Archive for December, 2010

Posted From 30 Thou

December 15, 2010

“Would you like chicken with bbq sauce and corn or bow tie pasta?” she asked with a happy smile in her voice and on her face.

Now where do you think this eatery is?

Yup.

If you’ve ever flown Delta, this might sound familiar to you.

“Does the pasta have any red peppers in it?” I query. “I’m allergic to them.”

“No. No peppers just red cherry tomatoes.”

“I can survive that.”

We launch into a discussion of what kind of cheese is in the corn which comes with the chicken.  She and her colleagues have not been able to figure out the answer to that mystery.  She likes the bbq sauce on the chicken and says that she tried to replicate the recipe at home and couldn’t quite get it.

I share that I’ve loved the chicken stuffed with cheese and spinach.

She agrees and seconds the chicken love fest on that one.

I add that I tried to duplicate that version in my own kitchen and got close but no cigar.  The cheese they use in the airline version  eluded me too.

We pop  up our tray tables and dishes are whisked in front of us with a flourish.  On each is a green salad with grape tomatoes; a creamy caesar italian on the side and I quip, “Does this salad have arugula in it?”

My dear Tom replies as he digs in to his, “Yes it does.”

What?  I was joking.  It’s airline food for goodness sakes!

“Don’t forget to open the dressing away from you.  I learned that lesson the hard way.”

One taste and sure enough, arugula!

A hot buttered roll.  So far so good.

Bowties bland and a few buffer the acid in my stomach from the stress of having barely seconds of  preboarding before the hordes descended on our keisters;  closing in like bumper to bumper traffic in midtown Manhattan.

Tom’s chicken is rubbery and there are peppers in the q sauce. Blechh, for me.

There are, however, rosemary roasted  red potatoes which are quite nice and on both our trays, there is a mighty fine looking dessert which turns out to be pumpkin cheesecake with a struessel topping and caramel drizzle.

Divine.

I’m making this for the holidays!

I am the cheesecake making queen and now I will add this to this year’s goodie banquet.  I’m going to pick up the faboo caramel sauce from Whole Foods for the liberal drizzling.

Our flight attendant comes over to see what we thought and asks, “What flavor was that dessert?”

“Pumpkin cheesecake.”

“Ahhh. My colleague thought it was but wasn’t sure.”

Mmmmmmm we drool a bit together.

Outside our window, the sun is setting over the Rockies, all frosted with snow and I feel a nap coming on.  Full tummy. Food, some parts ho hum and some really delicious.

There is free WiFi on board and I’m sharing the restaurant review with you before I caramel crash.

The pilot, who taxied like he was on I 5 with semis chasing him for dear life; revving and passing other planes like a speedster; maneuvering around chop chop like the White Rabbit, late late late for a very important date and then jumped us from 0 to thousands of mph like a warp speed jump, has just announced that we will be landing at JFK an hour and a half earlier than planned. Whoopee!

Some restaurants have great food; some ambiance; some super views…This one’s food was hit and miss and still better than most in the friendly skies (tho, not much has ever come close to Air France) today we’re at Windows On The World and the view is spectacular!

….And the salad has arugula in it!

Advertisements

Not By The Numbers!

December 9, 2010

At the Capital Hill restaurant, Table 219,  on Broadway Ave E in Seattle, Washington, (would you believe at 219?!) the food is anything but by the numbers or cookie cutter in any way, shape or form.

This intimate, little elegant dining spot is warm and inviting for more reasons than decor or seating arrangements.

It is food from a very special chef, who treats the dishes as an artist treats his canvas, except his paint brush is food which tantalizes the eye, nose and palate memorably.

We were introduced via Groupon.com which featured a special offering of a coupon which could be used for a dinner there and the sneak peek at the menu we got through Groupon enticed us to purchase a coupon so we could give it a try.

I drooled as I scanned the interesting assortment of unique dishes organized in small, medium and larger plates…something for every appetite size and I can honestly say that every dish we sampled (and did we ever) lived up to the pre-drooling.

Our server, Justin, was friendly and helpful in answering our questions about preparation and specialties and, like most places we try for the first time, a bit goggle eyed at the amount of dishes we were willing to taste in one sitting.

“Uh, that’s a lot of food…..” is the common trailing off with an incredulous smile reaction as we two take a table for four and fill it with a small banquet.

The talked-about appetizer of roasted garlic and bacon deviled eggs were like none we’ve ever had in our dreams.  They were creamy with incredibly tasty bacon crumbles and served with a delectable side of a confit of sweet savory roasted garlic cucumber ‘omg-liciousness’ to die for!

“An appetizer for dinner?”  you ask with eyebrow raised.

“Holy smokes!  Don’t miss these!!” I reply with the smile of mmmm-pleasure still on my face.

Tom and I decided immediately that next time we visit (and there will be a next time!) we’ll each get our own order.

We noticed that every table had a plate of them plunked down.

Next came a mushroom, truffle oil mac and cheese served in a dear little orange red le creuset individual pot. Just lovely.  (I left enough in the pot for taking home for a bite of lunch the next day.)

Following this, a dish of the lightest, crispiest zucchini fries with parmesan and horseradish sauce.

Tom had a bison burger served with tomato jam and the best sweet potato fries of perfect size and crunch

Now folks, I don’t usually do bison burgers, though my dear Tom loves them and tries to foist them on me whenever possible; touting the health benefits and saying how I won’t know the difference between that and a good beef burger (which I always do and non too pleasantly)….however, this bison burger was the best I ever tasted and I would go back and order one of my own anytime.

And don’t get me started about the tomato jam that goes with the house cured pickles…..ketchup/catsup hooey!  This ‘jam’ is condiment at a higher level of consciousness!

We tried the Scallop Wellington with mushrooms and spinach cream surrounding the center island of pastry surprise!  Gorgeous dish.

And who could resist the sauteed gnocchi with duck, arugula and cranberry balsamic glaze.

How does he dream up this stuff?

Well, Chef Cheffrey tells you all about it in his blog..how he plans and what fresh ingredients inspire him and, here, you can see how the artist rises to the feasting occasions talking with you like a good friend having you over for dinner as family.

When you go to www.table219.com  you get, not only a look at the restaurant and it’s unique menu, you have the opportunity to go to the Chef’s blog and enjoy the most interesting thoughts and experiences which take you with him on his culinary journey.

His opening,  “JOIN ME IN MY EVER LONG JOURNEY FOR NEW DISHES, NEW DRINKS AND NEW EXPERIENCES. MAYBE A STORY ABOUT A SPECIAL HERE, OR A JOKE FROM A SERVER THERE, WHATEVER. ALL I KNOW IS THAT I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE OUT THERE LOOKING FOR THAT SITE OF SOLIDARITY, A MOMENT OF SECURITY AND RELAXATION. A RESTAURANT IS MORE THAN ITS LIGHTS, ITS WALLS OR ITS FLOOR. IT’S COMPRISED OF THE LIFE THAT’S IN IT. ALL I WANT IS FOR MY GUESTS TO FEEL AS RELAXED AND COMFORTABLE HERE AS I DO.” is a warm welcome mat.

And for sure, Cheffrey, you are not the only one out here looking for the sharing of hospitality and enjoyment of the art of good fresh food and the courage in creating unique and interesting  combinations to please the senses.

Just ask Justin, who is taking art courses.  By seeing Chef Cheffrey work, he now understands that the process of creating masterpieces for the table is very much an art form as visual arts.

I add that the dishes we enjoyed this evening were visceral arts.

Oh, did I almost forget to speak of dessert?

Heaven forbid!

Among the tough choices, we exercised some restraint and ordered one ‘219 ding dong;’ white chocolate mousse atop a bit of chocolate cakey something-something; enrobed in ‘oh-my-mouth-is-still-dreaming-about-tasting-it’ chocolate ganache

…..and 2 spoons please.

This restaurant’s moniker may be  numbers, indicating it’s snail addy, but the food is off the charts in taste and creativity!

Don’t just take our word for it.  We heard the people at the next tables expressing their appreciation and extending kudos of enjoyment too.

Don’t just dream and drool… Go. Eat.  Enjoy.

You heard it here…Fresh Off The Palate!


%d bloggers like this: