See Ya In Seattle


We all know Seattle as the birthplace of Grunge, Starbucks and the place where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks didn’t get any sleep. I also know it as the new home of my dear friend Rosalyn, who relocated from Toronto last year to shine at Microsoft.

Arriving via the Clipper Ferry from Victoria – a speedy 2.75 hour jaunt – as soon as we caught our breath from jumping for joy we did a walking tour of the downtown core. Well, sorta. Rosalyn, on orders from my Toronto barista, took me directly to the very first Starbucks location at Pike Place Market. I was buying an ‘original coffee mug’ for Jon, my coffee saviour, who pours me my daily cuppa at the location around the corner from my office. Once I was done with my ‘to do’ list, we strolled through the city’s market which is a colourful feast for the eyes and stomach.

Seattle has a blossoming reputation for amazing food and wine. Most proprietors are committed to buying local organic products and preparing them in innovative ways.

The two highlights of my stay were:

106 Pine
Fresh Finds Local Wines
106 Pine Street
Seattle, Washington, 98101

This stylish purveyor marries great wine and snacks with a lesson in drinking well. We enjoyed a flight of wines, including the superb 2008 Pinot Gris ‘St. Innocent’ from the Vitaw Springs Vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon. This wine danced on our tongues, had a flourish of pear and a crisp dry finish. With it we noshed on Rosecrest Farm caraway swiss, a Rogue Creamery smoky blue cheese and Mole salami with Boat Street pickled raisins. All local. All Wow!

The restaurant which seduced my stomach, and happens to be Rosalyn’s current favourite, is:

1531 14th Avenue
Seattle, Washington, 98122

My culinary stars aligned at this inviting casual restaurant. Nothing pleases me more than sitting at the bar in a charming intimate space (the best for people watching) and eating whatever the staff recommends. Our server Patrick suggested vodka with a shot of cherry liqueur to compliment the crostini with fresh churned butter and sardine (who knew it would work?). It was followed by a crisp white wine – Fontana Arneis – paired with a salad of English peas, roasted beets, marinated rabbit, pickled carrot and tuna maionesse. The meal continued with asparagus ravioli with butter and marjoram, tortui pasta stuffed with braised short ribs, and rabbit meatballs with caramelized turnip puree and pickled horseradish. We finished with a chocolate semifreddo with fresh whipped cream and pistachio chocolate. Oh, and a mini pot of fresh brewed coffee. Chef Jason Stratton was recently named one of Food & Wine’s best new Chefs for 2010! This is a winner!

Funny I would be blogging about my love for black houses (see black is beautiful), and then find myself crossing the threshold of Rosalyn’s current abode. It’s a contemporary black cube designed by SHED architects. The proportions, light and attention to detail are everything I measure as a sign of brilliant architecture. Check it out!

More to come about the west coast!
Stay tuned!

~ Steven

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