Sunday, August 12, 2007


2319 E. Madison Street
Seattle, Washington 98112

Last night we returned to Crush to have dinner with some good friends. Crush is a Seattle neighborhood restaurant perched near the intersection of 23rd and Madison. Chef Jason Wilson and his wife Nicole have transformed a century old house into a slick upscale destination restaurant. Futuristic white decor adds visual contrast to the Victorian styling of the restored building. Everything is slick about this restaurant from the professional service, lovely white designer dishes, quality stemware, and Seattle's hip restaurant crowd. With only about 40 seats, reservations are a must. The wine list is top notch and has received awards from Wine Spectator magazine. The menu is well thought out and features a wide array of fresh and seasonal ingredients that will satisfy the most demanding foody. Selections of starters run the gamut from fresh tuna tartar, heirloom tomato salad with fried anchovies, goat cheese and fig tart. Try the delightfully charred, grilled octopus with chorizo and pearl couscous. Entrées offer chicken, fish, duck, beef, lamb and more. Each is artfully created with distinguishing sauces, a complimentary companion (veggie, grain, and herb) and methods of preparation. The halibut with lobster butter, pea shoots and basil was lovely. The upscale version of beef short rib, braised in wine, served over trufflled garlic creamed potatoes, is rich, homey and memorable. There is a wide range of desserts with a high level of style and finesse that perfectly completes the package. The price of the food has recently risen, but it is still worth every penny. Thank you, Chef Jason, and Nicole, for adding to Seattle's quality culinary scene.

Friday, August 10, 2007

La Medusa

La Medusa
4857 Rainier Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98118

A few weeks ago we visited La Medusa restaurant in the Columbia City area of Seattle. I had heard great things about this small popular restaurant serving food from Sicily and borrowing from other Italian regions. We were floored by the whole experience. The food, service and casual ambience were great. Upon arriving home that evening, we logged on to and made reservations for the next Saturday we would be in town. Our second visit was just as great. With foods like thin crust pizza with fresh figs, sheep's milk ricotta, fennel and Parmigiano shavings or the Kurobuta braised country pork ribs with tomato jam, fennel, fava bean and Greek yogurt, it is hard to go wrong. Start of with an assortment of meats from Armandino's Salumi (Mario Batali's family) or some great baccala salt cod fritters with tasty tomato sauce, and you are off and running to gourmet heaven. Three cheers to chef Earl Hook!

Cavatappi Maddalena (1997)

Last night we decided to pop a bottle of the Cavatappi Maddalena (1997). We had cellared this wine since 2000 and thought it was time to give it a try. This is 100% Red Willow Vineyard Nebbiolo from Washington State. Medium brick color with ruby and crimson tones with a nose of fig, cherry and caramel. Round, smooth and full bodied with smooth, generous tannins and an elegant array of crushed berries and refined fruit. A long finish completes the package. An age worthy Washington State "mini-Barolo". Excellent.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Duck Pond Cellars

We just shared a bottle of Duck Pond Cellars, 2003, Cabernet Sauvignon (Wahluke Slopes) with our great neighbors. We all agreed that the wine was a great sip with its smooth, rich flavor. This wine is medium to full bodied with dark fruit flavors and plenty of smooth tannins. A fun and casual envening with good friends and another really good "red" from the Pacific Northwest!