For the love of food

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens*Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens*Brown paper packages tied up with strings*These are a few of my favorite things*Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels*Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles*Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings*These are a few of my favorite things*Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes*Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes*Silver white winters that melt into springs*These are a few of my favorite things

Marjorie in Seattle Review or… where did the Harvest Vine kitchen crew go? October 26, 2010

This post is actually way overdue but better late than never. A few months ago we were sitting having dinner at the Harvest Vine and started a conversation with a guy sitting next to us, he informed us that the owner Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez will no longer oversee the restaurant and that in his opinion it is one of those last great meals we will have there. He said that a Spanish restaurant without the Spanish chef who made it what it is today cannot last. We listened and thought he had a point, though we had 100% confidence in the kitchen crew there was a sad element to this conversation because in every restaurant there is someone who creates the concepts and guides the rest of the kitchen and wait staff, whether its the head chef or the ex-chef turned owner. Unfortunately our random conversation came to fruition, we came to the Harvest Vine a few weeks later and did not recognize a single face in the kitchen; they all left. The question is where did they go???

Marjorie is the answer!

The very talented, awesome crew left to join Donna Moodie and open the new Marjorie on Capitol Hill; and we were very happy to find the familiar faces and great food in a happy, hip and cozy environment, always busy and for all the right reasons. The concept is one of my favorites, small plates of mainly local and seasonal ingredients with various influences including those of Spain; the service is friendly and the wine list is fun. So… now it is our new “go to” place when we are in the mood for fun, delicious and diverse food, especially late in the evening. Please go and enjoy!

Its really really really great!

WWW: http://www.marjorierestaurant.com/

 

Lark in Seattle Review March 29, 2010

This review is quite overdue given my love for restaurants and food. Lark has been open for quite a while and we had plans to go there quite a few times but it never materialized. It is in a lively strip of 12th avenue (corner of Spring street), right by Seattle University, and is surrounded by lots of other establishments. The space is lovely but unfortunately I cannot rave about the food or wine list.

First thing first – the wine list is tiny (probably about 15-20 choices for red wine, less so for white and very few options by the glass), and no I am not a wine snob, but I did feel the list was not appropriate for diverse clientele. Prices ranging from $40 to $120 limit the selection even further as different people have different financial abilities. After having some wine on bar stools (and not by the bar) while waiting for our table, we had the hostess graciously spill wine on my husband’s pants and on my coat but that was just an accident though the rest of the service was not professional enough in my opinion.  

Now for the food, the Yellowtail carpaccio I heard so much about… nice and fresh with some fennel and green olives leaving a pleasant aftertaste but… the quality of the fish was not produced by the restaurant so the credit I am giving this dish is minimal. Its not that it wasn’t good, it just required minimal effort from the kitchen. The Foie Gras terrine was mediocre in my opinion, too much fat and not enough liver, it came with candied black olives which I found to be interesting and some sliced rhubarb which was slightly out of place when combined with the olives. I also had a chance to taste the Nettle soup, a distant memory from my childhood, it was nice. Out of the warm dishes we had the pork belly which in my opinion was superb, the best dish in the whole meal, just melts in your mouth! Dessert was fairly plain (they ran out of three out of five or six desserts by the time we got the menu), a rhubarb crostata with lemony mascarpone – very very basic for a place that gets so much attention and praise – it would have been a lovely dessert on a farmer’s market somewhere but not in a restaurant with such reputation.

Overall, I do not intend to go back, but I am planning to go visit a few places down the street :)

WWW: http://www.larkseattle.com

Address: 926 12th Ave, Seattle   Tel: (206) 323-5275

 

Txori in Seattle – Review February 18, 2010

They have been open for a couple of years now but we had no opportunity to visit this place – shame on us! This place carries out the traditions of its parent restaurant (The Harvest Vine on E. Madison avenue which is my absolute favorite out of all Seattle area restaurants by the way) which in turn carries out the traditions of Spain, the Basque country in particular.

Txori is a San Sebastian style pintxos place, which means small bites, even smaller that the more popular and known tapas (served at the Harvest Vine). The place is small, the staff is friendly and the hours are 12 pm to 1 am Thu-Sat (12 pm to 11 pm the rest of the week) which gives you the opportunity to come for lunch, an afternoon aperitif, a great dinner or some midnight munchies.

The offerings are diverse; from cheeses and salumi to olives, seafood, vegetables and meat. Quite a few dishes are served on toasted bread and contain sunny side up eggs :) The wine and cocktail list is great and all goes well together creating a piece of Spain here in Seattle.

Now go!!! :)

WWW: http://txoribar.com/

Address: 2207 2nd Avenue, Seattle  Tel: 206.204.9771

 

Wild Ginger @ the Bravern in Bellevue Review January 29, 2010

Let me begin by describing my most lasting impression from the restaurant – the service is just HORRIBLE!!! Sub standard, unprofessional and careless are the first words coming to my mind. 

Things were brought out of order, some appetizers appeared after half of the main course was already finished, main courses were brought for half of the table and the other half had to sit and watch for ten minutes and then vice versa. There were four of us and while one person was still eating all the rest of the plates were cleared from the table, we were asked if we want anything else and when we declined the bill was brought in – all that while the person was still eating!!! And no, they were not very busy.

Now to the food…

First of…they have a new weekend dim sum menu which is too expensive by any standard so I would stick with the lunch menu which provides good value. I tasted two dishes – the Wild Ginger Fragrant Duck and the Seven Flavor Beef which were both good but the rice that came with them was just a disaster – the white rice was absolutely anemic and flavorless and the brown one was over cooked and bland. The Mango Lassi was a mango smoothie of sort made with either ice or frozen mangoes rather than with fresh mangoes, yogurt and milk or water as it should be.

The bottom line is,  the food is overall quite good; I would go there for a quick lunch (no appetizers or multiple items – just one plate per person) so service required would be minimized and value for money maximized.

 

Artisanal bistro at the Bravern review November 3, 2009

It is a nice place, nice atmosphere and interior, nice idea, average service, nothing special really. The concept is an Americanized French bistro, the so hyped cured meats (not made in house or anything like that, just imported) and cheeses are beautiful but do not require any preparation or imagination – just cut and arrange on a plate; I am not going to a restaurant to get that, I am perfectly capable  of cutting my own cheese and buying my own salami. We came recently for a very late lunch on a Saturday and ended up in the restaurant during happy hour – we ordered some cheese bites which to my surprise materialized to be a cheese toast cut into four bite size pieces, the duck rillettes that had a nice flavor (my husband said he thought it was way too salty) but the portion was so big it was very difficult for the two of us to finish, the frites came in after a long long time and they were actually cold and we had to send those back and wait for new ones after we were almost done with everything else. As a compensation we got some the Gougeres (little cheese puffs) which were actually nice. Overall a very hyped and anticipated restaurant that does not deliver. The main word that comes to mind is boring.

 

Via Tribunali in Seattle – Review October 7, 2009

Another Seattle pizzeria chain certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. It is less casual then the previously reviewed Tutta Bella and hence slightly more expensive. The pizza is good, tomato sauce is delicious but for my taste there was a tiny bit too much of it and not enough of the Bufala mozzarella (one more slice would have been a very welcome addition). Overall the place is very nice (we went to the Queen Anne location) but was absolutely deserted on Sunday night.

WWW: http://www.viatribunali.net/

 

Tutta Bella Certified Neapolitan Pizza in Seattle – Review August 17, 2009

Apparently such a certification exists outside Italy and was given to Tutta Bella which has a few locations in the Seattle area. The pizza is fresh with thin crust and good quality toppings, it is very good and so are the desserts. Recommended!

WWW: http://www.tuttabellapizza.com/