Friday, October 01, 2010

5 Yummy Things in Seattle

Last weekend Darryl and I enjoyed a quick getaway to Seattle. I was hungry every minute of it (baby's getting bigger and my appetite seemed to jump hugely last week), so we were on a constant search for yummy food. Which isn't really a bad way to spend a weekend, especially when you have no other agenda except to relax and enjoy. Here, five yummy things we enjoyed, in case you find yourself hungry in Seattle.

1. Pasta at Serafina. This restaurant came highly recommended by Mom – her email to me said "Enchanted outdoor patio. Amazing pasta. Great bustling atmosphere, romantic" and she was totally right. It had my favourite kind of restaurant atmosphere – dark, colourful, busy, filled with chatter, music, kitchen noises, people drinking, laughing, enjoying the people they're with. We sat in a circular wooden booth on the bar side of the restaurant, which was both cosy and in the middle of the action, perfect.

And the pasta was amazing. I had agnolotti filled with braised pork shoulder, savoy cabbage, and Parmagiano Reggiano. Delicate handmade little pockets, coated simply in chive butter, mmm. Darryl had a special of tagliatelle (he's a tagliatelle freak and can never turn it down) with local chantrelle mushrooms, leeks, and lardons. So good. Our waitress was the perfect kind of friendly and enthusiastic, getting the bartender to make us yummy and fancy looking virgin cocktails, and insisting that we come back and bring the baby when she arrives. So sweet.

2. California smoothie at Pike Place Market. During one of my "need to eat right this minute" snack attacks while wandering around the market, Darryl suggested a smoothie. I chose the California – strawberries, bananas, and orange juice. As classic as can be, and a combination I'd ordinarily think was a bit boring. But, it tasted like the best thing ever. And, I've been making one of these almost every day since I got home. With the addition of soy milk, and using fresh bananas, I really think this is the perfect smoothie. My smoothie preference in the past has been frozen bananas, frozen mango, berries, and any other fruit I have on hand – the more different ingredients the better. Now, I think I've been mistaken. Simple is the way to go for smoothies. Also, I like the texture that comes from only using one frozen ingredient (strawberries) and the rest fresh. It's smooth and slides right down so deliciously.

3. Pastries at Le Panier. Another one of Mom's recommendations, and another hit. The smell in this place is insane. I don't even know what it is exactly, but it fills your head with deliciousness and makes you want to order one of everything. Which is practically what I did. This was my pre-breakfast on Sunday. I chose a raspberry croissant, and a meringue dipped in dark chocolate, but as I was paying I saw the double-chocolate sable cookies and had to have one of those too. So I walked out with three bags, all for me. Yum.

Now that we're back in Vancouver I'll have to make do with the croissants at Chopain the new-ish little French bakery on Davie street which has become one of my favourite neighbourhood spots. Their chocolate almond croissants are crazy good. If they could just get the room to smell like Le Panier...

4. New kitchen treats at Sur la Table. This store across the street from Pike Place Market is a bit of a legend. Friends and family members had raved about it but I'd never made it inside before. It is great. I often don't let myself go into kitchen stores as there's nothing I really need. But I felt I could enter with restraint this time, as Tessa (best sister ever!) had just cleaned and reorganized my cupboards and I knew exactly what I had and had a mind to not keeping extra stuff around I wouldn't use. I walked out with a few new dishcloths (needed), a cute cutting board for fruit that's bright green and apple-shaped (possibly questionable, but I do never seem to have enough cutting boards, and I've been eating lots of fruit as snacks), and something I've been wanting for ages but keep forgetting to look for – a large plastic rolling mat for pastry, non-slip and non-stick, with circles printed on it as a guide to rolling out different sizes of pies, pizzas, or tortillas. I've used one of these at Raisa's before and loved it. And my counter will love it too as I'll no longer be making huge floury messes on it.

5. Pork buns on the dock at sunset. Another snack attack led to a paper bag filled with two pork buns, which we carried down to the waterfront. The sun was getting close to setting and finding no benches we sat down on the wooden deck and watched it. The pork buns were yummy, it was the perfect fall day, and we had just enough time to digest our snack before heading out for dinner. On holiday and totally happy. That's our view at the top of the post. Definitely one of those where you are and who you're with adds so much to what you're eating moments. Love it.

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