Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Rumblings #3: Meatless in Seattle at Carmelita
Carmelita is a staple on the Seattle vegetarian scene proving that you don't need to eat meat in order to have a satisfying meal. Carmelita added a bar to the restaurant within the last year and seemed to have refreshed the decor a little bit which added a warmth and earthiness to the restaurant. It also has a lovely intimate garden patio that is a rare and perfect Seattle spot for some dining al fresco.
I hadn't been to Carmelita since Carlos Caula brought his "farm-to-table" eat local philosophy and I had been interested in seeing how this was reflected in the menu. It was a great excuse for my brother and I to take our newly vegetarian mother out on a mom-date. Everything on the menu is incredibly fresh, local, foraged and northwest sounding; while the english peas, asparagus and foraged mushrooms are springy staples, there was an abundance of nettles on just about everything. I wonder who thought to eat the irriating nettle.... They sting and irritate me in the woods but maybe if I cooked them a bit and ate them, they could either sting the inside of my throat or be a wonderfully delicious addition to a parpadelle? I digress.
The first course featured two soups and a salad. I opted for the asparagus soup which was served tepid. I don't recall the exact description of the temperature as described on the menu but it wasn't hot, it wasn't chilled, it was lukewarm. It was garnished with some blood orange oil and wildflowers. I found the soup to be a subtle but delicious way to show off the fresh asparagus with a bit of citrusy zest. My mother and brother ordered the broccoli cheddar soup which was very flavorful but refined. Thumbs up on the first course.