Looking up info on Phinney Ridge we found Picnic, a new food and wine boutique along the main strip of Phinney. Food, wine and new? Of course we had to visit!
Walking into Picnic you’ll notice that they have a wall of wine, a seating area, and their glass case full of goodies. The space is nice and you could see that the design was well thought out. We looked into the case and noticed something curious that we had to ask about; it was housemade pork rillette. My tastebuds started to flutter; rillettes are the most awesomest spread ever. They are a type of meat that are cooked in their own fat and allowed to solidify. Spread it over a baguette and you’re on the verge of being a bonafide Francophile. It’s rad.
As we spent more time in Picnic we were able to talk with Jenny, one of the owners of Picnic along with her husband Anson. Today was the opening day of Picnic and you could see their excitement and exasperation connected with opening their own business. With a background in food, Jenny and Anson will surely bring great things to the neighborhood.
Jenny noted that Picnic will have an assortment of stuff; fresh pastas, to-go food, wine tastings, and more. She mentioned how they’ll focus on Northwest wines, but also introducing cool wines from places like Austria. Jenny also said that they’ll be having a tasting in October with O’Shea Scarborough, and for November it will Tertulia Cellars. Will definitely go to that one as Tertulia’s Viognier is awesome.
Go visit Picnic and partake in the goodies that Anson and Jenny have in store for us! Grab some salumi and or cheese and maybe grab some wine! Your ascension towards food enlightment will love it.
This afternoon, went out to lunch with my mom. She’s never been to Whole Foods’ SeaSmoke Cafe, so we went there to partake in their meats and seafood. Of course it was good, but we also found out about a really cool event that Whole Foods is having for this Tuesday.
Go to the cafe up front Tuesday 9/30 for Oyster Happy Hour from 6-8pm. The deal is 50¢ per oyster, $3 for half dozen, and $6 for a dozen. Deal! Inspired by the event on Tuesday we grabbed some oysters too. Gold Creek, Kumamoto, and Kushi. The Gold Creek were a little briny, the Kumamoto were sweet, and the Kushi (my personal favorite) were creamy. It’s amazing how oysters can have such different flavors.
Head down to the Whole Foods on Westlake and Denny Tuesday and get full on bivalves! They’ll also have some other foods and drink specials, so indulge, imbibe, and enjoy!
It’s fair to say that Poppy is the most anticipated restaurant to open in Seattle. With good reason too. The chef/owner is the celebrated Jerry Traunfeld, who gained international recognition as the chef of The Herbfarm. Jerry has authored several books and was creating lyrical and impressive food, but one little visit to India introduced him to a new style of cooking that put the wheels in motion to revolutionize the Seattle food scene.
When you consider Jerry’s pedigree and what Poppy is achieving you can definitely appreciate the undertaking. Located on the north end of Broadway right off of Roy, Poppy is part of a revitalization of that area.
Jerry’s skill in the kitchen is well documented, so the opportunity to have his food was something that I looked forward to. And a lot of people were excited for Poppy to arrive too. When I found out that they were ready to open and take reservations, I jumped at the chance to be a part of the scene.
A revelation that I discovered via Seattle Magazine is the “microhood”. It isn’t a kitchen feature, it’s a small little area within your neighborhood that has it’s own endearing character. It could be a couple of small shops, a park, some cafes; whatever it is, it’s distinctly part of your neighborhood’s charm and usually only those that live in the vicinity know about it.
Seattle has microhoods everywhere. Shoot, Queen Anne has three of it’s own. Along West Galer (Via Tribunali, Top Pot, Caffe Fiore), and the other on McGraw and Sixth (Malena’s, Ken’s Market, Macrina Bakery). My favorite is along 10th and Howe with Brent’s Muse Coffee Co. and the Icebox Grocery (one of the best local grocery stores/delicatessens in Seattle). Muse Coffee is a really great coffee shop. They get their beans from Herkimer and their baked goods from Little Rae’s Bakery (props for being a nut-free facility). The Icebox has some great food (definitely get the bread pudding) and fun choices in wine. Plus, it helps when it’s only a block or so away in case I’m in a bacon or butter emergency.
The Seattle Times has even had a running feature where they highlight local microhoods. The most recent? That odd stretch of Leary that could either be called Fremont or Ballard. I say Ballard. They’ve also talked about Georgetown, and it’s explosion of growth (although this growth could push it out of microhood status). They also mentioned Greenlake’s Tangletown. Tangletown is one of my favorite little areas; with Zoka, Mighty-O, Luau, and more, the hungry will always be happy here. Tangletown is also the home of the sublime Kisaku; did you know that Kisaku means Frank? Holla.
Think about your neighborhood and it’s hidden joys. I think the hallmark of a good one is character and, of course, a great place to grab a bite or a cup of joe. And if you can walk to a Starbucks you don’t live in a microhood. Your block is part of a business plan, sorry.
Branzino is the new cool fish of the moment. Branzino is also the new cool restaurant in Belltown. Opening earlier this summer to much fanfare, Branzino is a fun restaurant that introduces some really great techniques and food to the eaters of Seattle.
Located at the intersection of 2nd and Wall, Branzino is on the same block with some other great restaurants and it shines for adding hip freshness to the Seattle dining scene. Opened by Peter Lamb of Il Bistro and Queen City Grill fame, he brought on Chef Ashley Merriman (from Brasa) to execute the menu. In addition to these two, there are other folks that helped bring the bistro to fruition.
We went this weekend for a group dinner and really enjoyed ourselves. After reading up on some fun reviews on the joint, we were excited to experience it for ourselves. Stepping into the space, it was awash with orange and wood. Very inviting and warm. Off to a good start.
Grabbed some takeout from Malena’s Taco Shop at the top of Queen Anne, and wanted to show off a really cool spot to sit, relax and chowdown. This picture was taken from a park bench off of the Magnolia bridge, between the terminals and Amgen. It sits on the trail from Myrtle Edwards park, so walkers, runners, and bikers swoop. It’s a nice relaxing spot on a cut of Elliot Bay that’s perfect to unwind and enjoy some takeout.
To find it, take Elliot/15th and turn onto the Magnolia bridge, but take the Terminal 86-91 exit and turn towards Amgen. Swing right and you’ll see the parking lot and some benches. Park, enjoy the view, and exhale! Keep an eye on the water too, you may see some fish jump out of the water or harbor seals checking out the scene.
Finding little nooks to enjoy your neighborhood and your present company is always a gift; where will your takeout take you?
Everyone has food that they love unconditionally. Something you grew up with and will always love. For me that is Kau Kau’s BBQ pork.
One could find BBQ pork (or char sui) at innumerable places in Seattle’s ID, but to me, Kau Kau is where it’s at. I think it’s the best in Seattle. I grew up having it! When I was a kid, I remember two things that my dad would bring for my brother and I: King Cafe’s shu mai and Kau Kau’s BBQ pork.
The BBQ pork at Kau Kau is pretty much food perfection. Moist, succulent, sweet, tons of flavor. The pieces that have a hit of char on them? Those are great too! Plus, you can get an order of BBQ pork and rice for a little over five bucks! Cheap eats at its finest!
As we live in a world were so much changes around us, getting to eat the stuff that made you love food in the first place is so important to hold onto. So thanks Kau Kau for bringing us one of the singular best things our city offers. (And don’t forget to say ‘hi’ to Swish (II), their huge fish while you’re there.)