Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Food & Wine


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

All You Can Eat

Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

E-mail| RSS feeds Subscribe | KPLU Food for Thought podcast| Blog Home

March 31, 2008 4:30 PM

Buenos Aires Grill -- si or no?

Posted by Nancy Leson

Got a call from a guy named Marty, from Marysville. He's coming into town in a couple of weeks to see Caberet at the 5th Avenue Theatre and several of his friends recommended the Buenos Aires Grill for dinner. But then he got to nosing around on the internet and found some negative posts regarding the place, so he was wondering: What do I think of it?

Well, when it opened, I thought it was terrific, as you can read right here. I still recall an amazingly buttery and well-priced filet mignon (not my favorite cut, usually), delicious morcilla (blood sausage), the chimichurri (that I've since taken to making at home), and those fabulous tango dancers twirling on the bar (you'd have to see it to believe it). Unfortunately, it's been too many years since I've been, so I thought I'd ask: Anyone been to Buenos Aires Grill in the past year or so? Comments?

Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 31, 2008 3:45 PM

Oyster Bars and You

Posted by Nancy Leson

I've talked about me and oysters. Now I want to know about you and oysters. More specifically, you and oyster bars. Which are your local favorites -- and why? I'm offering extra brownie-points for great places beyond downtown Seattle. And please note that when I say "oyster bar" I don't mean a bar where you can eat oysters (which would leave out the estimable Flying Fish, Place Pigalle and Le Pichet). I'm talking about a belly-up-to-the-oyster-bar, where you can sit down and stare at those beautimous bivalves while some kind soul stands there with a knife in hand, shucking them.

Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 31, 2008 2:30 PM

Lifting one @ Pike Place Market

Posted by Nancy Leson

By the way: that $2 beer I was sipping at Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar (see last post)? It was the very local stuff, fresh from Pike Brewing Company -- one of 10 tap beers (if you include the "root" variety) served at the oyster bar.

Coincidentally (or maybe not), Pike Brewing's owner Charles Finkel just shot me a press-release touting the Market brewery and pub's upcoming celebration: a "Repeal Party" to be held a week from today. Here's their news:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Drinks , Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 31, 2008 11:22 AM

Pike Place Market: How lucky can we get?

Posted by Nancy Leson

I've spent many column inches over the years writing about how much I love Pike Place Market, and it's no word of a lie: I'm crazy about the place.

I just don't get it when people tell me they only go to the Market when they've got friends or family visiting from out of town. Yes, I know there are fabulous farmer's markets everywhere these days, and there's no question that some of our amazing supermarkets are one-stop shopping places with scads of free parking, but to me, nothing -- nothing -- beats Pike Place Market.

If you haven't been there for a while (or worse, never been there), let me share my Market with you. . .

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Cooking , Restaurants , Stuff I ate |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 28, 2008 4:30 PM

The spoils of Easter

Posted by Nancy Leson

I loved this New Yorker cartoon in the March 24th issue, which also has a profile of New York chef David Chang I plan to read right now.

UPDATE AND NOTE TO READERS, 3/31: Pardon my barging into a previous post, but I need to point out that I've deleted the New Yorker cartoon I photographed and reprinted in this space on Friday. I ditched it because I neglected to consider copyright issues when posting, and thought I'd better hit the "buh-bye" button before someone gave me legal grief. So, now you need to go find the 3/24 issue (the one with Spitzer in his boxers on the cover) and look for Danny Shanahan's cartoon involving an eagle landing in a nest with a dead bunny and a basket full of candy. Three eaglets are checking out the carnage and the caption reads: "The candy is for after dinner" -- famous last words in my house. As for that David Chang profile: amazing. Writer Larrissa MacFarquhar peeled the onion for an honest look at New York's hot young chef. Yes, he's neurotic, and has anger issues, and he's first to say so, but you can't help respecting Chang after reading this revealing piece, centered on the opening of his latest restaurant, Momofuku Ko.

And here are the spoils from my son's Easter basket. He was thrilled to see that the Easter Bunny had brought Zours. Peeps? Not so much. The Bunster was thrilled to wear "his" new Panther Vision ball cap with the heavy-duty flashlight in the rim, when he stopped by late last Saturday night. I understand it was pretty dark out there when he was hiding those plastic Easter eggs.

Easter

I'm going to try to restrain myself from blogging over the weekend. It's a fun job, but hey -- it's still a job! Talk later. . .

Comments | Category: Reading about eating , Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 28, 2008 11:50 AM

Kirkland Restaurants: Here today, gone tomorrow-ish

Posted by Nancy Leson

If you live in Kirkland, you're probably well aware of the planned downtown development of Lake Street's McLeod Project. But if that's news to you well, join the club. I just got wind of it a couple weeks ago. For more developments on that big development, check out the City of Kirkland's website, but here's some news you can certainly use: Four restaurants now doing business on the site -- Hector's, Mixtura, Calabria and Sasi's Cafe -- are facing the wrecking ball. World Wrapps closed a month ago.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 28, 2008 6:31 AM

Coffee Talk

Posted by Nancy Leson

Trouble sleeping last night, so I finally gave it up at 5 a.m. -- an hour earlier than I like to get up. I went downstairs to do what had to be done: I made coffee. My morning coffee ritual is pretty sacred, and it's just that -- a morning thing. You won't find me in a coffee shop or a drive-through buying $3 lattes, and I rarely drink coffee of any sort later in the day. But each morning, I make coffee at home, or my husband sets it up for me if he's awake first. He's a tea drinker whose idea of a perfect cup starts with a trip to the Teacup on Queen Anne, involves a Chinese cast-iron teapot, and ends in a chair with the paper in hand and a very satisfied look on his face. He calls it "the only civilized hour in the day." He's right.


Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Drinks |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 27, 2008 4:20 PM

Off with the gloves! (Ewwww) Or not.

Posted by Nancy Leson

We eat a lot of tossed salads in my house, and when it comes to tossing them, my husband and I beg to differ. Not about the dressing, which we make with a simple mix of Costco EVOO, Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar and Diamond kosher salt. Where we differ is in the "tossing" part. When he's prepping the salad he uses a pair of maplewood bear claws. I use bare claws too: the ones attached to my arms.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Food news , Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 27, 2008 12:23 PM

Enduring Quality, Seven Years Later

Posted by Nancy Leson

That Seasoned Seattle promotion got me thinking about old restaurants. That's "old" as in restaurants that have been around 10 years or longer. We have an astonishing number of restaurants that have lived to a ripe old age, and to prove my point, you might want to look at this. It's my centerpiece story that ran as part of our Pacific Northwest magazine's annual dining guide in 2001. The headline read "Enduring Quality," and having just perused my list (which did not include 100-year-old Maneki, forgive me Jeanne!) that headline stands true today.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 27, 2008 11:57 AM

Tis the "Seasoned" -- April restaurant promotion

Posted by Nancy Leson

$25 for $25. $30 for $30. New Urban Eats. Add to these and other restaurant promos the latest offfering: Seasoned Seattle.

The idea goes something like, "Enough with those young upstarts!" (read: TASTE, Tavolata, Tidbit, Tilth and Txori, just to name a few "T's"), "What about those oldies-but-goodies?" (opened at least 20 years).

For the month of April, a dozen local restaurant "pioneers" are offering a special menu Sundays through Thursdays. You can choose either an appetizer and entree, or an entree and dessert. Two courses for $25.

Maybe it's been too long since you've eaten at, say, Il Bistro or Madison Park Cafe (it's certainly been for me), or perhaps you've never been to the Georgian or Queen City Grill -- both on the list. Anyway, they want your business -- and if you ever saw how drastically restaurant business falls off around tax time, you'd know why. So does 13 Coins (Seattle), Anthony's HomePort (Kirkland), Elliott's Oyster House, The Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar, Ivar's Acres of Clams (Pier 54), Lombardi's (Ballard), Salty's (at Alki) and Shuckers.

If you check out the promo in the coming weeks, let me know what you think. Worth it? I just looked at some of the menu options on-line and it looks like a pretty good value.

Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 26, 2008 2:10 PM

When it rains it pours

Posted by Nancy Leson

So here's what happens when you're me, and your face is plastered all over the Seattle Times after years of working incognito.

You wake up at 6 a.m., go downstairs and find your husband reading the paper. You look at the front page and see they've used a "Gilroy is Here"-style photo of your heretofore anonymous face, splashing it across the top of the paper as an A-1 teaser. "So?" you ask your husband.

"It doesn't look you," he says. "Who does it look like?" you wonder. "It looks like some 1980s big-haired girl from Kent," he says. Actually, you think it looks like the 1980's big-haired '80s girl from the Classmates.com ads, but it's too early to argue.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Reading about eating , Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 26, 2008 12:35 PM

Andy -- of Diner fame, weighs in

Posted by Nancy Leson

After writing about the hoped-for resurrection of Andy's Diner yesterday, I got a call from Andy Yurkanin, who just might be the nicest restaurateur I've ever had the pleasure of conversing with. He told me that yes indeed, he was excited about the potential for his old diner's return to life, and said he was going to talk to "a couple of guys" today who are interested in leasing the place. Yes, of course I asked him who the guys were, but he pleaded the Fifth -- though he did mention that they were in the restaurant business. (Thinking, thinking, thinking. . .) And then it hit me:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: none|Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 26, 2008 9:15 AM

Flash in the Pan Pacific: Marazul

Posted by Nancy Leson

Marazul, the Asian-Latin fusion restaurant adjacent the Pan Pacific Hotel is a goner, having (quietly) served its last supper last week. I should have figured the place was in its death throes when I saw the 15-percent-off posters tacked all over the Seattle Times newsroom recently. Those colorful Carribean-colored come-ons read: "Take a 60 minute vacation at Marazul" and offered a discount off breakfast, lunch or dinner (What, no happy hour?). All we had to do to get dollars-off was walk down Denny Street to the restaurant and show our Seattle Times security badges (See, who needs AAA?).

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 26, 2008 12:01 AM

Hey, look, it's me!

Posted by Nancy Leson

JOHN LOK / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Here I am at Le Pichet in Belltown.

See that photo of the blonde with the oysters? That's me at one of my favorite restaurants, Le Pichet, doing what I do best: eating.

Bet you thought I was a brunette, didn't you? Fooled ya!

Those oysters were incredibly delicious, by the way. I ate them unadorned but for their briny nectar, slurped from their shells, as oysters should always be eaten -- in the world according to me.

So, what's with the coming-out party after nearly a decade as the Seattle Times' visually anonymous restaurant critic and Taste of the Town columnist?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 25, 2008 10:00 PM

2008 James Beard Award finalists: the locals list

Posted by Nancy Leson

The short list is in. The James Beard Foundation announced finalists for the 2008 James Beard Awards, to be held in NYC the weekend of June 6-8. And the local nominees are. . .

Outstanding Restaurateur: Tom Douglas (who's standing in good company with restaurant-empire builders Joe Bastianich/Mario Batali, Rich Melman, Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten)

Outstanding Service: Canlis (standing tall with the service teams from NYC's La Grenouille, Chicago's Spiaggia, St. Helena's Terra and Philadelphia's Vetri)

Best Chef Northwest: Maria Hines (Tilth), Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita), Ethan Stowell (Union, Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf), Jason Wilson (Crush) and Portland's Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen)

Honored this year as one of Beard's "America's Classics": Seattle's century-old Maneki

And on the literary front, among the James Beard journalism awards to be presented in June, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Seattle's Sara Dickerman (nominated for Multimedia Writing on Food, for a piece she wrote for Slate).

Comments | Category: Food news , Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 25, 2008 9:00 PM

Andy's Diner: Come and get it!

Posted by Nancy Leson

When the Seattle Times last reviewed Andy's Diner, the reviewer, my pal Stuart Eskenazi, described the South Seattle restaurant and bar as a "sacred" place. And I'll bet Stuart (who grew up around here knowing Andy's as a local landmark) wasn't the only one crying in his coffee when the diner famous for its rickety railcars and "charcoal broiler," closed in January after nearly 50 years in business, when the most recent owner learned that the place was to be sold to a Sodo developer.

I was especially sorry to hear about the closure because I'd never eaten at Andy's. But if I'm to believe what I hear, the diner at 2963 Fourth Avenue South was "a shadow of its former self" when it closed. That word comes from my husband, who spent many lunch-hours there back when the place was run by Andy Yurkanin (nephew of original owner Andy Nagy). You should hear Mac carrying on about the diner's heyday as "a workingman's Paradise." Back then, he says, busboys doubled as traffic cops in the 50-slot parking lot and working men (and he's a card-carrying member) had to show up at 11:30 to get a seat for lunch. His standing order was $7 prime steak dipped in barbecue sauce, served on a honking big plate with Texas toast and hash browns plus a green salad fancified with blue cheese and (get this) Cheez-Its.


Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Restaurants |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

Advertising

Marketplace

Advertising

Advertising

Categories
Calendar

February

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28            
Browse the archives

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

Food for Thought | Nancy Leson on KPLU

Listen to Nancy at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. during Morning Edition, at 4:40 p.m. during All Things Considered and again the following Saturday at 8:30 a.m. during Weekend Edition on KPLU 88.5.

Restaurant roundups


Twitter
    follow me on Twitter