Thursday, September 30, 2010

On to Stockholm!

About to be strapped into a plane seat today for 8 hours, Chicago to Stockholm.
Traveling alone this time, which is unusual. Will miss Mr. Pants (and his amusing chatterings) greatly.

But, I'm calling this my "I vant to be alone" trip, because, like Garbo, I do want to be alone for a bit, somewhere I haven't been before, somewhere beautiful. Need to think about life and death and all of those heavy matters. Need to NOT be at work for a bit as well.

Some snarky comments have come my way about this- such as "Oh so you're doing an Eat Pray Love thing eh? Um, NO! At most it will be an Eat Eat Eat thing.

Will check out the Stockholm food scene, and maybe try the old traditional herring and aquavit. Lots of open face sandwiches should be coming my way, if the literature is to be believed. We shall see.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

June in Seattle

If you need a bit of warmth this autumn, go to June. The old Cremant space feels cozier, with warmer walls, and wooden tables, but retains it's cool factor.

We woke up our palates with gorgeous, crisp, radishes served with fleur de sel and butter.

Kumomoto oysters were out of this world, and I was worried when I read that they came with a peach chile granita, as I'm usually a purist with oysters. It worked beautifully. I seriously considered getting 6 more platefuls they were so insanely fantastic.

Mr. Pants got a wonderful Bavette steak with watercress and confit potatoes. Cooked perfectly, with enough sauce to swipe up with each bite. This is a terrible picture that doesn't do it justice.

I got the stuffed rabbit leg- great flavor, it did have the slight gamey texture, (it is bunny, after all) but still interesting. The creamed kale on the plate was plentiful, and I still wished there was more of it- it was that good.

Our friend boldly ordered the terrific (and scary) "Braised Lamb Neck" with hand cut pasta- served over an incredibly rich, hot broth. The waiter warned us that it was not for the faint of heart.

A Chevre creme brulee was subtle, but nice. It could have had more of that goaty flavor which I love particularly in desserts.

Bread pudding however was perfect, with just enough chocolate to add flavor and the warm, dense, soft slabs of bread were a textural marvel.

Highlights: Cocktails, oysters, steak, radishes, bread pudding.

Disappointments: Lamb neck could seriously freak out the more squeamish among us. Despite that, it was really fun to pick at, and the broth and hand cut pasta with it were superb.

Mr. Pants: A sour mood turned into a pleasant, sleepy one after eating here. Happy.

June on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sexy Beast - La Bête

You've created a monster, La Bête, and the monster is me. I'm afraid I'll be wanting to spend many an evening, and many a dollar at your gorgeous establishment.

The old Chez Gaudy space is anything but, with a feel that's Art Deco, Edwardian, and completely modern at the same time.

Everything was gorgeous- the people, the rich wood paneled ceiling over the bar, the tables and flatware, the metal work over the windows open to the rain, the molding on the ceiling and the round floral Edwardian ceiling light fixtures, which were little miniature chandeliers. It's a vintage dress of a place, made newly cool by timing and forethought.

Chilled cucumber soup with fresh chickpea fritter, red radish and creme fraiche. Soup was cool, minty, and somehow buttery -served on a delicate tray with matching metal-rimmed bowl. A modernized, tweaked falafel with the daintiest of presentations.

A mass of delicate corn gnocchi under a large pile of sweet dungeness crab meat was stellar.

We split the platter of expertly grilled, super-fresh Daurade, with pea vines, dried scallops and smoked bacon and every flavor worked. A fine, reasonably priced Gruner Veltliner paired perfectly with all.

Highlights: Grilled daurade, corn gnocchi with crab, ambiance.

Disappointments: The bill can add up, if you aren't paying attention. And we weren't.

Mr. Pants: Very, very impressed.

La Bete on Urbanspoon