A Tribute – Hommage

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Salumi and I chose Hommage because much ado and hype has surrounded this replacement for the lovely Book Bindery. My fondest memory of Hommage was our introduction to the hanger steak – a marvelous cut of meat few restaurants serve. In its place, the owners had hoped to build something more accessible, but make no mistake – this is still a foodie stomping ground. The open bar in the middle of the restaurant serving intriguing cocktails, the white of the room make the restaurant more trendy and youthful, but it is no less ambitious when it comes to food.

hommage - foie gras torchon

foie gras torchon – rich, mixed with pistachios and dabbed with pomegranate syrup, it had all the trappings a foie gras dish should, in the right proportions, though it probably could have used another slice of brioche. :)

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Driving me Locco – Local Burger

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My BFF and I had the idea to grab dinner and then buy supplies for holiday crafting. I had heard of a new burger joint in Bellevue, by the team from Local 360, so we decided to give it a try.

My friend had the peanut butter and jelly burger, which she was apprehensive about order, but ended up loving. I’m not really a PB&J kind of girl myself, so I can’t really say one way or another.  I do like the combination with foie gras occasionally, but I prefer my peanut butter and jelly as stand alones. As you know, I love my foie gras, so it’s no surprise that I ordered the Farm House burger.

local burger - farm house burger

farm house burger – juicy, great quality meat; it’s a smaller patty, maybe 8oz, topped with foie gras terrine; the foie gras flavor was faint, and felt like it was running away with the juices of the burger, which is quite delicate; the bun holds together though without getting too soggy; the French fries are on the soggier side, but I like that since the overly crispy ones tend to taste more burned when they have skins

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Excited for Espresso – Starbucks Roastery

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The first Starbucks is a tourist attraction and this new bean to cup roaster is going to be their next stop. While there are quite a few other bean to cup roasteries, like Vivace, Ladro, and Stumptown, none of them turn the art of roasting beans into a spectacle. And this is exactly what the Starbucks Roastery is – grand spectacle. Like the Cirque du Soleil of coffee and worth the time spent watching and admiring.

I’ve been on roaster tours in Hawaii, but none have the copper, the library, or the wiz bang of Starbucks. Starbucks is also roasting beans on a massive scale, so their equipment is twice as large and twice as shiny for display. Of course you have to try the coffee while you’re here, along with the pastries, and to really make an event out of it, stay for Serious Pie pizza. Even if your palette isn’t sensitive enough to tell the difference between the different beans, you can still enjoy the experience here in learning about how beans are roasted and partaking in the coffee ritual.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur, they offer a brew flight and a bean flight. However, unless you can drink 32 oz. of coffee in a sitting, you might want to share with a friend.

starbucks roastery - the line

expect to wait about 45 minutes to order your coffee; skip the line if you just want to walk around the roastery, go to the store, or go to serious pie

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Slurping Sumptuousness – Santouka

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On a chilly night, nothing is more comforting than a bowl of noodles in broth. And while udon, beef noodle soup, and pho are all on that list, there’s something special about the art of ramen. It’s fast food in Japan, but it’s an art form that requires a flavorful rich both and springy noodles. The Black Knight and I went on a Saturday evening at 5pm, waited 15 minutes for a table of two, but it’s packed!  This is supposed to be the best place in Seattle for ramen.

santouka - garlic ramen

garlic ramen – a flavorful broth without being too heavy, firm noodles, and a thin slice of cha shou make this an excellent ramen.

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Westward Ho! – Westward

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I believe that good food shouldn’t be saved for just special occasions, because every day should be a day to celebrate how wonderful life is. Which makes celebrating special occasions a little more difficult, but only because I need to figure out what the honoree would like best, rather than what I like best.  For my mom and dad’s anniversary (let’s say 30+) and my mom’s birthday combination dinner, we chose Westward for the following reasons:
–  middle eastern inspired, which my mom likes
– whole roasted trout – there’s nothing my dad enjoys more than a whole fish
– nominated as one of the top 10 restaurants by Bon Appetite magazine
– I’ve been there before, and it’s solid

westward - grilled halloumi cheese

grilled halloumi cheese – with arugula, cranberries, cashews; loved the combination of cheese with the tartness of cranberries, earthiness of nuts, spiciness of arugula, and tanginess of vinaigrette; you have to cut the cheese with a knife and it has a nice firm texture without being too rubbery

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Mostly Sunny – Damn the Weather

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Kipnik and my friend from Japan wanted to place with good food and good drinks. Now, I don’t know much about drinks myself, but I do know good food and places they say are good for drinks. Damn The Weather, a craft cocktail bar in Pioneer Square fit the bill. So on a rainy Friday night, we found ourselves into a relatively small bar with golden light flooding the room. The chatter at a lively din, we had arrived just in time for happy hour.

Damn the Weather - Pimm's Cup

Pimm’s Cup – they’re known for their craft cocktails; I have no idea what makes a good cocktail, but my sister liked this one and it’s not as sweet as ones I’ve had in the past, more of a bite

damn the weather - pork sliders

pork sliders – flavorful, bite sized

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