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appetizers

Grazie Italian Feast

I was in Seattle for work so on one night, we went out for a big team dinner at Grazie Ristorante. My office is in the burbs so we stuck to the Burbs. This place is right next to a Taco Bell. It was funny because that was the night the news about the Taco Bell meat broke out. This is a big italian joint, and they have a few restaurants in the Seattle suburbs. Here’s the calamari fritti with lemon garlic aioli and basil pesto aioli. Good stuff!
This is the roasted prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, and grilled polenta. This was good but it was a bit skimpy on the prosciutto. It was mostly everything else, as you can see.
Here’s C’s tortellini gorgonzola. Not only is it filled with gorgonzola, it is also in a gorgonzola sauce with basil pesto and pine nuts. He also added chicken breast.
Here’s E’s filetto gorgonzola – beef tenderloin medallions pan-seared and finished with a balsamic gorgonzola cream sauce, frizzled onions, and served with garlic mashed potatoes. These garlic mashed potatoes were excellent! I made sure to help myself to some.
Here’s my crab and shrimp cannelloni. It is shrimp, crab, mushrooms, and ricotta wrapped in pasta, draped with béchamel, marinara, and dungeness crab. It looks like absolute slop, but it tasted just fine. We had a big table, and our server handled us pretty well. We were a rowdy bunch! We didn’t have to wait forever for our food to come out and there was plenty of food and libations to go around!
Grazie Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Revel – Seattle

Seattlite blogger Lovely Lanvin gave me some recommendations for eats during my trip. One of her recommendations was for korean food, with a twist, at Revel. It’s in the Fremont area and it’s fairly new. It’s a pretty gorgeous restaurant. It’s one long rectangular room, with the open kitchen taking up most of one side. There’s a chef’s table along the entire length of the kitchen. The other side has some tables. The walls have several large pop-art paintings. I dig it.
I love sitting at the chef’s table because it’s dinner and a show. And it still boggles my mind how the whole thing works. I love to watch everyone. Revel also has adorable plates and flatware. It’s all minimalist. The entire chef’s table is just one giant raw butcher block. I love it. Can I have my kitchen look like this?
The menu is quite stark and small, which is the way I like it as I tend to get overwhelmed and indecisive when given too much choice. I started with one of their pancakes, the pork belly, kimchi, and bean sprout. This is definitely korean. It is a good sized pancake served with 4 different sauces. Aren’t they adorable? I liked the pancake, but I would have preferred that the pork belly was more evenly distributed throughout the pancake, and that the pancake would have been thinner. The middle, where it was the thickest, had all the pork belly and had too much not-cooked-all-the-way batter concentrated there. I prefer my korean pajeons to be a bit more crispy on the outside and well cooked on the inside. I think if they made it thinner in general with less batter or if they made the pancake bigger with the same batter, they’d get a better result. But the flavor was definitely good and the pork belly was delicious!

My other dish was a noodle dish with five spiced duck meat balls, lacinato kale, smoked chili, with medium thickness noodles. This was definitely tasty, but there was absolutely nothing korean about it. Zilch. Nada. So instead of this being korean with a twist, it was just plain twist. In fact, there was cilantro in this. And cilantro is not in any korean dish, ever. And if you asked korean people of my mom’s generation or older, they would probably not be able to stand cilantro, at all. To see it in this dish was odd. It’s ok though, because I like cilantro! This dish was tasty, nonetheless, until the the unthinkable happened. I suddenly bit into raw thin strips of ginger. How could this be? I’d eaten half the bowl already free of this raw evil, but then all of a sudden it became a raw ginger fest! So then I spent a lot of the rest of my time picking out or deftly avoiding the ginger pieces. This is not easy to do! But I made sure I did it. Oh well. Despite these little glitches, I enjoyed this place immensely. The service was good and I am absolutely in love with the feel of this place. The food was also good, despite how non-korean some of their dishes may be.
Revel on Urbanspoon

DP An American Brasserie – Albany

Due to my giant flight delay, I only had one chance to actually eat in Albany. So on my second night there, I headed downtown to DP. This is actually in the Hampton Inn. That might make you think twice about eating here, but please, do not let that stop you. This place is good in my book. I dined at the bar and it happened to be happy hour. This is an impressive bar. The bartenders here definitely know their stuff. And it looks like they’ve won a bunch of local awards, which is quite deserved.
I had this cucumber martini which totally kicked my lame ass. It was super duper strong and whew, did this thing pack a punch. But it seemed healthy to me because I could taste cucumbers. That’s healthy, right?
Instead of bread and butter, DP does it right. They serve sourdough pretzel ball rolls with homemade whole grain mustard. First off, how cute are these things? And second off, they’re freakin delicious and warm! Please, someone tell me how to make these!
I got the soup of the day which was a potato and leek soup. This is one of my favorite flavors of soup, ever, and they definitely do it right here. It also had bacon in it. How can you go wrong with that?
The lobster ravioli. These kind of look a mess, but they tasted just fine. I actually found it cool that it was black pasta.
These were the pork dumplings, served in a chinese to-go box. Meh, on that presentation choice. There were two dipping sauces, the first brown one was just kind of gross, and the second one was a sweet chili sauce type which I greatly preferred. The dumplings themselves were just meh too.
The banana bread bread pudding! Yes folks, bread pudding made from banana bread. It was super good. If you like banana, I highly recommend it! The two bartenders that waited on me were awesome. They were friendly and helpful and gave me recommendations and were quite attentive. They also kept calling me young lady, which was hilarious. If I’m ever back, I’m going to jump in and try some entrees!

dp An American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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