Seattle Restaurant Week at Pomerol

Pomerol is a cute French restaurant located in Fremont. On summer days, you can go out on their patio and enjoy the sun and enjoy their food. It just recently opened a few months ago and I was excited to see they were on the SRW list!

Atmosphere: I went on a Wednesday night and it was bustling with people! Glad we made reservations. They have a small bar in the front with a bunch of tables on the other side. It looked like they could accommodate large parties. Another bonus. From where I was sitting, you could see the meats just hanging near the kitchen for aging.

Pricing: 3 courses for $30.

Service: Our server was pretty nice and gave good suggestions. Nothing really stood out for me with the service though. I don’t think he went out of his way or anything but it was still pleasant.

Food:
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Appetizer – frissee, pork belly, and apple vinaigrette. The fried pork belly was delicious!!! The frissee definitely made me feel better about eating something fried.

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Appetizer – castelfranco, roasted squash, pistachio, feta, and caramel vinaigrette. Overall, I thought this was okay. The pistachio was definitely a great addition to the salad.

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Entree – pork flank, wilted greens, brussel sprouts, and whole seed mustard. I thought the mustard seed was a unique addition to the dish to give it a nice flavor as well as a texture. The pork was cooked on the rare side, which is what I usually trend towards. IMG_2195

Entree – Pan roasted chicken, golden raisin, larden and sherry.  I personally liked the pan chicken at crow better than this, but this was still good. Maybe a little too salty though.

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Dessert – pumpkin chocolate bread pudding with bourbon anglaise. Quite a small helping. I could probably have eaten this in 4 bites! It was good, but I didn’t salivate or die over this. I definitely preferred the cake over this bread pudding though.

IMG_2199Dessert – flourless chocolate cake with dulce de leche ice cream. Rich, but oh so good with the ice cream. I wish there was more ice cream though… That’s always an issue for me.

Overall: Overall I thought this experience was okay. Some dishes were good but it didn’t really wow me. All the dishes were also on the smaller side. I think it would be fair if it was really delicious and then it mind blowing good, but the food I had didn’t. I know SRW has a sample menu on their site for each restaurant and that it’s always subject to change. We picked this restaurant based on that menu and then dishes were different, which was actually kind of disappointing. Despite that, we still had a hard time picking 2 desserts. Everything sounded good. I think I’d come back and give them another try. Their short ribs seemed really popular and looked delicious from pictures!

Pomerol on Urbanspoon

Seattle Restaurant Week at Crow

Being around upper Queen Anne a lot, my boyfriend and I decided to try many of the restaurants nearby before we aren’t in the area anymore and Crow was on our list to try. We actually haven’t been to Betty yet either, their sister restaurant. Crow happened to be having SRW and thought it would be a great chance to try a variety of dishes for a good deal. Crow is located down the hill down the street from QFC.

Atmosphere: Overall, the restaurant is pretty dark with a light above each table. I thought this was a nice way to create privacy between tables since they light drops off between tables. There’s a bar on one side of the restaurant and the kitchen is in the back. It’s a pretty spacious restaurant with lots of seating for small parties and larger ones. It was definitely pretty busy even on a Monday night. Glad we made reservations!

Pricing: SRW offers dinner for 3 courses for $30.

Service: Upon walking in, we were greeted by the hostess. Not the friendliest greeting I’ve ever gotten, but our server was pretty nice. She made some great suggestions for us. I’d say service was pretty average.

Food:

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Appetizer – sautéed prawns with shrimp chorizo over creamy grits. I thought this was a really great concept, but the bottom of the dish was pretty oily. The shrimp was delicious! I thought it was going to have a hint of spiciness, but it wasn’t actually.

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Appetizer – marinated cauliflower salad with fennel, sultanas, pine nuts, and machengo. Let me just say this was a really huge portion! This picture does not do it any justice. Great combo of flavors especially with the sultanas (seedless grades). Lots of different plays on texture. I don’t really like cauliflower in general, but this was great. Nice light dressing.

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Entree – brown butter gnocchi with roasted squash, wild mushrooms, sautéed kale, and parmesan cheese. I love gnocchi and this was great!! Nice crispness to the edges. I love the squash, mushrooms, and kale as well. Huge portion leaving me with leftovers for lunch the next day (which was still delicious).

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Entree – pan roasted chicken wrapped in prosciutto with kale and carrots. I was really impressed with this chicken! There is so much flavor and taste to it. The inside was tender and juicy.

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Dessert – oatmeal cookies with stout ice cream and chocolate sauce on the bottom. The cookies were nice and thin and didn’t overpower the ice cream. Again, great combination with the ice cream to balance out the rich chocolate.

IMG_2055Dessert – Apple bread cake with raspberry sauce. This was a tasty dessert, but it wasn’t my favorite that I’ve tried. Not that memorable in my opinion. It was really hard to choose 2 desserts from their list of four because everything sounded really good. 

Overall: I was really impressed with Crow overall. I thought it was just going to be okay, but it was actually very tasty and I had a pleasant experience. The food was tasty, but nothing extremely unique. They do a great job of new American food. I feel like it’s kind of a hidden gem in the corner and a slick sign. It’s kind of easy to miss. I’m really glad I got to try this :)

Crow on Urbanspoon

Seattle Restaurant Week Fall 2014 Round 1

I started the two week food journey at Le Zinc for lunch. This trendy, French restaurant is located Capital Hill. I heard good things about this restaurant from some friends so I made sure to put it on my list to try. I’m glad they offer this lunch on Sundays! A new thing they’re doing this year with SRW is that many restaurants are changing their lunch menus from 3 courses to 2 courses. I think it’s a huge bummer :( This restaurant was offering a 2 course brunch.

Atmosphere: Right when walking in, the decor is what really stood out to me. It’s bold and they have words on the walls that really captured my attention. They have their bar in the entrance with a small seating area. Their larger dining area is on a lower level in front of their kitchen. I like that there’s a little window to peer into the kitchen to see the chefs working.

Pricing: 2 courses for $15 for lunch. They also offered a 3 course meal for $30.

Service: I really enjoyed our server! He was really friendly, engaging, and smiley. He even chatted us a little at the end. They weren’t terribly busy, so I appreciate that he paid extra attention to us. He also told us some of the specials that went on during the week.

Food:

IMG_2032This is what you’re looking at when you enter! A very classy, trendy bar.

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This is their menu for their weekend brunch.

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This is the view from where I was sitting from the dining area. I like the steel bars used as a pseudo wall between the bar and dining room.

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Appetizer #1 – french onion soup! House made veal stock, caramelized onions, croutons, gruyere de comte (aka cheese). Nice top, but I wish it stayed crisp, but I know that’s always hard with soup. I felt like they put a whole onions worth of sliced onions in the soup. Not that I’m complaining! I love onions!

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Appetizer #2 – chicken liver mousse with caper berries, dijon pickled fennel, and crostinis. Plenty amount of pate for the crostinis. I had some leftover. I really enjoy pate in general so this was delicious for me.

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Entree #1 – mussels & fries. Shallots, garlic, white wine, and house made butter. It was accompanied with a huge basket of fries and I barely made a dent into it! The mussels were DELICIOUS though. I really, really enjoyed this. One thing I noticed was that every mussel had meat inside. There was NO shell-less mussel. Impressive! This was also a pretty large portion size. If you come to Le Zinc, this is one thing you should not miss out on.

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Entree #2 – Croque madame. I’ve had a few croque madames before and thought this was okay! More fries for us to eat. I felt like it was very carb heavy and I only took a few bites before feeling full.

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I really loved the mussels :)

Overall: Come for the mussels!! This is not directly in the heart of Capital Hill but a tiny bit south. They have free mussel Wednesdays! From open to close, with a purchase of a drink, you can get a free half order of the mussels. What a steal. I will definitely be back for this. They also have happy hour from 4-6p daily!

Le Zinc on Urbanspoon

Cheeky cheeky cheeky

Cheeky Cafe is located in International District and is a great find for some brunch, lunch, or dinner! It’s far away enough from ID that there’s plenty of free parking around the area, but close enough to still be in ID. This post will be a 2 in 1, brunch and dinner.

Atmosphere: Upon walking in, we were greeted by a server who told us to sit anywhere. This place has a nice cafe feel with puzzles, games, and cards in the corner and plenty of kids art decorated along the walls. It has a very family oriented vibe with bright colors.

Pricing: Reasonably priced for everything. I would say on the cheaper end of things. Brunch ranged from $6-$10 per dish and lunch/dinner ranged $6-$12.

Service: Both servers I’ve had are quite friendly and smiley. They were very polite and left a positive impression on me.

Food:
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Cheeky pancakes! Green tea pancakes with two eggs and two slices of bacon. The green tea pancakes weren’t too overwhelming and had a nice flavor to the pancakes.

IMG_3537 Breakfast sandwich – english muffin, scrambled eggs, cheddar, bacon served with sweet potato fries (loved that they serve this instead of regular fries!). You can sub a tortilla for the english muffin for no charge. This was a really great wholesome sandwich. Simple, but everything was cooked just right.

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Dinner! Spicy mac and cheese – this had a Korean kick to it. They added kim chi! I can’t handle too much spice, but this was not overly spicy. Very creamy. I prefer mac and cheese that has some burnt parts to it that make it crunchy, but that’s just my taste!

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Balsamic mushrooms – marinated mushrooms that have been deep fried served with roasted pepper and caramelized onion dipping sauce. It’s even gluten free. I thought it was a little heavy after eating a whole skewer, but it’s all like that with deep fried food.

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I’ve been looking for a place that serves okonomiyaki and I have finally found one! This is a Japanese dish of savory pancake batter with shredded cabbage, slices of beef, with shaved bonito and Kiyomi’s special sauce. I’m used to having noodles with my okonomiyaki. I wish they had that with their dish!

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Grandma Kam’s dumplings – This is a family recipe that has a crispy, deep fried outer coating with a mochi like interior that is filled with peas, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, pork, chinese sausage, and dried shrimp. Apparently, the cook is particular about these and thought these were a little overdone so they comped this dish for us. I thought this was super nice of them and shows how much care they put into making their food. This reminds me of a dish at dim sum called “footballs,” because of its similar outer texture.

Overall: I think this is a great cafe that’s welcoming to everyone. Their style of asian-fusion with many types of asian styles is unique, but at an affordable price. They incorporate Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, etc cuisine. It’s a casual place with good pricing and parking. I’d definitely recommend this place to everyone for some good cheaper eats!

Cheeky Cafe on Urbanspoon

I’m so fancy, you already know.

For my four year anniversary, my boyfriend and I went to Staple and Fancy located in Ballard. It’s located near the popular Walrus and Carpenter, known for their juicy, fresh oysters (post coming soon!). Staple and Fancy is part of the Ethan Stowell Restaurants. This particular restaurant has more of a specialty in Italian food.

Atmosphere: It’s nestled next to two other restaurants in Ballard at the end of Ballard Ave. It has a very rustic, romantic vibe with some outdoor seating. They have some bar seating located in the front. There are 4 person tables along the wall with 2 person tables lined in the middle. We sat at one of the 2 person tables and I thought it was private despite being in the middle of the room. You can see right into Walrus!

Pricing: We had to go fancy for our anniversary so we did the chef’s menu. They also highly recommend this on their menu. It’s $50 per person and the whole table must choose to participate. This consists of 4 courses – antipasta, 2 entrees, and a dessert. There were 6 antipasta dishes to start!

Service: We had a main server who continually checked in on us, described each dish as it came out and had a pleasant smile on his face. I could tell the staff had good communication because they worked as a team and a different person would serve our dishes and clean up when we were done with a plate.

Food:
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Started off the night with this chilled heirloom tomato soup. Out of all of the chilled soups I’ve tried, this is probably my favorite so far. It’s not too tomato-y, but had a nice fragrance to it.

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Another tomato heirloom dish with their house made mozzarella and crackers. This combination actually worked really well together.

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Fried oysters with chili aioli. Nice texture to the crisp outside and soft oyster inside.

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Buttermilk eggs, blue cheese, and radish salad. I thought overall, this was my least favorite antipasta dish.

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Spicy coppa! Cured meat with micro greens and olive oil. This was deliciousssss, especially with their bread.

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Fried squid with fennel, olive, cucumbers, chile, and avocado lime juice! Tasty dish that was well balanced with the fresh, light greens from the heavy squid.

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I know that was a lot of antipasta, onto the first entree – gnocchi! (I was feeling pretty good by the time this came around). This is the potato telefono gnocchi with basil, tomato, and mozzarella. You can see the trend of staple products they use throughout the meal.

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Entree #2 – rib eye with summer veggies and onion puree. This was mighty tender with fatty parts at the edges of the piece. I really loved every single bite of this.

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Finished the meal with chocolate terrine. When I first saw this, I thought, oh man this is going to be super rich. Surprisingly, it wasn’t! The cake was delicious right down to the very bottom. It had a thick layer of crunchies on the bottom that was kind of hard to separate with a spoon, but was sooo worth it. The combo of cake, ice cream, and toffee crumbles in one bite was the perfect combo and a great way to end the meal and night.

Overall: I couldn’t be happier with my experience! We had a filling meal and the last two dishes were certainly my favorite. They left a memorable marker in mind by ending the meal with a bang. The chef’s menu is a great way to get a taste of the restaurant. I recommend making reservations just in case. It was pretty busy when I went, which was around 6:30p on Sunday. Happy eating!

Staple & Fancy on Urbanspoon