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Category: Food and Restaurant News
July 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer's Market /  Photo: monicabennett.com

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market / Photo: monicabennett.com

The network of chefs, growers and food artisans on Orcas Island is so intertwined that the night before I met Audra and Gerry Lawlor selling their line of Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market, I had already tasted one of their wares in an elegant Prosecco cocktail tinged with rhubarb and lavender at The Inn at Ship Bay.

Turns out, the inn’s commercial kitchen is where girl meets stove to craft her chunky, jam-like “spoon preserves” and the firmer, concentrated fruit purees Audra calls “cutting preserves,” modeled after Spanish membrillo, or quince paste.

Quince, in fact, is their bestselling flavor. It comes from Willowrose Bay on Guemes, another of the islands in the San Juan archipelago. Audra says she is adamant about sourcing fruit only from the San Juans; often they pick it themselves. With the exception of rhubarb, she exclusively uses orchard fruit, almost all heirlooms, “a nod to the San Juan’s, and in particular Orcas’s orchard keeping history.”

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Comments | Topics: Girl Meets Dirt, Orcas Island, Providence Cicero

June 24, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Brad’s Swingside Cafe counting down its final months

Start the countdown to say goodbye to another longtime Seattle restaurant, and the “famous” aglio e olio and memories that went with it. Brad Inserra, owner of the 24-year-old Brad’s Swingside Cafe in Fremont, said he is in the final stages of selling the building. He plans to close his cozy Italian hangout in February, though…

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Comments | Topics: Brad Inserra, Brad's Swingside Cafe, Fremont

June 12, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Sun must be out: many bars and bistros will show off their new patios this week

For a city with such a rainy reputation, Seattle seems to be filled with all sorts of watering holes and bistros bent on turning every nook  into a patio or sidewalk cafe. Below are some spots that are opening up new outdoor dining or drinking areas.  And if you’re looking for alfresco spots to hangout, check out our Top 10 places to drink outdoors this summer.

We’ll start with the biggest news. The most ambitious rooftop bar to open this summer will debut today (June 12).

Grab your shades. It's time for outdoor drinking. Little Water Catina on East Lake is one of our top picks for drinking this summer. PHOTO by Marcus Yam

Grab your shades. It’s time for outdoor drinking. Little Water Cantina on East Lake is one of our top picks for drinking this summer. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times

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Comments | Topics: Ethan Stowell, Restaurant Zoe, Tan Vinh

June 9, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Meet the new burger at The Old Sage

New on the menu at The Old Sage, a hickory and mesquite-smoked burger with root chips. Photo courtesy: The Old Sage

New on the menu at The Old Sage, a hickory and mesquite-smoked burger with root chips. Photo courtesy: The Old Sage

Up until now there hasn’t been a burger on the menu at The Old Sage, Dana Tough and Brian McCracken’s ten-month-old, smoke-fueled restaurant and bar on Capitol Hill. A bar without a burger? That’s like no S’mores at a campfire.

A burger builds trust. “A burger speaks to everyone, as opposed to say, lavender smoked pork cheeks,” said McCracken and Tough, speaking on the phone in tandem, as they tend to do. “You get someone to trust you on that level and they come in again and try other things.”

Sure, they could have copied either of the very fine burgers at their other joints–Tavern Law or Spur. But that would be so un-McCracken-and-Tough. Instead they built a new one, from the bun up.

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Restaurants | Topics: Brian McCracken, Dana Tough, hamburgers

June 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The Demise of Dot’s

Just days ago I lunched on superb grilled sausages and a perfect porchetta sandwich at Dot’s Charcuterie & Bistrot (né Dot’s Delicatessen) in Fremont —little knowing it would be my last chance to do so. Just hours ago, chef Miles James and his business partner Robin Short announced on Facebook that Dot’s will serve its last dinner tonight. No word on why.

Dot's Charcuterie & Bistrot in Fremont is closing tonight.

Dot’s Charcuterie & Bistrot in Fremont announced it is closing tonight.

The closing is abrupt to say the least. At lunch I overheard

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Comments | More in Food and Restaurant News, Restaurants | Topics: Anna Wallace, Dot's Charcuterie & BIstrot, Miles James

April 8, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Biting Back: The Sloppy Cicero at Miller’s Guild

The Sloppy Cicero at Miller's Guild

The Sloppy Cicero at Miller’s Guild

Last May, a couple of La Mancha goats born at Mountain Lodge Farm in Eatonville were named “Providence” and “Cicero.” Not sure how the little fellows (or their mother, Cinnamon) felt about those exotic monikers–bestowed by the farm’s effervescent owner, Sherwin Ferguson — but I was tickled by the tribute.

To my list of namesakes, I can now add the “Sloppy Cicero,” a sandwich that recently appeared on the lunch menu at Jason Wilson’s restaurant Miller’s Guild in the wake of my 2.5-star review.

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Comments | Topics: Miller's Guild, Providence Cicero, Sloppy Cicero

April 2, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Seattle area distilleries win big at the American Distilling Institute

Those whiskey and gin geeks from around the country are in Seattle this week, holed up at the convention center for  the 11th Annual American Distilling Institute conference. A good number of them were sober too, though many local distillers had a lot of reasons to celebrate. More than a dozen craft distilleries in Washington, from Woodinville Whiskey Co. to San Juan Island Distillery took home several medals at the award gala last night.
I was especially happy for Sidetrack Distillery in Kent, which won a gold medal for its “beet spirit.” I think it’s one of the most interesting products in our craft distillery movement. It has an earthy note, almost like tequila. You can even make a margarita with it.

Award list below. Winners from Washington state are in bold.

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Comments | More in Awards and Contests, Drinks, Food and Restaurant News | Topics: distilleries, Tan Vinh

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