Saturday, November 6, 2010

Belated Friday Find: Sitka and Spruce

So I've fallen off my blogging schedule a little this week. Work has been unexpectedly busy, and I'm doing NaNoWriMo, which means trying to write at about twice my normal pace. Hence, a Friday Find post on Saturday.

This week's Find is a restaurant. Mr. Fraser and I went to the Sufjan Stevens concert last Saturday. Our babysitting plans for Miss Fraser turned into a sleepover at a school friend's house, which gave us the luxury of an entire night to ourselves. Which meant, among other things, getting to have dinner at a restaurant with no kids' menu.

I'd describe Mr. Fraser and myself as aspirational foodies. We enjoy eating at restaurants whose chefs get national buzz, and our cookbook collection includes such works as Ad Hoc At Home and the Les Halles Cookbook. We just rarely have the babysitting and money for the former or the time and energy to cook from the latter.

Anyway, last Saturday we went to Sitka and Spruce The food wasn't quite like anything I'd had before, in that the chef uses mostly local Northwestern ingredients but is inspired by the cuisines of the Moorish-influenced parts of the Mediterranean. The service is a bit different too, in that all the plates are designed for sharing and served family-style.

I didn't love every single bite. The pickles weren't on the same level as the ones Boat Street makes (which reminds me I've got some Boat Street raisin pickle in the fridge that I should really use for the filling in a pork wellington next time I'm in cook-like-a-foodie mode). And my olive oil ice cream dessert was more fascinating than delicious. I think it would've worked better as a one-scoop accent to dessert than as the main event. But I snuck several bites of Mr. Fraser's gateau Basque with pear and caramel, which was divine, the lamb was among the best I've ever eaten, and the leeks vinaigrette with apple and giblet confit was wonderful.

I definitely recommend Sitka and Spruce for Seattle people wanting a tasty, different dining experience. Prices are about what you'd expect for this level of food (and are listed on the website). It's not quite an all-time favorite, and probably not the first place I'd send an out-of-town visitor. If said visitor had just one night in Seattle, I'd send her to Tilth, which features the best food I've ever eaten in my life, anywhere. Second night would go to a Seattle classic salmon place, either Ivar's, Ray's, or Salty's, and a third night would be Boat Street, with strict instructions to save room for the bread pudding.

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