Not really a Wine Wednesday entry, so I am coming up with a new concept for a post, Wine & Dine Wednesday. I love writing about swell meals we have had. They actually are one of the more discussed posts I get asked about from readers who are traveling and visiting Seattle. Which leads me to, please know, I only share places I really enjoy. I made up my mind very early on when beginning this blog that I wanted it to be positive, happy & upbeat. The world has so much negative/unhappy/sad stuff swirling about, why on earth would anyone want to write about, contribute or read more of the bad stuff. We have eaten at plenty of places that are good but not great, and even some not good at all. Those are the places I don’t share or write about. I hope that all makes sense. Just know if I write about it, we really liked it quite a bit.
Which leads me to, The Whale Wins. This has been on the top of our list since it opened, but for whatever reason, we had yet to try. TPS was given a birthday present of a meal there way back in May. Since we had birthday on the brain, we thought we would give it a go on Monday eve. Chef Renee Erickson, from Boat Street Cafe & The Walrus and the Carpenter fame, has once again put together a winner. Small and shared plates is the concept, so go ready to try lots of spectacular flavor combinations. The space is cool and inviting. The wine list, incredibly approachable.
We have carried her pickled products at the First Avenue shop since she began selling them. Renee is also a Watson Kennedy customer. It has been so much fun watching all of her successes over the years.
We went knowing it was going to be good. But it was really, really great. Ordering the Columbia City bread platter with a huge dollop of amazing butter is a must, for starters. The bread being the perfect tool for mopping up all those delicious sauces along the way. Here is what we had. Roasted delicata squash with beans, almonds, ricotta salata, mint and green tomato currant chutney. As well as roasted cauliflower, toasted coconut, mustard seeds, pickled cucumber with coconut vinaigrette. All amazing. Then Hama Hama roasted clams with romanesco, celery, fingerling potatoes and marjoram. Painted Hills marrow bones, Jacobsen sea salt, with a pickled shallot relish with capers and golden raisins. As well as Carlton Farms roasted pork shoulder with eggplant, chickpeas, rosemary & tarragon. All with a super tasty Bandol red I will write about in the coming weeks. It was all heaven. My only suggestion is to request things in the order you would like them. We ending up being brought the clams last, which seemed odd to us, but we should have specified we wanted them before the meat course. They were still awesome, even after that incredible pork shoulder and marrow. We ended sharing a brownie that is from her mother’s recipe, which rocked. Run, don’t walk, to The Whale Wins. Yum!