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The Coterie Room – Seattle, WA

In the former Restaurant Zoe space, The Coterie Room is a breath of fresh air.  I love everything about it.  From the white subway tiled open kitchen to the distressed wood floors and lone yet stunning chandelier, everything is perfectly balanced here including the food.  Chef Brian McCracken (a fellow Seattle Prep alum alongside my husband) has outdone himself yet again!  A nominee by Food & Wine for ‘People’s Best New Chef’ he’s proving that he’s deserving of the attention.

Our meal was outstanding from start to finish.  I would order everything I had again in a heartbeat.  My fish was a special of the night so chances are it won’t be on the menu next time but it was outstanding.  I am now a huge fan of Turbot…a fish I didn’t know much about before this dinner.  And my husband’s duck leg confit was seriously the best duck confit I’ve ever had…absolutely amazing!!!

The only thing I wish I had done differently is order the “six pack of beer for the kitchen crew” for a mere $10…totally worth it.  Having worked in a kitchen myself I can tell you the first thing you do once your shift is done and the kitchen is clean is crack open a cold one by the walk in and dish about the night’s events.  It’s the perfect cap to the evening…and then you wake up the next morning and it’s a brand new day.  Next time!

Endive Salad dressed in a tarragon mustard vinaigrette with candied walnuts and aged gouda (I held the gouda although I’m sure it’s great)

Poutine – braised pork shoulder gravy, fried Beecher’s cheese curds and tender herbs

Market Fish of the Day – Turbot over a parsnip puree and roasted brussels sprouts

Duck Leg Confit – crispy pan seared duck leg with buttered farro, arugula and a mission fig conserve

Chocolate Caramel Tort – covered in an orange ganache with candied hazelnuts

Brilliant!

Lola – Seattle, WA

Best breakfast in town!!!  Some families have a special Sunday breakfast tradition that consists of waffles, bacon, sweet rolls, etc…in our house we skip the cooking and go downtown to Lola.  If we’re lucky we’ll grab two seats at the bar where the vibe is casual and you can usually catch a football game on.

We usually order the same thing every time – my husband gets the Eggs Benedict and I get the Greek Scramble.  This time however I ventured out of my comfort zone and got the Truffled Crimini Omelette (made as a scramble) which had fontina and chives in it served with smoked bacon, their famous smashed garlic fried potatoes and toast…DELICIOUS!!!  I would order this again in a heartbeat!

Another thing we always order are the donuts.  They’re made to order and served with a seasonal jam and vanilla mascarpone…whoa…a little too good:)

Not surprising that we love this place…it’s one of Tom Douglas’ many but he’s clearly doing something right because all of them are amazing in their own unique way.  Lola is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is described as Mediterranean meets North Africa…an interesting yet successful blend of cuisines in my opinion.

Serious Pie – Seattle, WA

Who doesn’t love pizza?  And who better to make it than Seattle’s own Tom Douglas!  I first discovered Serious Pie while on a food tour in downtown Seattle.  They described the whole pizza making process, how their dough is brushed with olive oil and then sprinkled with Murray River Sea Salt (another thing I discovered on that trip that I now use all the time while cooking) making the entire pizza something you want to devour – not leaving the crusts like some do with other pizzas.  Long story short…after the tour we found ourselves back at SP eating more pizza because it was SO good.

Fast forward a couple of years and it’s one of our favorite spots.  We take out of town guests there as often as possible and while downtown shopping or running errands we’ll find any excuse to make a stop.

My favorites include the Baby Lettuces Salad…it’s plenty to share and just so simple and refreshing to start your meal with.  I also always gravitate towards the Roasted Chanterelle Mushroom and Truffle Cheese pizza…holy crap it’s good!  I’m a huge truffle lover so that might explain things…if you’re not, they you probably won’t like this pizza.  I also really appreciate their version of the Margherita Pizza…clean flavors that do enough on their own.  This last trip my friend and I ordered the Soft Egg, Spicy Coppa, and Tender Mustard Greens pizza…it’s was delicious!  I would definitely order it again.  There’s something about the fresh greens on top that really compliments the savory underneath.  Yum…if you haven’t been, you’re really missing out!  Even Chef Tyler Florence said it’s his favorite pizza on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate…Pizza!

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