Sep 16 2011

Spud’s Fish and Chips

Kristi

Besides the fact that it’s one of the closest restaurants to our house, we love Spuds because they have some really good fish and chips! I like the fact that it’s more on the flat side, and well fried… just the way I personally prefer my fish and chips. Simple, and tasty. What more could you ask for?

We’ve been noticing that whenever the sun is out, this place gets PACKED. I guess the fact that Juanita Beach is right across the street doesn’t hurt, either. Guess people like fish and chips on a sunny day!

Cost: $
9702 NE Juanita Dr, Kirkland, WA 98034
www.spudfishandchips.com
(425) 823-0607
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Aug 5 2011

John Howie Steak

Kristi

My bff had given me a gift certificate for John Howie the end of last year.. and for some reason it took us until recently to use it. One weekend I finally decided, ‘let’s do it!’ So off we went.

The restaurant was quite nice inside, although since we were there early, some of the servers made me a bit nervous.. standing around, watching us. Since I photograph everything, I try to be discreet and snap the shots out of sight of any servers. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that this time, but no one complained, so no harm.

Here’s what we had:

As an amuse bouche, we were given salmon mousse with sweet onion over toast, which was a nice, tasty bite.

As an appetizer, we chose the dungeness crab cakes, which were also quite good. I liked that you could tell they were actually made from crabs. Sometimes crab cakes can be so mushed up, you have to wonder…

For one of the side dishes, we had the creamed spinach with kurobuta bacon, and a sunny side up egg. I love spinach, and add cream, bacon, and a runny egg? How can you not like it!

Our second side dish was the mesquite roasted corn with honey chipotle butter. I’m a sucker for a good creamed corn dish. This one was good, although I was comparing it to the creamed corn I’d recently had at RN74, and it didn’t quite stack up!

For my entree, I went with my usual cut, filet mignon. Here I was able to get a combination of two different types of filet; 4 oz of Snake River Farms wagyu, and 4 oz of USDA prime. Obviously the wagyu was a bit more tender and juicy, but both were quite good, and very flavorful. Neither one of us needed any sauce for our steaks!

While this is the first ‘steak house’ I’ve been to in Seattle, I thought it was quite good, and I would definitely return when the steak craving hits.

Cost: $$$
11111 Northeast 8th Street, Suite 125, Bellevue, WA 98004
(425) 440-0880
www.johnhowiesteak.com

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Jul 24 2011

Santorini Greek Grill

Kristi

We LOVE greek food, and so far, Santorini has been the favorite out of the few we’ve tried in town. The gyro meat is definitely the standout, although the kebabs are pretty darn good too. But I’d be hard pressed not to get the gyro, or the gyro plate! The pita bread is always nice and fresh, and the hummus is quite tasty. I also appreciate that the food isn’t overly garlic-laden. I love garlic, but some Mediterranean places in town go a bit crazy with it!

We’ve been here several times now, including for takeout. The place gets extremely crowded as the food is good, and the restaurant is small!

Oh, and don’t forget the Greek fries! Quite tasty…

 Cost: $

106 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 822-0555
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Jul 9 2011

Milagro Cantina

Kristi

Milagro Cantina is a fairly new ‘modern’ Mexican restaurant in downtown Kirkland. I have to admit, we actually went here the end of last year, but for one reason or another, I’d forgotten to do this blog post! So, form my (not very good) memory, here’s my take on the food:

We started with a couple of small dishes:

Sopes: crispy masa cakes filled with goat cheese, wild mushrooms, onions, and huitlacoche crema:

I remember these being tasty and crispy, but perhaps a bit too much creme?

Gorditas: masa tortilla filled with homeade chorizo, corn, poblano peppers, with pico de gallo, avocado, and key lime crema:

I think I enjoyed this one a bit more. Chirizo and peppers? Yes.

Chips and salsa:

I love big tortilla chips! I remember the accompanying salsas being quite good as well..

 

Albondigas soup: chorizo meatball soup with tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and cumin:

I believe this was quite hearty, but a bit on the spicy side for me. Still, a nice soup on a cold winter’s day!

We tried three of the tacos. I do remember enjoying the bbq beef the most, even though it was probably the most non traditional of the three.

Barbacoa: slow roasted bbq beef with avocado, onion, and cilantro

Pescado: grilled mahi mahi marinated with coriander and lime cabbage slaw, Mexican mayonnaise, pico de gallo

Al Pastor: Rotisserie pork, grilled pineapple, radish, and cilantro

Frijoles Negros: black beans with cotija cheese and pumpkin seeds

This dish was quite good. Black beans with my favorite cheese in the world, plus crispy pumpkin seeds. Very nice combination.

The interior is quite classy, and I expect this restaurant will do (or is doing) quite well downtown. It seems like a nice spot for lunch or dinner, as well as for drinks. We haven’t been back yet, but fully intend to return soon!

Cost: $$
148 Lake St S, Kirkland, WA 98033
www.milagrocantina.com

(425) 952-6270

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Jul 2 2011

Rainin’ Ribs

Kristi

One of the many things we’ve been on the search for in Seattle is a good BBQ spot. We had a favorite spot in Las Vegas called Buzz BBQ, which we miss terribly!

We’ve tried a few out here that have been okay.. but so far, I think this has been our favorite. While I didn’t like all of the items, I thought the brisket was good, and the ribs (which have never been my favorite) were excellent. Smoky, tender, and quite delicious!

The hot links were not exactly my favorite, but were certainly hot. Fried okra was pretty good. Mac and cheese? Not anything really special. I think this place is all about the ribs… although.. we definitely have to try the pulled pork as well.

I also really liked their sweet bbq sauce. I’m one of those people who likes my sauce sweet, but this one also has a bit of spice to it, which is nice.

 

We’ll definitely be going back to try more items, especially since it isn’t far from where we live! The dining area is basically a tent outside, and there was live entertainment the night we were there.

Recommended!

Cost: $$
15030 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
(206) 362-7427

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Jun 5 2011

Frost Doughnuts

Kristi

I’m not much of a doughnut person, but when I see the words smoky-bacon-maple-bar put together, my interest is piqued! Off we drove one Sunday to Frost, about 20 minutes north of where we live. We exercised some self restraint, and ordered four doughnuts to share. The above is the aforementioned bacon maple bar, and it was quite good, with plenty of smoky bacon bits on top.

The others we had were the Aztec chocolate, salted caramel, and peanut butter perfection. The Aztec chocolate was really good, with a hint of pepper and cinnamon in it, and plenty of shaved chocolate on top. The salted caramel wasn’t as salty as I’d hoped.. it actually tasted the most like an ordinary doughnut to me, albeit a good one. Our hands down favorite, though? The peanut butter perfection. Think of one of those old fashioned jelly doughnuts, only with a whipped-creamy peanut buttery mousse inside. Yum!

Since then, we’ve been back to try several other donuts, all of which have been good. My favorite is still that peanut butter perfection… which they haven’t had since we first went! Guess we’ll have to keep going until they’re available again…

Cost: $
15421 Main Street, Suite 102, Mill Creek, WA 98012
(425) 379-2600
www.frostology.com
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May 18 2011

Trellis, part II

Kristi

Our second visit to Trellis was for happy hour. We ordered a variety of different items to share, and here’s what we had:

Snails Bourgogne with mushrooms, garlic butter & crustini*:

I hadn’t had snails in a long, long time, and these were really good! The sauce was quite tasty, and the snails were tender and quite mushroom-like in texture.

Sweet Potato Fries with chipotle aioli:

The sweet potato fries in the background were also quite good; crisp, hot, and really nice with that chipotle aioli.

Green globe artichoke tots with chipotle dipping sauce:

These were not as good as I’d hoped; I think the artichokes got a bit overcooked when they were deep fried, as the texture ended up borderline mushy.

Pesto flatbread with pine nuts, oven-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese & roasted garlic:

This was quite tasty, but it also was full of ingredients that I love!

Barbeque ribs with house-made barbeque sauce:

I only had a taste of this, but it was quite tender, and the sauce was good, albeit a bit sweet.

House-made gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese:

The gnocchi was super fresh, and really good, and the tomato sauce had a nice tartness to it.

House-cured salmon with lemon zest, capers, grissini, bitter greens:

This dish was good, but not as good as I was expecting it to be, especially since the salmon was a bit salty for me.

Overall, a really good deal on food for happy hour! It was quite busy, and we ended up sitting outside the restaurant in the hotel lobby, but the service was still spot on. We’ll definitely come back for happy hour (or dinner, breakfast, brunch, or lunch)!

Cost: $$$
220 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033
http://www.trellisrestaurant.net/
(425) 284-5900

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Apr 30 2011

Anthony’s Homeport

Kristi

On the lookout for what will be our ‘favorite’ seafood restaurant in the Seattle area, having a craving for salmon, and remembering that it was still Seattle Restaurant week, we headed to downtown Kirkland’s Anthony’s for dinner one Thursday evening. Finding the dining room absolutely packed, we headed upstairs to the bar area, which is quite large, appears to have a better view of the lake, and serves the full menu. Once again, we ordered one SRW menu, as well as some items from the regular menu.

Although this was technically my appetizer choice, it wasn’t exactly my first choice… but Adam twisted my arm to give it a try. Ahi tuna nachos on taro chips. It was good, but I’d likely try a different appetizer next time. The tuna was fresh, but slightly oversauced. Adam also ordered a cup of the clam chowder, which he quite liked.

My entree was the wild Alaskan salmon, roasted on an alder plank and finished with smoked sweet red pepper beurre blanc, with grilled asparagus. The salmon was well cooked, but I wasn’t overly fond of the amount of creamy sauce over it.

Adam ordered one of his favorite dishes, fish N chips. This version was Alaska cod dipped in tempura batter, with Anthony’s seafood seasoning. I think the version was good, but definitely not the best in the city.

For dessert, we ordered the Bailey’s Irish cream chocolate mousse. It definitely had the flavor of Bailey’s, but the chocolate mousse portion was quite sweet.

.

Overall, the food was good, and the seafood quite fresh. We’ll likely return for the view, and because it’s relatively close to where we live. I think the bar area would be a nice place to relax, and enjoy drinks and appetizers, especially now that the weather is getting better!

Cost: $$
135 Lake St S, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 822-0225
www.anthonys.com/restaurants/info…
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Apr 16 2011

Rikki Rikki

Kristi

Craving udon one night, we drove downtown to Rikki Rikki, not having heard much about it, or having done much research on the restaurant. What we found was a completely packed (and decent sized) restaurant, with quite an extensive menu! We ordered our usual spicy tuna roll to try, which was good, with plenty of fresh tuna and just the right amount of spice.

Adam also ordered the tofu beef sukiyaki, which was also good, although much soupier than I’m used to:

I ordered the tempura soba. The noodles were firm (which I like), and the broth slightly sweet, and boiling hot:

I ate the tempura separately as I hate getting my soup oily. Yes, I’m picky sometimes! The tempura was good, although definitely not the best I’ve had. Most of the pieces were fairly crispy, but one of the shrimps was quite soggy.

Overall, the food was good. Since it’s somewhat close to where we live, we’ll be back to check out some of the other menu items, and probably more of the sushi once the weather starts warming up!

Cost: $$
442 Parkplace, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 828-0707
www.rikkirikki.com
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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

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