Song of the Sea – Manolin

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t0e and I catch up from time to time, to hear about each other’s lives, ruminate on working out, and talk about food over good food. We have history, but it’s always nice to chat about things that make us happy. Manolin had come with high recommendations from Salumi and given that they were part of the same team on The Whale Wins, it seemed like a good candidate.

manolin - potato croquettes

Potato croquettes – expertly fried with just a thin crispy crust on the outside and creamy potato and parmesan on the inside; garnished with dill, paprika, and a subtle garlic aioli – a perfect starter

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Guilty Pleasures – Guilt Trip

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The Black Knight, my BFF and I were going to Cirque du Soleil show in Redmond and need a place for dinner before the show. Now, Remond is a bit of a culinary wasteland, despite the fact that it’s full of foodie loving Microsofties.  It’s getting a little better with places like Tipsy Cow Burger and Homegrown sandwiches, and I’d add Guilt Trip to this list. Guilt Trip is an Indian fusion restaurant – with dishes like cheese sticks and bacon butter chicken. It appeals because it is so different and so hard to fathom what some of these combinations would taste like without trying them. Now, what to try between three people?

Guilt trip - lamb kabob

lamb kabob – crispy on the outside of the patty with full flavored minced lamb; these aren’t what I was expecting as I was thinking about kebobs on a stick, but these were still pretty tasty. They are a little on the dry side, but that’s what the dal on the side is for!

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Divine – Harvest Vine

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Harvest Vine is without doubt, my favorite restaurant in Seattle. From the very first time I came here, on a whim to try something different, to all the times I’ve come here for my birthday and to celebrate a host of other occasions, it has never disappointed.  I remember the first time, sitting at the kitchen bar watching the Joey work his magic and Jose strolling in and just playing with ingredients for fun and serving them to the lucky few at the bar.  I was spellbound by the way the flavors come together, the inventiveness of each plate, and the parade of dishes we would try and hope that we had room for more. Though the kitchen has evolved over the years with brunch and a new chef, Harvest Vine is what made me fall in love with tapas.  On this night, my birthday night, my Black Knight dined here and I fell in love all over again.

harvest vine - beet carpaccio

beet carpaccio – paper thin slices of pickled beets sprinkled with salt, garlic, and floating in olive oil; they were a little heavy handed with the olive oil and a little inconsistent with the salt as it was in clumps causing some slices to be much too salty

harvest vine - jamon iberico bellota

jamon iberico bellota – the nutty fat just melts in your mouth with the richness of the pork – this is one special jamon that makes you want to lick the bits of melted fat off the plate; we only ordered 1 oz., but I was originally thinking we needed 2 or 3, but we seriously thought about ordering it for dessert as well. Note, it’s $20/oz.

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