10.30.2012 by Andrea
I get all kinds of tickled pink when something exciting occurs that involves technology. I was laughing with a group of girl friends this weekend that we were experiencing a technology fail, as we were all attempting to google map the nearest Starbucks, and it very well could have been within walking distance of us. At other times, technology works fantastically. This is one of those ironic moments when I am pairing archaic hardware, [pounding this post out on an iBook G4] with newfound mediums, such as internet as 36,000 feet. I lugged this dinosaur of a computer with me to Charleston, SC this weekend thinking I would blog while getting there [user errors made it prohibitive for this to work], while I was there, or while I was at the airport earlier today. None of which actually occurred, while I am pleased to say the fun that I had in the South will certainly warrant a special post, we are racing against a dying battery to get this entry posted while flying high and simultaneously trying to escape Hurricane Sandy.
Today’s musings are thick and juicy, just how I like my meat. The timing between Mobile Food Rodeos, and Foodportunity has allowed BB and I to not have too many massive eating sessions within a short period of time. She has recently found yet another food networking social that we are going to be integrating in the next month or so. With that being said, when we saw that Washington Beef Commission was going to be headlining the event, all sorts of dreamy thoughts immediately entered. The vendors at each station did their normal thoughtful artful work, and unlike other times when I identified and had clear front runners in my head, I don’t think I could choose a two thumbs up, five star favorite. There was just so many to delicious bites.
Ever the opportunist, I get excited when BB comes up from the land of Puyallup and she is always game for a pre-foodportunity meetup and so we indulged in a round of spicy meatballs at List before kicking down the doors at beef-er-tunity.
Somehow each time Foodportunity comes around, I get so overly ambitious that we tend to be the first through the door, weird … right? This does allow for little to no crowds and lots of time to chat with the chefs. Take a peek at the glorious display of food that went straight from their tables to our tummies.
Presenting Zinnia Bistro. Their beauty lies in the simplicity of presentation, and the force of the flavors. I had planned on doing a fun lunch Friday spotlight on this restaurant after my dining partners JJ, KK and I had eaten their kale chips, amazing sandwiches and salads. Build-your-own-caprese, was a blast, and the detailing was present down to the toppings and various salts. Zinnia is a catering company, [foodz catering], as well, so the restaurant down in the SoDo area works as an outward facing front to attract more folks to their creative compositions.
To hop from an array of salts and pesto’s to szechuan buds and sugared flowers was an interesting segue and threw our tongues into a high alert mode. Marx Foods is definitely working the innovation vibe.
It was fascinating to hear what this startup [Marx Foods], has planned. Since we had crossed the threshold I had been keeping my eyes peeled on the dumpling station from Din Tai Fung that BB had been dying to try. We had scoped them out earlier and wanted to be first in line, so we scooted across the event floor when we saw they were prepping the dumplings for cooking and plating.
First in line, was divine. These vegetable and pork dumplings has us drooling for a second helping. A for sure must add eatery to my Eastside compendium.
Pork dumplings are good and all, but our main objective was to find the beef, and so we did.
Precisely how someone leaves a beef tasting table to seek out excellence elsewhere is a difficult challenge. We rose to the occasion and sampled to our hearts content.
Lettuce that tastes like oysters? Get outta here, I know. It’s so crazy, I feel like I need to sample some more. It almost felt like something straight out of Willy Wonka’s factory. Viridian Farms is taking molecular gastronomy to a whole new level. The merging of flavors begins from the soil up and it’s fascinating. I can’t wait to further my tasting experiences with them.
How do you follow up our previous pit stop? Well, living up to it’s name, Art at the Four Seasons proved to be tastefully composed food. I’ve had a good seafood benny there before for brunch, but this small amuse bouche that was a vodka tomato based vegetable soup took the cake. When we had panna cotta this summer the focus was on sweet elements. The Executive Chef at Art put his own spin on this sweet potato panna cotta featuring shaved romanesque [a cauliflower broccoli hybrid] and truffle oil. Need I say more?
If you’re a twitter follower of @foodportunitySE you know KB hosted a contest to share what #foodportunity meant to you. Fresh Picked Seattle shared from her heart, and won a spot to showcase her passion at #foodprt. She had an apple varietal recognition contest at her table and we managed to get 2 of the 4 correct and BB took home some marvelous goodies. Sign up for Fresh Picked’s newsletters she packs it full of interesting tidbits.Being that it’s on his property you know that T.Doug [who rumor has it, has even MORE mega-development plans in store for downtown] wouldn’t allow his team of culinary geniuses to be shown up. He came through with the ultimate comfort food for fall.
Grilled cheese with fontina and a caramelized broccoli rabe. Wow!
My food crushes McCracken and Tough, know how to cater to all your senses. This time they brought a slightly different twist in showcasing how to infuse your own alcohol with seasonal touches. It was slightly reminscent of Modernist Cuisine at Home, with their signature Spur molecular gastronomic creativity.
Truffles, as always a huge hit in my book, were trending in popularity both in mac and cheese, as well as popcorn.
If you wanted to talk about elaborate displays hands down Phnom Penh Noodle House was the standout. Their pad thai noodles with shrimp only served to enhance the visual experience that they produced.
Duck how many ways? Tulalip did a duo of smokey duck, with a duck prosciutto, topped with couscous and a demi glace. Done and done.
I always enjoyed Earth and Ocean when it was a swinging hipster spot at the W. Things kind of fizzled for awhile and now they have renovated the entire lobby and reinvented the space. Since we were ready to add more meat to our bones, Trace seemed be the next logical stop and they blew our socks off. Succulent braised short ribs in a pumpkin puree with a pepper sauce, made me want to become a bit of a hoarder.
Freshly sliced meats are the epitome of my meaty fantasies and la petit terrior didn’t let me down. I would use their services in a heartbeat whether referring them for a wedding reception or hosting an intimate dinner gathering. These guys know food and wine pairings!
Paired with a Honest Biscuit, bacon cheddar delight and these two neighboring booths were a tag team of trouble!
I was very tempted to grab these biscuits by the handful and stuff them into BB’s bag. If it’s any indicator how good they are, I woke up the next morning wishing I could have one.
Bouncing from biscuits to rich mussel canape with layered with a duck egg, garlic aioli and lemon cucumbers isn’t easy, but we took one for the team. Hitchcock’s team was preparing these individually and they were disappearing just as quickly as they set them out on the bed of ice.
As if the mussels hadn’t been titillating enough, Chan Seattle was offering steak tartare Korean style. Layered in a yucca chip it was tantalizing mixture of tenderloin, Korean pear, pine nuts topped with a Korean soy garlic dressing. Perfect bite to pop in your mouth.
This summer it seemed like sweets were the big hit, this time they weren’t nearly as heightened of a focus. But we did manage to find cheesecake and custards.
It was a fantastic showing by some of the best chefs de cuisine in Seattle. Already looking forward to the spring showcase and am tempted to sneak down to Portland for their 2013 event.
So long, farewell, until we meet again foodportunity! Low country boils, that lamb post I’ve been promising and the BIG announcement are headed your way in the next week. A successful Husky victory which I was streaming in SEC country sealed the deal for a great last week.
Until the next bite, cheers.