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25 for $25


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Dinner sounds great--every bit as fantastic as the one Mr. Lyram and I attended last month at Lark! We ate at Union earlier this month, thought it was wonderful, but not as interesting as this tasting menu sounds. We couldn't come for this one because we're leaving for a month in Italy on Sunday and we're saving our dining money for Venice, Milan and an amazing place we've heard of near Padua called Le Calandre that does a 19 course tasting menu. Yes, it's a tough and terrible responsibility, but the Mister and I decided to save all of you nice people from the dual heartbreaks of international travel and foreign food.

ciao--once we're back and not completely broke again, dinner someplace? Maybe in June?

--Lyram

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Sounds like you all did it up right at Union. I'm very sorry to have missed it, but will take solace in the fact that I had dinner at West in Vacouver last night.... :wink:

....and yes, I am a bastard....

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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I've eaten at Tulio once on a $25 meal, very good- nice rustic Italian, good sized portions, wonderful service. Assaigo many times but just the other day for the $12.50 lunch. They give you a list of about 25 things to decide on! I like Assagio, mostly known for their great pasta and sauces. Serafina is a personal favorite. My husband and I had our wedding reception there last Sept. They have wonderful ambiance, jazz, and the food! mmmmmmm. Was going to try Vivande on Tuesday, why were you waved off? What's the lowdown??

So for your pick if you want someplace romantic go to Serafina, Tried and true pasta- Assiago. Rustic and good- Tulio.

:)

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Was going to try Vivande on Tuesday, why were you waved off? What's the lowdown??

It's very uneven, and their 25/25 menu is a complete snoozer (and unchanged from the last 25/25).

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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I had an enjoyable $12.50 pre-fixe lunch at Wild Ginger yesterday.

Crispy Spring Roll (pork filled) wrapped w/lettuce leaf and bean sprouts served w/ Vietnamese dipping sauce - outstanding

Coconut Rice w/ Curry Chicken (Chinese Straits style chicken and coconut rice steamed in a banana leaf)-beautifully presented w/ their famous Szechwan style green beans along side that I love. - Very good if slightly oily, huge portion and I took half home.

Coconut Gelato - excellent if you like coconut, which I do. Served at the perfect temperature it was filled with lots of bits of coconut in it.

Hubby had:

Barbeque Sol (2 fantastic small savory flaky pastries filled with sweet barbeque meat, pork I think- major yum)

Thai Beef Salad (Flank steak grilled, sliced, and topped on watercress, lettuce w/ shallots and mint in a spicy fish sauce dressing) w/ side dish of Baby Bok Choy- very good

Coconut Gelato (other choices include Mango Sorbet, Ginger Ice Cream)

The other entree choice which we didn't try was:

Pork Curry Nonya Style w/ Snap Peas - Snake River pork w/ lemongrass, tumeric, lime leaf slow cooked in a house made coconut curry.

Other starters choices which we didn't try: Vegetable Roll, Chicken Pot Sticker

The place was packed (we sat at the bar). Business is good there.

edit to add: In the past there have been reports and I've also rec'd service that was on the cool or brusque side. I'm happy to report there was none of that yesterday. Even though the place was busy, we were greeted and seated by a hostess immediately, and our waitress could not have been more friendly, smiling, and helpful, and at the same time not obtrusive about it. And on the way out a different hostess, also busy, went out of her way to catch our attention to say goodbye, thank us and wish us a good day with a genuine smile.

Edited by Blue Heron (log)
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I took advantage of 25/12.50 at lunch yesterday at 727 Pine. It was nice, but nothing spectacular. No Kobe. Duck confit salad - okay, alot of red cabbage, all pushed into a tuna can formed style of presentation. Crispy chicken with baby vegetables in a tasty sauce - demiglace? Rich chocolate mousse atop a chocolate wafer with a pool of blood orange soup. That was pretty good. Place was pretty quiet.

Did notice the bar menu has a few infusions (Vodka with assorted herbs/fruits/spices/vegetables) that are offered at happy hour for reduced prices as well. Sadly, their pizza ovens have been converted to gas. Did they ever serve pizza - or just flatbread?

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Thanks Ms Ramsey, we are now in the throws of deciding on a different venue for tomorrow- the last day of the promotion.

Btw I saw this today:

http://ads.nwsource.com/ads/promo/25for25_...ecretdiner.html

I have to also give my vote for best 25 for $25 to Wild Ginger's dinner. Now who wants to help me decide where to go tomorrow? :)

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I have a friend who's flaking out on me for our dinner tomorrow (Wed) at Union at 6pm. If there is someone out there who wants a rez for two, or if there's a single (heh, not as in unmarried, married single welcome) out there who wants to join me, that would be great.

I have to cancel today if I'm going to give this rez up, so thought I'd throw this out there in case there's someone reading.

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wish i could join you tomorrow at union. we checked it out at long last on sunday and were very impressed. our meal was very similar to the pictures posted above. i was especially partial to the duck and the vanilla creme caramel (and that's not usually a dessert i'd order), but it was all very good. i'll definitely be returning post-promotion and recommending to others.

thanks for the recommendation, egullet!

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Anita (ScorchedPalate) and I did the 25 for $25 menu at Brasa on Monday night with another couple.

Before our friends arrived, we started with cocktails at the bar: Maritime ale for me and a devastatingly stiff champoire (champagne and pear brandy) for Anita. To her credit, the bartender caught us comparing notes and making faces over Anita's drink and immediately offered to remake it: "Is it too strong?" It was and she did. Very tasty little concoction.

The food was...uneven. My starter -- beef carpaccio with sel gris, white truffle oil, arugula, and shaved parmesan -- had way too much salt and I couldn't taste the beef at all underneath all the other stuff. Anita's spinach and vinaigrette with goat cheese and shiitake salad was overdressed ("Completely sodden," snorts Anita, "And just one little piece of goat cheese"). One of our friends ordered the spanish calamari and offered a taste as they arrived. I think that he liked them, because they were gone when I looked up. I never got a sample, but in retrospect I'm glad that I didn't get my fingers too close.

The same friend ordered the paella and had good things to say about it. My petit filet was much better than my starter. It was topped with a touch of Cabrales compound butter, a reduction sauce, and served over potato puree. A well-prepared classic. Anita's main was a chicken tagine: half a chicken with moroccan couscous and some poached dried fruit. This dish was a disaster. The couscous was oily and had way too many almonds. The chicken was dry -- completely unforgivable (practically incomprehensible) considering the cooking method. The sauce was sweet despite the server's assurances that it was a savory dish. More on this later.

For dessert, Anita and I both had cheese from Brasa’s cheese table, a long slab of (?marble?) festooned with around fifteen wedges. Points for presentation, but the placement near the front door seemed weird to me -- especially since the table was something of a gathering point for the service staff.

Anyway, we had our server select our cheese and received six serviceable (if somewhat boring) slices: Mimolette, Agur, Humboldt Fog, and three others that I don’t remember. Hard to criticize, I suppose, as we were offered the opportunity to choose for ourselves. But it would have been nice if our server had at least tried to ascertain our level of cheesy adventurousness.

Of course, that would have required our server to operate at a level that she hadn’t even come close to all night. She abandoned us after taking our drink order, finally reappearing with said drinks and a, “Ready to order?” Questions about the food were answered with a verbatim recitation of the menu listing, and we were told at least twice, “Oh, it’s a savory dish.” I chose a McCrea Syrah (a.k.a. Old Faithful) for our meal after joking to our dining companions that I wasn’t going to bother asking about a couple of interesting looking bottles for fear of being told that they were “savory,” or perhaps that they were made with grapes.

As I write this, I’m trying to view the experience through the lens of what happens at just about any restaurant on a Monday night -- you better not expect the A team, because you’re not going to get it. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine bothering with a return visit at full price. I would, however, go for their half-price bar food and drinkies, as the space is inviting and the menu looked tasty. I believe that this opinion has been expressed elsewhere on the PNW board.

We’re off to Assaggio tonight. I do love this promotion.

cameron

edited to correct spelling...er...twice. On the same word. :angry:

Edited by seacrotty (log)
i play the rock. you shake the booty.
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Of course, that would have required our server to operate at a level that she hadn’t even come close to all night.

<snip>

As I write this, I’m trying to view the experience through the lens of what happens at just about any restaurant on a Monday night -- you better not expect the A team, because you’re not going to get it.

Cam forgets to mention that said waitron also made a special trip to our table to inform our friend that the empty bowl she'd brought earlier was for his paella's mussel shells. (Gosh, we thought it was a fingerbowl... or for sharing!)

She treated us like ignorant cheapskates the whole night, despite the fact that we were made rezzies, dressed well, and ordered plenty of wine. I guess 25 for $25 brings out the worst in some diners, but sheesh...

I wanted to leave her a bad tip, but all I kept thinking was "well, then she'll have her impressions of us validated." Ugh.

~A

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Brasa has nice food and the paella is great but the service and waitstaff at Brasa are awful and that's an understatement.

They are totally stuck up especially the hostess.

Restaurants with great service are the Georgian which has amazing service and 727 Pine.

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I've had several really nice and capable servers in the Brasa bar, but not in the dining area.

"Save Donald Duck and Fuck Wolfgang Puck."

-- State Senator John Burton, joking about

how the bill to ban production of foie gras in

California was summarized for signing by

Gov. Schwarzenegger.

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We’re off to Assaggio tonight. I do love this promotion.

Dinner at Assagio last night:

First of all, it wasn't a screaming deal. We figured we wouldn't have spent much more ordering off the non-25/25 menu (unless you go for the filet or osso buco), given that we rarely need two full desserts. But they did have an enormous selection of choices... easily half of the regular menu.

Starters: Cam had Calamari (usually 7.95), which were described as "sautéed in marina sauce." The end result was more like marinara soup with calamari in it. I had the Caprese (7.95): tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil. OK, ok... shame on *me* for ordering tomatoes in March, but shame on *them* for offering it as part of a seasonal menu. The tomatoes weren't just cardboardy and mealy, they had green seeds. Ew. The mozzerella was servicable, and the pesto spooned on top of the stack was very nice.

Mains: I had the Pappardelle Bolognese (14.95); Cam had the Gnocchi Gorgonzola (also 14.95). My pasta was very over-sauced (they probably could have dressed another plate of pappardelle with my excess) and rather unappetizingly plopped on the plate, but it tasted wonderful. It was a perfect bolognese. Cam's gnocchi were light and fluffy, but they were overwhelmed in sauce: it really was like a bowl of gorgonzola soup with a handful of gnocchi in it. Ick, ick, ick.

Dessert: We had hazelnut gelato and tiramisu (no dessert prices were shown on the regular menu); other choices were panna cotta, other flavors of gelato including pistachio and chocolate, and an assortment of biscotti. The gelato had a great hazelnut flavor, but was way too hard for gelato -- more like non-premium ice cream that had been sitting too long in the freezer. Cam had ordered a latte, so I doused my gelato with a few spoonfuls of that, which improved it immensely. The tiramisu was fine... a little light on the rum/marsala and espresso elements, and not much mascarpone flavor to speak of... really more like lightly-dipped spongecake layered with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa. A sort of post-modern riff on tiramisu, I guess.

Service was distant but workmanlike; no complaints. Our waiter recommended a nice Chianti Classico to go with our meal ('00 Castello di Bossi, $40).

The setting was, for lack of a better description, pretty chewed on. It was neither downtown-slick nor neighborhood-cozy. The tuscan-washed walls were nicked and gouged in many places, and the chair rail was banged up. The female servers all tended to gaggle by the wine sideboard on the way to the restrooms, making you feel like you were interrupting them to use the facilities. Once you got into the ladies' room, the sense of tattiness was further reinforced: dark black stains in the toilet bowls, a couple of expanses of unpainted wall (looks like a built-in trashcan and a paper towel dispenser have been removed but they'd never found the spare paint). The flower arrangements throughout the restaurant hadn't had their murky water changed in a couple of days; the one in the restroom looked like it had been at least a week.

Overall, Assagio gave the impression of a formerly nice restaurant in a downward slide to tourist trap hell. The bolognese was lovely, and I'm glad I had it, but I won't be going back.

~Anita

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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Brasa has nice food and the paella is great but the service and waitstaff at Brasa are awful and that's an understatement.

I've had great experiences in the Brasa bar, like MsRamsey's, but I've had a really terrible time in the dining room. On our last visit, our server, a young woman, could barely answer the most basic questions. We eventually asked her to go ask the kitchen a question about a risotto dish. I swear she pouted about it.

When we left, we asked for a copy of the menu. I don't know about any of you, but when I am conducting restaurant surveillance/research, I *always* get a copy of the menu to share with fellow restaurant geeks (hell, I keep a file folder in my bag to hold menus and restaurant biz cards).

I swear, the host, who I'm 99.9 percent sure was co-owner Bryan Hill, sort of rolled his eyes and asked us in a really flat, snotty tone, "How many souvenir menus do you want." As if we were a gaggle of country bumpkins who were out for a night in the BIG CITY and wanted to forever remember our BIG night in Seattle Warsh-ington with a treasured copy of Brasa's beautiful menu -- printed on, gee-whiz, REAL CARD STOCK!!!!! Puhleeze.

I couldn't believe the attitude. I haven't been back to the dining room since.

The crew in the bar are another story. Fabulous, witty, quick and worthy of big tips.

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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I swear, the host, who I'm 99.9 percent sure was co-owner Bryan Hill, sort of rolled his eyes and asked us in a really flat, snotty tone, "How many souvenir menus do you want." As if we were a gaggle of country bumpkins who were out for a night in the BIG CITY and wanted to forever remember our BIG night in Seattle Warsh-ington with a treasured copy of Brasa's beautiful menu -- printed on, gee-whiz, REAL CARD STOCK!!!!! Puhleeze.

You ARE kidding? I hope you said something like, "I was actually planning to show it to friends who I thought would be interested in visiting the restaurant, but now I guess I won't bother."

I find this particularly amazing since my experience over the past few years is that restaurants handle that request with a lot more grace than they used to. When we were in Paris, on place had the chef sign the menu without our even asking for it...

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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You ARE kidding? I hope you said something like, "I was actually planning to show it to friends who I thought would be interested in visiting the restaurant, but now I guess I won't bother."

In retrospect, I should have said something equally as snotty. I always think of the perfect snotty thing to say, but like 10 minutes (or 3 years) too late.

I *always* get a copy of the menu at every place I go that has them. Seriously, I carry them around with me like kids who collect baseball cards. I also share them with friends all the time. You would think restaurant owners would recognize that it's a fabulous marketing tool, that one menu in the right person's hands could bring in potentially dozens of customers. If I owned a restaurant, I would be handing out menus to like everybody, whether they wanted them or not. I'd staple them to the Visa receipt and tape them on their take-home boxes. :biggrin:

At Union, I asked for a copy of the menu and got kind of a funny response. They said a few times, "Well, the menu changes every day" and shuffled around about how the menu wouldn't reflect future dinners, blah blah blah. I wasn't taking no for an answer. I finally said, "I realize you have a daily changing menu, but I'd like a copy so that I can show some co-workers the type of food you serve. They're curious about what your restaurant is like." That seemed to do the trick. They made photocopies for me and handed them over. They weren't really snotty about it, but you'd think they'd been asked for a copy of a menu before. So am I the only one who asks for menus?

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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At Union, I asked for a copy of the menu and got kind of a funny response. They said a few times, "Well, the menu changes every day" and shuffled around about how the menu wouldn't reflect future dinners, blah blah blah. I wasn't taking no for an answer. I finally said, "I realize you have a daily changing menu, but I'd like a copy so that I can show some co-workers the type of food you serve. They're curious about what your restaurant is like." That seemed to do the trick. They made photocopies for me and handed them over. They weren't really snotty about it, but you'd think they'd been asked for a copy of a menu before. So am I the only one who asks for menus?

I almost always ask for menus and haven't had the fun experience of a anyone "copping a 'tude". When our eGullet group went to Union last week, they brought us menus without even having to ask. In fact, like tighe, I even had one place offer to have the chef sign it. Sometimes I do feel a bit like a groupie.

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I *always* get a copy of the menu at every place I go that has them. Seriously, I carry them around with me like kids who collect baseball cards. I also share them with friends all the time. You would think restaurant owners would recognize that it's a fabulous marketing tool, that one menu in the right person's hands could bring in potentially dozens of customers. If I owned a restaurant, I would be handing out menus to like everybody, whether they wanted them or not. I'd staple them to the Visa receipt and tape them on their take-home boxes. :biggrin:

I often take menus with me, to remember the dinner, make future dinner plans, and prompt my sometimes lagging imagination when I cook at home. You'd think they'd realize that it's a great marketing tool! I mean, who doesn't have menus stuffed into desk drawers at the office, or in the glove compartment? Who needs maps in the car when you've got a mess 'o menus?

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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I often ask, but sometimes I just sneak the paper menu insert into my purse. :huh:

~A

Hahaha. You realize now that at every eGullet event we attend together, I will expect that you will hijack a menu for me too. :raz:

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

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