Thursday, February 26, 2009

Springhill - West Seattle

I can't believe I didn't have to purchase a plane ticket to enjoy this amazing meal! Chicago, New York, Napa Valley, San Francisco and now West Seattle. Yes, on my list of places where I find chefs who are fresh, adventurous, and deliver culinary perfection, I'm adding my own backyard. Seriously, Springhill is that great. The food - the service - the ambiance were beyond perfect in this little restaurant with an unassuming front on California Avenue. From the moment we arrived, there was an enthusiastic rhythm in the air. You could tell the staff loved their craft, were proud of their work and wanted to share it all with their dinner guests.
After looking over the wine card full of unexpected regional bottles and peppered with a few European classics, we ordered the Scott Paul Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. It paired perfectly with our meals. I ordered the crispy veal sweat breads to start, followed by the Kumamoto Oysters on the half shell. Just as our waiter explained, the oyster liquor was a savory medium brine and we literally could taste the freshness of the Pacific Northwest in our mouths. For my main course, I opted for the rainbow trout from the Snake River in Idaho. The trout was seared with brown butter and served on top of pan fried pumpkin cakes, toasted hazelnuts and parsley. The layering of savory flavors was delicate and each complimented the other in a harmonious pattern on the palette. For dessert, we choose a selection of three Washington state cheeses: an Estrella creamery, Dominoes from Montesano, Wa. made from raw cow ’ s milk; a Monteillet Fromagerie, Sauveterre from Dayton, Wa. made from sheep's milk; and a Mt. Townsend Creamery, Cirrus from Port Townsend, Wa. made from cow ’ s milk. It was a fantastic finish to an unexpectedly superior dinner.
Instead of planning a a trip to another city, plan an evening at Springhill. The only thing you'll need to pack - your enthusiasm for great food.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Seattle Chefs and Restaurants among James Beard Semifinalists

Semifinalists for the the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards, Restaurant and Chef Awards have been named. Among the nominees are some of Seattle's finest:

Outstanding Restaurateur:
Tom Douglas - Dahlia Lounge, Palace, Kitchen, Etta's, Lola, Serious Pie & Dalhia Bakery

Outstanding Chef:
Tamara Murphy - Brasa

Best New Restaurant:
Poppy (although I have to disagree, there are MUCH better in Seattle)

Rising Star Chef of the Year:
Rachel Yang - Joule

Outstanding Pastry Chef:
James Miller - Cafe Besalu

Outstanding Wine Service:

Outstanding Service:

Best Chef Northwest:
Kevin Davis - Steelhead Diner
Matt Dillon - The Corson Bulding
Renee Erickson - Boat Street Cafe
Mark Fuller - Spring Hill
Maria Hines - Tilth
Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez - The Harvest Vine
Taichi Kitamura - Kappo
Scott Staples - Restaurnt Zoe
Ethan Stowell - Union
Jason Wilson - Crush

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pinot Noir Dinner Featuring Chef Jenn Louis

It's no secret Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become one of the finest Pinot Noir regions in the world. And, it's no secret that chef Jenn Louis of Portland's Lincoln restaurant, is one of the most inspiring chefs in the region. Though Lincoln is a little more than six-months-old now, Louis is a veteran in the kitchen; known for her "no fuss" philosophy of using the freshest of seasonal ingredients.
On Monday, Feb. 9, the James Beard House in New York will host chef Louis. The menu will showcase her extraordinary culinary talent of balancing old and new. And, be perfectly balanced with pairings from some of Willamette Valley's finest wines.
The Menu:
Hors d’Oeuvre
Chicken Liver Mousse Crostini with Maldon Sea Salt and Cornichons
Brandade Bruschetta with Sultanas and Balsamic Red Onions
Creton, Mizuna, and Dijon Mustard Gougères
Radicchio with Cured Pork Belly, Walnuts, and Pecorino
Pepper Delicious Cocktails with Aviation Gin
Dungeness Crab with Pimentón, Capers, and Garlic, Served on a Crouton
Soter Vineyards Beacon Hill Brut Rosé 2004
Arugula with Oro Blanco, Fennel and Oil–Cured Olives, Pine Nuts, and Citrus Vinaigrette
Cristom Vineyards Estate Pinot Gris 2007
Sweetbreads with Root Vegetables and Blood Orange Gastrique
Cristom Vineyards Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Pork Shoulder and Belly with Tarbais Beans, Tesa, and Braising Greens
Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
Pear and Apple Tarte Tatin with Currant Crème Fraîche, Hazelnuts, and Cider CaramelA
ndrew Rich Gewürztraminer Dessert Wine 2006