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Purple Cafe – Bellevue

We had a company wide dinner my last night in Seattle at the Purple Cafe in Bellevue.  It’s a fancy schmancy local chain. We had a little party room over to the side and there was a special menu for us on little clipboards. It was freakin adorable. There was wine and some signature cocktails and a few appetizers – some mini crab cakes and a variety of dips, like hummus and white bean dip.

We had a choice of house or caesar salad and I went with the house green salad. It came with an apple cider vinaigrette and this salad was amazing! Everyone agreed that this salad was delicious. I mean it was just greens and a few cherry tomatoes and barely a slice of cucumber, but I just loved it.

We had a few entree choices, and as you may have guessed, I picked the seared mediterranean sea bass. It was served in a saffron broth with fingerling potatoes, olive oil poached fennel, and white and purple pearl onions. Um… I can’t even get into how good this damn dish was. Like seriously, it was too damn good. It was a huge, perfect, and flaky hunk of sea bass, perfectly seared. I mean it was so fresh and cooked just right that it would have been amazing without any seasoning or sauce of any kind. The fennel and the little onions were perfect complements. I literally left nothing on the plate. As if I hadn’t eaten in days. And I could have eaten it all over again.

If you give me a dessert menu, I will most likely pick creme brulee.  They actually had a pumpkin variety, but I went with my plain and boring vanilla. It was so teeny and cute and good. All in all, a surprisingly delicious meal! The service was quite fine considering how many people they were dealing with. And the wait for the food wasn’t super excruciating, but we did have to wait a bit. They treated us very well!
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Dahlia Lounge – Seattle

I was in Seattle for work and I only had one free night. Other nights were booked, booked, booked! So with my one night of freedom, I headed out for a quick bite at Dahlia Lounge in Belltown. In the same way that Philadelphia has Jose Garces, Seattle has this Tom Douglas fellow. He has a handful of restaurants in downtown Seattle and he’s an actual chef. He’s won a bunch of awards and is rather famous! I really had no idea, I just picked the place randomly!

The place is rather ginormous. Man, the tables did not stop! And I think there was even another dining room which I could not see. This is no teeny tiny mom-and-pop operation. I don’t know how to describe the menu. I would call it fresh and organic american, heavy on the seafood, and with a definite asian influence. Complimentary bread. This was the second place during my trip where they sprinkled sea salt onto the butter. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Because I’m definitely a fan. Is this a west coast only phenomenon?

I got a couple of little starters. In the front is the ahi tuna with yuzu kosho and avocado topped with some roe. This was only so-so. It tasted fine, but it wasn’t really all that interesting. I also got a Taylor shellfish oyster with a daikon mignonette. This was great! The mignonette I could have eaten with everything and the oyster was super fresh and delicious. I also liked the long and peppery breadstick that I got with these two dishes.

For my entree, I got the pan roasted alaskan black cod with braised escarole, black eyed peas, pickled green tomato, and smoked ham hock. This was delicious! There were two pieces of buttery soft and flaky cod that just melted in my mouth. All the non-fish parts were awesome too. I loved that there was ham hock in this because it’s a fish dish, yet there’s so much pork in it! And it all worked so well together. Ham hock was an odd touch, but much welcomed. The black eyed peas were fantastic and so were the tomatoes. And the braised escarole was the perfect green for this. It was a nice southern influenced dish. I could have eaten many more of these! I was at the bar and the bartender was nice and attentive. And my food came out super fast! So from what I could tell on this tuesday night, they run a pretty tight ship here!

Dahlia Lounge on Urbanspoon

Sushi At Liberty

I was in Seattle for work and for the first night, we had to run around, literally, to do work/team stuff. It was fun and all, and then they fed us as we bowled, but seriously, the food at Lucky Strikes (crappy chicken nuggets and pizza) was pretty damn bad. I mean significantly terrible that I actually chose to go hungry. And that rarely happens!

Which is why after all that was over, I had to go get real food. I fell in love with Liberty during my first visit to Seattle, so I went back there again, and I actually got up the nerve to get food! It is slightly unnerving to go to a hipster bar for cocktails and order sushi. But it had to be done, because I was starving! What did I order? I can’t remember. A couple of rolls, one of which may have been a red roll, and the other which had raw carrot in it. Also, some random dish with seared and sliced tuna on top of seaweed salad. It was supposed to be a bed of veggies, but it ended up being a bed of seaweed salad. But it was delicious nonetheless. And I had an amazing limeade. I still love this place. It’s just so laid back and comfortable. Please Liberty, open a Philly satellite location!
Liberty on Urbanspoon

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