We like wine. Using the royal ‘We’, America’s wine consumption is growing by the year. Join in the imbibing with these Seattle-area wine purveyors. Support local! Here is a quick rundown of area tasting rooms, shops, and retailers and the days where they do some pourings. Cheers.
-Frequent tastings throughout the week, check website
McCarthy & Schiering
-Every Saturday 11-5pm (both locations)
Pike & Western
-Wednesday 4-6pm, $5
-Friday 3-6pm, complimentary
-Tue & Wed 3-9pm
Sixth Avenue Wine Seller
-Thursday 3-7pm, $10
The Tasting Room
-During business hours $2-5pm
West Seattle Wine Cellars
-Thursday 5:30-8pm, complimentary
Wine World & Spirits
-Every weekday 6-8pm
-Every weekend 2-5pm
My first stab at writing a restaurant ‘review’ was about West Seattle’s Spring Hill. Looking back on that post, it wasn’t one of my stronger posts and it didn’t do too well at talking about Spring Hill. Since then my voice and style has changed, so I’m going to take another stab about the place. This is because, over the course of the last year, Spring Hill has evolved and become an unbelievable restaurant that should be propped up with the other greats in Seattle. In short, they have become one of the best restaurants in town.
And it’s not just Spring Hill’s food. Which is unique, delicious, and a reflection of chef Mark Fuller’s vision and talent. If you’ve been paying attention (or are an obsessive food nerd like me) you’ll notice all of the cool stuff they’ve been up to. Which is why their status has vaulted in my mind. From trying out new things with their menus, to hosting great events, and surrounding themselves with unbelievable talent, Spring Hill has elevated their game and should be recognized for being aggressive with their business.
Here are three cool things about Spring Hill:
More. Everyone wants more of something. I want more streetfood spots in Seattle. Tiger Woods wants more majors. Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell. The Smithsonian wants more artifacts. I also want more great places to eat in Seattle. Thankfully we are a great food city and there are more restaurants adding to this reputation. In fact, a new one from the folks that have brought us U-District’s great Pair have another place they want to be included into the discussion; Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor.
I was excited to go to Frank’s for a few reasons. Number one is the name. As a Frank, I always appreciate having more of us around. Number two was how much I like Pair. A whimsical restaurant that executes small plate comfort food perfectly. Number three is because of the stuff I read online. Interesting articles about the history and inspiration behind the place. I always like to know the backstory and the history to any place I visit, so it was great to learn more about Frank’s.
I’ve been a fan of Art of the Table for a long time. It started as conversations with friends and how this tiny little restaurant on a residential corner in Wallingford was churning out high quality food. Next, I was reading some articles online and that it’s the #1 restaurant on Yelp. But it wasn’t until a wine dinner visit to Art of the Table where I was put under a spell to fully appreciate the work of Chef Dustin Ronspies and his crew. That night solidified it; I needed to go back and fully take in the Art of the Table experience. I finally did return and it was one of best dining experiences I’ve had in some time.
It was at a wine tasting with Stephen Tanzer that I was first able to take in Dustin’s talent. There were several small plates to accompany the wine, my personal favorite being his pork confit with pickled rhubarb. After this great night of eating and drinking I vowed to return and I finally did this past weekend. After seeing the email listing out his menu for Valentine’s Day I knew we would go. A dinner at Art of the Table is truly unique and a dinner for Valentine’s Day featuring aphrodisiacs would elevate it to a special occasion.
Chalk this up to the friendly vibe that Dustin, his partner Laurie, his sous chef Phil, and his guest chef (and brother) Derek provided that evening. What other restaurant would the chef and owner greet you at the door and offer to take your coat? These little touches provide great effect to the experience at Art of the Table. It’s a communal vibe where you feel like you’re in Dustin’s dining room with his kitchen right around the corner. You’ll see him cooking, serving, setting plates, and washing dishes; he has a hand in the entire evening. I also love it when Dustin announces each course and talks about his inspiration. He breaks the “wall” between kitchen and customers by conversing with his guests and describing the menu. The personal imprint of Art of the Table is one of the things that really makes it unique and enriches the experience.