A friend of Adam’s invited us to Elemental for dinner, a restaurant that I knew very little about. All I was told was that we needed to leave extra early, we’d likely be there a good part of the night, and not to expect to be able to drive afterwards. Hmm. Well, being that we live on the Eastside, I decided the smart choice was for me to be designated driver, as I don’t tend to drink much anyway. And that way, at least one of us could enjoy all of the drinks that were supposedly to come with dinner!

We got there just on time, and I could see why we needed to get there early… not only is the place small, but they don’t take reservations. That, plus the dinners are long, so if you’re waiting for one of the few parties seated to leave, you could end up standing around for quite awhile. As soon as we got there and sat down, drinks immediately showed up at the table. Then food started arriving. I started to notice that while things were brought over and dropped off, scarcely a word was said, let alone any indication of what any of it was! Yes, you can ask, but otherwise, you eat and drink what’s put in front of you. Interesting concept. Although we did ask about a few of the items, some of them are somewhat of a best guess.

Since I stopped drinking after a glass of mulled wine, a cocktail, and two glasses of white wine, I decided to only review the food. I think I counted everyone else getting at least six more glasses of wine, plus an after dinner drink.

Food-wise, here’s what we had:

Truffle popcorn:

A nice, simple starter, likely popped in truffle oil. I’m going to have to try that at home!

Avgolomono soup (chicken broth, eggs, rice, and lemon):

Okay, I cheated and looked this up! At first glance, I figured this was corn chowder, but not so. Light, tart, and really nice.

Seared scallops with pinenuts, grapefruit, and green tea custard:

Scallops have never really been my favorite seafood, but these were cooked quite nicely, and I really liked the combination of the mousse and grapefruit.

Same dish as above, but with sake marinated jicama:

This dish came sans scallops, since Adam mentioned his shellfish allergy. I actually liked the jicama better than the scallops!

White bean ravioli with parmesan broth:

A very simple ravioli, and the broth made this dish much lighter than a typically sauced ravioli.

Arctic char with capers and cauliflower:

The fish was quite flavorful, and I love capers, so I liked this dish quite a bit!

Braised shortrib shepherd’s pie:

This dish was the heaviest and also the last main dish, so I couldn’t eat much of it.. but it was quite good, especially with the snappy peas mixed in.

Wha-??  No dessert??

Okay, yes, there actually were desserts. I was just tired, stuffed, and forgetful at this point of the evening, so the pictures were of half eaten desserts, plus the light was fading outside, so the shots didn’t come out very well anyway. Rather than torture you with bad photos, I chose to omit them. But they were good, and worth mentioning. Included were a cheese plate, a chocolate cake,  goat cheese cake, and sorbet (I honestly don’t remember what the flavors were, though!)

Overall, I’d say for the price (around $75 a person, tax/tip included) this is a great deal.. IF you drink. It’s actually not that bad of a deal for the amount of food you get either. I do think, however, that the amount of drinks they bring you is bordering on the ridiculous, especially for the amount of time you’re actually there. But then again, like I already mentioned, I’m not a huge drinker. I’d likely return, though, just to see what new menu items might pop up!

Cost: $$
3309 Wallingford Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-2317
Elemental on Urbanspoon

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