(Part One Here.)
I am one of those people who really reads menus, every inch of them. I agonize over what to order. If you tell me you went out to dinner, I will ask you what you had, and I will need details. So, basically, I'm telling you non-foodie people to bear with me as I am about to recount, in ingredient-level detail, all the delicious food I consumed during my four-day Seattle gorge-a-thon.
First up: a wonderful meet-up with Angie, Lisa, Nora, Stacy, and Stephanie at Oliver's Twist for drinks and small plates. Besides the sparkling conversation, we enjoyed popcorn cooked in garlic truffle oil, thin slices of Salumi salami (man, do those Batalis know their way around a pig or what?) with orange jam and long, crispy grissini, and my favorite: blue cheese-bacon stuffed dates with Marcona almonds and warm tomato vinaigrette. It bears repeating: blue cheese-bacon stuffed dates with Marcona almond and warm tomato vinaigrette. I would show you a picture, but I was too busy stuffing them in my mouth, Lucy-style. So, so good, each one the perfect bite of sweet and salty and acidic and rich. If anyone has a good stuffed date recipe, let me know. And if anyone with a recipe is willing to make a plate and bring them over by noon, again: let me know.
The next morning, during my solo book store outing, I ordered a big slice of pumpkin seed bread and a cup of black coffee in the Elliot Bay Cafe. Truthfully: the pumpkin bread felt a bit too healthy for a proper gorge-a-thon. It was full of seeds and nuts and probably flax seed oil and agave nectar. No bacon anywhere.
I ate lunch alone, sitting outside at a little metal bistro table near Pioneer Square, taking in the breeze and slight sea-salty humidity.
It was curried vegetable peanut soup and warm bread, washed down with an illicit Diet Coke.
That night, my aunt took me out for dinner at purple cafe and wine bar.
I enjoyed a tasty white wine flight and have since decided that I want "intriguing hints of herbaceousness and minerality" inscribed on my headstone. Beloved wife, mother, and daughter with intriguing hints of herbaceousness and minerality, may she rest in peace, amen.
Cheese flight. Can't remember the cheeses (likely due to the wine flight), but I do remember the almonds and fig jam and thinly sliced apples and flatbread crackers.
The cheese course was chased with lemon Parmesan risotto and big salads for health.
This is a bottle of Broadbent Vinho Verde. If you're looking for a bright, gulp-able, very slightly effervescence summer wine for under $10 a bottle, meet your new best friend. I could not love this wine any more.
My birthday creme brulee and...
...sea salt chocolate-covered caramels to finish.
On Friday morning, I met the lovely, lovable Nora of Whopping Cornbread and her sweet boy (who happens to be only one month younger than Jimmy) for a cupcake at West Seattle's Cupcake Royale.
My cupcake (chocolate with strawberry icing.)
Her cutie pie (vanilla with chocolate icing).
He seriously put that bad boy down in two minutes flat.
Later that day, my aunt and I took in a light-ish lunch at Tom Douglas's pizza joint, Serious Pie. It is a tiny little place with a slender menu of about ten seasonal pies.
We tried two: the Yukon Gold potoato, rosemary, and olive oil and...
...a simple Neapolitan with Buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. Crispy, light, straight-forward. We visited the famous Dahlia Bakery afterward and I tried a wee, thimble-sized version of the coconut cream pie. And, once again, no picture. Please see the Lucy comment above.
On to evening cocktails and nibbles at Boka Kitchen & Bar. This is a melon cucumber margarita on the rocks. It was delicious and cool and tasted like liquid summer and I had several. I would very much like one right now, even though it is 9:00 A.M. as I write this. What? It contains fruit AND vegetables, OK?
On to the food, including pulled lamb sliders with horseradish creme on a homemade biscuit. Oh, baby.
This is sashimi ahi, cubed and tossed with avocado, ponzu vinaigrette, and ginger and served with fresh taro chips and sprouts. Though most certainly health food, it is undeniably delicious and slightly dangerous with the mercury and all and thus has a rightful place in the gorge-a-thon march of culinary hedonism.
And speaking of hedonism, these are Dungeness crab cake with lemongrass aïoli, served on sugar cane sticks. I ate all of these, people, just as I usually do in a coastal town where the crab is fresh and abundant. And, lo, later that night, while sitting in a movie (SisterhoodOfTheTravelingPants2, OK?andI'mgoingtotypeitquicklyandinatinyfontdon'tjudge) I began to feel slightly ill. And later, in the middle of the night, I was significantly ill. And the next morning, when I was finally coming around, it dawned on me: I think crab makes me sick. And also: Duh. This happens nearly every time I gorge on crab, but I'm always on vacation and eating out and I just assume all the fast living has caught up with me but, no, I fear it is the crab.
The really sick part? I cannot promise I won't do it again. (Eat crab, that is. Because I probably don't need to see SisterhoodOfTheTravelingPants2 again, ever.) And even with the dodgy stomach bit at the end, it was a wonderful culinary vacation for a woman whose life frequently, shamefully involves cuisine like this.
(Dalmatian Plantation pictures to follow, I promise. Thanks for the birthday wishes for the little miss!)