Archive for August, 2008
Seattle and the Northwest have some great restaurants. From hole in the wall joints to fantastic neighborhood spots. Here are a few of my favorite places:
Steelhead Diner – owned by chef Kevin Davis and his wife. Located in the historical Pike Place Market this restaurant is perfect for any occasion. There are fun and fancy NW dishes and casual favorites – so what ever your dining pleasure there is something for everyone. Be sure to try the Fried Cheese Curds made with the market’s Beecher’s cheese served with a zingy mustard sauce and luscious black cod (Sable Fish) done in a seasonal preparation. Open for both lunch and dinner.
Tavolata - owned by chef Ethan Stowell and front of the house partner Patrick Gabre-Kidan, is a fantastic place to dine wiht groups of friends and share bowls of housemade rustic pasta and seasonal appetizers.
Green Leaf - owned by the cute and charming Peter Quang and located in Seattle’s international district, this gem of a restaurant is so fun dine at. Lots of the dishes are shareable and so it makes it a great place for a group of friends, or a first date! Be sure to start with Fresh Rolls and the Coconut Pancake; tear off a wedge and roll it up in leaves of lettuce with loads of fresh herbs before dipping in zingy sauce fun and interactive! Other favorites include Green Mango Salad, Lemon Grass Chicken or Tofu and House Vermicelli; the one with all the goodies in it– spring rolls, pork, beef and shrimp!
Volterra Restaurant- owned by husband and wife team chef Don Curtiss and front of the house diva Michelle Quisenberry, this is the place for dinner when heading to the hip neighborhood of Ballard. Inspired seasonal Tuscan cuisine is served with style. Moi created the drink menu so be sure to start with a signature cocktail such as a Tuscan Limencelolo Rosemary Drop or the Grappa 75 — my favorite!
And if your in Ballard for lunchtime visit my Dish D’Lish Flagship Cafe & Gourmet Store for tasty homemade soup, grilled sandwiches and lots of great salads. Or pick up some d’lish dinner from our cold case for a summer supper on the patio or sexy gourmet cheeses, candied nuts and fruit pastes for a quick and easy appetizer. Our back patio is also open for al fresco summer lunching in the garden. Come see us; Tues – Friday 10:30 – 6:00 Sat 11:00 – 7:00
August 27th, 2008
While it may be a little early to start thinking of fall soups, I have to tell you about Betty Rosbottom’s Sunday Soul: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes, Chronicle Books.
Betty’s gorgeous book is divided by season, helping you to make the best of the bounty. I love the first chapter of the book “Stocking up,” because it really drives home the point that you are only as good as your ingredients. Stocks are the foundation of classical cuisine, and though store bought will do in a pinch, nothing compares to what you can make at home.
Robbottom, a frequent contributor to Bon Appetite, offers up well loved favorites like Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Lime, and Smoked Chilies, and White Bean Soup with Chorizo and Kale are tweaked and updated with out loosing their classic appeal. And creative offerings like Tomato and Fennel Soup with Pernod Cream and Carrot Soup Scented with Sesame and Chives are sure to be well received.
This is a d’lish book for your collection!
August 26th, 2008
Seattle’s International District is a cornucopia of foodie finds: from the familiar to the strange, this neighborhood has it all!
I like to start with walking around the ID on a Saturday or Sunday, this gives me plenty of time to wander around, peek into shops, and taste whatever looks yummy. I always start off my explorations with a stop at Uwajimaya. This Asian grocery giant has been in Seattle for what seems like forever and you can always count on them for the freshest fish, great unusual produce, and those quirky fun Asian candies and sodas.
Once I start to get hungry I usually head up to my favorite restaurant in the ID, Green Leaf. Peter and his crew run a great little spot, and you cannot beat this place for their coconut crepe pancakes, green mango salad,and lemongrass tofu. If you want to try something new but don’t know where to turn, give the food blog MSG150 a whirl. This fun group goes out into the ID every day for lunch then blogs about it, rating restaurants by chopsticks. Fun! My assistant Mary is a huge fan of this blog and turned me on to them recently.
When you need a break from all that yummy food, grab a tea and head up to Hing Hay park on 5th and Maynard, you might catch a group doing tai chi. Walk up even further to Kobe Park for beautiful views of Mt. Rainier.
Mary and her husband often eat out in the ID and they shared with me some of their favorites, including Maneki the 104 year-old Japanese restaurant that was the recent recipient of the James Beard Award American Classic. They love the Jo-jo roll and the dubiously named “salmon in foil pouch”. Doors open at 5:30 and expect a line! She also adores Shanghai Garden for their fantastic hand-cut barley grass noodles. Mary swears a big soup bowl of this chock-full of mustard greens and pork will cure any cold!
I hope you find some time to explore this vibrant Seattle neighborhood, and be sure to share what you find with me!
August 20th, 2008
Seattle summer weather is perfect for picnics and this weekend looks like it won’t disappoint. There are so many great Seattle parks for picnics: Golden Gardens is the Classic, but there are beautiful views from Volunteer park, Gasworks and Discovery park.
While it is just fine to show up with some friends, blanket and basket in tow, you’ll have to make a reservation if you want to use any of the park’s shelters or hibachis. Reservations fill up fast and there is a fee. Click here for that information.
When I go on a picnic, I like to take along a variety of easy to eat small plates. Think grain salads, or pressed sandwiches, presliced cheeses, crackers, and veggies and dip. What you don’t want are mayo based salads that can get soggy or can cause illness if unattended to or improperly handled. Yuck!
I hope you’ll try my recipe for Curried Orzo Spinach Salad and hit the parks this weekend for great outdoor dining!
Curried Orzo Spinach Salad
Makes 8 – 12 servings
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (about 2 cups) dry orzo pasta
1 bunch fresh spinach, cleaned and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced small
1 large red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 cup tiny-diced red onions
3/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup small-diced dried apricots
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, curry powder, hot sauce, garlic, sour cream, oil, and black pepper. Reserve.
Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions or until al dente. Drain but do not rinse. While pasta is still fairly warm, toss it with the reserved dressing. Let mixture totally cool, then toss in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate if made ahead. Salad can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
© 2004 Kathy Casey Food Studios®
August 14th, 2008
Fish Without a Doubt, the new book by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore, Houghton Mifflin publishing, should be on your bookshelf now. This comprehensive tome takes the fear out of fish with an in-depth guide to preparing, storing, and shopping fish. Each fish is broken down into what to look for, best method of preparations, and flavor, giving you a chef’s mastery of the subject. Moonen and Finamore are excellent guides through this region of culinary know how, providing practical, step by step, advice to the cooking publics quires, even tackling the “when is it done” question, and the “fish-y” odor issue.
The recipes are sublime and feature influences from all over the world (Sauteed Char with Hoisin Galze and Wasabi Butter Sauce) and restaurant classics we just can’t get enough of (their take on the seared tuna). Food porn photos of Crispy Bay Scallop Hush Puppies or Bouillabasse for the American Kitchen will have you forgetting whatever you had planned for dinner and thinking fish.
August 12th, 2008
A few weeks ago my assistant Mary attended a reception dinner at Palisade restaurant to meet Executive Chef Mark Randolph and Chef de Cuisine Robin Uyeda and sample their Northwest meets Polynesian summer menu. Today, Mary is our guest blogger as she pours over the details of her delicious dinner.
Hi everyone, and thanks Kathy for having me on as your guest blogger
Having been a corner stone of the Seattle Fine Dining Scene for over 15 years, I had some preconceived notions about Palisade. Put them aside. Chef de Cuisine Robin Uyeda and Exec. Chef Mark Randolph are adding a playful touch to the Hawaiian-Polynesian-Northwest menu; a tangible sense of fun present with every dish served.
My caprese salad starter delivered sliced juicy heirloom tomatoes resting under a cascadeof corn, basil, and fennel. Pillow-y slices of buffalo mozzarella topped with nitrous oxide frozen pearls of basil sauce and balsamic vinegar balanced off the plate. The combination of textures and flavors was at once delightful and delicious. The remainder of our meal featured more expertly executed and flawlessly flavored dishes, duos of fish and duos of meat and a to die for dessert, green tea tiramisu, and a fabulous pineapple shaped baked alaska that drew ohhhs and ahhhs from everyone
The cocktail menu boasted pupu platters and smart kitschy nibbles, complimented with a very creative drink program. The bar area itself lends itself kindly to an evening of escapist nibbles and sips, Hawaii 5-0 style. If not hip then a least creative alternative to your usual night out.
Scanning the room (it was hard to take my eyes off the s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g view) the clientele ranged from an older couple celebrating a birthday, to business dinners, to friends gathering, to the expected prom table. The thread weaving them all together was the sense that everyone was at ease. Here, dining up doesn’t mean buttoned up, from the food to the staff to the décor Palisade is absolutely approachable.
August 11th, 2008
Whenever I am looking for something super foodie fun to do in Seattle, I don’t need to look far – there are tons of foodie blogs, magazines, and websites that make it easy to find whatever my heart desires (or things I didn’t even know my heart desired!).
Food blogs are a great first place to look if you want something new and different. I love reading Nancy’s blog All You Can Eat from the Seattle Times, for news about restaurant openings/closings, picking fresh and ripe produce, and juicy industry buzz! Rebekah’s blog, Devouring sEATtle from the PI, is great for learning about new chefs, fun kitchen gadgets, and great new restaurants. Aside from these two ladies there are dozens of blogs covering Seattle’s food beats. If I want a diner’s perspective on a restaurant, Yelp and Urbanspoon are great resources. And, if you want to put your two cents in, you can “log on” and write a review of your own!
Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan put out annual Seattle food guides in the spring (be sure to save that copy!) and have restaurant reviews throughout the year. I love thumbing through these magazines and coming across little gems, like wine tasting, new gourmet food shops, and food events. There is always so much to do and taste in Seattle!
And if you are looking for a real adventure, or have foodie guests in town, take them on a food tour put together by Angela at Savor Seattle. The walking tours are a great way to try local restaurants and get a little exercise! My assistant Mary, a Seattle native joined up with Angela last summer, and though she had visited the market more times than she can remember she was surprised at how much she learned with the Savor Seattle crew.
Sometimes the greatest adventures of all happen in your very own kitchen. Visit one of the many local farmer’s markets (see my last blog entry!), buy what looks best, and be creative! If you are ever at a loss for a recipe, there are hundreds of websites that offer free, easy recipes, including right here!
Seattle has so much to offer, so do some research, get out there, and eat!
August 7th, 2008