It was my first trip to Washington and I wanted to let Seattle give me all that it had. Being from Chicago, I have the priveledge of being surrounded by some of the world's best restaurants, great lounges and bars, music, concerts and an awesome view of Lake Michigan. When I go to a new city I seek its best aspects and try to live a full experience. I was only going to be in Seattle for two days so it was time to live it up a little.
My first night I checked into the Roosevelt Hotel, an older building with nice sized rooms and central downtown location making it easy for me to walk to my targeted restaurants and bars. I walked to Wild Ginger, an Asian Restaurant with a reputation for making great satay. If a restaurant being busy is a good sign, this place would be great- there was quite a crowd for a Tuesday evening. When I'm in town alone, I like to dine at the bar because there's always someone to interact with. The bartender's name was Nathan and he clearly had a grip on the action. He knew his drinks and the menu very well. I started with two satay- a Thai Chicken and a Young Mountain Lamb, and a Hitachino Nest White Ale (an awesome Japanese whitbier). Both satay were extremely tasty, accompanied by sticky rice, pickled ginger cucumbers and their own sauce. The wine list is exceptional with great selections by bottle or glass (which is dispensed by the Enomatic system), and a separate cellar list with over 2000 selections they've collected over a 20 year span.
I wanted more to try, so I went to Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, a gorgeous two level building surrounded by windows. The wine list was full of great choices, with very interesting glasspour options: I went with Tenuta Sant'Antonio Scaia Rosso, 100% Corvina varietal from northeast Italy. Good fruit, light/medium body and cedar box spice. The menu was full of small plate options and I settled on three: Housemade Toulouse Sausage, Mimolette and Roasted Garlic White Bean Crostini. I loved the chance to try a little of this and that while sampling the wine list. After all these small options it was time to turn in and get ready for another day.
On Wednesday I checked out and met up with the WBC or Bust group at the site of my new hotel room, the Renaissance, before we departed for Woodinville, which I will touch on in my next post. When we returned that afternoon, it was time for a beer tasting hosted by Charles Finkel himself at Pike Pub & Brewery. We tasted a lineup of their beers like the Pale, IPA, Kilt Lifter, Naughty Nellie and XXXXX Stout before we moved onto a tour. I wish we had time for the menu, but we had to get ready for the Waterfront Seafood Grill where we were in for a coursed wine dinner with tasty items like roasted snails, seared scallops and braised short rib. There was also some killer wine being passed around from producers like Andrew Will and Nota Bene Cellars, both of whom make stellar Syrahs and Owen & Sullivan Winery. This was an outstanding dinner from a spot with an uncomparable view.
In my visit to Seattle I had a small piece of what makes the city so great and I still have so much more to see. If you get a chance to visit then make sure to take advantage of it and try to visit the places I mentioned. If you live there then be proud and let us know what I missed, which places are your favorites and why- share the wealth!
Coming up- Woodinville & Chateau Ste. Michelle, Yakima and Walla Walla.