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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

Category: Restaurants
July 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

The Charms of Chippy’s Fish & Drink

If summer ever returns, I hope this glorious chilled tomato soup does too. During this month’s heat wave, it was a special at Chippy’s Fish & Drink, the new Ethan Stowell eatery next door to his Staple & Fancy Mercantile in Ballard. Topped with celery leaves, serrano chile and smoked mussels, and drizzled with…

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Comments | Topics: Chippy's Fish & Drink, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Providence Cicero

July 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Orcas Island’s farmer-chef

Jay Blackinton on the front porch of Hogstone's Wood Oven on Orcas Island. Photo: The Seattle Times

Jay Blackinton on the front porch of Hogstone’s Wood Oven on Orcas Island. Photo: Maddie Meyer/The Seattle Times

More than a few disaffected youths have found fulfillment through hard work and a lot of them end up in restaurant kitchens. Jay Blackinton’s path to the kitchen at Hogstone’s Wood Oven, the Orcas Island restaurant he co-owns with John Steward, founder of Maple Rock Farm, took him first through the fields.

I met Blackinton when I had dinner at Hogstone on a recent eating tour of Orcas Island, chronicled this coming Sunday in The Seattle Time’s travel section. The 26-year-old’s fingers are inked below the knuckles with letters that read “So it goes” when he puts his fists together, remnants of an early infatuation with Kurt Vonnegut. His emails sign off with the 19th century socialist epigram: “The plough is a better backbone than the factory.”

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Comments | Topics: Hogstone's Wood Oven, Maple Rock Farm, Orcas Island

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

May 29, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Chefs tell all: How you can become a restaurant VIP

David Chang, whose Momofuku restaurant realm extends from New York to Toronto to Sydney, Australia, has never been known for his softer side. His reputation for shock talk rivals that of Anthony Bourdain. In the May issue of GQ Magazine, the much-lauded, 36-year-old Korean-American chef offered unvarnished advice to diners who aspire to most-favored-customer status in restaurants.

“Would you like priority seating at busy, popular restaurants… servers to remember what you like and don’t… the choicest cuts of meat, the most pristine fish, extra courses on the house?” Chang writes. “Then you want to become a regular—or what we in the business call a PX table, for person extraordinaire. Ultimately, the experience you’re after is ‘soigné.’ That’s chef-speak for culinary perfection from your first drink to your last dessert.”

What are Chang’s tips for soigné-seeking PX wannabes?

“Avoid eating on weekends, when it’s a zoo. The best diners eat Sundays through Thursdays, earlier or later in the evening, so the staff remembers you better…

“Don’t be a (slang for male body part deleted here)….When you become a PX table at one spot, you soon become a known commodity at many others. And if you’re a (male body part) somewhere, they’ll remember you everywhere. Also, don’t do drugs in the bathroom.”

“Order like you know what’s going on…If you request well-done meat and you’re not pregnant, you have no concept of flavor. (Sorry, this is how we think.) If you send a dish back because you think something is ‘off,’ you’re probably wrong. (And the kitchen will hate you for it.) Above all, try dishes from outside of your comfort zone — those are probably the ones the cooks are most proud of.”

How does this advice resonate with Seattle chefs? Read on:

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Comments | Topics: Charles Walpole, David Chang, Derek Ronspies

April 3, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Rainy days can lower a restaurant’s online ratings. Watch out Seattle eateries!

Bad news for restaurant owners in rainy Seattle: Online reviews get more negative when the weather is bad. That was one of the findings of a scholarly study on restaurant reviews released Wednesday. Reviews from days with moderate weather were more likely to be favorable than those written during extreme cold or hot temperatures, researchers…

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Comments | Topics: Online reviews, Rebekah Denn, Saeideh Bakhshi

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