Friday, February 8, 2008

birdy num num

night before last, jenO and i went to check out txori here in our fair city. this is the new basque tapas/pintxos joint opened by the nice folks at harvest vine (another snacktruck fave!!). very close to the aforementioned tavolata on second ave. in belltown, txori can almost be missed if one is not looking carefully - case in point, jen and i drove by it 2x (she is an awful naviagtor). anywho, i want to say right from the get go i did not take any photos...because i left my camera at home and damn it, in a place this bright the pix would have been nice but i am going to try and let my words explain. attento!

txori is lovely - a fantastic addition solely on the appearance. the entire feeling here is welcoming and warm, i felt as though i was in a place where one could be there for hours and not feel any pressure to do anything other than to enjoy yourself. jen and i both looked at the menu, then the specials on the board which i explained to her as my spanish is always working when it comes to food and it was on. we see calamares en su tinta - stuffed squid cooked in its own ink - uh huh, bring it! , then jen ordered some white anchovy stuffed with tuna...i see two different bocadillo's, chorizo and the other is ham - bring both. we ordered some duck confit served on asian soup you ask, how was all of this - PHENOMENAL. made with ease and complete flavor overload - - everything we ordered was fantastic. i decided to order something for myself since jen will only eat eggs from fish and not from birds and i ordered jamon y huevo - simply translated to ham and egg. the chef told me they get some (how much, i dare say just a bit)iberico ham and make rilletes out it...then, they bake an egg in one of those funny looking extra small frying pans and voila, place the rilletes on bread, place the the egg on top - runny yoke and all - - you got yourself something so tasty i thought i was on a farm. ridiculous and sublime simultaneously, so damn good. instead of ordering another one of those, we ordered more squid - another tasty tomato dish which was simply tomato sauce, fried garlic and spanish cheese (tetilla). simple, yet very flavorful. both of us love octopus yet we did not order it nor did we venture and try the albondigas (meatballs) but uh, there is always next time and that next time will be sooner than later. great stuff here!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

you can please yourself but somebody's gonna get it


good pal jenny over at yardsale bloodbath along with her wonderful husband tim joined me, my gal pal heather "the feather" and some other folks at cache for christmas dinner. i would have wrote about it but i asked jenny to do so. i like guest starring at her blog so damn it, she can at mine - thanks JENNY!...oh, and no photos of the food because heather was too busy getting drunk. touche! but the photo i posted!? that is from a different cache dinner - so there!

So, I promised your trusty snacktruck host that I'd write about our not-so recent visit to Cache. My husband and I had been listening to him hype it up for a while, getting more and more intrigued ... then when we took a look at their "Christmas at Cache" menu we knew that now was the time to make it happen. We arrived at Cache a few minutes after 7:00, worried about being late,but it turned out we were the first ones there. Our hosts greeted us warmly and led us to their lounge area, where we snacked on pork rillettes (with duck fat!) on toasted baguette and bits of spicy chorizo ... which were promptly accompanied by two martini glasses full of the frothiest yummiest eggnog ever. Two more diners trickled in, then two more, and we all sat around making feeble attempts at small talk until we had a full house of 14 diners. At that point we all filed along to the dinner table where we were served glasses of champagne along with a tasty and refreshing salad of arugula, persimmon, pomegranate seeds and pecans - a nice precursor to the onslaught of amazingly tasty dishes that didn't sit quite so lightly on the tummy. Bourbon-pecan mashed sweet potatoes were served alongside a mushroom-gruyere bread pudding that pretty much blew all of our minds. Next up was the main event, the "7-hour herbed roast leg of lamb," which was to die for ... so tender and incredibly flavorful without being overly "lamby" (know what I mean?). Next up were brussel sprouts cooked with plenty of tasty bacon. I actually like brussel sprouts in almost any preparation, but I think this would have pleased even the staunchest veggie-hater. The feast was all accompanied by various wines, both house-provided (such as a sparkling shiraz which was like a red champagne ... good lord, I never knew such wonders existed!) and those brought in by our fellow diners (including our contribution brought from a recent visit to the Clos Pegase winery in Napa Valley, which I was all excited about, but then turned out to be just OK).Dessert ... first some incredible homemade gingersnaps, then a dessert that I loved, loved, loved: individual English toffee cheesecakes with a tiny smattering of Maldon sea salt on top. This was somewhat tragic, because I was just TOO FULL to do it justice. If you know me, you know I love my sweets, and I really wanted to eat it all up, but I just could not do it. Surprise bonus warm chocolate cookies just added insult to injury, but from the few bites I had, I can assure you that the insult was quite delicious. All in all, it was a fun experience with a bountiful array of food that really would have been amazing and delightful under any circumstances whatsoever ... getting to eat it in a unique and clandestine setting with interesting people was bonus fun!