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I thought the food we had on Friday night was very good! I can't remember everything but on my plate was a waffle with sundried tomato in it and then a bacon salad on top (BLT Waffle), I also had a duck tart which was very very good and scallops with butternut which were ok but I thought they needed a bit more of a sear on them (possibly hard to get since they use the hot plates like at Matts?)

Phred runs a bit hot and cold, no real issues though. He answered my questions about what he was pouring and offered to show me lables. The wines for the most part were well paired with only 1 or 2 misses. He pours a lot! some dishes came with one white and one red to see which we liked better.

Honestly my only complaints of the whole evening were that they gave us paper napkins and that we had to eat so early as to make sure we got a table. The price seemed good and we had fun with our friends. I'd go again!

edited to add that one of the desserts was a chocolate truffle coated with bacon bits!!!!! :laugh:

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

It's been nearly a year since the last posting, Elemental lives on. Same phormat, same Phred, and I guess Laurie behind the counter.

We were invited to dinner with some friends who we enjoy cooking for (or would that be kooking); their apprehension at introducing us to the experience was evident during the walk from their house, but we'd been prepped and were excited to just have the experience.

The placard at the door (and the lack of a sign) remains telling: "There are 1500 Normal restaurants in Seattle. This is not one of them."

We arrived early on a Thursday night and there were only two other tables seated, so we had our pick of the four-tops. I'm accustomed to bringing wine from my cellar to dinner, so to arrive without a 'wine plan' was to be part of the 'relax, enjoy' mantra.

Cocktails were on offer, after a glass of mulled wine of some sort. The rest of the wine program was equally enjoyable, and well chosen, but I gave up both guessing and trying to remember what the specifics were, because none were familiar.

The food was quite enjoyable, and the format of ordering and the presentation was as well. The 'menu' being a stainless plate with menu items written with a Sharpie, MiniMag flashlight included for viewing, three columns with a notation where appropriate about 'no meat'. We chose the tasting menu of three courses, and opted to 'share' each of the courses by couple, leading to essentially a six course meal, each with its own wine(s), follwed by cheese and dessert.

We quickly surrendered to Phred's MO, focusing instead on our conversation, the plates in front of us, and speculations on the wines (only some of which we shared with Phred).

Was the food inspired? Occasionally. My croque monseiur was delightfully deconstructed--circle of toasted bread, a cylinder of something wrapped in proscuitto with a cheesey bechamel topping it off. The lamb was mediocre at best, but the pork loin with mustard sauce and brussel sprouts was divine.

All of this from a barely visible kitchen (I counted three portable gas rings on the counter, no range or oven in sight). Apparently they shop at Whole Foods daily because they don't have the storage or duration to their menu to warrant an extensive cold storage.

So, we had a fun evening, good food, interesting wine, and a host 'with an attitude', but it never crossed the line to rudeness. I'm sure we'll go back.

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tsquare - I'm not sure it would ruin the experience at all - but I don't think it would be as good.

I haven't gone several times like lots of others on this post, so they could probably have more input (and I think it's not always easy to judge a restaurant by one visit). But....

I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but to be honost, I've had better food. I started with crab cakes, followed with venison and then cheese plate. crab cakes were WOW, venison good and the cheese plate good but not great. I tasted my friends' plates and they were yummy. But for me the fun part was definitely just going with the flow on whatever wines and drinks phred was bringing. Also, I just really liked the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that I didn't feel rushed or pressed.

We went for the 5pm arrival, an hour of cocktails and then dinner. Two out of three of my courses came with 2 different glasses of wine. And, for the one that didn't, I ended up asking phred a question about the wine he had served with it and he brought me a different one to try with it as well.

He did bring an entirely unasked for 2nd course for one of my friends (indicating that he thought it would be a better 2nd course and then he brought out her other one later).

So, needless to say, after cocktails, dinner and after-dinner drinks, I stumbled out of there in a bit of a hazy blur.

Phred was a bit difficult to read, but I had been warned before going, so it didn't bother me and he was fine when I started asking a few questions. although I do agree with previous posters, that I think it's kind of nuts to be so masochistic as to enjoy rude service...I didn't find him rude, just not overly warm and fuzzy, so I was okay with it.

Have fun if you go! (and let us know us if you took your friend and how they felt about it from the perspective of a non-drinker)

52 martinis blog


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  • 1 year later...

just adding my experience to the thread. I know, it's an old one.

I had a really good time at Elemental. Got to sit at the bar and have a view of the "kitchen" and bug Laurie about food.

There's something really pleasant and comforting about the food. I found the dishes to be quite good, one of them excellent, and while I'm not a wine person, the pairings were generous and yummy. Just really simple and strong dishes - which is really nice to have.

I think for the money and experience, it's an awesome place to be. I attended with my sister and my 7 yr old niece and they were quite accommodating.



foodpr0n.com 11/01/17: A map of macarons in Toronto // For free or for a fee - bring your bottle! corkagetoronto.com

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Interesting to read this entire thread after all this time. I predicted an early demise, and here we are, 3 yrs later and Elemental is still around. Obviously they are independently wealthy :raz: I wonder if Carla ever went? And I wonder what happened to Jbonne? Did he move away?

Born Free, Now Expensive

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  • 1 month later...

We have dined at Elemental several times in the last two months, usually celebrating a professional event with another couple. Everyone has been very impressed and we have stopped ordering from the menu, but instead just have Phred bring us whatever. He asks if anyone has food allergies and the rest is up to him. Great setting for a long conversation with small tastes and good wine pairings.

They have opened space immediately adjacent for light meals and drinks. Also a nice place to wait for the second seating. Still very high on our list as a pleasant experience and very tasty food at a very reasonable price.

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