Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Seattle Eats

By weird coincidence tried three well known Seattle restaurants the past 2 weeks.

Pomegranate is the eastside eatery from famous caterer Lisa Dupar (clients include Bill Gates). Beautiful spot hidden in a faceless office park in Redmond just doors down from Xbox. Menu starts with the signature fire breads - you can choose from an array of toppings. They were delicious. Good cocktail list too with plenty of fusion such as the Watermelon mojito. We went with Cathy & John - who had, respectively, grilled Alaskan salmon with lentils and porkchops glazed with pomegranate. I had seared scallops with calvados cream and braised apple. Adrian had pine-nut crusted halibut. Crumpet had formula. Outstanding food in a friendly atmosphere surrounded by Microserfs.

Monsoon is the well-known French/Vietnamese fusion hidden away in Capital Hill. I was there 15 years ago w/t Troy and recalled I wasn't impressed. This time we went with Gracie for Sunday brunch and the results were much more delightful. Braised pork shoulder melted in your mouth. Crepes w/t mustard greens was outstanding. Loved the sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf. The steamed dumplings were more mediocre. Excellent tea list accented by the beautiful outdoor seating on a quiet street. Expect to pay more than 3 times the Chinatown price w/t better view and feel.

Kingfish Cafe is the legendary ''soul food'' for both old time & hip urban Seattle dwellers. My dinner companions this time were buyers from Amazon.com. I had my doubts because (name check) I had eaten extensively in Alabama, Tennesse, South & North Carolina and Georgia so I fancy myself as the most knowledgable Chinese person on soul food and long believed none exist west & north of certain latitude and longitude. I was not wrong. The food was decent, even creative, but definitely not authentic soul food. It was, too, too, too healthy. Of course this is Seattle, where even Cuban restaurants serve tofu. The wonderful strawberry shortcake saved the day. Having said that I really liked the place soley based on ambience. Hidden away in back Capitol Hill (actually across the street from Monsoon), Kingfish Cafe had the eccentric charm with dark wood bar, cathedral ceiling, wrough iron doors, vintage photos and a great staff. Only thing missing was the humidity and you can almost close your eyes and think you're in deep south, but don't eat the food.


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