Well. Everyone posted about their mother’s day, so I’ll post about mine!
A couple of weeks ago, we were watching Top Chef Masters and during the introduction, I yelled, “There’s one in Seattle! We should go!” Mr Nikki agreed, and then we promptly forgot about it.
Well, *I* forgot about it. Mr Nikki did not. He made a 7:30p reservation for Mother’s Day and off we went to Maria Hines’ Tilth.
Here, I must pause and say, WOW, I really missed this. All the evenings we spent going out to eat, doing tasting menus, etc. Even more appreciated now and I have to say, SoCal has nothin’ on Washington and the Pacific Northwest in general, when it comes to food. Sorry. It’s true. And people up here aren’t as pretentious about it, good food is just a way of life.
I wish I’d gotten more pictures, and pictures of the interior, but I was busy eating. The restaurant itself is so cozy & warm & inviting. It’s in a remodeled house and they’d JUST opened the patio yesterday.
Our server (who’s name was Nikki) was everything you wish a server would be at a place like this. She wrote us up a list of food & wine recommendations (which I sadly left behind, but I emailed the restaurant first thing this morning to ask if I could retrieve it or have her email me the list) and piqued my interest in mushroom hunting. (She does so, herself – apparently mushroom hunting is HUGE up here, even bigger than in the Czech Republic – and if you know anything about Czechs, you’ll know what that means.)
We got the tasting menu because, expense be damned, we love tasting menus. With wine pairings. (I might mention that my tolerance has been rather low, lately and I was a little blitzed by the end of the evening.)
First was something I wish I could remember the full description of… there was creme fraiche, shaved broccoli and ramps. Then there was heavenly bread & butter – butter which is made fresh, daily, on premises. This alone was worth the price of admission, as I LOVE BUTTER.
English pea soup with lemon balm & extra virgin olive oil. Chilled local asparagus with truffle dressing (*swoon*), chive blossom and deviled egg. St Jude’s Albacore tuna with chickpea cake, yogurt-dill coulis, oven dried tomato and julienne iceberg lettuce. Pan-seared wild Alaskan Halibut with artichoke barigoule, preserve lemon, fregola. Morel mushroom plin with sheep sorrel, green garlic, cipollini onion. Grilled Eel River sirloin with frisée, lardon vinaigrette, sous vide egg. A deliciously creamy cheese which I forget the name of. Avocado mousse. And an extra dessert because the server liked us so much – strawberry shortcake with something else I forget and strawberry coulis.
And the wines? I need to go retrieve the copy of the menu because there were several we loved, including a white port (my drunken quote of the evening, “I didn’t know port came in white!”) that Mr Nikki loved – and he hates Port. I am a lover of Port, but I preferred the red one of the evening. The white port that he loved is something that costs $600/bottle (before it’s aged for 30 years, in which case it’s $1300). He loved it so much that he’s actually considering buying a bottle.
(I suggest you come visit when we open it up, because it’s not something you can open and recap and take longer than a week to finish off.)
There was a rose that I said smelled like gummi bears – but, of course, did not taste like gummi bears. There was a white that had hints of black pepper that I actually picked up on. (I rarely actually notice that stuff.)
I’m usually not a big fan of mushrooms – I’ve been trying to “train” myself for years to like them. Mostly, I like the flavor – particularly of the better, more “beefy” tasting ‘shrooms. But I’m not a big fan of texture. But my absolute favorite of the evening was the morel mushroom plin – I’d like a big ol’ heaping plate of this. After a conversation with our server about it, I came home and bought the Audobon Book of Mushroom Picking (and she said that well over half of the mushrooms in the book are up our way.)
My second favorite was the halibut. A very close second. We arrived around 7:15 and didn’t leave until 10:30. *swoon*
e’ll definitely be going back to check out the brunch.