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Cantinetta – Seattle, WA

This is your quintessential neighborhood restaurant.  Adorable brick corner location in Wallingford.  The food is just as cozy as the inside of this place feels.  It’s the perfect spot to catch up with an old friend, enjoy a date night, or celebrate with a group.  I hadn’t been for a while and it was so satisfying going back.  I can never say no to one of their housemade pasta dishes and I love when I get a view of the chefs making the pasta behind the glass windows.  Everything was outstanding with the exception of one dish – the baby artichoke zeppole with fennel and horseradish creme fraiche.  It wasn’t bad, but I was just hoping for more.  I didn’t feel like the artichoke was the star of the dish which I think it should have been.  Other than that it was a wonderful night full of great food, wine and company.

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Baby Artichoke Zeppole, fennel, horseradish creme fraiche

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Halibut Crudo, pickled fresno chili, fried capers, sprouts

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Pea Vines, crispy speck, fresno chili, farm egg

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Pappardelle alla Bolognese

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Halibut, marbled potatoes, fiddleheads, wood sorrel, leek brodo

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Zeppole

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The London Plane – Seattle, WA

My husband and I made reservations here on a warm and sunny Thursday night since we were in Pioneer Square for First Thursday Art Walk.  Located on Occidental Plaze, it’s a beautiful and airy space with lots of natural light.  The menu is fixed, offering 3 courses for $35.  Talk about fresh and seasonal – cherries, garlic scapes, apricot syrup – the whole dinner was dancing with summer flavors.  They also fancy themselves part market/cafe/floral workshop so even if you don’t come in to eat, you can still stop by to grab delicious and beautiful things to go.

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arugula, fennel, cherries & walnuts, dressed with citrus & mint

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bucatini with pancetta, tremiti olives, garlic scares & breadcrumbs with housemate tomato sauce

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chocolate torte with coffee cream, apricot syrup & candied almond

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Mamnoon – Seattle, WA

I’ve been meaning to go here for a while, ever since I noticed construction going on while dining across the street at Terra Plata.  The space is gorgeous and without knowing you’re in Seattle, this could easily be in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.  Very urban and edgy.

And the food…I honestly can’t say enough great things about it.  A blend of Lebanese and Syrian food, it’s absolutely delicious and unlike anything else in the city.  Lots of bright spices and fresh vegetables, perfectly cooked meats and sauces that you can’t help but sop up with whatever bread you have left on the table.  Each dish is so uniquely different from the last that you end up having a hard time picking a favorite when it’s all over.  I went with a group of 6 and after eating there I think it’s probably best to go in a group so you have the opportunity to try a bunch of different things.  That or you’ll just want to immediately go back to try what you didn’t have room for.  We ordered a lot…primarily vegetarian heavy items…and I walked away satisfied, content and excited to go back!

Be sure to order one of the khobz – specialty breads, the bateresh – charred eggplant with minced lamb, fatten hummus – fresh chickpeas, grilled bread, green garlic yogurt and pine nuts (one of my all time favorite dishes to make in culinary school!) and the kefta – minced lamb, onion, pistachio and baharat.  YUMMMM!!!

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Stateside – Seattle, WA

I feel like even just 6 or 7 years ago when my husband and I moved back home from San Francisco, we felt like Seattle had some serious catching up to do in terms of the restaurant scene, but today I think a lot of cities need to catch up to us.  I’m happily floored by the chefs that have emerged and all the different cuisines that are popping up.

A French Vietnamese restaurant, Stateside’s chef/owners have planted themselves in the heart of Capitol Hill’s restaurant scene (at least the one on the west side – there are many) and have created such a fun environment.  Tropical wallpaper mixed with reclaimed wood tables, it’s a good mix and a great backdrop for some pretty awesome food!

We started with the Crispy Duck Fresh Rolls (duck rolls wrapped in fresh herbs and rice paper) which were very good.  Fresh flavors from the herbs, great texture from the crispy duck…all in all I would get these again no doubt about it.

Next were the Chili Cumin Pork Ribs (a bit spicy or extra spicy).  We chose a bit spicy but I think I’d go extra spicy next time.  I just wasn’t sure what to expect so we played it safe.  The ribs were perfectly cooked…the meat was so tender and moist.  The spices were great…different than your normal ribs but I like the change.  The fresh cilantro on the side is a great addition too!

The Green Papaya Salad was calling my name – sooo good if you like green papaya salad.  Long beans, tomatoes, lime, chili, dried shrimp (didn’t even notice them) and beef jerky…whaaaa?!  Crazy right?!  No…amazing!  They do note that it can be made vegetarian.  Unless you are one don’t do it:)  Everything about this was perfect.  Slightly spicy, fresh, crunchy peanuts on top…YUM!

The Master Stock Crispy Chicken (free range chicken poached in aromatic stock, then fried crispy) sounded too good not to try.  And different.  It came with three dipping sauces (I can’t remember them now sorry) and was topped with scallions and something fried like tempura bits but I can’t recall that either – my apologies.  Great dish!  The flavors are so different and well matched that I’m having a hard time describing them.

Last for the savory was the Bun Cha Hanoi (pork patties and belly in caramel fish sauce marinade.  imperial rolls, rice vermicelli and herb plate).  Delicious!  I loved this and think i could eat it quite often.  Everything is served separately which allows you create your bite.  Just thinking about this meal makes me hungry:)

Last but not least was dessert.  The only tragedy here is that ever since having a baby I’ve completely lost the ability to remember anything worthwhile therefore I need to write everything down and I didn’t in this case.  SO…I have no idea what it was we ate but I can tell you this…it was the most incredible dessert and I would go back for just it.  I realize I’m not helping you out here but at least you can reference the photo and see if anything looks similar on the menu.

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Trove Noodle – Seattle, WA

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have proven themselves ingenious chefs once again!  Trove, located on the corner of Pike and Summit, is four concepts in one.  You’ve got Noodle, Parfait, Bar and BBQ.  All are very unique and different yet they compliment each other perfectly.  I’ve been to all four but because they’re each their own, they also deserve their own blog post so stay tuned.

We couldn’t help ourselves and had to order three different noodles.  First the yellow curry rigatoni with cauliflower chickpea and yogurt.  Out standing!  So much flavor, awesome texture…standout dish for me!  I believe the nuts on top were toasted hazelnuts and there were also raisins or currants in there as well.  Perfection.

Next the spaghetti stir fried with meatballs and swiss chard.  Sounds plain but there was so much more to the dish and it was tasty!

Last but not least (and somehow I forgot to take a picture) was the rice noodle, chipotle pad thai with pork belly and yu choy.  Awesome!

I really don’t think you can go wrong.  The menu rotates so get in there often and try something new each time.  IF you aren’t stuffed when you leave, stop by Parfait on the way out.

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Agrodolce – Seattle, WA

Located in the old 35th Street Bistro spot in Fremont, Agrodolce has knocked it out of the park!  The atmosphere is welcoming and charming and our server couldn’t have been more enjoyable which was very refreshing.

The food was to die for!  I seriously would go back tonight for the exact same meal I ate last night.  We started with the burrata with beets, a citrus honey gastrique and mint…as delicious as I expected!  For my main course I chose the ricotta ravioli with roasted garlic, green garlic and stinging nettle.  Everything about this dish was perfect!  You would have thought I had licked my plate based on how clean it was at the end of the night.  Do yourself a favor and go get this before they take it off the menu.We also got the seared broccoli, kale and brussels sprouts to share…all of which I would order again.  For dessert we got the rice pudding fritters with a citrus honey, vanilla dipping sauce and powdered sugar.  Nothing to complain about there!

Something notable about Agrodolce is how organic the menu is.  It took us a bit to realize that the few things on the menu that are unlined are those ingredients that are NOT organic.  Just to be clear, there are hardly any.  Pretty impressive!  Not to mention on the reverse side of the menu there are vegan and gluten free options.  This isn’t something I’ve seen yet in Seattle but I think it will soon catch on.

Overall, Maria Hines has outdone herself and I can’t wait to go back!

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Serious Biscuit – Seattle, WA

Tom Douglas’ Serious Biscuit is just as divine as the name:)  Seriously…how can you really go wrong when everything on the menu revolves around a buttery and flaky biscuit?!  My first time there I ordered the Fried Green Tomato Biscuit which included a fried egg, bacon and remoulade.  Absolutely delicious in every way!  The fried tomato gave it a nice crunch all the while being nice and juicy inside, the bacon…well…the bacon was just awesome, the fried egg is what should be on top of everything in my opinion and last but not least the remoulade added a great kick of flavor to the whole thing.  Awesome!  I would get this again.

My husband went for exactly what I thought he would…”The Zach” – fried chicken, gravy, an egg and bacon all on a biscuit.  I think that’s everyone’s hangover dream:)  And in this case my husband wasn’t hungover so it was just pure bliss on a normal midday afternoon.

My second time there I decided to go for a “healthier” option and ordered the Fried Chicken Chop Salad. Perfect!  There was just the right amount of fried chicken on top of the freshest salad.  There were radishes, carrots and tasty feta cheese in there too.  And don’t forget about the biscuit that came on the side.  Of course I nibbled on it:)

There’s nothing too “light” about this place but you won’t regret going there and guaranteed you’ll be back soon after.

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