In one of last weekends blog posts I intimated that the preceding week had been quite the week. It’s true. I also mentioned that although I had eaten a substantial amount of food, I had not photographed any of it. This is also true. However, you need to know about the food & where I ate it, because it was that good. Which means, and please forgive me for doing this to you…a food post with no pictures. I’d like to promise that this is the one & only time that this will ever happen, but since I never anticipated it happening once and it has, I think it’s best if I don’t promise something that life might just have other ideas about.
I confess. I ate dinner at Trellis 3 times that week. Once on my own, once with 8 others & the last time with 51 fellow diners, although only 8 of them were sat at the same table as me. Or it might have been 9. It was all too exciting to remember. I know I was sat with a bunch of Europeans, plus a couple of Americans thrown in for good measure. One of those Americans is one of my favorite people; and that was before he let me eat his Lemon Tart; as well as my own.
The first 2 evenings I ate exactly the same thing, although the 2nd time I super-sized it. It was incredibly simple – Grilled Flat-iron Steak & Caesar Salad ($25) - but it was sensational. So much so that the next night, I ordered a double portion of it. The steak was cooked perfectly, sliced thinly on the plate & was like cutting through soft butter. The lettuce could not have been fresher – served in whole leaves with fresh Parmesan cheese. Simple, exquisite, outstanding. I could eat that for dinner every day for a really long time & not get bored with it. The second evening I added the Lemon Sage Flan ($10) for dessert. I’ve had this dessert at Trellis multiple times & it is always just perfect. The crystallized sage & sage syrup add a depth that transports an ordinary lemon dessert into something quite exquisite.
The third evening I ate Breast of Pheasant ($29), and, because I have to be honest, it was a little dry. It came with sauteed corn & sweet peppers with lemon & herbs. The Field Greens ($11) – goat cheese, fresh grapes, white balsamic vinaigrette – were lovely. Huge, and lovely. The Lemon Tart ($10) – with frosted berries & whipped creme fraiche – was divine. I ate two. I could have eaten more, but I was trying to be polite.
The service, as always, was superlative. Elicia, Matt & Team – awesome job.
I ate dinner at Brix with 9 other people, in the private dining room, just off to the right as you head in the door. I plonked myself next to the inimitable Brian Glasgow, because he is one of my favorite people in the whole world, and I don’t get to see him very often. Plus, he gives the best hugs & makes me laugh out loud. About every 23 seconds. Love that boy.
I knew I wasn’t staying for too long, and would be eating a second dinner at my next stop, so I skipped the starter and headed straight for the main: Roasted Chicken Breast $19.50 – Creamy Potato Puree, Crimini Mushrooms & Sauteed Spinach & Rosemary Pan Jus. The chicken was beautifully moist & flavorful with a delicious, thick, crispy skin. The potatoes were smooth, soft & creamy, the mushrooms perfectly sauteed in a deep, fragrant jus. I loved it.
Ristorante Paradiso, Kirkland
After downing that delicious bird at Brix, all I did at Paradiso was eat dessert. 5 of them. I happened to walk in just after desserts had been ordered by a veritable gaggle of my friends – 20 or so in fact. They had ordered an assortment for the table. I wasn’t sure I wanted to share, so Jordi – suave, charismatic & dashing Spaniard that he is – ordered me one of my own. One that I didn’t have to share. Turns out I ended up eating my own & sharing 4 others. This is an excellent place for dessert.
Tartufo Limoncello – Lemon gelato with a limoncello (lemon liqueur) cream center, covered with meringue sprinkles – $6.50
Tartufo Classico – Classic tartufo with a zabaglione cream center, covered with chocolate gelato & crushed, caramelized hazelnuts & cocoa powder – $6.50
Tiramisu – Ladyfinger biscuits, espresso coffee, mascarpone & whipped cream – $6.50
Sour cream cheesecake – Topped with raspberry sauce – $6.50
Chocolate decadence – Guittard chocolate, Monarch rum, whipped cream topped with raspberry sauce – $6.50
John Howie Steak, Bellevue
This time dinner involved 8, including me. We started late, got pretty loud & were the last party to leave. We had a fantastic time. Eric bought gifts, while Brian brought his own special brand of humor, a smile as wide as the ocean & his huge heart. We were there to eat steak. 5 of our party live in Asia, where good steak is either hard to find and /or prohibitively expensive, so whenever they are stateside, it’s all about the steak, baby. Brian was deadly serious about this, so he ordered a “Delmonico” – 36 oz of medium-well cow that was bigger than his head. Not only did he down that, but he downed half of Haythum’s “Delmonico” as well. That boy’s got hollow legs.
We started it all with a Tableside Caesar ($10) made right in front of us & served up to all, along with some Oysters ($16) & Spicy Habanero Butter Shrimps ($15). I swallowed down a 10 oz medium-rare sirloin. It was beautiful. We shared the sides – Asparagus Spears ($12), potato cakes ($7), Maine Lobster Mashed Potatoes ($18), Mesquite Roasted Corn with Honey-Chipotle Butter ($9), Beecher’s Flagship Reserve Cheddar Mac & Cheese ($11), Sauteed Wild Mushrooms ($11), Sauteed Spinach ($8). Yeah, we had a few sides. I could go to John Howie’s and just eat sides. Truly, I could.
Strange though this may seem, lovely readers, I could not eat dessert. There was not room for one more ounce of food. Others partook, I don’t remember what they had. I just remember the smiling faces & the happy laughter.
Good times. *Really* good times.