Monday, October 20, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Seattle Restaurant Week

Yes, it's called "Seattle Restaurant Week", but lucky for us it's two weeks long! Seattle Restaurant Week gives everyone a chance to try out some new restaurants for a great price. You get three courses for only $30! Check out the Seattle Restaurant Week website for a listing of over 160 restaurants who are participating. Now make your game plan, and get out there and EAT!! Cheers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

FOOD EVENT RECAP: Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market

Friday night The Pike Place Market Foundation hosted the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market. It is one of the largest events of the year to raise money for the Market Foundation. The Sunset Supper featured some of the best Chefs, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries the Seattle area has to offer! It doesn't get any better in Seattle than savoring great food and drinks throughout a warm, summer evening at one of the city's most popular landmarks!

Even before the event started, there was already a long line of people waiting to enter the Market so they could start enjoying the great food and drinks that awaited them.

The Sunset Supper featured a lot of great Chefs including Seattle's own Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat! Thierry is well-known for his two popular restaurants, Luc and Loulay. Thierry has appeared on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters", and is also the co-host of "Seattle Kitchen" on KIRO Radio. Thierry is one of my favorite Chefs. He always takes delight in preparing delicious food he knows people will enjoy.

Throughout the evening, I had the pleasure of sampling a lot of great food, wines and liquor. Below is a slide show of some of the amazing food and drinks offered by the vendors at the Sunset Supper.


From the start of the event, the Market was full of energy with attendees sampling the delicious offerings from all the vendors.

Not only was everyone treated to great food and drinks, but the live entertainment was great too! The band played through the evening entertaining the crowd as they danced through the night.

The Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market would not be complete without a beautiful sunset! Earlier in the day, it almost looked as if the weather would not cooperate, but it turned out to be a beautiful evening.

Future expansion plans for Pike Place Market
Proceeds from the Sunset Support go to The Pike Place Market Foundation, which is the heart of the Market. The Foundation helps the Market we all love remain a thriving, caring community. The Foundation was established in 1982. It is a non-profit organization which supports housing and services for low-income neighbors.  They provide a food bank to feed the hungry; a preschool available to low-income families; a medical clinic offering care for homeless, low-income, and elderly clients; and Heritage House that offers assisted living to seniors.

The Market is planning to expand Westward! The viaduct will be coming down soon, and the Market will be expanding West to offer space for more vendors and access to the waterfront. This is a very ambitious project, but the benefits to the Market, downtown and the waterfront will be huge. The Waterfront Entrance to Pike Place Market will expand upon the heart of what The Market Foundation does in the community. You can help the Market realize its dream by making a donation today!

Even Rachel the Piggy Bank was all dressed up for the Sunset Supper!

The Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market was truly a great evening of food, drinks and entertainment. The event allowed some of the best Chefs, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries to highlight what they have to offer. It was also a great event to raise awareness of The Market Foundation and what it does to keep the Market a thriving and caring community. This was by far the best food event I have attended this year, and I look forward to attending next year! Be sure to check out The Market Foundation's website to get the latest news on their future events, and to learn more about what the Market has to offer.

Monday, August 11, 2014

FOOD REVIEW: Manhattan

Over the weekend I paid a visit to Manhattan on Capitol Hill for dinner with some friends. Manhattan is located on 12th Avenue between Madison and Pike. As the name implies, the food is inspired by the east coast.

Manhattan has a craft cocktail bar that serves classic drinks as well as their own signature cocktails. I ordered a Salted Caramel Apple cocktail that was very tasty! It's vodka, apple liqueur, lime juice with a sweet and salty caramel rim. This cocktail was like drinking dessert! I loved the caramel around the rim of the glass, and it was the perfect combo to the taste of the apple and lime. The cherry in the glass was perfect contrast to the beautiful color of the cocktail. I also tried the Manhattan(2). It is a twist on the classic with rye, punt e mes (Italian Vermouth), peychaud's (bitters), orange bitter and served with an orange twist. Strong, but tasty!

Manhattan offers a good selection of food on their menu, from seared scallops, to fried chicken, to filet mignon. I went with the Grilled Duck Breast. This was served with grits, brown butter and sage, seasonal vegetables (carrots, asparagus, squash), and red wine sauce. The duck breast was beautifully served pre-sliced on an island of grits surrounded by red wine sauce. The duck was cooked perfectly. The skin was nice and crispy and beautifully scored. It was tender and juicy, and the perfect bite included the duck with some grits dipped in the red wine sauce! There was even some thought placed in the presentation of the seasonal vegetables. Cut to nice bite-sized portions and perfectly prepared.

As you can see from my empty plate, I thoroughly enjoyed my dinner!

 I really like the interior of Manhattan. We were seated in one of the booths located along the wall opposite the bar. There are tables through the middle of the restaurant, as well as tables with bench and chair seating near the front of the restaurant. The big orange wall behind the bar glows in the back light, as the rest of the restaurant is lit with different alternating vintage looking chandeliers. The decor is definitely chic, but comfy. On my next visit, I would love to just sit at the bar and try some of their other signature cocktails and some more of their delicious food.

Manhattan has two tufted walls with the others covered in patterned and textured wallpaper. The entrance to the restrooms is draped off with dramatic, heavy curtains.

Manhattan is also taking part in the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market on August 15th. Check out my previous post about the Supper, or go to The Pike Place Market Foundation website for more info.

Manhattan on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 10, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market

19th Annual Sunset Supper
Friday, August 15th @ 7:30pm

If there is one food event that you must attend this year, it is the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market! Seattle is well known for many of its iconic landmarks, but the most visited and vibrant landmark is undoubtedly Pike Place Market! Tourists and locals alike love to visit the Market to take in all of the great food, produce and crafts the vendors have to offer. I know that when I have family and friends visit Seattle, the first place I take them is the Market. There is so much to see and take in when you walk through the historic Market. From the amazing seafood, to the fresh, local produce, the beautiful flowers, and the wonderful art and crafts, Pike Place Market has something for everyone!

Pike Place Market is continually voted one of the best public markets in the country. We truly are very fortunate to have such a great market community here in Seattle that has such a deep, rich history. Many restaurants throughout Seattle rely on the market for their amazing seafood and produce.

Pike Place Market isn't just a collection of amazing vendors, it is a community. At the heart of that community is The Pike Place Market Foundation. The Market Foundation helps their low-income neighbors who work, learn and live in and around the Market. They provide a food bank to feed the hungry; a preschool available to low-income families; a medical clinic offering care for homeless, low-income, and elderly clients; and Heritage House that offers assisted living to seniors.

To help the market remain a thriving, caring community, Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market gives people the opportunity to spend a special evening at the Market where you can savor some of the region's best restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries. You can meet local chefs and winemakers as you enjoy a warm, summer evening at Pike Place Market. The event is always a highlight of the year for the Market, and it also offers live music! Proceeds benefit The Pike Place Market Foundation.

Don't miss out on one of the most anticipated events of the year! Purchase your ticket today, and prepare to take in the wonderful wines, delicious foods, and the amazing atmosphere of the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market!

For complete information on the Sunset Supper and to purchase tickets, please visit The Pike Place Market Foundation website.

Here's a taste of what to expect at the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

FOOD EVENT: National Farmer's Market Week August 3rd - 9th

Seattle's Pike Place Public Market
This week is National Farmer's Market Week! It doesn't get much better than visiting your local Farmer's Market and selecting some fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. There has been a resurgence over the past decade in Farmer's Markets across the country. More and more people are realizing they want fresh, local and organic foods for themselves and their families. If you haven't visited your local Farmer's Market, treat yourself and take a visit! We are fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest where we have a bounty of great farmers and Farmer's Markets. To find a Farmer's Market near you, check out Puget Sound Fresh. They have a listing of all the great markets in our area. You can also check out Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets website for a listing of markets in the city. Now get out and enjoy!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DRINKS: Classic Bloody Mary

My attempt at the Classic Bloody Mary.

One of my favorite drinks is the Classic Bloody Mary. It's not breakfast or brunch without one! But the great thing about a Bloody Mary is that you can have them at any time of the day. At least I do! Whenever I go out to a new restaurant for Brunch, I try to always order a Blood Mary. I want to see just how good each place can craft their drink. Now of course the number one thing I look for in a Bloody Mary is the taste, but I also like to see how each restaurant or bar garnishes their Bloody Marys. For me, the more garnish they can cram on top of my Bloody Mary, the better!

So, even though I already had a Bloody Mary today for Brunch, I wanted to take a stab at making my own Bloody Mary at home. I went with a Classic Bloody Mary recipe. I found the recipe at Liquor.com, but I changed one of the ingredients and added a little bit more of their suggested amounts. This is a very easy drink to make. The fun part is trying to decide what garnish to use on your drink.

Classic Bloody Mary Ingredients
1 Lemon
1 Lime
2 oz Premium Vodka of your choice
4 oz Tomato Juice
3 dashes of Tapatio Hot Sauce (you can also use Tabasco Sauce)
2 tsp Prepared Horseradish
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 pinches Celery Salt
2 pinches freshly ground Black Pepper
2 pinches Smoked Paprika

First, you want to sprinkle some of the Celery Salt onto a plate. Next, rub a lemon or lime wedge along the rim of the glass to get it wet. Then roll the outer edge of the glass in the Celery Salt to get it well coated. Set the glass aside.

Second, take a cocktail shaker and squeeze one lemon and one lime wedge into the shaker, and then drop both wedges into the shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Gently shake the ingredients. Fill your pint glass with ice and strain your drink from the shaker into the glass.

Lastly, garnish your Bloody Mary with your garnish of choice and enjoy! For my garnish I used a celery stalk, a cherry tomato, Mezzetta Garlic Stuffed Olive, Mezzetta Imported Golden Greek Peperoncini, Old South Pickled Asparagus, and a wedge of lemon and lime.

Here is a list of some common and not-so-common garnish items courtesy of Demitri's:

Baby Corn
Basil Sprig
Beef Jerky
Carrot Stick
Cherry Tomato
Cheese Cube
Chili Peppers
Cilantro Sprig
Cocktail Onion
Cucumber Spear
Dill Sprig
Edible Flowers
Grapefruit Wedge
Hearts of Palm
Lemon Wedge
Lime Wedge
Olives - stuffed with blue cheese, Peppers or Garlic
Parsley Sprig
Pepperoni Stick
Peppers - pickled or fresh
Pickle Spear
Pickled Asparagus
Rosemary Sprig
Skewered Steak Bites
Smoked Oysters or Mussels
Thyme Sprig

If you create your own Bloody Mary, take a picture of it and post it to my Facebook page. I would love to see your creations! Cheers!

Monday, July 28, 2014

TRAVEL: New Orleans

Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's
A little while ago I went to New Orleans with some friends for the weekend. I love New Orleans. It's one of my favorite cities. I love the history, the architecture, the food, and their drinks! I can do without the humidity, but that just makes the drinks taste that much more refreshing. It was my best friend's birthday, so we started the celebration by having some drinks at one of our favorite spots, Pat O'Brien's. My favorite drink at Pat O'Brien's is their Hurricane. It tastes just like fruit punch and they go down easy. Almost too easy.

Pat O'Brien's Rainbow and Planters Punch
Some other drinks we had at Pat O'Brien's were the Rainbow and Planters Punch. The Rainbow is a colorful drink of Grenadine, Vodka, Blue CuraƧao and Pat O’Brien’s® Sweet & Sour Mix. Pat O'Brien's has a large selection of other great drinks that will quench any thirst on a hot summer evening.

Creole Trio at Desire Bistro and Oyster Bar

For dinner we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Desire Bistro and Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. I couldn't decide on just one dish, so I ordered the Creole Trio. It's a combination platter of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice with smoked sausage. It all tasted great!

Andouille Hash at Vacherie
 After a good night of great food and drinks, we had breakfast at Vacherie on Toulouse Street at the corner of Dauphine. I ordered the Andouille Hash. It comes with local Andouille sausage, diced potatoes, diced onions, red peppers, green onions, topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise. I ordered a fresh biscuit on the side. I love Andouille sausage, and this hash tasted like authentic New Orleans.

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
You can't visit New Orleans without stopping by the famous Cafe Du Monde. You have to try their Beignets. They are square French-style doughnuts. They can be ordered plain, or as most do, covered with heaps of powdered sugar. Be prepared to have your face and most of your clothes covered in powdered sugar! The original Cafe Du Monde coffee stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pimm's Cup at Cafe Amelie
Another one of our favorite places in New Orleans is Cafe Amelie. It is located in the historic 150-year-old Princess of Monaco Courtyard and Carriage House on Royal Street. It has a beautiful courtyard for dining, and a great bar that serves a delicious Pimm's Cup. Like the Hurricane, a Pimm's Cup is very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Bloody Mary at Touche Bar
After breakfast, we strolled around the French Quarter and popped into the Touche Bar for a Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary was tasty with just the right amount of spice. It was the perfect drink before heading back to the airport to catch our flight back to Seattle. If you haven't been to New Orleans, I highly recommend it. The city is rich in history and has a long history of great food. I hope to visit back again to try even more great food!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Bite of Seattle

July 18-20, 2014

Seattle Center
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday, July 11, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Madison Valley Bastille Bash

Tomorrow is Madison Valley's 3rd Annual Bastille Bash! This year's event will be bigger than ever! The event will take place on East Madison Street from 27th to 30th Avenue and down 29th off the main street. The event is from 3:00 to 8:00pm with plenty of events scheduled. Admission is free and food and drink tickets will be available to purchase at the event. Food and drink tickets are limited, so it is recommended to purchase tickets ahead of time at Brown Paper Tickets.

Some of the event highlights include:
- French inspired food from area restaurants
- Northwest and French wine tastings
- Live music and entertainment
- Bastille week specials and a one-day sidewalk sale
- Giveaways from Madison Valley businesses
- Art classes for kids

Come dive into French culture at the Madison Valley Bastille Bash!

Visit the official website at Madison Valley Bastille Bash 2014.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FOOD EVENT RECAP: Macy's Great American Grilling Guru Sizzle Showdown

The Grilling Guru Contestants: Jack Scalfani, Edwina Gadsby, Margee Berry.  Photo: Chow Down Seattle
Last Saturday the grills were on fire with the Macy's Great American Grilling Guru Competition! Three West Coast Regional Contestants faced-off in the Semi-Finals for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the Sizzle Showdown Finals on June 28th.

The weather couldn't have been any better for the grilling competition. Macy's put on a great event that included a County Fair themed fairway with fun and games for the entire family. The main event was the Grilling Guru Competition. The event started at 1:00pm and it was hosted by Seth Wayne of KOMO 4 TV.

KOMO 4 TV's Seth Wayne
Macy's Culinary Council, Tom Douglas

 The event was judged by Seattle's own Chef Tom Douglas! Tom is a member of Macy's Culinary Council that is a national culinary authority comprising some of the nation's leading culinary masters. The three grilling contestants had one hour to prepare their food.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Margee Berry
As the contestants were grilling up their food, Chef Tom Douglas interviewed them to learn more about the food they were preparing. Margee Berry from White Salmon, Washington grilled up some Smokin' Hot Summer Wood Planked Shrimp Tacos with Seared Slaw.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Edwina Gadsby
Edwina Gadsby of Hayden, Idaho grilled up some Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad.

Chef Tom Douglas with contestant Jack Scalfani
 Jack Scalfani of Anaheim, California grilled up some Beef Short Ribs, which is a recipe from his late Mother.

As the contestants were grilling away, Tom Douglas and his crew prepared some samples for the crowd. First was was a huge, delicious prawn with an olive in the middle. It was perfection!

The second sample Tom Douglas prepared for the audience was a beautifully decorated slice of salmon with a slice of lemon. Seriously some of the best salmon I have tasted!

Next was the taste test of each contestants grilled creations. Seth Wayne helped Chef Tom Douglas sample some of Jack's Beef Short Ribs.

Chef Tom Douglas samples Margee's Smokin' Hot Summer Wood Planked Shrimp Tacos and offers his critique.

Chef Tom Douglas samples Edwina's Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad. After sampling all three of the contestants food, Chef Douglas had the difficult decision of choosing a winner. In 3rd Place was Margee Berry's Shrimp Tacos. 2nd Place went to Jack Scalfani with his Beef Short Ribs. Leaving 1st Place for Edwina Gadsby!! She won the ribbon for her Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad. Edwina will be heading to New York City on June 28th to compete with the other five regional winners. The grand prize winner of the Grilling Guru Sizzle Showdown will receive $10,000 and a trip back to New York City in 2015 for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Celebration! Good luck, Edwina! I hope you bring home the grand prize!

1st Place winner Edwina Gadsby with Seth Wayne from KOMO 4 TV and Chef Tom Douglas.

Jack Scalfani with his Beef Short Ribs.
Jack is a You Tube celebrity and has his very own cooking show! Check out his You Tube Channel!
Margee Berry's Wood Planked Shrimp.

Edwina Gadsby's 1st Place Grilled Sweet Chili Salmon Noodle Salad.

Me with Grilling Guru Edwina Gadsby and her winning dish!
I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post about Macy’s Culinary Council. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

EVENT RECAP: Bacon and Beer Classic

We received mini glass red Solo tasting cups!

Yesterday at Safeco Field was the Bacon and Beer Classic. It was a day filled with restaurants featuring food samples all with one common ingredient, bacon! There were also breweries sampling over 100 beers. If that wasn't enough, there was entertainment by three bands, and also some fun games to try out. I had a great time at the event! Here are some pictures I took throughout the event. I hope Safeco Field hosts this event again next year!

There was a large crowd for the first session of the Bacon and Beer Classic. Most vendors had long lines.

Von Trapp's Bacon Potato Salad

What else goes great with beer? Pretzels! There was a pretzel necklace-making table.

Bacon and potato dumplings from Pel'meni Dumpling Tzar.

Do doesn't enjoy a good game of over-sized Jenga! Just watch out when it falls!

Elysian Brewery serving up some tasty beer.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewery keeping the people happy.

Spiced Chocolate Cookie with Maple Bacon Custard from Lecosho.

Stay Crispy, Seattle!

Local Seattle band, Hey Marseilles, performed a great set at the Classic! Seriously, check them out. They are an amazing band!

Deschutes Brewery serving up some Black Butte Porter.

Temporary Bacon tattoos!

Local Favorite Redhook Brewery serving up their much loved beer.

Chocolate Bacon Gelato from Sugars Gelato.

House Smoked Bacon-wrapped Sage Sausage Balls from Bill the Butcher. The only meat to eat!!

Skillet's Bacon Jam Brat.

Campfire OK opened the Classic with some great music.

The guys from Morsel creating some bacon goodness.

Diamond Knot Brewery serving up some brew.
Seattle-based, Creme Tangerine, a Beatles Tribute Band, gave more cowbell to some great classic rock!

The Bacon and Beer Classic was a lot of fun! I hope it's back again next year!

Unfortunately, some tasting cups were sacrificed during the Classic. But luckily they provided many good beer tasting samples before their demise.

I would like to thank all the restaurants and breweries for providing such amazing food and beer! Also thanks to Campfire OK, Hey Marseilles, and Creme Tangerine for their great music. And last, but not least, thank you to Safeco Field and all the sponsors and promoters for putting on such a great event! Bacon, beer and a baseball stadium are a winning combination! I hope to see you all again next year! Cheers!