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

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