Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baller mushroom tartlets (or what I learned from my sister)

My sister is turning into a pretty serious mistress of the kitchen.

This is a particularly remarkable turn of fate when you consider that two years ago, she was a woman who hardly deigned to chop her own tomatoes. These days, you can regularly find her whipping up delectable and sophisticated dishes. Example 1 of her domestic goddess status: behold, the ridiculously adult-looking mushroom tartlets she made for appetizers at Thanksgiving this year.

These things are seriously tasty. They hardly lasted 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. If you're looking for a relatively easy recipe that will impress your guests and please their palates, try this at your next dinner party.

1 cup walnuts
10 oz frozen puff pastry
3 tbspn unsalted butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3/4 lb of wild mushrooms (crimini and porcini work especially well; remove tough parts of stems)
finely chopped chives

1. Thaw the puff pastry. Pre heat oven to 350F

2. Lightly brown the walnuts in a baking sheet placed in the oven for less than 10 minutes. Careful not to burn! Remove, cool and coarsely chop.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Make sure you stir. Reduce heat to low and slow cook until caramelized, about 40 minutes. Let cool. In a food processor, puree with walnuts until mixture forms a smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper.

5. While onions are slow cooking, line medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Separately, on a hard, smooth surface, unfold the puff pastry and use a round pastry cutter to cut into 4 inch rounds, about 1/8 in thick. Set another baking sheet (or flat weight) on top and bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven.

6. Increase oven temperature to 400F. Separately, in a medium sauce pot, bring water to boil. Blanch mushrooms for about 2 minutes, until they become a bit tender. Drain, pat dry and cut into 1/4 in slices.

7. Take each pastry round and spread puree on top (leave about 1/4 inch from the edge). Arrange mushroom slices on top, overlapping. Brush with EVOO. Bake for 10 minutes or until hot all the way through. Remove from oven, garnish with chives and serve!

Recipe taken and modified from Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Food&Wine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Exotic Fruit Gelato on South Beach

I was planning on expounding on the many delicious values of this gelato spot in Miami, but my very attentive boyfriend is insisting that I spend this time interacting with human beings instead of indulging my food fetish.

And so, I will resort to bullet-pointed highlights of the key takeaways compliments of my former life as a management consultant:

  • (Situation) Tart frozen yogurt is still my regular dessert of choice, given that it is far more widely available BUT
  • (Complication) La Gelateria Parmalat on Lincoln Road in Miami makes some amazingly fresh gelato using real fruit which blows original tart out of the water. I tried their papaya and guava and am addicted
  • (Resolution) Sadly, I live a few thousand miles too far for this to be a regular fix. But if you're in the area, now you know - please please enjoy a cup of this deliciousness for me.
And if you get to try the supote, know that I'm extremely jealous.

La Gelateria
670 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Best dumplings on the planet

The best dumplings on the planet are made by a Taiwanese franchise called Din Tai Fung. Lucky for you, you can find this veritable temple of East Asian delights in 10 countries and territories around the world. Including the US.

I had my first hit in Shanghai in July and returned to Hong Kong for subsequent fixes. Ok, I'm not actually so badly addicted - I didn't actually travel 6000 miles for a dumpling. But I would entertain a road trip from SF to Arcadia since there's a new Din Tai Fung down there - any takers? . . .

So what exactly is so addictive about this place? One dish sums it up: truffled pork dumplings. Din Tai Fung's specialty is their Shanghai-style soup dumplings, called xiaolongbao. Some genius that works in their kitchens had the creative insight to imagine what would happen if she added the most delectable of Western cuisine's flavors into the delicate liquid-laden bites. And she absolutely struck gold. Order the truffled pork dumplings. Actually, go ahead and get two orders because you won't be able to stop after the first 5 pieces.

So find a Ding Tai Fung near you. Prepare for total dumpling delight (see picture below).

Din Tai Fung
Store #1,1108 S. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The name of this joint says it all: TACOLICIOUS, an amazing (relatively) new taco spot in SF. But it's not in the Mission.

All you Marina dwellers, there's now one more reason not to leave your northern strip of the city: delicious tacos at Tacolicious. The rock cod was my personal favorite - buttery chunks of fit deep fried in a fluffy on the inside-crispy on the outside batter, all on top of tasy corn tortillas with a light remoulade. Scrumptious! I'm told the carnitas tacos are pretty irresistible, too.

Make sure you try the variety of salsas, too. Hot, medium and mild in a bright splash of colors. I won't tell you which color's which, but suffice to say it's not entirely intuitive. . .

Just one note: good company is a necessary ingredient to survive the Marina crowds at this spot. Good thing I got my fix with Garron and Christin.

2031 Chestnut St
San Francisco CA 94123

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bite worthy: Scotch Eggs at Wexler's

The best bite worth having in San Francisco right now: the Scotch Eggs at Wexler's.

A relatively new spot in the Financial District, Wexler's does American barbeque fare with a touch of class, and trendiness. It's a small spot tucked in next to Wayfare Tavern, with vintage-chic decor. Think white, wood, mirrors and elaborate hanging light fixtures.

What's remarkable about almost everything on their menu is that they take what can be sloppy, heavy and rich foods and make them refreshing and somewhat refined. Think bites of hush puppies with pickled shallots, or a plate of pork with a dainty and whimsical presentation (and really delicious contents).

The drinks at the bar are cheeky and different. Try the cocktail concoction with arugula and fennel.

But the star of the edible show at Wexler's is definitely the scotch eggs. Scotch eggs are a British import (Fortnum & Mason claim to have invented them back in the 18th century), but the Americans at Wexler's have definitely taken this at times too-hearty dish to a new height. A scotch egg is a hardboiled egg, wrapped in sausage, breaded and then deep fried.

The Wexler's version adds some cornmeal to the bredding for an extra crispness, soft boils the egg to leave it soft and rich in the center, and complements the dish with a tart sweet tea gastrique and a harissa-inspired hot sauce. The result is pure deliciousness.

This is definitely my favorite bite in SF right now.

568 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Monday, October 4, 2010

Need a nosh in Seattle?

Piroskhy Piroshky's the spot. Consider it yet another reason to visit Pike Place market when you're in Seattle.

These delicious Russian-style pastries come with all kinds of sweet - and savory - fillings inside warm and buttery pastry crusts. Think a Cornish Pie, but with much better stuffings. Try the sweet marzipan roll, the beef and cheese, or the potato mushroom and onion one (my personal favorite).

You'll find Piroshky Piroshky tucked into an unassuming store front off the market entrance. Look for all of the rave reviews plastered in the window to find it. Just make sure you get there before noon or the line can be tremendous.

Piroshky Piroshky
1908 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The debate over SF's best pizza spot rages on, and there are quite a few new contenders to add to the mix.

I won't opine here on where the best pie resides, but I can tell you that one of SF's newest pizza places has other reasons to visit: the starters and desserts.

Zero Zero, Bruce Hill's new SOMA spot, is the place to visit. The starters to order: try their watermelon salad starter, as well as the padron pepper poppers (say that three times fast). The latter are especially addictive. You can check out the entire menu here.

I'll give you another hint: the house red wine is the best glass on the list. Use it to wash down the many scrumptious pizza options.

But the real show stealer on this menu, as far as I'm concerned, is dessert. It comes in a simple, unassuming white cup. And it sounds deceptively simple - drive-through style soft serve. The difference? It's particularly creamy and rich, and dressed elegantly with olive oil and sea salt. Get two spoons, since it's even more delicious shared. Just make sure you try it!

Zero Zero
826 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 348-8800

Monday, August 9, 2010

In China, They Eat Everything. Part 2.

We continue our tour of my culinary (mis)adventure(s) in China . . .

Sea snails seemed particularly popular in Beijing's wet market. I'm told they're even tastier than escargot.

Summer fruit was a major hit; I had my first waxberries in Shanghai. Think plum meets strawberry meets pleasantly strange fibrous texture.

Preserved and packaged seafood is an increasingly popular delicacy. Here is a very expensive box of preserved abalone. It doesn't have much flavor, but it's awfully chewy. . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In China, They Eat Everything. Part 1.

Because a picture is worth 1000 words, here are some snaps of what they served up during my 5 weeks in China.

We covered the whole spectrum - the good, the bad - and definitely the ugly.

Yangjin, the beer of champions (in Beijing anyway)

Peking duck (overrated and way too fatty, sorry peeps)

Sea cucumber. Yes, they're worms. Yes, people really pay $300/g. No, they aren't kosher.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Tamale in San Francisco

Taquerias in the Mission are like religious institutions. People prescribe to one or two favorites and tend to follow them dogmatically. And they can be awfully fervent in their belief that their place is the best.

Consider this a revelation, then. The best tamale in the Mission is tucked into a corner place you probably haven't heard of, and it comes in a little plastic basket swathed in . . . plantain leaves.

Bet you didn't see that coming. It's not the standard corn husk cover, and the change in wrapping gives this delicious masa morsel a trademark woody/smokey/herbal flavor profile that is delicious. At the very least, it's a new twist on the familiar, and it works extremely well. Order the chicken mole filling.

The spot, you ask? Taqueria La Oaxaquena, on the corner of Mission and Clarion Alley. And while you're there, order the interesting pupusas (goat cheese and sundried tomato is my favorite) and hot chocolate, too.

La Oaxaquena
2128 Mission Street
San Francisco

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Move Over Cupcakes: Macarons Are Here!

I'm tired of paying $5 for cupcakes. I know they've been the trendy dessert of the day for years, and all the cool kids do it. New York is lined with drive up trucks vending sugary sweet cupcakes, and they've been infiltrating SF too. Kara's, Sibby's, Citizen Cake, we all have our favorites.

But for the foreward-looking foodies out there, I've found the new dessert frontier: macarons. They're bite size, the flavors can be delicately delicious (if done right), and they're adorable. And if you look around carefully enough, you can find some amazing macarons in SF.

What are they? French confections made out of egg whites, almond flour and lots of sugar. They can come in amazing flavors, ranging from nuts (pistachio is my favorite), fruits, flowers and the more exotic (truffle, anyone?).

So where in SF can you get your macaron on? The most common spot would be La Boulange, which has them almost every day in pretty pastel colors. If you're looking for a more artisanal location, check out Paulette in Hayes Valley (see below). The vibrant colors make these bite-size confections look like edible toys - but the flavors are strong and super sweet. Maybe even a touch too sweet. . .

My hands-down favorites are the macarons from Christopher David in Bernal Heights (see top). They are delicious. The textures are perfect - the shells are airy and chewy. And the flavors are creative, with combinations like strawberry lavender, or individual stand-outs like meyer lemon and butterscotch.

They'll set you back about $2 a bite, but it's totally worth it. The only challenge with these confections may be finding them. If you don't want to schlep out to Bernal Heights for them, check out the next SF Underground Farmers Market, where Christopher David makes regular appearances. . .

Christopher David Macaron
833 Cortland
San Francisco, CA 94109
Neighborhood: Bernal Heights

437 A Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baraka: This Lemonade is a Blessing

I have had the best lemonade of my life.

And yes, it will blow away even the best of any Southern grandmother's pitcher.

You can find it in a small, unassuming little Algerian-Tunisian restaurant called Baraka tucked away in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The drink is called Cherbat. What makes it so special? A blend of scrumptious ingredients - including orange essence, rose water, fresh mint and other spices like cinnamon and cloves. There's a beautiful garnish of rose petals, too. The result is a refreshing and delicate beverage that will cool, rejuvenate and cleanse your palette. And it looks quite pretty, too. You can try making it at home by following this recipe; just make sure you add fresh mint and finely grind the spices.

Baraka offers a wealth of other delectable food, too. The flavors are Mediterranean with a North African twist - lots of olive oils, vinegars, and capers complemented by flavorful spice blends like zaatar. If you can make it for lunch, I'd highly recommend the open face tuna sandwich, served on hearty Berber-style flat bread.

Many thanks to my dear friend Melissa for sharing this spot. If Bedouins really eat this well in North Africa, I just might consider becoming a nomad . . .

Baraka Cafe
80 1/2 Pearl Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bisou - best new SF restaurant

I am breaking a cardinal rule of mine and spilling the beans on an amazing, yet-unexploited SF dining spot.

But only because it's so good. I'd say it's the best new restaurant in SF. The Yelp reviews agree too.

It's an awesome little French bistro with a modern chic vibe in the Castro called Bisou.

I can't sing enough praises for this place. The food is simple but scrumptious. The prices are very reasonable. The drink selection is varied and well-chosen. And the desserts come with beautiful sugar ornaments!

Nick Ronan, thank you for outdoing yourself and creating this adorable new spot. And thank your amazing wait staff for being so friendly. At dinner here last Sunday, we were gifted with champagne on the house, and a custom-made steak tartare heart. The service is lovely - warm and welcoming. And the entire three course experience came for under $40 a person.

Things you should definitely order while you're here:
- Ernst&Co Pinotage - rich blackberry flavors without the funky nose that these South African wines can have
- KBA Kobe Steak Tartare - the picture says it all
- Beef Bourguignon - Julia Child would swoon
- Frites - delicious, if you can order them before they run out!
- Desserts - try them all (but if you must pick one, definitely try the chocolate carresse, shown above)

So there you have it, one of my best secrets, no longer kept. Now before the place gets so booked it's impossible to get a table, check it out.

2367 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oysters on Highway 1

I heart oysters.

Good news: just 30 minutes north of San Francisco, I can get them fresh and eat all the slimy, salty sea mollusk goodness I want.

Three purveyors to choose from, all located off the beautiful Highway 1 as you drive up to Point Reyes. They all offer some pretty delicious oyster goodness - and provide picnic benches, shuckers and bbq grills for you to enjoy your purchase on the spot! A dozen oysters will set you back about $15-20, depending on what you type you buy. . .

1. Drakes Bay Oyster Company
(a family farm off of Drakes Bay)

(of Ferry Building fame)

3. Tomales Bay Oyster Company
(great for mussels and clams too)

Thanks also to my lovely oyster shucking model, Chiara:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Facil: It's Easy to Love

Berlin offers a smorgasbord of dinging experiences - arguably the most diverse selection of restaurants in Germany. You can find American burger joints, home cooked Turkish meals, traditional Bavarian fare. The range is as eclectic as the city's history and current population.

If you're looking for a haute cuisine experience, Berlin's Facil restaurant offers a truly remarkable one. Nestled atop the Mandala Hotel, Facil blends effortlessly into the elegance and Euro-sophistication of its luxury hotel home.

Minimalism is the mantra at Facil, where the cuisine has French inspiration but draws on regional cuisine as a base. The ambiance is refined and relaxed, from the green walls sporting cool gray marble wall panels and a Giallo Reale Patinalo-tiled floor. You'll feel you're eating in a hidden sanctuary, under a glass ceiling that offers stunning sunlight at lunch or the glow of Berlin's lights in the evening.

But don't let the elegance of the place distract you too much - the food here is seriously good. Facil is one of Germany's finest restaurants, and boasts a Michelin star. The food is exquisite.

Chef Michael Kempf offers a six course menu that changes every few nights. The dishes present a structural twist that combines unusual flavors and textures into memorable forms on the plate. Imagine individual amuse buches in colors so vibrant they remind you of spring flowers, or a squab with roasted fruit sauce that is simply presented, but explodes with flavor.

Facil's service also deserves special recognition. The staff are warm and hospitable, offering thoughtful suggestions on wine pairings (we were very impressed with sommelier Felix Voges's recommendations throughout our meal) and insights into the ingredients in each dish as requested, too. This wasn't one of those intimidatingly nice restaurants - it was a first class dining experience that was accessible and unpretentious.

And by the way, the desserts are so beautiful, it's almost hard to eat them. Almost. Until you realize how delectably delicious they are. . .

5th Floor, inner courtyard
The Mandala Hotel
Potsdamer Str. 3
Tiergarten, Berlin

Friday, March 5, 2010

Citizen Cake was a Let Down

I don't often blog about the bad stuff. But this experience was so sorely disappointing, I can't help it.

Compared to the dream like gnudi I had at Restaurant Zoe the week before, I recently ordered a dismal version of the same dish at Citizen Cake. To even call both plates by the same term is misleading. Would you call a Ford and a Bugati both luxury cars? Hershey's and Recchiuti both gourmet confections? Here too, the Citizen Cake version was a flopping failure compared to what Zoe's kitchen had majestically created.

The dish had a series of problems. One, the gnudi were pan seared and cooked as opposed to being boiled or steamed as they had been at Zoe. As a result, they had a hard almost skin-like texture on the outside and a mushy cheesy center. There was nothing delicate about the dish, and the texture was so severe it was hard to concentrate on the flavors. Although there wasn't anything notable going on there, either. The flavors overpowered. Too much of an eggplant-tomato-olive mush of sorts was served under the gnudi. The red onion puree at Zoe was tart and simple; the Citizen Cake accompaniment was overly sour and chunky. The marriage on the Citizen Cake plate was not a happy one.

I've eaten at Citizen Cake before and had a far more enjoyable experience. Maybe Elizabeth Faulkner's kitchen is growing lax?

Then again, something else was clearly afoot (and afoul) that evening. The kitchen was out of a number of the wines and dishes on the menu. I mean, they didn't even have potatoes to make french fries to go with their burger! Apparently Cake's getting ready to move to a new location in the Fillmore. But can't they at least keep a stocked kitchen in the meantime?!

Citizen Cake
399 Grove Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 861-2228

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Eat Here. Bill Gates Does.

The Seattle restaurant scene continues to impress me. Two weeks ago, I was looking for a nice spot to have dinner with my work team from Dalberg. It needed to be laid back enough to facilitate bonding, but cool enough to match my colleagues' sophisticated east coast tastes. . . .

As luck would have it (and with a lot of help from Yelp), we found a gem of a place in the heart of Belltown, Restaurant Zoe. It's been around for a while, and it has all the understated charm of a restaurant known among locals as a delicious secret. Time to share the news.

Two dishes in particular stood out here:

One, the ricotta gnudi. They're light and fluffy and served with this tart and tangy red onion puree. It's like eating a cheese cloud sprinkled with truffles.
Make sure you order them.

Second, the banana macadamia cake (see photo!). The cake itself is fine, an upscale take on banana nut bread. But the sides on this one really shine. It's served with this macadamia toffee, which is crunchy and salty. Also, a milk chocolate semifreddo, which is amazing. I could have easily eaten an entire pint of that on it's own.

By the way, the dessert was so delicious it prompted me to learn what a semifreddo actually is. The secret? Heavy whipping cream is added to ice cream and turned into a semi frozen delight. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but the smallish serving size makes it ok, right?

Anyway, Zoe was a fantastic find and made for a great dinner. I'm not alone in that assessment, either. Just ask other usual diners, like Bill and Melinda Gates, who were eating here that evening too.

Restaurant Zoe
2137 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Popping mango balls: strange, but tasty

No, I did not just discover tart fro yo. But for those of you ready to write off this frozen fad, don't think you've exhausted the realm of fruit-and-yogurt toppings just yet.

San Francisco chain Tuttimelon has a new topping that will rock your original tart world. They're called popping mango balls and they're pretty special. Even though the name is a bit strange.

What are they? I couldn't tell you. My attempts to Google them has turned up very little information. But think of it as a dabble in mass molecular gastronomy. They're little balls of mango juice coated in a silky sugar coating. The texture is much like a bath ball. The taste, far less soapy. Delicious even. And they're so pretty!

If you have any insights on what these things are, please share. In the meantime, I'm walking down the street to get another cup of them. I may ask for some frozen yogurt to go with, too.

2125 Polk St.
San Francisco

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 for 1 deal: Four Barrel coffee & Humphry Slocombe ice cream

You could spend an entire day jumping from one magical eatery to the next in the Mission. But Four Barrel's recently made the task a little bit easier for you. They're serving an affogato that combines their absurdly good coffee with Humphry Slocombe's delicious (if unusual) ice creams. Last weekend, it was HS's beer-inspired 8 ball stout. Because there's nothing better than the taste of alcohol when you're actually sobering up, right?

For the image conscious, think of this as a prime opportunity to be uberhipster. You'll have coffee in one of SF's hippest joints, topped with the chicest ice cream in town.

Four Barrel
375 Valencia St
(at 15th St)
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 252-0800

(PS - hands too jittery from caffeine! The coffee's that strong. . .)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sweet !

While walking around the Mission and the Castro in an attempt to burn off some of the massive brunch we had just finished at Mission Beach Cafe, my friends and I bumped into this cute confectionery.

The name's pretty easy to remember: Sweet.

And it is. I'd especially recommend the fleur de sel caramels (although everyone's carrying them these days, they really are awesome here). Or if you're craving something of the more baked variety, try the mini cupcakes. At $1.80 and two bites a piece, you can even have two!

218 Church St
(between Market St & 15th St)
San Francisco

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best Brunch in SF? Mission Beach Cafe . . .

I'm taking nominations for the best brunch spot in San Francisco. I know, it's a contentious question. But there are two criteria for nominations that make the task harder than you think:
1. If the wait is 2 hours plus on the weekend, don't even bother
2. Tell me about something new. None of the same Foreign Cinema, Mama's, Dottie's, etc.

I have one place in mind. It's fairly new on the SF brunch scene, and a welcome addition: Mission Beach Cafe. The spot is cozy and unassuming, tucked into a residential street corner in the upper Mission. The simple decor serves as a nice canvas for the food, which is spectacular. Prices are also reasonable here - you can get a (giant) mimosa and a delicious dish for $20-25. And the services is welcoming and warm, with bits of hipster mixed in.

Did I mention the MBC mimosas? These ain't your normal orange fizzes. They offer an entire mimosa menu, with exotic options like tangerine lime, pomegranate, orange cranberry and more. The juice is fresh and delicious, the alcohol graciously poured, and the size is GIGANTIC. You may have trouble walking out of the restaurant straight. . .

But the highlight here is undoubtedly the brunch food. Everything we had was delicious. The menu at MBC is full of heartwarming, hearty food that retains a touch of class. Truffles with home fries, french toast with lavender, sliders of ahi tuna and caviar. You can see for yourself on the menu.

I had the eggs benedict with wild mushrooms and spinach. The standard hollandaise was substituted with a better, lighter sauce made with bravo farms white cheddar. The english muffin was freshly made. And a Saturday special: the kitchen kindly topped the dish with a hearty shaving of truffle. It was delicious - light and fluffy eggs, earthy spinach that was perfectly (and barely) cooked, and a sauce that was divine. Refined and deeply satisfying, I'd take this upscale benedict dish over the usually clumsy and heavy original any weekend.

By the way, I should mention that MBC has an amazing menu all week round. In fact, you may see their Pot Pie Tuesday featured on here sometime soon. . .

Mission Beach Cafe
198 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Try Tilth

I've eaten at Tilth three times in the last 6 months. And I don't even live in this city. It's that good.

It's also one of only two totally organic restaurants in the country. And by that I mean it's the second restaurant in the country that has been certified by Oregon Tilth (a major organic research and education center). The food is exquisite and earthy - a New American that tastes wild, fresh and warm all at once.

Chef Maria Hines has put together an impressive kitchen, with constantly changing seasonal product that comes from the best local vendors. You'll eat things here you've probably never had anywhere else. Like halibut cheek. I had it off the menu back in June and was surprised that such an ugly fish could produce something so lovely. Buttery and tender, the unusual cut was moistly cooked sous-vide and balanced nicely with the light sauce and potatoes served on the side.

You'll also get some seriously earthy dishes. I had a carrot risotto in December that sang of an organic vegetable garden, incredibly sweet and tangy. And a spot prawn dish (these critters were flown in from Alaska's Sylver Fishing Co.) that had oceanic, sweet and umami going on at the same time; you could practically taste the cold Pacific they came from.

The front of house at Tilth is pretty special too and makes for a wonderful experience. The restaurant is a cozy converted house in a calming green. And each time I've eaten there, the servers have been friendly and welcoming, and extremely knowledgable. I love servers who can make educated recommendations, hinting at the taste experience each dish holds rather than restating the obvious.

Next time you're in Seattle, check out Tilth.

1411 North 45th Street
Seattle, Washington

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Bite Stand: check it out!

A friend of mine is undertaking a most daring culinary adventure. She's committed to trying one new food item for every day in 2010 - 365 new things!

Follow Claudia's quest, and help her along with some strange (preferably delicious) suggestions on her site, One Bite Stand.

Some highlights of her list so far:
- Pimms (but Claudia, you have to do it with lemonade, strawberries and on an Oxford punt in the springtime!)
- Tofutti ice cream sandwiches (surprisingly palatable...)
- Quinoa (thank you, Peru)
- Fun dip (nostalgia for my childhood)