Hey there Pacific Northwest board. Here's the long report detailing where I ended up eating on my trip to Seattle and Portland. Thanks to those of you who helped guide me.
Portland (2 meals). One good, one great.
Dinner at Nicholas restaurant on Saturday night was good. Mezze plate was nice with a decent Tzatziki (sp?) and ok Hummous. Their sausages were excellent and you cant beat the fresh bread. For a main, my Lamb platter was nicely seasoned but the meat was dry and tough. The meat is served on a bed of rice that is amazing...buttery, light and delicious. Kind of a mix between Couscous and Basmati. What type of rice is this? All in all, the place was jammed and the staff nice. The overall price to feed 4 adults and a baby - $44. Cant beat that for value!
Breakfast at Cafe du Berry was phenomenal. A wild mushroom omlette with fresh morells was rich and decadent. The chef really knows how to cook eggs!
Their coffee, fresh sausage, bacon and toast were all spot-on. God, I love that place. What a treat.
Side note: Caught a 7 LB Steelhead on Saturday. We botched the preperation. Anyone have a killer Steelhead recipe?
Seattle (3 meals):
Salumi for lunch. This place is a treasure. I had the warm lamb sandwich with peppers, bit of jus and a tiny wedge of Provolone. What a great sandwich. I also tasted their Mole and Ginger laced sausage and their Spicey Paprika variety. Took the Ginger and Hot Paprika sausage back home and blessed one of the great chefs of NY with a killer gift from Seattle. His kitchen was most appreciative. If I lived in Seattle I would be at Salumi at least 2x a week!
Palace Kitchen - I told the W Hotel concierge I was heading to Dahlia for a solo dinner and he steered me over to Palace instead. Apparenly, same owner/chef. Overall, a decent meal in a cool place with a good vibe and very nice staff. Keeley (sp?) at the bar is a sweetheart and I hijacked her mother and future sister-in-law for conversation. Very cool people.
I had 6 oysters to start which were decent (forgot the name). Perhaps they were a bit brinier than my east coast taste buds are used to. The Apple Wood BBQ smell that wafts through the restaurant is intoxicating. My nose coerced me into ordering their Idaho Trout BBQ'd over the Apple Wood. It was an ok dish. The whole fish was slightly overcooked and not nearly as flavorful as I had expected. I guess my nose doesn't really know! I'd go back to Palace for drinks and an app, but not for a meal.
Union - The $25 8-course meal had me intrigued enough to call Union from NYC. I left a message on their machine inquiring about availability at their bar. Total class move - Ethan S called back and told me to definitely come in and to stop by the kitchen to say hello. Very cool.
I dined at Union on Tuesday night and the place was packed. Ethan gave me a warm greeting and I settled in at the bar for my meal. The bartender was upto his knees and his overall service throughout the night was a spotty...not to mention they ran out of steak knives before my entree arrived and my first 2 wine selections were also sold out. But enough of the negative. The $25 price fixed meal was obviously an incredible deal. But, since I only had one chance to dine at Union, I opted for an a la carte meal. I chose their Oyster app and the Duck entree. The delcious briney Oysters were served with a dollop of salty caviar adding a nice textural and flavorful accent. The Meyers Lemon sliver worked wonders in cutting the apps saltiness. All in all, an excellent appetizer. For an entree, the Muscovy Duck served in a Port Reduction over Mushrooms was very good. The meat was cooked perfectly rare, the mushrooms were tender yet firm to the bite and the Port reduction was rich but not overpowering. The herb on top (Thyme?) added an accent of freshness to the dish. My only complaint about the entree was that the meat was a bit tough. I prefer my Duck to be melt-in-your-mouth tender and Union's Duck, although excellent, was a bit tough for my taste. Overall, Ethan can obviously cook and I like his straight forward approach to cooking.
My $66 bottle of California Pinot Noir was excellent, but Im spacing on the name.
Next time in Seattle Im leaning towards Le Pichet and Harvest Vine. Both reccomended by the man at Salumi.
Again, thanks to all who helped guide me.