Has a full month really gone by already? Four weeks ago, I was eating, mingling, and seeing my way through Seattle, WA. I am missing the delightful company of my fellow food bloggers, the comfortable fall temperatures, and yes, the seafood. Seattle and the Pacific Northwest are brimming with fresh, delicious seafood caught locally and mostly sustainably.
Our first stop after a long day of flying into the Emerald City was Elliott’s Oyster House on the Seattle waterfront. Upon arriving, the first sight is the oyster display and shucking station. If oysters are not your cup of tea, I’ll try to make a convert out of you.
Since we only wanted a light meal, we stuck to soups and a raw bar to share. Both E and I started with the spicy corn and crab chowder. The soup’s kick came from a generous dose of cayenne pepper. We followed the soups with a delicious platter that included Dungeness crab, Pacific oysters, prawns, snow crab claws, mignonette sorbet and cocktail sauce. In addition to the chilled seafood, we also ordered on the side a couple of Olympia oysters (the only variety native to the Pacific Northwest) and South Sound Kumamotos. To celebrate our arrival, we each also had a glass of Chateau St. Michelle’s Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp Sauvignon Blanc pairs really well with the oysters minerality. It was plain delicious.
The next day, I skipped the UrbanSpoon Dine-Around that most of my blogging friends enjoyed and headed over to the Queen Anne neighborhood, about fifteen minutes from Downtown Seattle by car. We tried our luck and had dinner at the bar in Toulouse Petit. Toulouse Petit is a brasserie famous for its breakfast happy hours as much as for its twists on Big Easy classics. The decor was voodoo inspired, dark and fun. The hurricanes were strong but the prominent passion fruit flavor made them go down very smoothly!
For dinner, we ordered off the prix-fix menu and all of our choices were very good – especially the seafood ones. The standouts included creamy cauliflower soup with Dungeness crab, Dungeness crab and red grapefruit salad with avocado and pistachios, the crawfish beignets, Tombo tuna tartare with a horseradish-truffle vinaigrette, and Gulf shrimp, crawfish and housemade Andouille over grits. On a side note, the dessert beignets with cafe-au-lait dipping sauce were the best way to cap that meal.
After IFBC 2013, we made a point of visiting The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard for the oysters and drinks happy hour. The Walrus and the Carpenter is a restaurant featured in Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover” and in countless publications as one of the best restaurants in Seattle. The food and beverages were fortunately completely worth the wait. Our favorites were the oysters (raw Hama Hamas and fried), the fried Brussels sprouts, and an impossibly tender octopus and chickpea stew. The server who took care of us was also the main bartender. She let me taste what I really believe is the world’s best hurricane. In addition to rum and passion fruit juice, her version had pomegranate. Weren’t it because I already had a few glasses of wine and the delicious ‘Death in the Evening’ sparkling wine cocktail in my system, I would have loved to have a full one.
Our last night in Seattle had a “first” for me. Have you ever had geoduck (“gooeyduck”).
Geoduck is the largest bivalve along the Puget Sound and the largest burrowing clam in the world. In China, they are called the elephant trunk clam because of their shape and size. At The Herbfarm, this mollusk was prepared sashimi style, with shaved fennel bulb and fennel pollen. I can add one more unusual food to the bucket list tally.
Visiting Seattle reinforced my love for all things seafood and for well made cocktails. Do you have any favorites I should try in the future? Off to the comments!
We ate and paid our way through all of these meals. No compensation was received from any of the restaurants we visited and all opinions are 100% our own.