In which we celebrate

A big congratulations to our friends Symon and Ashley on their engagement! To celebrate Jeff and I took them out to Luc in Madison for some delicious French American food. We’re so, so happy for y’all!!

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And our second bit of celebrating was for the re-opening of Paseo after over a month’s hiatus. Only in Seattle can you provide virtually no seating, accept only cash, frequently run out of food by 7pm, close FOR OVER A MONTH and still have people lined up out the door for your delicious, delicious Cuban sandwiches. I guess that’s what happens when you’re one of Esquire’s top 25 sandwiches in America. Welcome back messy goodness!

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In which I have a fun weekend off

What a nice, lazy-staycation! Jeff played hooky with me on Friday and we had breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe. Dungeness crab eggs benedict for him and lemon curd French toast for me – yum!

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The sun was shining all weekend – it was perfect! I went on a 7 mile run around Lake Union on Saturday and then walked an additional two miles back home from Gas Works Park. It was nice to know I still had a long run in me.

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Sunny skies from the University Bridge overlooking Lake Union

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The Center for Wooden Boats and MOHAI in South Lake Union

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MOHAI in South Lake Union looking North

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Crossing the Bridge into Fremont, the Center of the Universe

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Waiting for the Fremont Bridge to lower after letter a sailboat pass into Lake Union

Saturday was also our first opera of the season. I got Jeff tickets for Christmas because he always enjoyed going as a kid with his mom. We ate delicious Northwest inspired thalis at聽Poppy before the show and then headed down to McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. We saw Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) – it was fun and I enjoyed opera more than I thought I was going to.

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I’m looking forward to our new two shows in February and April!

All in all a perfect, lazy weekend off 馃檪

In which Jeff has a birthday

Merry (almost) Christmas!!

We’re celebrating with our friends and family from afar this year since I’m on call over the holidays. Unfortunately this also meant being on call on Jeff’s birthday yesterday, but fortunately after a very busy Saturday in the ED, the pager gods gave us reprieve enough to celebrate.

We started the day off with cupcakes from the nearby聽Trophy Cupcakes – so delicious! They remind us of the cupcakes from Sugarland in Chapel Hill that we had for our wedding. There were too many choices, but I finally settled on the buy two, get two special of chocolate peanut butter, brandy eggnog, salted caramel and red velvet. They even gave me a complimentary candle for the birthday boy:

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Brandy eggnog

Then brunch over at The Elysian at his request:

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Birthday mimosa

After a nice lazy day of watching Christmas movies we headed out to dinner, but not before checking Seattle Children’s ED board to make sure no dental emergencies were on their way in:

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All clear!

For his birthday I’d been planning on taking him to the Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, a restaurant I ran across while reading an article on the revival of heirloom oysters. They’re open daily after 4p and they don’t take reservations, and I naively thought arriving at 4:13p would be okay. Silly me. We were told to go have a drink and come back in an hour so we trudged down the street to wait out the rain and oyster line at the Ballard Loft.

The wait turned out to be totally worth it. We sat at the bar and had some of the best food we’ve eaten in Seattle to date.

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It’s a cozy place, not somewhere you’d try to eat with more than four people together. The staff was so knowledgable about exactly where the food came from on their daily changing menu that it reminded us of a Portlandia episode.

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We splurged on two dozen oysters (four of each kind), steak tartar, bread and butter, yarmuth nonna cheese聽with prune jelly and fried brussels sprouts.

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oyster varieties of the evening

And then we indulged in another dozen of our favorites: the Barron Points, Hamahamas, and the Malaspinas. Ahh, to paraphrase a Travel + Leisure article: Those evocative names, derived from actual locales:聽Pemaquid! Skookum! Tatamagouche!聽…does any food pack such a powerful sense of place?

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These west coast varieties are distinctly different from the oysters we’ve slurped on in New Jersey and North Carolina; stronger in flavor and less subtle, they pack a powerful aromatic punch. So, so delicious.

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Jeff declared it a great birthday and a perfect way to become 28. I’d like to thank the children of the greater Seattle area for behaving themselves and not injuring any teeth so we could celebrate.

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Happy birthday love! Here’s to many more!

In which Molly comes to visit!

After the novelties of pumpkin flavored everything has long since worn off, but you have too much work to do to fully enjoy the Thanksgiving feast聽hearkening聽upon you, the rains tend to get you a little down.聽Is there any better sunshine to claw through the late Fall gloom than a friend coming to visit? I think not.

In steps Ms. Molly, my Chapel Hill walking partner, official therapist and bridesmaid to the rescue. She had a conference this weekend fortuitously scheduled in Seattle and I loved having her here as our first official houseguest! Between her sessions downtown (including one with Ms. Sandra Day O’Connor!) we got in some nice long walks around Green Lake and some late night catch ups over our favorite meal of Trader Joe’s appetizers and wine.

On Saturday night we took her to the third Seattle Underground Market and I appreciate her adventurous spirit in joining us to a semi-legal full on foodie rave. This time the organizers didn’t disappoint in choosing the sketchiest location possible: on old warehouse in the SoDo neighborhood near the Old Rainier Brewery.

The entrance was marked only by that small orange sign on the door reading, “SUM”.

Once we made our way in (complete with need for a “secret passphrase”) I was surprised how many people 聽bought the “early tickets” that began at five. I blamed people like our friend Symon who brought extra guests to this one and he rightly blamed me for blogging about it. Duly noted. If you’re reading this for the first time, please come late!

We immediately got in line for the wontons that we didn’t want to wait for last time. I have no pictures because I was too busy eating the delicious Lobster, Mac-and-Cheese with bacon and Gyro flavored fried concoctions. The Gyro wonton served with tzatziki was the best, but they all were delicious and totally worth the wait in the longest line there.

Other notable foods:

Cake pops! Favorites: The Lemon and Pumpkin flavors

Osso Buco empanadas? Omg, yes!

Delicious ice cream by The Spoon Project – the brown sugar walnut was totally worth the diabetes I’m going to develop

The face should make you want to buy a sampling of all The Spoon Project’s flavors.

Ms. Plummy’s was next to the wonton stand, so I felt bad for them that they weren’t getting the love that the wonton line was getting. On tasting their “Run Down” – good Lord, that was my favorite food of the night!

Fryin’ up some Run Down dumplings

The soda people were back! We sampled the grapefruit and also the pear – omg, such a great compliment to all the other delicious food.

Another favorite: popcorn shrimp – not what you’re thinking, but SHRIMP WITH POPCORN IN IT. MIND BLOWN.

Thanks for being so food adventurous with us Molly!

Afterwords we picked up Kuppy who had had a long day of those Amazon kids schmoozing her and trying to get her to take their job offer. It was so amazing to have TWO of my best friends in our Seattle apartment AT THE SAME TIME. How聽could聽I get so lucky??

Unfortunately Sunday morning came fast and it was time to say goodbye. Thanks for coming all the way out here and making our lovely Seattle rain a lot more sunny!

In which we’re the worst foodies ever

Call it being too busy with residency and a job. Call it distraction with our new weather pattern. Call it just not paying attention. Whatever the reason we totally missed that it was the Fall run of Restaurant Week in Seattle. Omg, how can you not love a city that not only has a Restaurant Week, but a Fall AND Spring run of it. To top it off it’s really more like TWO weeks of deliciousness! Twice a year! Do the math – that is almost a whole month devoted to great food at even better prices. Good lord this city is going to make me fat.

From the seattletimes.com site

When I learned we were coming out here last winter聽I actually did look up to see if there was a Restaurant Week because I’ve enjoyed Raleigh’s so much in the past. I found out we missed it by a month or two, so I marked the calendar for the 2013 Spring run – NOT KNOWING THERE WAS A FALL VERSION. Lesson learned.

We made reservations at La Spiga this evening since Jeff was craving Italian food. Its decor and ambiance totally live up to its Capitol Hill location – open dining in a converted loft space with large windows and a huge bar. The waiters and waitresses whose waif like forms are even more so in their all blacks, were kept busy with the crowd running from one end of the hardwood floors to the other. The service was slow, but I was willing to put that aside for a chance to try a delicious Emilia-Romagna three course meal for only $28.

Stolen from La Spiga’s website. I hate taking iPhone pictures of my food in a crowded restaurant – somehow it totally ruins the atmosphere for me.

For the first course we shared the Butternut Squash Flan and the Roasted Marinated Eggplant; the main we split the聽Tagliatelle (house made!) with Prosciutto Ragu and the Six Layer Spinach Lasagna; all topped off with the Panna Cotta with Wild Berry Sauce and their house Tiramisu. I know, I know.. I’m hungry again just writing all these vowel heavy Italian words. Everything was so good – it was hard to choose a favorite. I had the wine pairings with each course, which true to their reviews on other sites complemented the dishes perfectly. We’ll definitely be back again this place was so good; I know it was perfect when the meal satisfied my Northeastern raised husband’s Italian craving.

In the Spring we’ll have to plan out our experience of the city’s best restaurants more strategically, but this was a perfect introduction to fine Seattle cuisine.