Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cracked Eggs on Pizza?

Thanks to a recent pizza-n-eggs experience at Bozeman's Emerson Grill, we whipped up a "pizza carbonara" tonight. Using Jen's home-made crust as a base, we added mozzarella, peas, crispy speck, olive oil, potatoes, and...two fresh farm eggs. Not only does the end result look beautiful, but the egg, peas, potato, and pig all play very nice in the pizza sandbox. We cracked the eggs just before we put the pie in the oven (500 degrees with a well-heated stone); and while it was certainly tasty, the eggs were cooked hard. Note to self: next time, crack the eggs on the pie with about five minutes to go for that creamy-yolk goodness.

"Back-up" pies included a classic combo of sausage, mushroom, and olives, as well as potato, salami, and marscapone.

Just in case you are wondering what I might have for breakfast tomorrow...I plan on frying up a couple of over easy eggs for the crispy-edgy-bits of tonight's leftovers. Honestly, what isn't better and sexier with a runny fried egg on top?

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Evening in Seattle: Wine, Chocolate, and...France

Ferry boats come and go along with views of the Olympic Mountains, but when the sun got low on our last day in Seattle, we headed out for a night in search of food and drink.

We made our first stop at Purple cafe and wine bar where we enjoyed the view from (and of) the huge curving bar.  The tone for our night out on the town was set by flights of wine and a cheese board. Purple, with its vault-like front door and equally substantial iron bar stools, sports a huge spiral wine rack at the center of the bar. The menu offers a mix of wine-friendly bistro fair, but we keep it simple with wine and cheese. Note to self: When in Seattle again, spend more time here.

After Purple, we ventured into downtown past Seattle's angular glass central library. Fran's Chocolates on 1st Avenue caught our eye with its well-appointed windows showcasing their hand-made chocolates. A double espresso and a few dark chocolates offered a bit of energy and sweetness before we "get our French on" at Seattle's Le Pichet.

For the main event, we settled into the cozy Le Pichet. We know that we are off to a good start when our server offers us an amuse bouche of duck liver pate on toast. For starters, I thoroughly enjoyed a salad of salt cod, lentils, and escarole; Jen enjoyed some lovely grilled sardines over a salad of celery root and apple. 

My main course was a mostly rare hanger steak frites. My beefy goodness was paired with a classic bernaise and a few roasted Brussels sprouts. The fries....ohhh the fries...were perfectly crispy and golden. Jen had the local trout wrapped with thinly sliced country ham.

My green apple sorbet tasted like the fruit its flavor came from - just like biting into a perfectly sweet-tart apple. This is just what the doctor ordered after my, uh, not-so-light night of dining. Not as innovative or as sophisticated as the sorbet, the classic chocolate mousse that Jen ordered satisfied her sweet tooth and her chocolate craving. (Which had apparently come upon her again, as she had enjoyed a couple of truffles at Fran's earlier in the evening.)

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Photo Post: Sceneless in Seattle

I like Seattle. On our two-day trip we were pleased to soak up not just good food, but some unusually fantastic weather. Here are a few snaps from our adventures around the city: Sea-Tac, the waterfront, 1st Avenue, the Hotel 1000 and view from within, some neon goodness, outdoor sculpture, and the Seattle Public Library.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dining at Seattle's Dahlia Lounge

On our weekend blast to Seattle, we settled on dinner at Dahlia Lounge. What looks like Chef Tom Douglas' most lounge-y restaurant sets the mood with dark wood, paper shades, and red-hued upholstered booths.

The menu is a mashup of all things Northwest with a healthy dash of Asian sprinkled about the dishes.

We get things started with a couple of tastes from the sea bar: ahi tartare with tobiko and avocado, geoduck clams, and hiramasa. Fresh and oceanic describe the ahi and hiramasa; "tastes of where it lives" describes the tidal-mud-flat dwelling geoduck (but in a good way, Jen adds.)

I couldn't pass up the foie gras dumpling soup with shitake mushrooms. This initially delicious Asian soup goes to the next level with little nuggets of fatted liver goodness in the tender dumplings floating in the shiny broth. Yum.

Main courses included crab cakes that Jen describes as "all crab, no cake", and my pan-roasted black cod with black-eyed peas, country ham and escarole. Homey AND delicious! Also, the cod skin was intact and crispy.

Dessert? Yes. Doughnuts? Double yes. Tom D's little pillows of happiness are made fresh to order, and shaken in a paper bag table-side with cinnamon and sugar. Marscapone creme and a cranberry jam round out the dish, just in case fried dough, sugar, and cinnamon isn't enough.

The almost floral, but balanced 2008 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Grande Reserve pairs nicely with our largely sea-based meal.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Helloooo Seattle!

Here's to coffee, water everywhere, and a weekend on the western edge of the continent.

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