Since completing NaBloPoMo, I've enjoyed the luxury of spending days on a particular post. And of course, as my beloved Ernest Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is shit." Oh so true. In general, though, while I sometimes spend days upon days editing and fine tuning until I grow tired of the words, I don't often struggle putting that first draft on screen.
My struggle writing this post doesn't reflect in any way on Re:Public. We certainly had a lovely time. It is more likely reflective of this week long endeavor at reacclamating to real life, to work, to a set schedule. I am quite grateful for the four day work week and, in many ways, I can hardly believe it's already over, but what a week it's been.
Every now and then, sitting across from B or other friends who've joined us for Thursday dinner, I am struck by the weight or ease of the week that's just passed. Sitting with my glass of prosecco (my most likely drink of choice) or some other cocktail, it often seems as if I can either feel the tension of the week draining from my body or I feel filled with the calm of an uplifting week. The sensations are almost identical. Tonight it was almost palpable.
Yesterday started off on a bit of a wrong foot. Traffic both to and from work involved a major accident, tacking on almost an hour to our normal commute time (each way). We arrived at Re:Public a little later than we intended (though still early enough to dine with the 70-something set) and were very pleased to find close, easy street parking. We were also fortunate enough to walk past and peek inside Tom Douglas's newest endeavor, the second location of Serious Pie. They were closed for a Friends and Family event, but the space is gorgeous. I can't wait to try it out.
Re:Public itself has a very understated entrance. There isn't a large sign above the door. Instead there is only the name etched in the glass on the door and the sandwich board sign on the sidewalk. How very Seattle. I first noticed the massive glass garage door just to the right of the main entrance a couple of months ago (during warmer days) when it was open and one could see the diners enjoying their meal open air. Amidst tonight's typical cold and rain, though, the door was closed tight. I dream of the next few month passing quickly, returning us contentedly to our long, late daylight patio happy hours of specialty cocktails and small bites.
The space is much larger than it appears from the street and, though the bar was full (my guess is full of Amazon employees who work nearby), we didn't have any trouble getting a table for dinner. The interior is gorgeous. It's all very dark and tavern like (though quite spacious), with glowing balls of light over the tables and throughout the restaurant. It's very warm and lively, and though it looks like it has the potential to get very loud, it didn't. They also have a lot of real estate. While you're certainly aware of how many people are around you, they aren't close.
The menu is broken up into slightly different sections than what you see traditionally. They have categories for Bouchees, Small Plates, House-Made Pasta, Principals and Dessert. B and I had both looked at the menu earlier, so we had a good idea what we wanted.
After waiting awhile, our server appeared, told us she would give us some time with the menus and left. I was a bit thrown off... especially given we'd been sitting there for quite a long time already. It was another long while before she returned. We ordered drinks and the cheese and charcuterie platter (though we really wanted the pork cheek). At first I felt a little put off by the service level. After having some time to think about the evening, though, I've decided it wasn't really a bad service experience. She was definitely very nice and polite. The whole process of ordering and asking for different items (another drink, our entrees, dessert) just felt awkward and forced. The rest of the staff was cheerful, knowledgeable, helpful and amicable.
Our cheese and charcuterie plate arrived while I went in search of the restroom. When I returned, B lamented that I'd missed the explanation of everything on the board. Just as he was stumbling through his own rendition, the very kind expediter returned to the table and asked if I'd like him to go over it again. I love B, but I was very thankful to have a run down other than his.
We eventually got our servers attention to ask if we could order entrees. I selected the half Mad Hatcher chicken with shaved local truffles and potato puree. B had the grilled pork chop with split pea and smoked pork shank soup with cipollinis.
B loved his meal and mine. He wanted me to tell you that. I enjoyed it, but to be honest, both my chicken and B's pork shop were extremely heavy on the salt... and that's coming from someone who really loves salt.
After we finished dinner and again managed to get the attention of our server for B to order another drink, we seized the opportunity before she could escape again and ordered Coffee and Donuts (fritters dusted with powdered sugar with espresso creme anglaise and ricotta for dipping. These were, without a doubt, the highlight of the meal. They were incredible! B went so far as to say they were better than the beignets at Dahlia. I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far, but I could have eaten a whole order all on my own.
I shouldn't be at all critical of Re:Public. They do a very nice job. I can't very well expect each new place to be a new favorite. Frankly, I don't even want them all to be. There just aren't enough meals in the year to continue racking up new favorites on a regular basis while keeping up with all our new adventures. We'll return to Re:Public, though. Perhaps next time just for happy hour and we may wait until the weather encourages them to open that garage door, but one thing is for certain, as long as they're on the menu, the visit will certainly include coffee and donuts.