36 hours in SEA = great shopping roadtrip

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Stuck at home sick, for what feels like forever, I have started looking through posts that I’ve started but haven’t gotten around to finishing.  Since I haven’t gone out that much and have no energy to cook,  my meals have consisted of soups or other unexciting things. I’ve decided this is as good a time as ever to post some leftovers.

This road trip to Seattle took place the second weekend of December.

With Christmas fast approaching, I organized a shopping weekend down in Seattle.  Well documented is my lack of passion for shopping and couple that with my inability to stay focused with much, and I find that I can become stressed out with thought of holiday shopping.  Ben and I started a tradition of going to Seattle early in December a couple of years ago, and I’ve found that with him by my side and lists in hand, we’re able to get a lot accomplished in a weekend.

Of course, one needs sustenance, so I made sure we had a few nice dinners planned.  Although I was intrigued by some new places, it was a cold and rainy weekend, so I chose instead to be comforted by a couple fantastic restaurants I know.

I’ve eaten at Anchovy and Olives a few times, and have never been disappointed.  I love the open kitchen, the great service and the menu that I have such a hard time choosing from because everything looks so good.

Sweet Kumamoto oysters with a scallion mignonette and Penn Cove oysters with vanilla oil were a fantastic way to begin the evening.
Hamachi and goeduck crudo with grapefruit and watermelon radishes made my mouth so happy, I couldn’t get the “mmmmm’s” out of my mouth.
Tagliatelle with clams, speck, cabbage and cream was the perfect combination of texture and tastes. Cabbage is totally under-utilized in restaurants and I was delighted to taste it in this dish.
Perfectly cooked mackerel on top of cabbage, potatoes and a squash puree. This dish like the one before it was not flashy, but one of the most flavourful fishes I’ve had all year.  If you’re in Seattle, go to Anchovies and Olives.  You won’t be disappointed.

We had a few errands outside the downtown core, so we picked a restaurant for brunch that I’ve been eager to try.  The brunch menu is fantastic, the chef focuses on local organic ingredients and there were so many things I wanted to try.  I loved the cozy space of this restaurant in a pretty green house.  As soon as we sat down, I knew immediately that I had to put it on my list to come back for dinner sometime.

House smoked salmon hash with capers, creme fraiche, a few too many onions and a perfect sous vide egg.
Indulgent cheddar biscuits with pulled chicken gravy and 2 fried eggs. A bit rich, but perfect shared.
Even before Maria Hines’ appearance on Top Chef Masters, I was curious about Tilth. Located in Wallingford, just west of the U district this cute restaurant is worth the drive.

I wavered a bit when I booked at Harvest Vine for dinner, only because we repeated Anchovies and Olives and I thought that we should at least try one new restaurant on this trip.  I’m happy that Ben convinced me to keep our reservations though, as always, it did not disappoint!  I probably mentioned it before, but make sure you request to sit at the upstairs bar.  That way you can see all the action in the kitchen and can chat with the chefs about what they’re making.

A perfect start to a great meal.  This golden and red beet cold soup was a bright kiss of sunshine on a cold and rainy Seattle evening. We had a version of this in the summer and it was even more delicious than I remembered.
Slow roasted cauliflower, finished in the saute pan with a hit of olive oil.  Sweet, nutty and absolutely amazing!
Beautiful beet salad with olive oil and champagne vinegar. This is simple, silky, sexy food at its best.
Crispy duck confit with creamy luscious mashed potatoes.
A bonus for us. They only make paella on Tuesdays at Harvest Vine, but we were sitting beside a regular at the bar who requested it.  We drooled as we watched this dish being lovingly tended to by the chef.  Since the pan was so big, we were lucky enough to be offered some.  I’m now convinced that chicken really makes a paella.
Another bonus of sitting at the bar is that you can talk to the chefs to get ideas of what they’re excited about. This braised rabbit leg with chocolate sauce  and kale wouldn’t normally be something we’d order, but were happy with the suggestion.

One last note about our road trip to SEA.  We took advantage of some happy hours and had some delicious small plates of oysters, sliders, ahi tuna and some other dishes and drinks for all for $5 or less.  I’ve always heard about how fantastic Seattle happy hours were, but haven’t really explored them that much.  Now that I’ve been introduced to this phenomenon, I’m eagerly anticipating my next trip to Seattle to find more HH gems!

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