I like it when others cook for me. February is a perfect time to get out of Alaska and be somewhere that doesn’t require a hat and gloves to get to the car. The forecast in Seattle was 50s and 90-100% chance of rain, downright balmy. The kitchen remodel gets a rest and the husband and I get a weekend without drywall dust and 5-6 trips to Lowe’s.
I have treated Seattle mainly as a stopping point to somewhere else, I figure it’s so close that I can always go there but rarely do. I am sure I have spent more time in Sea-Tac airport than actually staying in the Seattle area. But when some good friends moved down there, who like to eat almost as much as me, I got a reason to visit more often. My favorite place to visit (besides Anthropologie) is Pike Place Market. Yes it’s insanely busy with tourists, but there is nothing else like it. I loved wandering between food stands, happy to be out of the rain, a bag of mini doughnuts to warm my cold hands and enjoying the aroma of cinnamon sugar while my hair dried out.
A tucked away and tiny, but very well known bar called Radiator Whiskey is just across the street from the market. We stopped there for a snack before dinner, because
the mini doughnuts were just not enough after a long afternoon of shopping I wanted to eat more. You frequently cannot get in unless you show up when they open which is at 4. We arrived at about 4:06, and the place was about 2/3 full. They do take reservations, thankfully. Food is amazing, cocktails aren’t bad either from what I heard (I highly recommend the water). We wanted something light so we wouldn’t get full before dinner so we ordered the tater tots with gravy and fried egg and deep fried pickles. They also offer a smoked half pig head, which must be reserved in advance if that is something you fancy.
For dinner it was off to Cascina Spinasse over in Capitol Hill, acclaimed for it’s handmade pasta dishes. As you walk in you’re drawn to a window where long sheets of pasta are hanging like curtains. No worry if your company is boring, you could easily watch them make pasta all night and find no need to make conversation with those around you.
The meal starts with an amuse bouche of crostini, ours was a combination anchovy and butter and apple and ricotta. To me the winner was the anchovy, the delicate creaminess of the butter with the briney anchovy was the perfect match the the crisp bread beneath.
Making our way to pasta which is what I had been waiting for all along we all shared the tajarin with ragu, caramelle di fonduta, tagliatelle with mushrooms and the special which was an angiolotti with capon. I want to tell you the winner and how it stood out above the others. My first thought was the meaty eartiness of the mushroom and tagliatelle. But wait the salty creaminess of the fontina enveloped in the caramelle pasta was near perfection, all in a beautiful little package. Then I thought, no the tajarin, with its light and delicate mouthfeel of the noodle, maybe we should have gotten the butter and sage sauce too.
Nearing the end of our meal, we had ordered about 90% of the menu, but I wouldn’t dare to be so insulting as to not get dessert. The first was an olive oil torte with ricotta cream and then a semifreddo with caramel sauce. The semifreddo seemed to win by popular vote but the torte was moist but delicate and balanced well with the ricotta cream. I was reminded of a very refined cake and ice cream.
I return home, satisfied and five pounds heavier. I unpack my suitcase and catch the scent of the freshly roasted coffee beans that we had brought home. Maybe I could stand to become a little less acquainted with Sea-Tac and have a few less layovers.