Monday, January 30, 2017

National Croissant Day

Today is National Croissant Day!  So go get your hands on a flakey and buttery, or chocolaty croissant!  To celebrate, I'm not eating croissants but writing about them and showcasing them here.  Saves me some calories and I get to share my photos with you!  A croissant done right has lots and lots of butter and many layers of crisp, bready perfection.  I found some great ones in France and also in Seattle and Portland.  I've noticed in recent years that the quality of pastries has gotten way better here as pastry chefs have opened shops and brought over techniques they learned in Europe.  Which is good news for us but maybe not for our waistlines!

A Chocolate Croissant, or Pain au Chocolate, from Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle. 

Fresh Flours in the Seattle's Beacon Hill offers many kinds of croissants.  You may have a tough time deciding!
But you could go with the Chocolate Almond Croissant and you won't be disappointed!
If you're searching for the perfect croissant in the International District in Seattle then head to Fuji Bakery.  They make a perfectly crafted croissant that you'll crave again the next day!
So try the Chocolate Matcha Croissant at Fuji Bakery for something unique and flavorful. 
Another favorite from Bakery Nouveau is the Chocolate Almond Croissant.  I've heard of people lining up for these outside the bakery.  Yes, they are that good! 
The birthplace of the croissant is France, of course!  Paul is just one place you get find them.  You don't have to look far for croissants in Paris, though! 
The hotel I stayed at in Paris had complementary croissants in the lobby.  These were divine and tasted oh so perfect!
Portland, now a foodie destination, has many places for croissants.  This Chocolate Croissant is from St. Honore Boulangerie. 
 There you have it!  So many croissants and types, so little time.  Better grab one before the day ends!

Sunday, January 29, 2017


For our latest date night, we dined at Renee Erikson's celebrated restaurant, Bateau.  Every little detail was pronounced and unique.  From the large and artsy lighting fixtures, to the change of plate-ware between courses and the dehydrated orange slice in my Sidecar, no detail was forgotten.  Yes, Bateau is special and I haven't even gotten to the food.  It's all about the beef here.  This contemporary steakhouse on Capital Hill features butchered and dry aged beef done in house.  The quality of beef is very high and is from grass-fed cows.  You can select which cut you'd like from the large chalkboard which the servers make changes to through out the evening.  The service is refined, yet friendly, as I find most restaurants in the area to be like. 

We each started off with drinks-an Old Fashioned for my husband and a Sidecar for me.  We got the bread service which was from Sea Wolf Bakery in Fremont and it came with whipped butter that spread like magic and tasted so creamy.   An Amuse Bouche was then presented to us.  Two small Potato Croquettes with Coffee Aioli.  The Coffee Aioli was bitter with a bite to it, like a strong sip of espresso, and the potato bite was starchy and savory.  Our appetites were awoken and we couldn't wait for our next course.

We shared everything that night because then we could try more dishes.  We had a nice salad, the
Chicories—peregion beans, fennel, cured beef belly, hen’s egg & green goddess.  There was so much care and work put into this salad.  Every bite had to be savored and I knew I'd never be able to pull of a dish like this at home.  The cured beef belly was a nice surprise as we'd never had it in a salad before.  The flavors were salty and deep and balanced nicely with the produce, eggs, and sauce.  I also ordered a Cosmo cocktail and thought the small glassware with the gold rim was lovely and memorable.    

By then I could have called it a night, I was already happy.  But then it was time for the Buttery Mashed Potatoes and the Steak and I knew I had to make some room for the beef.  We shared a cut of the six ounce Bavette.  It's a little thicker of a cut and it was cooked medium rare.  It was basically perfect and it was topped with a Preserved Lemon and Brown Butter sauce.  It was seasoned just right and every bite was wonderful.  The mashed potatoes were soft, silky, and buttery with just the right amount of garlic. 

We wanted to end the meal on a sweet note so we took a glance at the dessert menu.  The Mont Blanc jumped out to me and I knew we had to order it.  I first tried this French dessert in Paris in 2011 and loved every bite.  It was from Angelina and was so rich and decadent I slowly ate it though out several days, it staying cool in our small fridge.  The Mont Blanc had chocolate and chestnut paste and had a depth to it that most French desserts do.  The one at Bateau was different as it was made with white meringue and had pears and contained just a touch of chestnut paste.  But it was light and refreshing and ended up being just the right thing to conclude out dinner.  And if that wasn't enough, they presented us with complimentary chocolate mint meringues for just one last little perfect detail to send us off into the night with. 

Bateau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, January 27, 2017

National Chocolate Cake Day

There's nothing like a piece of chocolate cake to end a special meal, celebrate a birthday, or share with friends and family.  Today is National Chocolate Cake Day so here are seven photos to celebrate!

To start the chocolate cake post off with a bam, here is the Pastel de Chocolate-Flourless Chocolate Cake with Espellette Ganache from the Harvest Vine in Seattle.  Click here to read more about my meal there. 

This decadent looking rich Chocolate Truffle Cake was from The Old Spaghetti Factory in Seattle.  Sadly, they closed last month.  This photo was taken a couple years ago when my family visited for lunch. 

A slice of Chocolate Fudge Cake from Georgie's Beachside Grill in Newport, OR.  Click here to read more about the restaurant and others in Newport. 

A piece of homemade Sachertorte, the famous Austrian cake, with whipped cream.  To learn more about the cake and see the recipe I used, you can go here.

A slice of chocolate truffle cake, topped with salted caramel pretzel ice cream.  The cake was brought home from the Harvest Vine and I enjoyed every chocolaty bite!  

Pictured here is the Dark Decadence from the Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Ballard.  The delicious molten chocolate cake had ice cream and was topped with toffee bits.  The molten chocolate had Theo chocolate and was rich and sweet.  This was during my visit to Seattle Sweet Week several years back.  That's right, I'm pulling out the archives for you.  Seven chocolate cake photos take a while to collect.  If you want to read more about my visit to Hot Cakes you can click here.

And finally, here is some dessert from Tavern Hall in Bellevue.  It was the Mason Jar Chocolate Cake with malted vanilla ice cream.  To read more about my meal at Tavern Hall, click here.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Party at Bar del Corso

My husband's employers held their annual party this year at Bar del Corso in Beacon Hill.  Everyone was allowed to bring a plus one or their family, so we got a sitter for our boys and we were able to have a night away eating and socializing while they played happily at home.  Bar del Corso is a pizzeria, restaurant and bar and is a very popular spot.  We had our party on a night they're normally closed, so we had the whole place to ourselves. 

They had several long tables set up communal style and the lighting was very dim and warm.  The red wine was flowing freely and it paired well with all of dishes.  The food was served family style with two plates set on each table at a time so everyone could try a few bites of each dish.  Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted with Cod Fritters and we were welcome to either get a glass of red wine or a beer at the bar.  After talking to people for a while, we were then seated and our food was brought out in courses for the next couple of hours. 

We started with one of their famous appetizers, the Supli al Telefono, fried risotto balls with melted mozzarella.  We've had these before on a previous visit and loved them.  We were happy to see them again presented to us and dug in for a couple of bites.  Then there was the Barrata and Rapini-cheese with garlic, olive oil, sea salt, hot pepper, aged balsamic, and cracked pepper.  It was served with a side of crostini.  Then there were three salads, we tried two of the three.  One was an arugula with roasted beets and blood oranges.  It also had fennel, locatelli pecorino, aged balsamic, and extra virgin olive oil.  We think the other salad was kale, but we're not sure since each dish wasn't introduced.  Next was the Polpettine-house-made meatballs in a tomato sauce.  Then they brought out the pizza's one by one.  The first was the Margherita, then a sausage and red pepper pizza, and lastly was a pizza with Prosciutto.  Their pizza's are very authentic with a nice, charred crust and really thin.  The ingredients are fresh and are highlighted nicely on the pizza.  

Then after all of that food, we had to make room for a little dessert.  They brought two small plates to each table, so everyone only had about two bites.  They didn't tell us what is was but it was some sort of cake with an orange flavor and served with whipped cream.  It was very light and refreshing though and made a nice conclusion to the Italian meal.  Then lastly, the servers presented us with a small glass of Cava to toast the employers and the employees.  Before we knew it, it was time to say our goodbyes and head back home.  But what a fun night eating delicious food and sipping great wine and hanging out with the people my husband works with!

Bar del Corso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Che Dessert Lounge

For many variations of che, a Vietnamese dessert, and French macarons flown in from Paris, head over to Che Dessert Lounge on Martin Luther King Way in Seattle.   If you want something hot and savory, they also have noodle soups and dumplings.  I had the Pork Salad Noodle Bowl and my husband had the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup.  My dish had Vermicelli noodles, pork, basil, onions, cucumbers, and was served with a side of fish sauce.  A classic Vietnamese dish, the flavors were bold and tangy, and the pork was tender and a little crispy.  The dish is served chilled and you sprinkle it with the fish sauce. 

For dessert, we tried the flan topped with shaved ice and the macarons.   I had never eaten flan with the shaved ice and I liked the cold element with the creamy and dense flan.  The macarons were really fresh and full of flavor and the salted caramel one was one of the best ever.  My husband also wanted to try a che dessert, so he chose a drink with tofu, red bean, coconut milk, and clear and glass jelly.  The large cup was packed with ingredients and that's probably why they give you a spoon along with a thick straw.  I liked the coconut flavor and how all of the components worked together nicely.  Che Dessert Lounge is small with just a few four or so tables.  The owner, Peter, was really nice and gave our kids trinkets and talked to us for a while.  He has a good thing going here for sure and I'm glad I discovered this place.  We'll be back for more macarons! 

Che Dessert Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato