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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.

I recently did a fabulous caviar tasting at Seattle Caviar Company and now I’m hooked!  I knew I liked caviar before but I didn’t know how many different types of caviar there are and what the differences were.  Owner Betsy Sherrow and her friendly staff are so helpful and make the tasting so much fun!  They do a caviar tasting with champagne every Thursday so sign up and go…you’ll be happy you did:)

This post is very overdue but I just wanted to say congrats to local chef Tom Douglas for his much deserved win for Outstanding Restauranteur from the James Beard Foundation.  I may be biased because I’m from Seattle but Tom is outstanding in all that he does.  From the restaurants that he has opened and runs to the cookbooks and spices and to the events and philanthropic work he does…he’s amazing!  Short and sweet…congrats Tom…you earned this!!!

Terra Plata – Seattle, WA

Since going to Melrose Market for the first time I’ve had a serious urge to go back so my husband and I tried Terra Plata for dinner the other night.  It was a gorgeous night as we were going home from the airport and since they were still open we went for it!

The decor combines exposed wood beam ceilings with steel…it’s beautiful and what I often refer to as contemporary Northwest architecture.  Philip Christofides of Arellano Christofides is responsible for this gorgeous space (in collaboration with owners Tamara Murphy and Linda Morton).

The food was outstanding as well!  So flavorful that midway through the meal we ordered some bread just so we could sop up what was left on our plates:)  We started with the Shisito peppers.  Anytime I see those on a menu I always order them.  We were lucky this time and didn’t get a hot one…nice!  For my entrée I chose the Sea Bream with chorizo, clams, preserved lemon and tomatoes…awesome!  I would order this again in a heartbeat.  And for dessert…who can say no to homemade churros?  Not us!  Great choice and I can’t wait to go back.  Maybe next time for brunch!

Blistered Shisito Peppers – aioli, sea salt

Crispy Brussels Sprouts – serrano ham, maple, rosemary

Steak & Potatoes – hanger steak, remoulade potatoes, cabrales butter, crispy onions

Whole Fish – sea bream, clams, chorizo, tomato, preserved lemon

Churros with dipping chocolate

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