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One dinner in Spokane - Latah Bistro, Vin Rouge or Mizuna?

Thanks everyone for the responses. We decided on Mizuna and were not disappointed in the least. From the first contact with them to the last, they were top notch.

When calling for a reservation, they asked whether we'd like an outside table, making sure to mention that if the weather wasn't great, we'd have no issue being seated inside, a thoughtful touch. It turned out to be a beautiful night and we sat outside in the alley. Being originally from Colorado, the one thing I do miss is being able to sit outside at 8:30 at night and be comfortable. Except for this summer, in Seattle that's pretty rare.

The drink and food were both excellent. Their cocktails are nicely proportioned. None of those giant drink glasses and I rarely see a Pegu on the menu, so that was a nice find. Except for my salad, the grilled romaine (smallish and all the leaves separate which made them seem limp and unimpressive), everything was beyond expectation. I'd recently had lamb chops with Israeli cous cous at Canlis that couldn't hold a candle to the double rib chops at Mizuna and my husband loved the ribeye with huckleberry-jalapeno sauce. The service great as well. I'd love to have this restaurant in Seattle.

We also managed to get to Sante for brunch on Sunday. I wanted to ask if the could fry up some bacon for me to-go. Very tasty. Unfortunately, there was a man working on the tree grates streetside, creating noise, smoke and smell. We still sat outside but we were quick to eat as he approached and another foursome had to change plans and sit inside. But, even so, it was surprising to me how quiet the place was for brunch on a Sunday.

Downtown Spokane in general is awfully quiet on Sunday nights. We had thought to go to Rain for a drink and a nibble around 8:00 but found them closed, as was just about everything else (non-chain) in our near vicinity and we ended up at the Peacock Lounge at the Davenport.

Sep 07, 2009
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

One dinner in Spokane - Latah Bistro, Vin Rouge or Mizuna?

We'll be in Spokane this weekend and the three restaurants mentioned are in the running for Saturday dinner. Staying at the Davenport so walkability would be a plus but not necessary. Food first, a good atmosphere second.

Aug 26, 2009
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Puttanesca?

My favorite puttanesca has always been at Salvatore's on Roosevelt. They allowed the Times to publish their recipe way back and and I like my home version just as well.

I also had an excellent Puttanesca Pappardelle at Betty last Saturday.

Mar 04, 2008
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Seattle - Kung Fu Girl Riesling?

Can't help you with finding it in Canada but I had to post to remark on how surprisingly far their reach is. We loved this when we tried it this past August at the winery and were more than surprised to find a stash in a little liquor store in Pueblo, Colorado over the holiday. It was perfect for the those in the family that tend toward sweeter wines.

Jan 10, 2008
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

New-ish on Queen Anne (SEA)

We stopped in for lunch yesterday. I'm all for having another lunch option but worried that, like Barbacoa, this will be too much for them to continue with before long.

The lunch menu is mostly salads and sandwiches but they do offer the steak frites and a clam linguine for those seeking a heftier lunch. Prices are similar to what you'd pay for the specials at the Hilltop but I get a better wine selection at Betty. I had an open faced portabello sandwich with thin aioli, asparagus, and roasted red peppers with a small mixed greens salad on the side. Tasty, good for a light appetite. He had the pastrami which came with so-so cole slaw but very tasty fries.

Looking forward to trying them for dinner. It a nice space, quite large, beautiful muted sage colors on the walls.

May 13, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Cocktail suggestions - SEA

Sambar in Ballard (Adjacent to Le Gourmand). We were there before dinner at Tilth on Friday and they have a lovely little cocktail list plus fantastic frites.

Feb 18, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Wine tasting events

Check out the website LocalWineEvents.com. More wine events than you could ever hope to attend.

Feb 10, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Where to find wild boar in Seattle area

Thank You!

Jan 28, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Where to find wild boar in Seattle area

Uncooked.. Looking to cook up some wild boar ala Volterra and wondering where in the area to find such a thing. The butcher shop in the Market didn't have any in the case or on their board, though we didn't actually ask if they could get it.

Jan 28, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Weekend brunch and/or breakfast around Seattle

I've enjoyed Etta's for brunch last weekend. I had a much-to-much for me corned beef hash on Saturday. Comes with poached eggs, potatoes/home fries with habanero ketchup and fabulous toast. Had to throw in the sticky bun for good measure.

Jan 24, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Lunches near Downtown Bellevue

My favorite egg salad sandwich is at Gilbert's on Main. They've also got a pretty good Tomato Florentine soup that I normally wouldn't have tried but they just gave it to me as a throw in one day. My only beef is at how pricy this place is.

Jan 14, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Queen Anne Updates?

I'm most curious about what might go into the Banjara space. Peeking through the windows, it looks like they've not torn out the freezer so I'm hopefull that it's still going to be a restaurant. Someone asked about Q. The sign just indicated they would be closed for two weeks or so around the holidays. They always look empty though and I found their food vile on our one visit.

I'm curious about that Via Tribunali space. Are they only going to occupy the eastmost part of that building. The other couple of windows, where there seems to be the most activity, have For Lease signs in them.

Jan 06, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Sorrentino

Couldn't be happier to see the former Firefly/Lumette mediocrities replaced. Sorrentino was nicely full last night, although the big part of this was a party of about 14-16 and we got a table quickly at 8:30. The pizza we tried was quite good. Different from La Vita รจ Bella but perfect for a shared appetizer instead of salads. The pastas are anything but the standard pasta house fare (Although the serving of my linguine, kalamata olive, caper, tomato, prawn dish in foil was really a bit odd. I'm not crazy about eating out of foil.) I'm looking forward to making my way though the menu.

Jan 06, 2007
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Prepared food shop in Seattle for New Year's Eve party?

On the liquor store question: The store south of Safeco Field, I think it's on 4th, tends to have a really good selection.

Dec 12, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Is there good pizza in Seattle?

Whoa. Banjara is closing? I was just there for lunch aweek ago yesterday and I drive by every day.

I can't gripe about the pizza from Via Tribunali or La Vita e Bella in any way, shape or form but we do have a glut of pizza up on QA. Well, that and crummy Italian. Not sad to see Lumette go.

Dec 06, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

SEA - breakfast potatoes

Lola. Definitely. Or, if you prefer to make they yourself, the recipe for the potatoes they serve at breakfast is also in Tom's Big Dinners book.

Nov 11, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

[Seattle] Persimmon -- a neighborhood gem

Persimmon is one of those places I wish I had in my neighborhood

We had brunch there last Sunday after deciding not to wait in a long line for Swedish pancakes. Instead, I had some just fabulous crepes with mixed berries. Definitely a cozy, inviting place with good service, to boot. Our server noticed that my side of 2 strips of bacon was really a side of 1 1/2 stips and brought me out an extra, even though I probably wouldn't have thought to complain.

One of these days, we'll get there for dinner.

Nov 11, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Substitute for Cocoa Butter in a recipe

This was one of my more frustrating recipe attempts. It's definitely not someone easily flustered.

First off: the shortbread cookies. This is a soft, sticky dough and even with parchment paper, it's difficult to roll and cut. After my first attempt, I molded the remainder into a log, wrapped it in wax paper, refrigerated overnight and sliced and baked the next day. It was much easier that way. And, the cookies by themselves are a big hit. I brought the remainder (It must make almost 3 dozen, way more than the recipe calls for) to work today.

Next, the ice cream: I have to say, I'm not sure what the purpose of the dry milk is. I made the mistake of getting low-fat dry milk rather than the nonfat called for but even at that, it didn't really thicken up in the ice cream maker (I have a Krups with freezer bowl). I must have run the thing for 50 minutes total which is very unusual (and my bowl lives in the freezer so it's good and frozen) and when I stopped it, it still poured out of the machine, rather than being scoopable. The base was chilled overnight (well, 2 overnights) and the peanut butter separates at that point, so it needs to be whisked back in before churning. After about 5 hours (when we initially ate it), it was still very soft, barely holding scoop form. After 24 hours in the freezer, it did freeze pretty solid. The taste is basically what I remember from the restaurant and it's more grainy than creamy, like ice creams without eggs sometimes are.

The crunch that caused me so much trouble: I went with the white chocolate and given that there is no extra sugar in this recipe (hence no way to cut it back), and the cookies I used were filled (I only saw filled at the store), it's pretty sweet. I actually made a half batch and chilled in a square cake pan. It's pretty oozy at first so I shored it up with the foil to get the called for thickness and turned out pretty much as advertised. Very firm (I broke my biscuit cutter on it) The fact that it's super sweet doesn't deter my husband and I saved the cutting scraps for him to eat later.

The sauce: No issues here. Pretty straightforward.

Quite honestly, this dessert is just too much for me. I'm glad I didn't end up serving it for guests because I know they'd feel guilty about not being able to eat a whole serving after a full meal. If I had to server it for company, I'd probably keep the sauce and the ice cream and make lean a cookie against the side, since they're quite hard/crisp and take some effort to cut into with a spoon. Maybe the crunch in crumbled form might be nice over the top.

Sep 18, 2006
SandraV in Home Cooking

Concord Grapes - Bunches!

A coworker was planing to make a concord grape sorbet this past weekend. Don't know how it turned out...

Sep 18, 2006
SandraV in Home Cooking

Seattle source for cocoa nibs and cocoa butter

That last bit didn't make much sense, did it?

I meant to say that I felt like Tom Hanks in "Big" when I tasted them.

Sep 16, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Substitute for Cocoa Butter in a recipe

Hmmm... I've got some white chocolate at home, bought for something I never made. I'll have to see what the content is.

I was worried that the cocao nibs was just me. Thanks for echoing my reaction when I tasted them.

I haven't tried Home Cake but maybe on my next go round. Schlepping across I-5 from Queen Anne on a weekend always taxes me, though I'm hoping to get to the U-District Farmers Market tomorrow.

Sep 16, 2006
SandraV in Home Cooking

Substitute for Cocoa Butter in a recipe

I've been thinking about this more... What about ghee?

Sep 16, 2006
SandraV in Home Cooking

Seattle source for cocoa nibs and cocoa butter

Yea, after I started to do some poking around, it became clear that a spread wasn't going to work. I can't recall whether the recipe already uses butter though. I was thinking maybe just canola oil. The recipe already calls for chocolate so I doubt I really have to add more to compensate for the flavor loss.

I found the nibs at Whole Foods in Bellevue. In addition to the Scharffen-Berger brand, they've also got Dagoba and their own label brand. I made the mistake of popping a few in my mouth. I felt like Tom Hanks is big when he first tastes caviar.

Thanks for the advice.

Sep 15, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Substitute for Cocoa Butter in a recipe

I'm making a recipe for Peanut Butter Shortbread with Peanut Butter Ice Cream that appeared in a recent Bon Appetit. The one item I can't find anywhere is Cocoa Butter so I'm wondering what I might substitute. Possibly a chocolate hazelnut butter (Nutella like stuff from Whole Foods).

Has anyone made this recipe or have any ideas? I don't have it on hand and I'm not even sure right now if the cocoa butter is cooked/melted but I think not. It's part of a "crunch" that goes with the dessert.

Sep 15, 2006
SandraV in Home Cooking

Seattle source for cocoa nibs and cocoa butter

My local Met Market didn't seem to have these and I need them to finish the Veil Peanut Butter Ice Cream dessert that was in Bon Appetit recently. Anybody know where in Seattle (or Bellevue) I can find these without too much driving around?

Has anyone tried this recipe yet?

Sep 15, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Seattle recs with a Scene to Boot

On the "scene" side, you might be interested in Via Tribulani on Capitol Hill. Fabulous Italian style pizza. I know they have some apps (antipasti, probably salads) but all I ever eat there is pizza.

Sep 12, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Please rate these Italian Restaurants (SEA)

Volterra comes to mind and they serve until 10:00 pm on weeknights so you shouldn't have a problem making it in time for dinner there.

Sep 12, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Seattle - lower Queen Anne

You're not too far away from Crow (same block as the aforementioned Marinopolis Sushiland). This is a good choice for a single diner as you can eat at the bar-bar or at the kitchen view bar. Nice atmosphere and good food.

http://www.crowseattle.com/index.html

Jul 20, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Chez Shea

Chez Shea has a very nice 7 (?) course tasting menu for $68 that you can pair with a wine for an extra $30. The Chanterelle, onion and Gruyere tart, foie gras, and cheese courses were all stand outs this past weekend. Worth another look if you haven't been in a while.

Jul 07, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest

Dinner near downtown Nordstrom:SEA

You're not terribly far from the Mayflower Hotel's excellent restaurant, Andaluca, approximately 3 blocks total.

Jul 07, 2006
SandraV in Pacific Northwest