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Monday Night at Artusi

You all know I like sharing with you favorite places we enjoy dining. I love hearing shared stories from customers & readers who travel from far and wide who get to Seattle and try out one of our recommendations. I have written often of our major fondness of the Italian eatery, Spinasse. Artusi is the sibling, living right next door. They share the same kitchen, so you just know it is going to be sublime. Dining there anytime for dinner or for nibbles with drinks is grand, but Mondays they offer something quite special. I got to have a date night with my husband the other eve, enjoying their 2 pasta special + a bottle of wine for $35. Yes, you read that right, 35 bucks. I like a good deal as much as the next guy, but it has to be good. This is crazy good! I am still dreaming of the housemade, handmade pastas we enjoyed. If you are in Seattle on a Monday eve looking for a place to dine and be incredibly happy, Artusi is the ticket.



 

 

Dining and Wining

As often happens, I get asked a question/questions while wrapping up gifts for a customer. This one was what we do for dinner most nights during this busy season. Great question, with many variations as the answer. It is a mix of cooking ourselves, ordering take-out, and dining out. The above crazy good meal we enjoyed the other evening in celebration of my birthday at Spinasse. One of our all-time favorite eateries in Seattle. The Pink Door, Cafe Campagne and Cafe Presse are some other spots we adore and frequent. We are big fans of ordering from Uber Eats, as they have access to so many good places around town. Caviar, is a new food delivery service we have started to use too. The name is a tad misleading, as caviar has nothing to do with it, but it is a catchy name. When we cook, one of us generally makes the meal, and the other cleans up after. This has always been our set-up, which works nicely as you get to relax after you have prepared the meal. 

We picked up an incredible meal at May on Vashon Island on the way to the house the night before Thanksgiving. Seriously worth the ferry trip over if you can get a reservation. Best Thai food either of us can remember ever having. Wine & Dine Wednesday would not be complete without a little wine talk. Robin from Pollard Coffee who roasts our special Watson Kennedy blend she makes for us, is now making really lovely wine. Pollard Vineyard is really lovely stuff, and if you can get your hands on a bottle, do. Here is a bit about it from a recent article: “2015 Pollard Vineyard red wine, Yakima Valley: This Right Bank-style blend leads with merlot and includes cabernet sauvignon. It opens with rich aromas of plum, blackberry and cinnamon, followed by succulent flavors of ripe Rainier cherry, clove, cola and vanilla. Perfectly balanced with bright acidity and firm tannin.” A bottle graced our Thanksgiving table (below image) and was pretty perfect. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that, keeps the Watson Sive household fed during this hopping time. 



 

 

The Brilliance That is Spinasse

20150925-060633.jpg A plate of out of this world pasta is a reason to celebrate in my book. When those plates just keep coming and each dish is better than the next, my head starts spinning with delight. No, make that my stomach, not my head. This is the beauty of Spinasse.

20150925-061041.jpg I dined there last week with my friend we have known forever, Lissa, who loves her pasta as much as I do. You might be sitting in the Pike/Pine neighborhood, but you feel transported to Italy. To a little magical spot that just feels good–you see folks cooking, the space is divided into two which makes it cozy, and the staff is warm & welcoming. My favorite dining experiences tend to be when you feel like you are in someone’s home. They always hit the mark. Spinasse has quickly become a classic. Yum.

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Aragona in Seattle

20140701-022540.jpg I have not written about a dining experience in awhile. Time just gets away from me and I realize it has been ages since I wrote about a tasty meal we have enjoyed. Which leads me to Aragona. Many of you know of our love of Spinasse–Chef Jason Stratton’s eatery on Capitol Hill not too far from The Gainsborough. Where the house-made, handmade pasta is so good we have another order of it for dessert. So when he opened up Aragona smack dab in between the two Watson Kennedy shops downtown, I knew we were in for a treat. It is a culmination of his longstanding relationship with and love of Spanish cuisine and culture, drawing inspiration from the regions of Catalonia, Valencia and Andalucia, as well as the waters & land of the Pacific Northwest. We had dinner there the other evening with friends and we each had the tasting menu so we were able to try many of the house specialties. The evening was filled with much laughter, many stories, good wine, and bite after bite of culinary goodness.

Here is what we enjoyed so you get some idea of what you are in for if Aragona is on your menu. Jamón Serrano croquetas and house-made potato chips with wildflower honey to start. Next came a salad of potato and peas with cured salmon. The above photo is of the local albacore tuna en escabeche, marinated with Riesling vinegar, capers, currants and spring onions. Yum! Apologies. That is the only photo I snapped. Similar to dinners and parties we host or attend, once it all gets rolling I am so taken with the moment that I rarely remember to take photos. I am so happy I did of this course, because it was one of my very favorite.

Then baby lettuces, arugula, and mint with a Riesling vinaigrette with toasted garlic. I gotta say, one of the better vinaigrettes I have ever tasted. Next, wild sockeye salmon with cider sauce and mussels. Then a grilled half chicken with salsa piri piri and fried potatoes. As well as, baby turnips with their greens with pimentón and fresh sheep’s cheese. All so incredibly delicious.

Dessert was Torrija, which is bread soaked overnight in sweet anise custard, caramelized on the plancha, served with sherry caramel and bee pollen. As well as, Xuxos Caseros, which is crispy fried pastry stuffed with vanilla cream and truffle salt.

I hope that gives you a good idea of all the depth of flavors and detail that is involved at Aragona. I am still dreaming of that vinaigrette…