Archive for the 'Small Plates' Category

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The Corson Building – Seattle

The Corson Building - Seattle

The moment The Astronomer and I landed in Seattle, we hailed a cab and high-tailed it to The Corson Building for dinner. We usually take a train from the airport into the city, but we didn’t want to waste any precious time since we only had #2DaysinSeattle.

Here in a stone building on an industrial stretch of Georgetown, about five miles from downtown Seattle, Chef Matt Dillon serves wonderfully rustic fare using locally sourced ingredients prepared with Northwest flare. Previously, Chef Dillon was named the James Beard Award winner in the Northwest category in 2012 and Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef in 2007.

My friend Jessica recommended this restaurant to me years ago, but I never made my way here until this most recent jaunt.

The Corson Building - Seattle

While Saturday and Sunday evenings are communal affairs with multi-course pre-fixe menus, the restaurant serves a “small, hand-written menu inspired by the writings and philosophies of Angelo Pellegrini” on Friday nights.

According to Wikipedia, Angelo Pellegrini was “an author of books about the pleasures of growing and making your own food and wine, and about the Italian immigrant experience. He was also a professor of English Literature at the University of Washington.” How cool is that?

The Corson Building - Seattle

I sipped two glasses of wine with dinner, one  light and white and the other full bodied and red, while The Astronomer chose an Indian lager.  He was initially entranced by the hints of honey in each sip, but ultimately decided that the beer tasted too watered down.

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Allumette – Los Angeles (Echo Park)

Allumette - Echo Park

Chef Miles Thompson, who launched The Vagrancy Project last summer, has found a permanent home in Echo Park in the building formerly occupied by Allston Yacht Club. During his twice-a-week pop-up in this very space, the former executive sous chef at Son of a Gun dazzled diners with creative and beautifully plated fare like John Dory with boba, miso, and shiitake and chorizo with grapefruit and Robiola on toast.

While the culinary residency was short lived, it managed to catch the attention of Allston Yacht Club’s owners Bill DiDonna and Charles Kelly. Allumette is a joint venture between the two seasoned restauranteurs and the young chef. Consider this pop-up completely permanent.

Allumette - Echo Park

Allumette’s forward-thinking menu is comprised of two dozen small and thoughtful plates that fall under the categories of “Vegetable,” “Pasta,” “Fish,” “Shellfish,” “Meat,” “For Two,” and “Dessert.” Diners are encouraged to either indulge in the Chef’s tasting menu or select 4 to 6 dishes to create their own tasting experience.

I, along with my dining companions Darin, Pat, and Christina, decided to go the family-style route in order to taste as much of the menu as possible. In certain instances where a dish was literally a bite or two, we doubled, tripled, or quadrupled our order as needed.

Allumette - Echo Park

Before diving into the food, we sampled a few cocktails crafted by Serena Herrick. I selected the “Smoking Gun” ($11), a super-strong brew comprised of Vida mezcal, Cynar, and Calisaya. Since The Astronomer wasn’t around to tow me home safely, I kept my sips to a minimum.

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Tar & Roses – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

Tar & Roses - Santa Monica

Tar & Roses has been humming and happening ever since it opened just under a month ago. Named after the tasting notes characteristic of wine made from Nebbiolo grapes, Tar & Roses serves up big and small plates in a lively neighborhood setting.

I came in for dinner last week with my friends and fellow food bloggers Darin and Esi. As guests of the restaurant, we were completely spoiled by chef and owner Andrew Kirschner—he sent out way too much food and we in turn ate more than our fill! It was a delightful evening, one that left me waddling out the front door with a smile on my face and doggie bags in hand.

Tar & Roses - Santa Monica

Prior to opening Tar & Roses, Chef Kirschner spent the last decade honing his craft at Joe’s in Venice, Chadwick in Beverly Hills, Table 8 in West Hollywood, and Wilshire in Santa Monica. He was named “Best New Chef in 2008” by Angeleno magazine.

Tar & Roses - Santa Monica

Chef Kirschner’s “modern and rustic” menu is divided into four sections: Snacks, Small, Veggies, and Large. There’s nothing I love more than grazing over half a dozen plates rather than sticking to a single main course. The menu here is just my speed.

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Julian Serrano – Las Vegas (Aria Resort & Casino)

Julian Serrano Tapas - Las Vegas

After three days of reveling like rock stars at the Aria Resort & Casino, the #Foodies2Aria express arrived at its final stop: Julian Serrano. Modern tapas, traditional paella, and Chef Serrano’s favorite breakfast were all on deck before heading to the airport.

Julian Serrano Tapas - Las Vegas

Chef Serrano is best known for his Mediterranean-French cooking at Picasso at the Bellagio. The restaurant has received two Michelin stars, as well as the AAA Five Diamond Award for nine years counting.

Here at his eponymous restaurant, Chef Serrano shares the cuisine of his native Spain. From small plates to seafood to charcuterie, I was excited to revisit the flavors and dishes that I fell in love with while honeymooning in the country last year.

Julian Serrano Tapas - Las Vegas

To start, a cool shot of gazpacho with a filled sphere on the side. I’ve yet to warm up to cold soups, so I found this dish perfectly nice, but not much else.

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