Thursday, September 30, 2010

Local Vine... Take 2!

For a little while, I thought tonight's Thursday Night Bite might be of the home cooking variety.  We use Amazon Fresh for at least 95% of our grocery shopping.  In addition to meaning that I rarely set foot in a grocery store, it also means that we have access to some interesting food items that aren't available in local stores.  My latest discovery are FRESH HATCH GREEN CHILES.  This is a HUGE deal if you're from New Mexico.  When they arrived yesterday, I promptly thrust my nose into the package, expecting to smell home... the scent was scarce and waning.  I didn't care.  I'll take it!  Now comes the challenge of roasting them in my Seattle oven rather than in a gas-powered, New Mexico roaster (to be driven home leaving your car smelling like chile for a week) as they should be.  In any case, my plan for tonight was to roast my 4 lbs. (yes, 4lbs, not 40) in my Viking oven.  
Anyway, my plans were derailed in favor of another Local Vine night.  The logic was that I'll be more relaxed on Friday night and enjoy roasting and peeling my green chile that much more.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Forget Thursday... Monday night bites (and not in a good way)... {Black Bottle}

I had my heart set on Cicchetti tonight.  I mean, I REALLY had my heart set on Cicchetti.  We started going there a few months ago after I read a review online.  It's this fun little spot built in what used to be a 2 story house behind Serafina in Eastlake.  They serve mostly small plates and great drinks.  Seating is all self-serve on both bright, cheerfully decorated floors.  I have quite a few favorites at Cicchetti, but today the saltcod fritters were on my mind.  ALL day.  By the time we crossed 520, B had heard enough about it, so he willingly drove us there on our way home.

As it turns out, they aren't open on Mondays.  After standing on the street corner and walking back and forth between there and the front door of Serafina for 10 minutes, we finally figured it out (Serafina was open, but we didn't feel like Italian).  Getting back into the car (after much grumbling from me), we decided on Marjorie instead.  B wisely suggested that I check their hours before we got there.  Also closed.  REALLY?!?!  We've often had trouble finding an open restaurant on Sunday night, but never had this problem on a Monday before.
We probably should have just gone home since it wasn't the idea of eating out that I was attached to, but the specific restaurant.  At this point, though, we were on a quest for a restaurant open on Mondays.  I didn't start out feeling like I needed a drink, but by the time we got home, I'd decided that I did, in fact, need a drink and didn't feel like cooking... never mind the fact that I'm a terrible, reluctant cook.  We decided on Black Bottle (open 4PM-2AM daily... thank you).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bonus Weather

Once the weather in Seattle has turned, you sort of resign yourself to the fact that you've seen the last of the sun until July.  Of course, even in Seattle, we're bound to get a sunny day here and there.  That's called bonus weather.  Today,we got a HUGE bonus... High 70's, clear skies, awesome.  The total attitude transformation that takes place in this city on sunny days is astounding.  There are people everywhere on the streets.  They're smiling, friendly... grateful. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blame it on the bartender... {Paddy Coyne's}

I’m not the first (or even the fiftieth) person to write about food and how the act of eating together is far less about the food than it is about the experience, socialization and community.  Whether you eat alone, with one special person or share a meal with many, the experience can be equally poignant.  Though I didn’t realize it until a couple of years ago, food has always been a very important part of my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I love LA! No, really, I do!! {Osteria La Buca and The Bazaar}

We spent this past weekend in Los Angeles celebrating B’s birthday a few days early.  We scored a great deal on airfare through Virgin America and just couldn’t pass up the chance to get out of Seattle’s already declining weather.  So, we headed for sun, smog and a whole new world of restaurant opportunities. 

Friday night, we had a chance to have dinner with two of my favorite people from Oxy, Jen and Ashley.  Ashley chose Osteria la Buca on Melrose for dinner. 

It's a very cute little Italian spot with two levels and warm decor. According to Ashley, it's not in the best neighborhood, but once people figured out how good it is, they were willing to make the trip. They also have short-distance delivery on a very cute little Zero bike with a wooden crate attached to the back.

Happy Birthday to B! The Local Vine Returns and Trophy Cupcakes

We had a lovely surprise Monday evening.  En route to Donna Moodie’s Marjorie, we decided to detour down 12th St. in Capitol Hill to see how the new home of The Local Vine was progressing.
The Local Vine closed their Belltown location at the end of July, shortly after learning the building they occupied would be demolished due to safety concerns. B and I were devastated.  Everyone has that go to spot… whether it’s your favorite pizza place or your neighborhood bar…  it's that place where you celebrate, drown your sorrows or just visit because you’re feeling too lazy to make dinner.  The Local Vine was, hands down, that place for us. For our first three years in Seattle, we lived in the same building they occupied.  This is why we first visited.  We kept coming back, though, because we loved the wine, the fabulous food and because we came to really love the people who worked there.  We looked forward to slow nights when we would sit at the bar for hours, drinking wine and chatting with the friendly, interesting people who comprised their staff.