Well, this was a fun new find! Today, we decided to explore Capitol Hill and check out Melrose Market. A thanks go to the Alexes, for suggesting we watch Anthony Bourdain’s Layover Seattle episode, in which he eats his way around the city and highly recommended a stopover at Melrose Market.
An old converted warehouse, (wonderful old brick walls, high beamed ceilings, large iron-paned windows) Melrose Market houses several fooderies: a full service butcher with quite an assortment of specialty meats; a gourmet cheese shop; a wine shop; local florist; fresh shellfish and a small gift shop.
At the back is Sitka and Spruce, a small inviting restaurant specializing in locally sourced fare and unusual ingredient combinations. Again, thanks to the Alexes, for the gift certificate they gave us over a year ago. I’m embarrassed to admit it has taken us so long to get here, but we are so glad we did. We loved the open dining table adjacent to the chef’s prep table, making you feel like you were at home in their large country kitchen. We ordered fresh olives, a local goat cheese with apricot spread, cured trout with roasted parsnips and honey cured ham with spicy mustard and sauerkraut. Our favorite was the trout with parsnips – not enough trout on the plate but excellent flavor overall.
Would we go again? Probably not just to dine, as parking is unreliable, and location is off the beaten track for us…but we will definitely take out-of-town Foodies to Melrose Market simply for the novelty of the experience and the quality of the shops and the food.
Our blog has been buried deep within the fog, the rain and the traffic craziness that consumes one in Seattle. But after a been-there-done-that-don’t-need-to-go-again ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island, we have decided to embrace the lunacy. If nothing else, Seattle is filled with culinary treasures and stunning topography (on the rare sun-shiny day). With a resurrected optimistic attitude, we will attempt to revive both this blog and our epicurious spirits.
Our immediate thanks go to Elliott’s Oyster House, a very pleasant surprise and finish to a gray, cold and clammy day. Why a surprise? Because Elliott’s sits smack in the middle of tourista-ville on the waterfront surrounded by ticky-tacky novelty shops, the newly popular Carousel and way too many tourists dressed in appropriate grunge for their visit to Seattle. Who would truly expect good food in this environment?
But good it was. Friendly, prompt service. Fresh, light and open atmosphere overlooking Puget Sound (and yes, a real sun break occurred just as we were being served). And food that did not disappoint. I had the ahi tuna appetizer, which I would highly recommend and readily order again. Sesame seared rare ahi, atop a nest of avocado, topped with a fresh mango salsa and surrounded by a unique soy and lime-ginger sauce. Randy ordered the mussel appetizer in a light tequila-lime cream sauce. I also had a clam and mussel combination, in a garlic, tomato broth. Both the shellfish appetizers were excellent and sizeable – more than enough to satisfy. And the bread! They do know how to do bread- fresh, warm, crusty on the outside and perfect for dipping in the broth.
Thank you, Elliot’s. You’ve given us renewed hope and motivation for continuing to experience and share all that is good about Seattle! You go on our list of favorite places to dine, along with Palisades.
Despite our deep silence over the last few months, we have indeed experienced quite a few restaurants on our original list. What follows is a quick rundown of our favorites.
- Palisades on the waterfront below Magnolia: since our first memorable evening there with brother Randy, we have returned multiple times. This is our #1 spot for bringing out of town guests. Easy parking, excellent service, consistently good food, great wine list, beautiful views of the bay, the city, the Needle and Mt. Rainier (when she’s out).
- Cactus in Kirkland: bright and festive ambiance, southwest-with-a-nouveau-twist fare. Great for lunch or dinner, Cactus combines unexpected ingredients into flavorful, well-prepared dishes – we love the butternut squash enchilada.
- Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Kirkland: one of our favorite wine-ins before taking in the local theatre. We’ve learned to stick with the small bites menu, tastier and more consistent than the full dinner courses.
- Toulouse Petite: another favorite. In lower Queen Anne, Toulouse Petite is a New Orleans Cajun style restaurant, with consistently good food, whether you are there for Sunday brunch, a weekday lunch or special dinner. The menu is extensive, offering unique combinations of ingredients that make eating a flavorful experience. We always come away happily satisfied. Was it the good food, the lively ambience or the bartender’s specials?!
- Place Pigalle: a hidden gem tucked away on the waterfront in Pike Place Market. Want to escape the Market frenzy? This is the best place for a quiet, scenic and tasty dining experience. The small and cozy, french-accented bistro overlooks Puget Sound and offers a selection of yummy seafood and pasta specials. It is my favorite go-to dining destination for a break from the crowded and chaotic shopping at Pike Place.
Where to next? With daughter Jessie coming to visit next weekend, I’m sure we’ll experience something wonderful and new!