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Union in Seattle

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it was like old home night at Union last night- very funny! TallDrinkOfWater and I had a fabulous meal - cherrystone clams on the halfshell; sea urchin in an amazing salad of radish and cuc; pork belly (Holy Hell this rocked!) and the bass with artichokes and leeks in a butter sauce. butterscotch creme brulee on Shalmanese's advice (thanks!). Also spotted were Edlund and Jamie from Vessel- very fun and a nice surprise to see everyone!

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No pictures but... OMG, I think we just had EVERYTHING on the menu at union.

There was just so much food being passed around it was like sensory overload. The highlight of the evening was probably the pork belly although there were no real duds at all.  Anyway, I have to say I'm definately a fan of union.

Wow! Union was definitely the happening spot last night! It was so nice to see everyone....

And yes...to make things easier for our group of 8, we ordered all the dishes under the "seconds" category and everything from the "thirds" (entrees). Oh, and we ordered two of all the desserts and half the cheeses...plus a few other offerings. It's such a fun way to sample a wide variety of dishes. And the servers didn't blink an eye when I said..."We're sharing it all!" :)


Traca

Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

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That was such a fun coincidence last night. My friend visiting from LA must think I know half of Seattle!

We had the rabbit loin, the scallops and the monkfish. The monkfish blew me away it was so good.

If you're going to see a show at the Showbox, Union is the place to go for pre and post concert dining!


Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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Definately the place to be last night! :biggrin: It seemed like the whole world stopped by -- even the Seafair Pirates made a showing, waving at everyone from an open-topped vehicle along 1st Avenue.

This was my second time going out to a fabulous dinner with a large group and sharing everything family-style, and I must say that it is revelatory. Finally I can try EVERYTHING on a menu. :wub: Of course, we absolutely needed 2 of every dessert -- the men's end of the table (don't judge us, they wanted to talk "shop") practically inhaled theirs. My favorite stand-outs of the night were the Pork Belly, Sea Bass leeks and artichokes in a wonderful lemon butter sauce, and the Butterscotch Creme Brulee. It was all really delicious, not a bad bite to be had and I even sampled my first Uni.

It was very nice to finally put some faces with the names of some of the regulars. Great to meet you White Lotus, LittleMissFoodie, SeaGal, LEdlund, and to run into Rocky again. I hope we'll be able to get out to these gatherings more often (a standing babysitting engagement?? :laugh: ) in the future.

BTW, It's come to my attention that everyone thinks I'm "22" tango. But it's really supposed to be read as "two to tango".


Edited by 22tango (log)

Luscious smell like love

Essential black milk worship

It whispers to me...

...Chocolate

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We had an excellent dinner at Union with my family 2 weeks ago. They were really impressed, it was their first time there. One of the favorite dishes of the night for our group was the Lobster Bisque (OMG that was GOOD!), and I loved my Venison perfectly prepared MR, would definitely order that again. Hubby had the Duck and pronounced it delicious, too.

My family isn't too adventuresome with the ordering, so it's nice there are also traditional items on the menu, like a starter salad (which received raves) and they loved the fish (I think it was Sea Trout and Striped Bass on the menu that night). And all the desserts were well received by my family (creme brulee and something very chocolaty). The only disappointment for me, I mean thing I didn't like, was the order of Sea Urchin roe ceviche/salad appetizer dish for me (I think the same one little ms foodie did mention she liked). I am very adventuresome, but I didn't like it, and I REALLY tried to, but in the end no one at the table liked it when I offered bites, and although I never said anything to the waiter other than I didn't like it and it went mostly uneaten, our server noticed and told us in the end he removed it from our bill. What a sweetie. We're looking forward to going back for another special occasion dinner (this one was celebrating 2 birthdays).

I sure wish they would open for lunches again. Even if just once a week, like Rovers. We would go MUCH more often for lunch were they open, and now the new Washington Mutual building across the street is open, so I'm sure they would get lots of lunch business, too.

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I had a very nice strip loin sous vide at Union the other night. I would not have thought of cooking a steak that way, but it worked out really well--amazingly tender and a perfect medium rare all the way through. The sweetbread and carrot ragout that came with it was also really fantastic.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Hello All,

First post! I just wanted to relate to you all my great dinner at Union with guest Chef Marco Pierre White. The evening unfolded like so:

Let's see...the meal started out with a glass of sparkling wine. Light and slightly sweet, it set the pace of the meal that followed.

The first course consisted of 3 items served family style. To be shared at the table.

Asparagus with Mousseline sauce

Salad Lyonnais

Blinis and Smoked Salmon

As a starter, there was everything one could ask for. The freshest asparagus spears perfectly blanched and sauted in butter, salt and pepper with a light Mousseline sauced drizzled artistically down the center

Salad Lyonnaise consisted of some Frisse and lardons dressed in a light oil and vinegar served with a perfectly poached duck egg. The duck egg was richer than a chicken egg and gave the salad a great binding agent as the yolk was warm and runny. With a few slices of croustini's to give it texture.

Blinis and Smoked salmon topped with a quenelle of an herbed goat cheese that was like the best cream cheese you've ever had. Gave the whole blinis a great flavor.

The next wine paring was an earthy Sancerre that although at first was a little too earthy...matched perfectly with the second course. A cappuccino of Mushrooms that was a great paring. The flavor of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom times 100. Pipping hot and served in a small espresso cup. A great combination.

The third course consisted of Seared Sea Scallops with sauce Vierge. Perfectly seared scallops atop a bed of concasse tomatoes and chiffonade basil. A light and lemony sauce that gave the Scallops a delightful flavor.

The main course consisted of Grilled Entrecote (rib eye) with sauted escargot in garlic butter over the top and a roasted tomato. A side salad of watercress and Morrel mushrooms. The rib eye was probably grass fed as it had an exceptionally meaty texture. The Snails were equally delicious as they had taken the flavor of the maitre'd butter which consisted of garlic, butter and parsley. Ah the Morrel's! Vegetarian Beef I would call it. So meaty and flavorful that you would be hard pressed to know the difference. Too much food at this point. The wine paired for this course was a vibrant young red...I did not catch the name, but it was like the best Boujoulas! Young and fruity and just revitalized the taste buds.

The final course was a delicious Rhubarb Crumble served with a few sugar cookies (the best I've ever had and still warm!). Served in a cute little ceramic dish, the rhubarb was tart and not too sweet while the crumble was cruncy and provided a crispy counter to the mushy yet delicious rhubarb. All covered in a Creme Anglaise which came on the side.

Stuffed!

On to the man. What a charming and engaging man. He was considerate and genuinely seemed interested in everyone he met. At our table we discussed some of the English Premier Leauge teams and learned that he was an Arsenal Fan. One cannot be perfect it appears, but sharing a smoke with the man, I found him to be crass and vulgar...the perfect example of a line cook. He was a man who seemed to enjoy life and didn't give an "F" about anything else. Food is to be enjoyed and not forced upon people. He was about flavor and not about jackets and ties. A true rock star and hero among cooks.

All in all, I've had better meals in my life, but few are as memorable as this one. To sit and talk with one of your culinary hero's is a treat. I left Union a bit on the intoxicated side. Content to say the least and among the company of friends who I shared the meal with...happy. A great night and a chance to meet a truly gifted man who loves to cook and to live life. Makes me want to get back into cooking.

Thanks for reading.

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Went to the Lost Abbey beer dinner at Union last night with SeaGuy and TallDrinkofWater. As always a wonderful dinner with plenty of food to go around and plenty of drink for all involved.

The menu

lostabbeybeerdinneratunar3.jpg

The Beers

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Fried quail for starters, I didn't get a pic of the almonds or the prosciutto - paired with the Devotion Ale

lostabbeybeerdinneratunfd7.jpg

Foie Terrine with pear mostarda paired with the Melheuse Brut Reserve, the only non Tomme Arthur beer of the night

lostabbeybeerdinneratunfo0.jpg

Seared Halibut with English Peas and Morels, had to sop up the broth with some bread, paired with the Avant Garde

lostabbeybeerdinneratunzq0.jpg

Braised Veal Cheeks with potato ramp purée, I love that stuff, paired with Red Barn

lostabbeybeerdinneratunnv9.jpg

Roasted Venison, mmmmmmmm, paired with 10 Commandments

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The always good chocolate terrine paired with the 2005 Cuvee de Tomme

lostabbeybeerdinneratuniu1.jpg

Some very different and wonderful beers, all nodding to Belgium but not slavishly devoted to them.

Rocky

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I've eaten at Union twice and although the food is outstanding, service on the other hand is questionable.

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I've eaten at Union twice and although the food is outstanding, service on the other hand is questionable.

Really?? how so? I've had fantastic service- professional, warm, attentive. My husband has an alergy we always alert restaurants to and Union goes out of the way asking questions to make sure things are good.

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i heard a rumor that Union has changed the menu over to all Italian like Tavolata.  Any truth to that? 

I was there for dinner last Tuesday and the menu was very much the same as it always is at Union. They did have a couple pasta dishes, but that's typical of Union as well. We had fish, scallops, steak, octopus, etc.


Traca

Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

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They've increased the number of pasta dishes but have actually increased the number of entrees as well. Pretty much what happened with the menu is that they combined the firsts and seconds into an app section and gave pasta it's own section of the menu, going from two to four pastas a night to five or six now. The pastas are very different from those at Tavolata though, and the overall read of the menu is still very definitely Union.

Rocky

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Union is having a 7 course NYE dinner that sounds lovely. Lobster salad, quail, seared scallops...I forget what else, but that will be our NYE dinner.

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The NYE dinner was disappointing. While the first couple courses--lobster salad and celery root soup-were very good, the rest of the menu was pretty blah. The scallop and the lamb courses were probably the least tasty scallops and lamb I've had in years. The quail was just boring. The chocolate dessert was similar to something I'm addicted to at Licorous, except not nearly as good (I didn't even finish it), and something was really off (a rouge rancid nut?) with the crumb topping for the ice cream.

I don't ever expect to love everything on a tasting menu with no choices, but for $300+ for 2, it would have been nice to like everything a little more.

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After reading glowing reviews for Union here for so long, I finally made it a point to get down there. While it was good, I wasn't left as blown away as I was hoping. Am I expecting too much? We barely ate all day, so we ordered many plates, all to share: 3 cold plates, 2 pasta/rice, 2 fish, and 1 dessert.

The good:

the service was great, very attentive but relaxed and friendly

the presentation on everything was immaculate

the carne cruda was outstanding in every respect

the octopus was cooked perfectly, with a wonderful char

the risotto was wonderful, great and creamy with each rice grain wonderfully separate, toothy but tender

the pasta noodles themselves were wonderful

the ahi tuna and the skate were seared perfectly with a wonderful crust

the in-house gelato, specifically the cherry and chocolate flavors, were the best I'd ever had, and were very light and fluffy and amazing

The not-as-good:

the raw mackerel was a little fishy (is this typical of mackerel? I honestly don't know)

the braised rabbit pasta was a little too salty (is this symptomatic of rabbit? I had the same problem with a rabbit and pasta dish at Cafe Juanita)

the ahi itself was a little bland

the baby beets that came with the skate were also lacking. I LOVE beets and can eat several regular sized beets with nothing more than a little olive oil and salt, but these were a little bland and thin tasting.

The cinnamon gelato was a little gritty from the ground cinnamon

There were a few other things I didn't care for, but I'll chalk those up to personal taste.

And I just too picky? I'm still a little new to more upscale dining, the majority of my experiences have been in the last year, but I've had similar experiences at Zoe, Cafe Juanita, Seastar, and Canlis, where I'm just not blown away and little (or big, in the case of Canlis, although I know Canlis is hardly an egulet darling) things are wrong.


Edited by kiteless (log)

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Well, you're not alone--I've have that experience as well (obviously, since I posted above you about a less than thrilling Union experience). Raves+high prices=big expectations, so its not all that surprising when someplace disappoints. If you look at restaurant threads at egullet you'll find people disappointed in all sorts of places that are supposed to be great-Per Se, etc. I've often had the experience that the kitchen is putting out food that is creative and beautiful, but not, to me, truly delicious. I also think that the "best" restaurants are on the forefront of certain dining trends, and if you don't like those trends, then, well...I'm generally happiest at restaurants that are a notch down from fine dining-Boat Street, Matt's, etc.

I've also, by the way, had some fine dining experiences that were not disappointing in the least. The food at Mistral was great. Though, probably because of my expecations, I do remember the little things I didn't like about it.

(I wonder if this is a better topic for its own thread in restaurant life).


Edited by kiliki (log)

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I haven't been back to Union since they did the big menu shift, as most of my favorites disappeared with the increased emphasis on pasta.

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the raw mackerel was a little fishy (is this typical of mackerel? I honestly don't know)

hi kiteless,

mackerel is a very oily, fishy fish...it's kind of like anchovy or sardine - a very distinctive flavor. i love it, but it's very strong and definitely not for everyone.

mmm...raw mackerel...


from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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the raw mackerel was a little fishy (is this typical of mackerel? I honestly don't know)

hi kiteless,

mackerel is a very oily, fishy fish...it's kind of like anchovy or sardine - a very distinctive flavor. i love it, but it's very strong and definitely not for everyone.

mmm...raw mackerel...

yep - it is way too fishy for me- I've never had it raw but I've had it otherwise and I just am not a fan

edited to add that I don't think Union is particularly expensive


Edited by little ms foodie (log)

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Went down to Seattle to near the end of January to see the Symphony and stopped by Union before hand. Thanks to everyone on egullet who recommended I eat at Union. Checked into the Sheraton hotel around 4:30PM, and had enough time to iron and change clothes and head to Union for our 5:45PM reservation. I was surprised since the walk looked further on google maps. When we arrived we told our server that we had to make the symphony at 7:30PM and he was very accomodating. Service was great the whole night, and my girlfriend and I enjoyed the secluded window table they gave us looking onto the Seattle Art Museum.

Started with a rabbit liver mousse with cipollini onion agrodolce and walnut toast. I've never had rabbit liver before and found it very refreshing and mild tasting. The mousse was airy and light.

IMGP3360.jpg

In the next picture is a sidecar cocktail, cavatelli pasta with braised pork cheeks, and carnaroli risotto with hedgehog mushrooms and crispy pig's ear. The pasta was a little boring with the pork cheeks having a taste and texture much like an average stewed beef, although very tender. The risotto was ok but the pig's ear was far from crispy, and was hard and chewy. It really took away from the texture of the risotto and didn't contrast well.

IMGP3367.jpg

Last we had beef tongue with yellowfoot chantrelles, farro, and marjoram. I thought this was fantastic. The beef tongue was well seared and crusted on the outside, and kept the centre nice and juicy. This has been one of the most tender cuts of beef I have ever eaten, as it melted in my mouth after biting through the crusted outside.

IMGP3372.jpg

There were a lot of other things I wanted to try on the menu but my girlfriend and I were both very full from a late lunch. Overall I think I enjoyed eating there and would maybe go again. I find the menu to be a little confusing for the average person with so many unusual items and names. Below are pictures of the menu that night.

IMGP3385.jpg

IMGP3386.jpg

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Nice report and pictures, jlo. That beef tongue looks awesome!


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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Got an email from Union:

Hello everyone!

I’m happy to announce that we will be hosting a dinner on Sunday, May 18 featuring several delicious Rosés, and to benefit a great charity.

Here is the menu and some information about the dinner and the Des Moines Area Food Bank:

GOUGÈRES

NV LUCIEN ALBRECHT CRÉMANT D’ALSACE BRUT ROSÉ

KAMPACHI CRUDO

WITH CUCUMBER, HORSERADISH, TRAMPETTI OLIVE OIL

2005 JOSEPH ROTY ROSÉ, MARSANNAY

HALIBUT

WITH SPRING ONION BROTH, ENGLISH PEAS, SORREL

2006 LES PALLIÈRES ROSÉ “AU PETIT BONHEUR”, GIGONDAS

OCEAN TROUT

WITH FAVA BEANS, RED RADISH, GREEN GARLIC

2007 REVENANT MALBEC ROSÉ, NAPA VALLEY

ROASTED SQUAB

WITH RAMP PURÉE, SAUTÉED MOREL MUSHROOMS

2007 SYNCLINE ROSÉ, COLUMBIA VALLEY

ASSORTED CHEESES

ALMOND CAKE

WITH RHUBARB AND CRÈME FRAÎCHE

2006 ADELSHEIM DEGLACÉ, WILLAMETTE VALLEY

$100 PER PERSON (GRATUITY NOT INCLUDED)

DINNER BEGINS AT 6:00 PM

PLEASE CALL 206-838-8000 FOR RESERVATIONS

THE DES MOINES AREA FOOD BANK WAS BEGUN IN 1966 AS A MINISTRY OF THE DES MOINES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH.  NEED GREW WITH THE BOEING LAYOFFS OF THE LATE 1960’S AND RECESSIONS  OF THE 1970’S AND THE FOOD BANK BECAME ITS OWN NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION IN 1983.  THIS PAST YEAR, THE FOOD BANK SERVED OVER 1,234,000 POUNDS OF FOOD TO AN AVERAGE OF 920 FAMILIES EACH MONTH IN THE CITIES OF DES MOINES, NORMANDY PARK, SEATAC, AND KENT WEST HILL.  FOOD BANK CLIENTS INCLUDE:  SENIOR CITIZENS ON FIXED INCOME, VETERANS ON DISABILITY, ELEMENTARY STUDENTS AT RISK OF HUNGER OVER THE WEEKEND, HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS, SINGLE PARENTS, AND THE WORKING POOR. 

We hope to see you here!

Ethan

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Was here last weekend. Our table was unimpressed at the least. Service was extremely slow, food was lukewarm, very ordinary , and took 10min to flag down the waiter to pay. Place was only half full too, waste of a dinner when we were only in town for a weekend. Hope we just caught an off day.

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