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Harvest Vine – Seattle, WA

Harvest Vine has long been a favorite of mine in Seattle – but under specific conditions.  If I can’t sit on the top floor of the restaurant, I’d rather just go back another time.  I know that might sound picky of me but if you’ve been there before then I think you can understand where I’m coming from.  The bottom section of the restaurant doesn’t have nearly the same appeal that the top section does.  The best seat in the house (in my opinion) is at the bar where you’ve got a front row seat to all the action.  It’s like watching a symphony right in front of your eyes but rather than instruments being played the chefs sing and whistle while plating gorgeous dishes from the smallest and cutest little sauté pans that you’ve ever seen.

During the summer on warm nights the garage door walls are rolled up and you’re able to fully enjoy a beautiful Seattle summer night.  It’s a great spot year round and should definitely be on the top of your list if you haven’t already been there.

If you’re a beet fan definitely get the beets to start.  You’ll want to sop up all the yummy olive oil and vinegar with bread once the beets are gone.  If mushrooms are on the menu get those for sure!  You really can’t go wrong here.  I’m always amazed at the wonderful creations the make and each time I go back there’s a new menu.

Plato de Boquerones – vinegar cured anchovies with anchovy stuffed olives & piparra peppers

Remolachas – red & golden beets, olive oil, sherry vinegar & garlic

Coliflor – roasted cauliflower with onion confit & olive oil

Coles de Bruseles – brussels sprouts with béchamel, tomato frito & bread crumbs

Vieriras – seared scallops with fingerling potatoes & scallop reduction

Pulpo – grilled octopus with garbanzo bean puree

Bacalao Ahumado – smoked, salt-cod with grilled spring onions & hazelnut romesco

Flan de Almendras – spanish style toasted almond custard

Tarta de Queso de Cabra – creamy goat milk cheese cake with honey poached rhubarb & strawberries

Madison Park Conservatory – Seattle, WA

I’m not sure why it took me a year to find this place but I’m glad I finally found it.  Owners Bryan Jarr and Cormac Mahoney, once a chef at Sitka & Spruce, have nailed it with this spot!  You might recognize Chef Zoi Antonitsas (yes she’s Greek…we’ve been friends from first sight:)) from Season 4 of Top Chef or from her expansive resume including working for Tom Douglas at the young age of 16 yrs old to Zazu in the CA wine country and Marjorie in Seattle.  What’s even more impressive is that she’s self-taught (with the help of Tom of course).

Do yourself a favor and check it out.  The upstairs bar serves the whole menu as well as drinks that are unlike any you’ve had before.  I can’t remember the name offhand but there’s a Bitter Stormy – their take on a Dark & Stormy that is SO tasty!  For food, I highly recommend the beef tongue, yes tongue…it’s divine and will forever change your preconceived notions about it.  It transformed me:)  The whole trout is amazing…so flavorful and delicate.  For dessert the olive oil ice cream with sea salt on top is delicious.  Might sound a little weird but I swear, it’s great!  Enjoy!

A peak inside the kitchen right behind the hostess’ desk

smoked trout Croquettes, romesco sauce, aioli

Risotto bolognese, red wine poached farm egg

whole Idaho Trout, pine nuts, capers, currants, brown butter *(My favorite dish hands down!!!)

herb roasted Ribeye steak, fingerling potatoes, blue cheese butter

Ummm…yes please!

lemon and créme fraiche bread pudding, huckleberry

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