The hardest part about visiting Seattle for the first time since moving to New York was seeing what has changed without notice or my personal approval. For example, there are people living in my old corner apartment on the top floor of the Biltmore. I LOVED that apartment, sniff, sniff... The convenience store that burned down across the street is rising from the ashes. Linda's Tavern has an expanded back porch - (nice.) And there's a new park between Denny & Pine, east of Broadway! It has fountains and lampposts and stuff! I was reassured to see that the Whole Foods on Westlake @ Denny isn't done yet, Than Brothers still has the same ratty booths and the line for Glo's on the weekend is still ridiculous - people, it's just not THAT good.
I visited many of my favorite places like Than Brothers, Baguette Box, La Carta de Oaxoca and Vivace (twice.) Thank goodness they're all still around. And I tried some new things to keep current and stay fresh. Betsy, Robyn and I put on our party hats and headed out for a girls dinner at Dinette on Olive Way in the space formerly occupied by Local, the Green Cat Cafe, something else and the Green Cat again before that. Here we go:
So... Dinette is adorable. Super duper cute. In its incarnation as the Green Cat Cafe, the space was homey, natural and kitschy. Local cleared out the colored chalk specials board and green cat statuettes and replaced them with stark, minimal furnishings. I have to confess I never went in. It seemed too sterile and rigid. Dinette has really made the place beautiful in an elegant but inviting way. The main wall displays a collection of beautiful trays and antique wallpaper (or something that looks like it,) graces the columns in the dining area. The lighting is soft enough to make everyone attractive and set the mood for a relaxing dining experience.
We ordered cocktails and I tried a drink I'd never heard of before. (What am I, new?) After hearing the description of Lillet (available in rouge or blanc,) I thought it sounded like sangria, but everyone seemed dismayed that I would make this comparison. I later discovered that unlike sangria, Lillet is an apertif from Bordeaux that has been prepared for your use either alone over ice or mixed with other ingredients to make a unique cocktail. It's a brand name, really. Here's a picture from the company's website:
The link on the title of this post will take you to their website. The cocktail was delicious! I had the rouge although the blanc is more common. I found it slightly bitter, slightly sweet with a hint of citrus. The Lillet site has many recipes. I may get a bottle and report further on this new discovery.
The Dinette experience was really pleasant. We weren't starving so we ordered a few plates to share and found them interesting and tasty. We didn't try any of their "toast" plates, which in retrospect seems a shame, but we did enjoy the Crab Cakes, Rabbit Rillettes and a Snack Plate. Hopefully the cute decor and good food will keep Dinette in business at least until my next Seattle visit.
Forgive me, meat gods, for I have sinned. I can no longer claim that I don't eat beef. Not after what I just did at Peter Luger's, THE MEAT PALACE of New York! This place is so manly and testosterone fueled that you have to have a sausage to work there and the customers all leave with 5 o'clock shadow. Even the women! I had to shave when I got home!
To make matters worse, I went with a gay man and even though all he had was a Caesar salad and 18 delicious onion rolls, by the time we left he was swaggering and slapping my behind like a brokeback cowboy. I had to threaten him with my meaty doggie bag to get him to lay off.
The beef high wore off after a few hours and I found myself mostly back to normal, glad for the experience, sad for the razor burn.
Not only did I attend a sketch comedy show in which one of the characters described herself as a food blogger, but I also had my first random meeting with an actual fellow food blogger. Rachel, of Cupcakes take the Cake, is a very nice lady and her blog has a slew of pics to satisfy your cupcake curiousity. There is also a flickr group if you just can't get enough. Here is my contribution, pulled from the archives: