Monday, June 4, 2012
Dining Out: Sitka & Spruce, Seattle WA (Capitol Hill)
In the culinary world, a James Beard award is equivalent to winning an Oscar. Just recently, Chef Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce won the Best Chef Northwest category.
This restaurant was featured in Seattle Magazine as one of "The 7 Restaurants The Define Seattle Dining Now" with it's seasonal and local offerings.
Matt Dillon's Sitka & Spruce is located in the mixed-shops Melrose Market on Capitol Hill. Parking is horrible, but not impossible especially with paid lots within a few blocks.
In the back corner of the market lies Sitka & Spruce, an "L" shaped, rustic and very open restaurant. Humble in its decor, I couldn't help but feel my meal would be simple in it's preparation, complex in it's flavors and fresh in taste. I was spot on!
The daily menu offered a small selection of delectable small plates that are suitable for sharing. We noticed it artfully presented on quality linen paper, printed especially for the days culinary offerings.
The restaurant is open with large windows that let in much natural light. Seating is limited, and for our visit sat on a very small table for two. There is a large communal table that extends from the kitchen - probably the best seat in the house.
Service was acceptable. However, our waiter seemed shy and didn't show much enthusiasm for the restaurant or food. We were taken care of, but it would have been nice to get a smile, and maybe a little passion for the menu as he answered our questions.
We started with a glass of Riesling (2010 Weinhaus Donnhoff, Estate Riesling, Nahe, Germany) which was recommended by our waiter. It was delicious and started our meal off on the right "fork".
We enjoyed the following from the menu:
sourdough with chive flower butter (this is an item on the menu e.g., not free)
salami from Olympic Provisions in Portland, OR
raw asparagus and artichoke salad with Yarmuth's Nonna Capra
roasted pork belly, flat bread and roasted turnips and baby carrots
assorted cookies (buckwheat cacao nib, chocolate chip, pistachio, rose meringue and almond spice)
Our meal was fantastic. Delicious, fresh and very well executed. We especially liked the raw asparagus salad - the cheese that topped it just oozed and melted offering a creamy dressing that went well with the asparagus and artichoke.
Tip: Make reservations because if you don't you may have to wait a while. There is an excellent lunch menu which I think I'll try, rather than dinner.