Friday, August 7, 2015

Comfort Me Seattle

For the past few years, I've been living in Seattle, helping my mom recover from a number of illnesses.  Just when we think she's on the mend, we end up in Swedish Hospital and then, back to ICU. These past years have been a ride on the a roller coaster plus the Ferris wheel.

What is a daughter to do? I'm eating and drinking my way through Seattle. Yep, on the lookout for comfort food.  Pizza and cocktails are pure heaven. Anything fried and sauced, emotionally healing. Late night restaurants, a God-send. 

Everywhere I turn, there are fantastic restaurants with gorgeous plates of food to quell my sadness. Downtown Seattle is a food lovers' haven.

Here is a round- up of my favorite spots which I re-visit over and over again.

At the Pike Place Market, above the main area, hidden on the 2nd floor, is the cool, laid backed eatery, Matt's In the Market.  It's a small restaurant with just a few tables. Being located in the market, this restaurant has the best of the best, and uses all the best the purveyors of produce, meat, fish, cheese and dairy in the Pike Place market. 

If you like fresh seafood and like to cook, go see my friend, Harry Calvo at Pure Seafood Fish Market, located inside the market. He will choose  the freshest chunks of white king salmon, Alaskan spot prawns, king crab legs and halibut cheeks for you. Sample the different smoked and candied fish, which they make in house. In fact, give him a call in advance and tell him I sent you.  
It's cherry season in Seattle and the power couple of them all are the sweet golden, Rainiers and big, black juicy, Bings. Buy them all, plump blackberries and raspberries to eat while touring the market.

When the going gets tough, you will find me at Etta's at the end of Pikes market. It's a sweet place to hide out and Happy Hour starts at 4 pm to 6pm. Order a warm 'Dungee crab' with a glass of chilled Lillet. 

If you haven't tried the fresh shucked oysters and chowders at Taylors Shellfish Farm on Melrose Avenue. Make that your first stop. They usually have 5 -6 types of oysters year round. 

 After the oyster feast, walk to the corner to Terra Plata Restaurant. Every Monday is Paella night They offer either mixed seafood or a traditional paella. Hard to choose, so we have both. The Paella is especially good because the rice is roasted till its dark and crispy and the seafood fresh and succulent. Not to be missed. The regular menu starts on Tuesdays through Sundays. Outside above the restaurant is a rooftop dining area is surrounded by an edible garden.

If it's late and way past my dinnertime, where I go for a moment of quiet is Shuckers Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel. It's the oldest and most pre-eminent of oyster bars. The chunky Crab Cocktail accompanied with a basket of savory parmesan crisps and a dirty martini, sheer bliss.

I took a fun pizza making class at Serious Pie one morning. It was hard for me to steal away from hospital duties. I love to cook so I made myself go.  Plus I needed a break and some big time carbs. Once I saw all the different topping choices and I decided to make a Serious Dali pie. 
It was a home run, Italian sausages, sautéed leeks, topped with a double order of fresh clams, grated truffle cheese, crisp bacon and spiced with chili's. Their is nothing better than making your own signature pie.

Serious Balls of Pizza Dough - Serious Pie In Westlake
Egg and Asparagus Serious Pie  

Vegans will love Plum Bistro and those that love southeast Asian flavors will appreciate Restaurant Ba Bar. Both restaurants are located on 12th avenue near Swedish Hospital. Plum Bistro offers an earth to table, farmers market menus.

Ba Bar is soul satisfying and authentic Vietnamese food. Try the Oxtail Pho. All the rice and noodle bowls are topped with all sorts of well-seasoned  grilled chunks of meats and tasty nuggets of chicken and fried egg rolls. We favor  the Scallion Wrapped Beef Rolls, Fried Chicken Wings and made-to-order Rice Paper Noodles stuffed with tender pork and mushrooms.

Early on Saturday mornings, we stand in line with everyone else for excellent twice baked crispy Almond  Croissants at Seattle's Bakery Nouveau.  Picture me, a face plant in the bakery box. Easy to eat two or three of those crunchy puppies before lunch and at bedtime. Regrets? None.

The worst of it, a few extra pounds to lose. Hard to do when  hooked on pizzas, buttery croissants and cocktails. For now, exercise is a walk through the halls of Swedish Hospital. I wonder if I will ever  get back to my days of lean. 

Ba Bar Seattle
550 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
P: (206) 328.2030

Bakery Nouveau
137 15th Ave E.
Seattle, WA 98112
P: (206) 858-6957

2020 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
P: (206) 443-6000

Matt’s In The Market
94 Pike Street, Suite 32    
Seattle, WA 98101   
P: (206) 467-7909

Plum Bistro
1429 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
P: (206) 838-5333

Pure Food Fish Market
Pike Place Market
1511 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98108
P: (206) 622-5765

Serious Pies
316 Virginia St.
Seattle, WA 98121
P: (206) 838.7388

Shuckers Oyster Bar at The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101
P: (206) 621-1700

Taylor Shellfish Farms Oyster Bar
1521 Melrose Ave
Seattle, WA
P: (206) 501-4321

Terra Plata
1501 Melrose Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
P: (206) 325-1501