dinner with four others. We tried out several of the tapas, including the Casualita de la dia, the Tortilla de Papas, the Gambas al Ajillo, the Pintxos Moruno, and the Croquetas. All of these were very well executed and you could easily make a meal out of tapas at the bar.

After drinks and tapas we went into the dining room and got ready to chow down. We ran our poor waitress ragged with questions that she kept going back to the kitchen to get answers for, she was very nice all night and very enthusiastic about learning about the cuisine. We started with pate, foie gras, oie de volailles, and salmon carpaccio. The pate consisted of three types, a liver mousses pate and two country pates, all made in house and very good. The foie was pan fried and served on pineapple with a pomegranate sauce and nicely done. The oie de volailles had wonderfully done chicken livers with a nice bunch of mixed greens. It was a very liver heavy starter course that we closed out with the salmon carpaccio that I enjoyed very much, though a few felt there was too much citrus.

For dinner three of us had the steak frites, one had the lamb stew, and one ordered the roast chicken. The roast chicken came with a garlic glaze that was heavenly and the chicken itself was done incredibly well, moist and tender which we all know is harder to do than it sounds. The three steak frites were all ordered to different degrees of rareness and they ascertained very carefully just how rare we wanted them, and they came out all done to the exact right degree of rareness as ordered and what we had in mind. The crust on the steaks was incredible, a nice crunch as you bit into the steak that should be the envy of anyone who makes a steak. It was fantastic!

We finished with a cheese plate, chocolate mousse, lemon tart, and chocolate souffle. We also shared a glass of Pedro Ximenez that was the last glass in the house but they will be getting more so don't despair. This was one fo the best things I've ever put in my mouth port-wise, smooth, velvety, chocolatey, figs, light raisin, did I mention smooth, wonderfully integrated, just bliss.

If you like traditional bistro fare you have to get to Bistro Magnolia.

Rocky

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Have no fear of Elemantal. Here's the secret. Show up after 10pm on a weeknight. Let Phred serve you the 3 course menu+wine pairing. I think it came to $42 total! That's including everything! They refuse to take tips! Expect to stay till midnight and take a cab home. You'll have a wonderful time!

Hmm, pretty difficult to imagine getting up to the 5:30 a.m. alarm!

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Have no fear of Elemantal. Here's the secret. Show up after 10pm on a weeknight. Let Phred serve you the 3 course menu+wine pairing. I think it came to $42 total! That's including everything! They refuse to take tips! Expect to stay till midnight and take a cab home. You'll have a wonderful time!

Hmm, pretty difficult to imagine getting up to the 5:30 a.m. alarm!

we got there when they opened at 5:30 pm and were seated immediately. we were there for 5 hours, and had a great time! the food was good, not outstanding...needed some seasoning, phred was entertaining. it was a very enjoyable dinner.

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Here's an example of what I mean:

The "Lobster and Caviar" I refered to above has since been taken off the menu. It seems that too many people are ordering it and sending it back to the kitchen when it arrives with no lobster or caviar in it. I should note that the menu description says exactly what is in the dish. While this kind of wordplay is fun and inventive at a place like the French Laundry, it didn't quite go over very well here in Seattle.

It seems I have gotten my information wrong. Turns out the "Lobster and Caviar" was taken off the menu for no other reason than the fact that lobster mushrooms were reaching the end of the season and were not up to the chef's standards. Its too bad because it really was a fabulous dish! Looks like I may have to retract my opinion about the sophistication of the Seattle dining public.

That being said, go try Veil! I'd love to hear other opinions of the place.

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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Have no fear of Elemantal. Here's the secret. Show up after 10pm on a weeknight. Let Phred serve you the 3 course menu+wine pairing. I think it came to $42 total! That's including everything! They refuse to take tips! Expect to stay till midnight and take a cab home. You'll have a wonderful time!

Hmm, pretty difficult to imagine getting up to the 5:30 a.m. alarm!

we got there when they opened at 5:30 pm and were seated immediately. we were there for 5 hours, and had a great time! the food was good, not outstanding...needed some seasoning, phred was entertaining. it was a very enjoyable dinner.

I've also been several times and have always gone about 5:30 PM (after work) and been seated right away, had a great time, enjoyed the food, wine, space and Phred. There is a thread about elemental I think - I will try to hunt it up.

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Belle Epicurean opened this week - 1206 4th Ave (Olympic Hotel). Coffee and pastry - "Belle's Buns" and more. These are some mighty rich treats.

Also, the annual holiday store at the carousel in Westlake Park is a NY Cupcake Store. Annual in that there always seems to be an empty storefront filled by a short-lived enterprise. It's down the row from See's.

Edited by tsquare (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Tried out Bistro Magnolia last night and all of my hopes and dreams for a good neighborhood bistro may be answered. First impressions are very positive for me and I could see myself falling in love with this place. Located on NE 65th in Ravenna right near McCarthy Schiering they are open until 10 on Tue and Wed and until 11 on Th-Sun, with a weekend brunch served from 9-3. There are two menus, one is a tapas menu served in the bar until midnight, heavy on the Spanish tapas and it looks pretty good. The other menu is the bistro menu which has everything my heart could desire, moules mariniere, steak frites, steak tartare, roast chciken, onion soup, pate, charcuterie, on and on. I was so happy to see these things I had a hard time ordering, I wanted it all.

We settled on Moules Mariniere and Frites, Onion Soup, and the special of the night lamb stew, followed by Tarte Tatin. We were also treated to a couple of glasses of champagne which was a really nice touch by our wonderful waitress, who was really nice and tried very hard even though she admitted that she was still learning the menu and was quite willing to go ask the chef anything. The Moules were exellent and the frites were well executed, and the lamb stew was sublime. Speaking with the chef later he said that he would love to have a group of foodies in at some point so he could make dishes that normally wouldn't sell. There are rotating specials for each day of the week, the highlights of which for me are Cassoulet on Sunday, and Thursday alternating gibier or short ribs. I will be back and hopefully everything will remain wonderful.

Rocky

Just a quick bit of agreement here. 4 of us had dinner at Magnolia Bistro (which is strangely in Ravenna) on Wed. night. Two very good steak frites, and two even better roasted chickens. The chickens, as mentioned elsewhere on this thread I believe, were both moist and well-flavored. For some reason, I think juicy is a weird word to apply to poultry, and moist is just a weird word. But moist will have to do. Anyway, I hope this place halts the seemingly endless parade of restaurants in this spot.

-Robin

Robin Tyler McWaters

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A new restaurant has opened in the old Cafe Zaffarano spot in West Seattle (next to Mission). There was no sign with a name and no parking spot for me to pull into and check it out. Hopefully I'll be able to drop in this weekend. Aside from hearing that the Mission owners bought the spot, I don't know anything else about it. From driving by twice, it didn't look like an extension of Mission. Anyone have additional info?

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Torero's Mexican in Belltown has papered up the windows and put out a closed sign. It's the former location of Fandango.

It's a great space. I hope it's not cursed.

Beat you to it - see November 10 post. I believe it is going lounge style. Part of the current wave in Belltown and beyond. Tough space really. Bad makeover - hope the new guys fix it up.

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Moxie is definitely open. I peeked in the windows on my way home from work, and the remodel looks great. A glance at the menu revealed some delicious sounding items, including the hilariously titled "lamburgers" and a wild mushroom mac and cheese. They also had a happy hour menu with plenty of options. I'll be in to check it out soon for sure.

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A new restaurant has opened in the old Cafe Zaffarano spot in West Seattle (next to Mission). There was no sign with a name and no parking spot for me to pull into and check it out. Hopefully I'll be able to drop in this weekend. Aside from hearing that the Mission owners bought the spot, I don't know anything else about it. From driving by twice, it didn't look like an extension of Mission. Anyone have additional info?

Saw a small ad in the Weekly - the new space is the Blackbird Bistro. Same owners, same executive chef as Mission, different concept, different look. Their website says they'll be serving "new American bistro-style cuisine with a focus on local, seasonal, and organic produce along with grain-fed meats, poultry and North West seafood." They also state "In support of NRDC and SEAWEB we buy only wild consciously caught seafood & avoid heavily fished species. Our produce is primarily from local Full Circle Farm we substitute with California organics when necessary."

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Their website says they'll be serving "new American bistro-style cuisine with a focus on local, seasonal, and organic produce along with grain-fed meats, poultry and North West seafood."

WOW! Wonder how they ever came up with this concept! :shock:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Their website says they'll be serving "new American bistro-style cuisine with a focus on local, seasonal, and organic produce along with grain-fed meats, poultry and North West seafood."

WOW! Wonder how they ever came up with this concept! :shock:

:laugh:

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

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