Nov 4 2011

Showa

Kristi

Our primary reason for trekking over to Showa? Ramen. Yes, even though ramen is surprisingly scarce here in Seattle, I still keep an eye out for any new places that might serve up the good stuff… homemade broth, thin noodles, fresh toppings, etc. I’d heard the chef at Showa recently perfected his ramen recipe, and we headed out to give it a try:

Of course, being an izakaya, we had to have a few other small dishes, and all of them were quite good.

Seasoned spinach with sesame: Fresh, with just the right amount of sweetness.

Chilled tofu with natto:

I’m one of those weird people who actually likes natto! Surprisingly, Adam didn’t gag when I first served it to him several years ago. This is a good version, again, quite fresh, and the mustard added a nice flavor.

Kurobuta sausage:

Yum. Juicy grilled sausage with mustard? How can you go wrong. Definitely a good dish!

Ramen:

Here’s what we came to try, though.. the ramen. The broth was a bit different than I’m used to.. not a pure tonkatsu broth, with the addition of the clams. The clam flavouring is subtle, though. The broth was quite delicious, bordering on being overly salty for me, but definitely tasty, and served steaming hot. The noodles were a touch al dente, which I like. The char-shiu was quite tender, and overall, we both really liked this ramen! In fact, I’d venture to say it’s probably the best we’ve had in Seattle to date. Just wish it were available on the Eastside..

Cost: $$

701 N 36th St Ste 200 Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 388-3913
showafremont.com
Showa on Urbanspoon


Jan 30 2011

Herbfarm, part II

Kristi

Our second experience at the Herbfarm, and I was just as excited! This time, the theme was truffles. Let’s get right to the food:

Scent of the Sea Truffle: White Truffle Celery Root Tart with Celery Leaf and Apple Hosting; Idaho Brook Trout Roe; Fresh Cracked Dungeness Crab; San Juan Winter Sea Urchin

Wine Pairing: Capitello Oregon Brut, Williamette Valley, Oregon

A nice, light start to the meal, with a decent amount of briny-ness from the roe and urchin. I’ve never been a huge fan of sea urchin, but the small amount used here seemed to complement the dish quite well. Again, a nice sparkling brut to start.

Soleful Salsify: Puget Sound English Sole and Salsify Root with Oregon White Truffles, Pacific Oyster Hachet, Hazelnut Veil, and Brussel Sprouts

Wine Pairing: 2008 Chahalem Chardonnay, “Inox” Willamette Valley, Oregon

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about this dish, other than the hazelnut veil! What can I say. I like fried crispy things. I do remember that I liked the chardonnay, as it was light and not overly sweet.

Parsnip, Pork, Black Truffles & Malt: Spiced Tamworth Pork Shoulder Confit with Parsnip Agnolotti, Black Truffles, and Malt Nage

Wine Pairing: 2008 Brian Carter “Oriana” Viognier-Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA

This dish looks like it’ll be super-truffle flavored, but it really wasn’t. In fact, the truffle was quite subtle, as it was throughout most of the dishes. The pork shoulder was quite tender and tasty. Again, rieslings aren’t my favorite, but this wasn’t overly sweet.

Beets & Black Gold: Roasted Bulls Blood Beet on Sunchoke Puree with a Medley of Sweetbreads, Spinach, and Glazed Truffles in Feuille de Brick with a Caramelized Cultured Buttermilk Sauce.

Wine Pairing: 2007 Boedecker Cellars Pinot Noir, Athena, Willamette Valley, OR

I love beets. Give me a simple, roasted slice of beet, and I’m happy. So guess what my favorite part of this dish was? I actually liked the sweetbread ‘eggroll’ more than I thought I would, as I’m not a huge fan of sweetbreads, but it was infused quite well with the other ingredients. The Pinot Noir was probably my second favorite of the night. Subtle, and quite nice.

Why, it’s Wagyu: Seared Mishima Ranch Ultra Reserve Wagyu Sirloin and Short Rib with Grilled Baby Leeks, Glazed Kuri Squash, Washington Puy Lentils, Turnips, and Oregon Black Truffle Sauce

Wine Pairing: 2005 Corliss Estates Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, WA

Suprisingly, the wagyu was not especially tender. I’m a huge fan of leeks, so I did like that, along with the other veggies and the lentils. Again, super subtle truffle flavor. The cabetnet franc was mild, smooth, and my favorite wine of the night.

Parable of Duck, Sheep & Truffle: Duck Foie Gras and Black Truffle Torchon with Cider Vinegar Caramel, Alpine Lakes Sheep Tomme, Presto Cress, and Fried Bread

Something about this dish didn’t go over well with me. I think it was the overly smooth texture of the foie gras, because I did like the fried bread. I think this was the only dish that I didn’t especially like this night.

North Country Fir: Poached Riesling-Vinegar Meringue, Douglas Fir Gelee, and Douglas Fir “Glass”

Imagine a less gelatinous version of jello, flavored like a christmas tree, with meringue on top. That’s pretty much what this dessert tasted like, and guess what? It really worked! I loved this dish. The ‘glass’ reminded me of a christmas tree version of Japanese rice candy paper.

Orchard of Truffles: Black Truffle & White Chocolate Mousse with Caraway Thyme Carrot Cake, Truffle Honey, Prune Confit, and Fried Potato Threads

By this time, I had seriously hit the food wall. I did manage to eat all of those potato threads, though, and the mouse and carrot cake were quite good. Interestingly enough, out of all of the dishes of the night, this one had the most pungent flavor of truffle.

Selection of Small Treats: Black Truffle Truffles, Sage Macaroon, Lavender Cream Puffs, Spiced Cider pate de Fruit

Hmm… missing picture? I think I was so full, and maybe had so much wine, that I actually forgot to take a photo of the treats! I love macaroons, so the sage macaroon was one of my favorites, along with the lavender cream puff. And trust me, they were beautiful, too. For my coffee/tea selection, I had the chicory tea, which is more like coffee. Quite nutty and robust, but with little to no bitterness.

Overall, another wonderful night. Adam was quite relieved that most of the dishes (save for the orchard of truffles) were very subtly truffle flavored, as he can get ‘truffled out’ pretty quickly. I don’t have that problem as much, in fact, I think some of the dishes could have afforded to have a bit more truffle flavor to them. Still, I enjoyed almost every dish, and had another great experience at the Herbfarm!

Cost: $$$$
14590 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072

http://www.theherbfarm.com/

(425) 485-5300

Herbfarm on Urbanspoon


Sep 20 2010

Things to come…

Adam

So we’ve been spending a good part of our time getting relocated, but a lot of our free time looking for great places to eat here in the Seattle area.  With the help of our local friends (some of whom will be contributing to our blog entries in the future!) we’ve already been to some fantastic places in and around the city.

Here’s a taste (ha!) of a few of the upcoming entries…

  • The quest for a good bowl of ramen.  How hard can that be?  It all depends on the type!
  • O cuban food, cuban food… wherefore art thou cuban food?
  • Our dinner with Andre… and friends… and his brother… at the fantastic little restaurant called “June”, run by an ex-Las Vegasite!
  • Where can you get a great burger in Seattle?  Opinions vary!
  • Exploring the “ID”
  • Southern cooking in Seattle?  Yep!
  • And a lot more!

Stay tuned!


Sep 19 2010

Getting set up

Kristi

I’m now into my third week of living here in Seattle. So far? I’m liking it. After living in Las Vegas for 5 1/2 years, the climate is an adjustment for me.. I’m one of those weird people who actually like hot, dry climates. But I’m originally from Los Angeles, where the humidity level is similar, and I can learn to deal with more grey skies and rain. And hey, now I have an excuse to buy new clothes and shoes!

Right now Adam and I are living in temporary quarters on the Eastside of town, and if all goes well, will be moving into our new home the end of this month. Fingers crossed! Work-wise, my story is a bit complicated. I’m through one week of a month long stint of employment; after the first week of October, who knows. But since I’m working downtown for now, I’ll have a chance to explore a few restaurants there.

Food wise, the main thing I’ve noticed here is an overwhelming focus on local, organic, and sustainable products. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have such an abundance of this available! While I enjoyed my time in Vegas, and found some incredible restaurants, one thing that I found quite challenging was to try to live sustainably. Living in the middle of a desert is just not that conducive to it. Yes, you can find local produce, but it’s a challenge. Try to get that organic, and it’s even more of a challenge. Farmer’s markets were few, and had only a handful of produce vendors. I tried, but struggled to get most things to grow in my backyard. And fresh seafood? Umm… no.

Case in point. A couple of weeks ago, Adam and I went to the Ballard farmers market, and walked by one of several fishmongers. The guy told us he’d caught salmon the day before, smoked it overnight, and this morning, voila. There it was. It was without question the best smoked salmon I’ve ever tasted… soft, mild, and so unbelievably fresh and delicious it almost brought tears to our eyes! Things like this make me quite happy.

Anyway, I already have a backlog of blog entries to set up and write, and will get to this asap. Hopefully my Seattlemusings co-writers will want to help out. Hint hint… =)