Friday, May 22, 2009

Restaurant Zoë - Seattle

I just knew it was going to be a great night when we lucked into a table at Zoë without a reservation on a Friday night. Friend Kelly has been trying to convince me to eat here, and now I know why she was so adamant. It. Was. Perfect. I fell in love as soon as I saw the shallot reduction balsamic dipping sauce for the focaccia bread. For drinks, I went out on a limb and ordered a Pimm’s Kazi Martini and dear Ben ordered Basil Haydens on the rocks. The Pimm’s Kazi uses Absolut Vodka, Pimm’s No. 1, Cucumber, and fresh lime. Vodka usually isn’t my friend, but tonight we reconciled old differences.

These drinks gave us the strength we needed to make some difficult decisions. Honestly, I would have been perfectly happy with anything on the menu – It all sounded so good! After we placed our order with Waiter Adam, the amuse-bouche was delivered. The diced red beet concoction was piled carefully on two silver spoons. The clean, crisp taste did the trick. Bring it on, Zoë!


Round 1: Carlton Farms pork belly confit and green asparagus risotto

The pork belly confit might be the best thing we had all night. It was the perfect combination of salty-sweet. I should probably warn you that pork belly is fatty. It’s like bacon, but a much thicker slab of meat. That’s the salty part. The sweet part was the candied apricots. And the crunch, that came from the toasted pistachios. Can you just imagine tasting all of those flavors and textures in one bite? Bliss.

The green asparagus risotto was also delicious, but the feeling it evoked was quite different. It was much heavier, but it’s the kind of heavy that doesn’t make you feel guilty. It had asparagus in it for goodness sakes! Asparagus is green, and doesn’t green equal healthy? Friend Kelly’s mother says she dreams of the risotto at Zoë. I can’t remember if this is the risotto she dreams of, but I felt like I must try a risotto dish so I could report back. Thank you, Friend Kelly’s Mom, I now dream of Zoë too!

Round 2: Morel Mushroom Salad

Dear Ben is a huge fan of morel mushrooms, so we had to order this salad. However, I’m not a huge fan of celery, and this salad contained an awful lot of it. I was pleasantly surprised! The chef did a great job of taking out celery’s usual stringy quality. He also does a great job creating interesting and complementary textures within a dish. The crunch here was pine nuts, and the tang was shaved parmesan.

Round 3: Wild Boar Bolognese and Rabbit Leg

Before Round 3, we were treated to a sip of a cold yellow beat soup. Cool. Refreshing. Invigorating. And then the main event was served. I opted for comfort with the wild boar bolognese. Waiter Adam confessed that he eats this dish 5 times a week, and that was all the endorsement I needed to make this my final answer. The combination of arugula pappardelle, savory wild boar and chili flakes, garnished with shaved parmesan and parsley was again, perfect. It had a “Miss-yo-Momma” flavor. If my metabolism were better, I’d eat this dish 5 nights a week too!

Dear Ben ordered the rabbit leg. If there is rabbit on the menu, you can bet that dear Ben is getting the rabbit. Waiter Adam did a great job describing the rabbit farm. Apparently they are raised in a very humane way, … but Poor Peter Rabbit. This Peter Rabbit had a rather large leg, and he was served over a puree of rabbit heart, liver, and kidney. Dear Ben just knew that flavor had a little something extra. I asked if it was “heart-y.” Bad joke? Ok, well, at least they are using as much of the animal as possible. Dear Ben said he enjoyed the rabbit, but from the look on his face I’m not sure if this was the very best that he’s ever eaten.

Round 4: Pots de Crème

We were actually too full to order dessert, but we did it anyway. The pot de crème was rich, thick, and creamy. It was served with a triangle of peanut brittle and two small warm chocolate chip cookies. It really was the icing on the cake for this dining adventure. It is rare to find a place where you love every course as much as the last. And when that coincides with exceptional service and a relaxing ambiance, you’ve got the total package. The meal was a knockout. The final punch was bite-sized macaroons that were delivered with our check.

Thank you, Zoë. You have set the bar high.
... and those are my Notes from the Napkin!
2137 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121

Restaurant Zoe on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment