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hhlodesign's Profile

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Best bagel in Seattle?

Save some gas. My Coffeehouse in Madison Valley get H&H bagels Fedexed to them every morning.

Dec 10, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Private dining at Canlis -- leftover $$ and other advice?

$300/person with wine is VERY easy to spend at Canlis. The Wagyu alone is a $90 entrée, and it's the best food item on the menu. Add cocktails, apps, every dessert Neil makes, and 2-3 bottles of mid level wine and you're probably over $1500. If you're not quite there by dessert, just ask to see the list of Chateau D'Yquem Sauternes. That's what I would want to be drinking on my 50th anniversary with dessert.

Oct 15, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Dim Sum Distilled

If I thought you a heathen, I'd be a heathen right there with you. As I've said before, I'll take shitty dim sum over no dim sum any day of the week and twice on Sundays. However, my fear is that of a situation like a friend of mine who went through most of her life thinking she hated sushi because her first experience with it was at a place serving fish that was not very fresh. I finally got her to try a place that I knew took pride in the quality of their fish and she was blown away at the difference; and upset that she went through MANY years depriving herself of something that is amazing. And yes, good Seattle dim sum is a fair comparison to bad LA sushi.

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Dim Sum Distilled

"one is a newbie. We'd like to give her a first-rate, delicious introduction to the dumplings."

If this statement is true. The last thing you should do is take her to a Seattle Dim-Sum place. "First-rate" dim sum does not exist in Seattle. To think that a person's introduction to the wonders that is dim sum at a mediocre at best place like O'Asian, Jade Garden, or Tea Garden is frightening to me. If you must, take the morning train to Vancouver, have first-rate dim sum at Kirin, and take the afternoon train back to Seattle. This is very doable as I've done it many times!

BTW, stay away from Mike's Noodle House, it is NOT good!

"Bu-Keh-Chi"

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

NY FOODIE IN SEATTLE FOR 2 MEALS

Relative to their NY counterparts:

Quinn's is almost a direct rip off of The Spotted Pig.
Chiso Kappo is 1/3 as good as Masa at 1/6 the price.
Veil is doing food as good as Jean Georges.
Neil Robertson at Canlis is the best pastry chef this side of the Mississippi. Think Sam Mason without the MG bent.

On the cocktail front:
Liberty features prohibition era cocktails ala Pegu Club.
Original drinks in the vain of PDT can be found at Spur.

For dinner, I'd hit:
seafood - Veil
pan-asian - Monsoon (Wild Ginger is crap!)
new amercian - Union for dinner, Canlis for dessert
Japanese - Chiso Kappo

But that's me.

BTW, you will not find high-end service even CLOSE to NYC. Canlis tries the hardest, but the culture is just different out here. Lower your expectations and you won't be disappointed.

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Help! Looking for an interesting bar in Seattle

The most interesting cocktail selections and balanced drinks made by a bartender who cares about things like balance can be found at:

Zig Zag - Murray
Spur - Dave
Sambar - Jay
Tavolata - Eric

I also enjoyed the drinks at:
Liberty
Branzino

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Help! Looking for an interesting bar in Seattle

Yes

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

HELP! Food+wedding advice?

Actually, it is not. We spent around $150 a head including all the food, drinks, servers, bartenders, chefs, wedding cake, and rentals (plates, glasses, cutlery, tables, chairs, linens). I think we were only able to accomplish this price point by not going with a caterer and hiring all components on our own. Just as a home owner saves money by not hiring a general contractor when they remodel their home, but have to spend lots of time coordinating the different sub-contractors. I'm sure that were we to have a "real" caterer price out a -four-course sit down meal, numerous passed hors d'vouers, a roast pig, tons of Salumi meats, open bar, dessert buffet, and unlimited gelato cart, the cost would have been much higher. We saved money by renting items ourselves through AA Party Rentals (no caterer markup); Stocking the bar through Costco and offering only 2 specialty cocktails (along with beer, wine, and soda); buying cases of wine through our local wine shop and getting a volume discount; hiring the servers and bartenders ourselves; and helping with the setup and cleanup.

Not sure why the powers that be saw fit to remove my last response to this question, but I would think the preceding information is very pertinent to the discussion at hand.

Oct 09, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Campagne tonight (3 Oct)

Been awhile since I've gone as well, but I love their duck confit salad.

Oct 03, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

HELP! Food+wedding advice?

I can' tell you who any good caterers are, but I can tell you what we did for our wedding last Aug.

We hired all of our favorite chefs and restaurant staff to work the event:

The bartender was Eric Witsoe from Tavolata,
The passed hors d'vouers were by Shannan Galusha of Veil,
The roast pig was by Eric Banh from Monsoon,
The sit down plated dinner was by William Belickis of Mistral,
The dessert buffet and wedding cake were from William Lehman of Bakery Nouveau,
The post-dessert gelato cart was by Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita,
The entire front of house wait staff was run by MIchael Don Rico of Branzino (the best front of house guy in Seattle!)

I would HIGHLY recommend going with chefs you know and trust for such a special occasion where food is an integral role. This was especially a concern for us as food is such an important element in our lives and how we found each other. The one problem we had was finding a venue that would allow outside caterers. They exist, but are few and far between. If you want to go this route, your options are very limited, so I'd book early! Hope this helps.

Oct 03, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

SEA - Looking for best traditional sushi

Chiso Kappo.

Sep 30, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Stag weekend in seattle??

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I really like what Brian and Dana are doing at Spur (not to mention Dave's cocktails). Their food is affordable, yet inventive. I like the attention to detail with every dish that leaves the kitchen, to the point that Jonathan Kaufman calls them "pretentious." But, as my friends are quick to point out, that's the kind of place I like. Their occasional foray into Molecular Gastronomy is a welcome addition to the Seattle food scene.

On the stag party topic: not only will you have good food and drinks, you'll be in the heart of Belltown on a weekend night (which is starting to get unbearable for residents, but is just what a stag party coming down from Vancouver is looking for.) See Sound clientele next door often spill into Spur.

Sep 19, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Stag weekend in seattle??

Spur

Sep 18, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

(Portland) Kornblatt's or Kenny & Zukes?

My opinion only:

K&Z > Langer's > Katz's
(still need to try Schwartz's)

K&Z is admittedly smokier than others, but I love that. I've never had a problem with dryness, but I always ask for the point.

Sep 05, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Molecular Gastronomy in Seattle?

Not in the vain of El Bulli, Alinea, or WD-50 (meaning full degustation meals based on MG), but it does show up as components of dishes at a few places.

The current Chef de Cuisine at Veil spent some time at Alinea and they are playing with some very cool things (recently had some awesome chorizo powder and jalapeno spheres.)

The guys at Spur are also playing with lots of new toys (and chemicals) in their fancy new kitchen.

Sep 05, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Breakfast in SEA

CJ's is nothing more than a greasy spoon whose food is probably a notch or two below the average greasy spoon in any city. There is nothing distinctly "Seattle" about eating at CJ's. You've been warned.

I live 1 block from where your boat will be docked. My favorite weekend brunch places are Macrina, Cafe Campagne (Oeufs en meurette), Etta's (corned beef hash or dungeonous crab benedict), and the breakfast sandwich from I Love NY Deli. Your choices become more limited if you are looking at weekday breakfast.

Sep 05, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Qube

We went a few moths after they opened and had one of the worst restaurant meals we had in some time. They were priced at the same range as Lark, Cafe Juanita, and Harvest Vine; so there was no reason to go back. No problems with service and atmosphere, just REALLY bad food.

I also think that the location is a few years from becoming a viable upscale restaurant location.

Sep 04, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

First date advice; need help

Thanks E.
I did a variation of this first date with my current wife (as of 3 weeks ago). I'll tell you about it at Salumi some time.

Sep 02, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

How to Find Tolerable Mexican Food?

Based on your description of "authentic" Nashville Mexican food. It sounds like you can go to any horrid mexican chain sit-down place (like Azteca) tell them to hold the yellow cheese and throw some water into your guac.

Aug 29, 2008
hhlodesign in Greater Seattle

Brunch for a large group in Queen Anne

Veil is perfect. They have a large communal table which seats 18, Great brunch food, and excellent cocktails.

Aug 26, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

First date advice; need help

The beauty of first dates, it that you can prolong them if they are going well.
I'd do this:

Drinks at Sambar - Jay is a master mixologist and you can share a small plate or two.

If things are going well, go to Monsoon or Lark for dinner - again, small plates that you can share make for a very romantic setting.

If they are still going well, take her to Canlis for desserts - Neil Robertson is the best pastry chef working in Seattle. While the Canlis dining room may seem a bit much for a first date, desserts in the bar are just the right way to end a first date that is going well enough for a part 3.

If she's up for a part 4, take her to Zig Zag and have Murray create a cocktail especially for her.

That's what I would do.

Aug 25, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Classy [bar? or..?] to follow classy dinner?

Agreed, Kerry Park at sunset, a bottle of Champagne, 2 flutes, and a blanket.

Jul 25, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Boston Chowhound hits Seattle for a few days

You're half right. While Jade Garden is terrible, Sun Ya is equally as bad.

Jul 03, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

In Search of Great Chinese Food in Seattle area

Sounds like you are describing yang rho pao mao. A Xian specialty you can find at Xian Restaurant on Lake City way.

Jun 26, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

Creative cooking & good service- need ideas

Moving, not closing.

Jun 04, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest

What's a newbie to do?!

I can't speak for anybody else, but I find it personally annoying when someone new comes on asking a question that has obviously been asked and answered numerous times before. All they need do is search the old topics and find what they are looking for. It is obvious that the "newbie" has devoted no time to solving their own question on their own.

May 28, 2008
hhlodesign in Site Talk

Disturbing example of CH insider-ism and why it might discourage new members

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that newbies are any less knowledgeable than a long time poster. It is fairly easy to tell from one's very first post whether or not the poster knows anything about what they are talking about. As I said above, most people do not. Therefore, most new posters also "do not." When the rare new poster comes along and adds substance to the conversation, it is indeed very refreshing.

May 26, 2008
hhlodesign in Site Talk

Sea - Places you want to hate

Tantamount to ordering a California roll, I tried a "Moonraker" at Umi Sake House last night. Yellow tail, cuke, cilantro, snow crab, and jalapeno white truffle vinaigrette. Damn, that was good!

Also, they have copper river sockeye sashimi for $15 for around 6 ounces worth. A Steal!

May 26, 2008
hhlodesign in Greater Seattle

Disturbing example of CH insider-ism and why it might discourage new members

I'll address the elephant in the room that everyone else is tiptoeing around:

The reason why posters with no track record are not "nurtured" is the fact that the vast majority of posters on CH are, in fact, not very knowledgeable about food. In most threads, there is much more noise to weed through than signal. The knowledgeable people tend to talk to each other, ignoring the posters that they do not recognize as "reliable." Hence, cliques are formed and newbies feel shut out. Such is the nature of the internets.

May 26, 2008
hhlodesign in Site Talk

any recs for two 'hounds visiting Seattle from L.A.??

I must have missed this post the first time around...

It would be easy to "leave it at that" if your statement were not so wrong. Red Mill burgers are consistently overcooked and patties too overworked to have the consistency of a quality burger. The Apple Pan, on the other hand gets their patty consistency perfect and the fat content high enough that the final product is consistently juicy. The only thing consistent about a Red Mill burger is that it is DRY. The one good thing that Red Mill has going for it is their onion jam; however, while good, it pales in comparison to the onion compote available at Father's Office (quite possibly the best burger in the world that does not have foie gras.)

And by the way, what is the overwhelming impulse among some people to get annoyed when advice such as, "Seattle is not really known for its burger scene and you can get much better burgers in LA." is taken as some sort of stab at Seattle. When, in fact, it merely states an opinion which is intended to help one plan an eating trip. Ye gaads.......

May 18, 2008
hhlodesign in Pacific Northwest