Romance is in the air, and local restaurants do their best to impress. Take a look at what is offered this year, and don’t put off booking a table any longer. Restaurant News heard from a few local spots — “We’re sold out for dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 14th! But procrastinators take heart and check out opportunities close by that will keep you off that southbound freeway…
190 Sunset: “We expect to sell out, but still a few spots left early in evening,” says owner Tom Budinick. The Feb. 14 four-course dinner menu offers a variety of foods to please any pallet. A special twist incorporated on the Valentine’s menu dessert caught my eye: A rich chocolate torte cake topped with a chocolate strawberry, injected with raspberry and chocolate liqueurs.
Chanterelle incorporates red into their special Valentine’s Day menu: Red dried cherries sweeten the appetizer; pomegranate, red apples and radicchio add color to the salad, Rosy tomato béarnaise dresses the New York steak, and spicy red Thai curry chicken is on the evening’s menu… click here to see the full spread.
Scott’s Bar & Grill still has tables. You order from a regular menu, but they do offer a special drink for Valentines diners: Chocolate Truffle Martini made with Godiva Chocolate and Frangelico liqueur. And yes, you can try this at home. Here’s how:
Epulo Bistro’s Valentine’s Day Menu 2018 offers treats like Wood-fired Roasted Golden Beets, Day Boat Scallops and Meyers Ranch Beef Filet, and a Theo’s Dark Chocolate Cupcake to end that amazing meal. Dinner served from 4-11 p.m. but don’t delay — reservations limited to early evening or after 9 p.m. right now…
Five Restaurant | Bistro still has tables, open regular hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. No Happy Hour. No pizza served after 2 p.m.
The Loft Cafe + Courtyard has tables and is open regular hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Demetri’s Woodstone Taverna has tables, open regular hours 11am-10pm
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190 Sunset’s new chef shares his vision for menus and more:
Skyler Gemar, the new executive chef at 190 Sunset, has been on board since this fall. Restaurant News felt it was time to pay him a visit.
There is a new section of the menu called Social Plates. “This is how I love to eat,” says Skyler. “Go out with a group of friends and pass around plates.” Plates such as fresh oysters with granny smith apple granite, crispy pork belly, Kalbi steak bites and poutine, are generous enough to allow diners to taste a variety of entrees.
“What is your favorite on this menu?” Gemar confesses it is the pork belly. His technique is to cure the pork overnight and then braised it in beer. Chef Skyler favors an IPA as that adds a bitter note to the finished product.
Gemar’s improvement to vegetarian and vegan menu items offers outstanding variety. I mentioned my hubby, who is vegetarian, and moans when his choices at many places are pasta primavera or a bland version of mac and cheese. At 190 Sunset, the Quinoa Salad is substantial enough to be an entree on its own. Another tasty example is the stuffed Delicato squash.
Chef added seasonal twists to dishes already established favorites: Salmon and Black Garlic. The crispy skin king salmon and fingerling potatoes are accented with black garlic butter.
Wikipedia says “It’s is a type of “caramelized” garlic (in reality, browned by the Maillard reaction rather than truly caramelized) first used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic, over the course of several weeks, a process that results in black cloves.”
I say, “Black Garlic is delicious!”
Chef Gemar likes to create ingredients in his kitchen. He makes Quik-Chi vs. Kimchi. Salting the cabbage is a shortcut that speeds the fermentation process and provides a ready supply for the dish, as needed.
Chef favors fewer ingredients in his dishes. “Keep it simple.” Brining technique used on chicken and pork chops is a great example of “simple.” The brine incorporates flavor into the meat and the final cooking time is not impacted.
Skyler says his prep cooks bring much skill to the kitchen, in advance of the line cooks’ final touches on the dishes before they are served.
Another new and improved entree is the Pasta Lobster Shrimp and Swine. Initial ingredients are cooked down until they stick to the bottom and are deglazed with wine. Radiatore pasta brings texture to dishes.
New and improved extends to the Reuben sandwich. They’ve upgraded to a thicker darker sliced rye bread. Chef likes to make his own sauerkraut and pickles, so for the cabbage portion of the Reuben he mixed half and half in a red cabbage, and the effect is a visual treat of black bread, red cabbage and creamy cheese.
Readers, Here’s a secret. Skyler makes his own Thousand Island.
“Recipe?” We both agreed — chili sauce, not ketchup. And he puts a dash of sriracha in there to give it a little more kick.
Hand-cut fries are served with the skins on too. Every morning staff gets in and scrubs potatoes, slices, prepped, ready for a final dip into hot oil and promptly served hot and crisp when the customer orders a side of fries.
Chef Skyler employs “Culinary Concepts” in his kitchen. “Thinking cooks, who don’t have to rely on a written recipe every time they prepare the dish.”
Gemar says, “I am a teaching Chef.” It’s all about technique. He likes a deeper team environment and hopes that teaching technique will empower the cooks.
Skyler loves being a chef. He smiles and says, “I get to go to work at a restaurant.” Emphasis is on the word get. “I’ve turned my hobby into my career, and it feeds my soul.”
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Happy Year of the Dog!
Need more reasons to dine out in February? Celebrate Chinese New Year — which begins on Feb. 16 in 2018 — with dumplings.
A “rule” is eat dumplings for every meal, every day.
Well, technically you’re supposed to. But not many people do that anymore because you can have too much of even the most delicious foods. Regardless — people will eat dumplings during the New Year’s Eve dinner. Others will eat them for the first breakfast.
Restaurant News made a point to locate (and sample too, of course!) the best dumpling spots in town. Here is my list — most are located on Highway 99. Readers, please add suggestions to comments if I missed your favorite place.
Furi: Juicy pork dumplings are the best! Located on 5th Avenue in Edmonds
Qin: 22315 Highway 99, Edmonds, has the Biang-Biang style dumpling/noodles that are simple and simply delicious!
Dumpling Generation serves up handmade steamed buns and noodles
T & T Seafood Restaurant, Chopsticks and Wonton Noodle House all are great places to celebrate Asian-style New Year in Edmonds, and you have two weeks to enjoy dumplings, spring rolls and other celebratory dishes.
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Amata Thai: The paper is off the windows at Edmonds soon-to-be-open new Thai restaurant. Gold décor glistens in the windows. The owners shared with Restaurant News that “Our new chef has arrived …all the way from Thailand.”
Mountlake Terrace welcomes Aliberto’s to the spot formerly occupied by Romio’s Pizza -5602 232nd St. SW. Ste 101, next to Snohomish Pie.
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Mark your calendars!
Saturday, Feb. 24 at the beautiful Edmonds Yacht Club, 10 local restaurants will compete to win “BEST Clam Chowder in Edmonds.” The public will vote for the People’s Choice Award for Best Traditional and Best Cutting-Edge Chowder (anything outside of “traditional” chowder), plus the Best Booth. There will also be a Judged category. Purchase advance tickets here.
I’ll share with those who still waver, their mouse poised to click on that Open Table reservation, an inspired quote from my favorite humor writer, Erma Bombeck:
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”
— By Kathy Passage
A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in Edmonds.