The list that details how we will pack our tummies while adventuring away from home can be as essential as the one that reminds us to pack our toothbrush. Here are some post-mortem thoughts on our travels that may be useful to you one day.
I have been on a summer holiday. A holiday from writing, cooking, making my own bed, doing laundry, and driving. A whole week in Seattle of walking, shopping, and of course eating. Fresh seafood offerings were obvious, a Tom Douglas restaurant (or four) were essential, and a stroll though the Seattle core was a daily ritual. Hotel Andra was the perfect home away from home (with the exception of a little light reading about it being haunted and the 9th floor occasionally sounding like a rollicking prohibition era party). We remained un-haunted and tres comfortable during our stay, AND we manged to dine all over town with the tiger cub in tow. Success.
Serious Pie – Perfect oven-fired, thin crust pizza a la Tom Douglas. Conveniently located across the street from our hotel, we ate there twice. The chanterelle and crimini mushroom with truffle cheese was perfect, and the chocolate budino with sea salt and olive oil was a rich and addictive ending.
Dinette – A perfectly quaint little restaurant nestled in Capitol Hill, which I quickly discovered to be Seattle’s drinking and dining equivalent to NYC’s Lower East Side. Delicious European fare, mostly Mediterranean inspired. The frittata toast with frisee and white truffle oil was a pretty happy start. I wanted to order another one as soon as the last morsel disappeared. The gnocchi a la romano was perfectly executed. The hand made ice cream sandwiches to go were the cherry on top of a perfect dinner.
Poppy – Jerry Traunfeld’s modern northwest thali restaurant is a dining experience indeed. Not the $2 all you can eat thali that I experienced in Mumbai, but really delicious little inventive tastes on a tray. The ten items thalis are comprised of dishes like warm radish and grilled scallion salad, golden beets with spice bread and mint, lavender duck breast with black currant, apricot and turnips, and washington troll king salmon with sea beans, bacon, and pinot noir sauce. The hot date cake with banana ice cream and butterscotch, and the malted chocolate pudding with caramelized banana to finish, meant we walked back to Belltown from Capitol Hill. So. Full.
Molly Moon’s Ice Cream – From music mogul, to ice cream maker, Molly knows a thing of two about all things creamy, frozen, and delicious. The smell of fresh baked waffle cones invites you in the door where the hard decisions begin. Balsamic Strawberry? Salted caramel? Scout mint? Yes, please.
Oddfellows Cafe and Bar – A gorgeous, historic, open space that hearkens to the romance of days gone by. Rustic communal tables and a casual menu made it a perfect lunch spot for a fresh avocado BLT, and a fizzy drink while exploring the Pike and Pine Corridor of Capitol Hill. The courtyard with its old school strings of lights looked pretty magical too.
Dahlia Bakery – It’s easy to get Tom Douglas fatigue, especially when staying in the hub of Tom Douglas-land at the Andra, but the man knows how to make some seriously tasty goods. The Dahlia bakery was a perfect stop for freshly made breakfast sandwiches to go, the BEST peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted, AND those (served all day long) breakfast donuts. Little, warm, fresh, cinnamon and sugar coated treats served with mascarpone and fresh preserves. Oy veh.
Salumi – Mecca for pork lovers. Period. Mario Batali’s parents have a tiny, well known, artisan cured meat shop. The lines are long. The hours are short. The room is small. The porchetta is ridiculous. The salami sandwiches are perfection. The meatballs are pretty serious too. The faithful followers who don’t mind queuing for a sandwich wrapped in butcher paper are the evidence. Go. Wait. You’ll be happy.