Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Plate of Beans

We went to Tilth for a restaurant week foray and were pretty excited since it's nearly impossible to get a reservation there for res week. In fact, we had to wait outside for 20 minutes because they were running behind and we were awarded some delicious bubbly for our patience. But whatever, yada yada yada who cares.... It all boils down to a plate of beans. That plate of beans was my favorite entree of this entire restaurant week. If you stop reading this blog right now, just remember two things: 
  1. Tilth
  2. Bean Cassoulet

Jeff is so sophisticated.
Got that? Good. Everything else we had was delicious, including the free "sorry you had to wait outside in the cold" sparkling wine.  We had a lovely amuse bouche, followed by delicious starters. My soup was delicious with a great texture while Nick had a modernized salad niscoise. Tilth is known for using seasonal, certified organic or wild ingredients which is pretty much a given for most Seattle restaurants. However, Tilth is one of the best and Chef Maria Hines has a James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Northwest to prove it. 

A pretty amuse bouche
Tuna salad niscoise

Then the entrees came. The boys ordered beef which came in a very modern and artful pile of beef on top of mashed potatoes, heaped with colorful vegetables and a pretty splash of sauce around the side of the plate. It was a beautiful, composed dish you would expect from a restaurant with the kind of caliber Tilth has. The photo doesn't do it a lot of justice considering the dim lighting in Tilth but it was a gorgeous pile of food.  

Then, I got a plate of beans. Yep. This is what it looked like:
The most delicious and magical dish!
A freaking plate of rustic, brownish beans. To be clear, heirloom, smoked beans but a plate of beans nonetheless. I could barely contain my disappointment and disdain; I laughed and made a comment as the boys plowed into their cute, neat little colorful piles as I stared at my joke. A little voice in my head screamed, "This is what you get for not eating meat! A pile of beans." So then I had a bite. And it was the most savory, flavorful, delicious bite of restaurant week. I had another bite and another before telling everyone at the table that they needed a bite of the most delicious, smoky, complex-tasting beans they would ever have, with a lovely texture from the added crunch of breadcrumbs and sprinkle of herbs. There was umami from the mushrooms that lingered on your tongue along with the smokiness of the beans and broth. And the boys kept eating off of my plate along with me. Those guys just kept on dishing beans into their pieholes, looking begrudgingly at their half eaten, pretty little heaps of beef and wishing they could have ordered beans.

A couple at a table next to us couldn't help but overhear our cassoulet enthusiasm and they exclaimed that they too were there for the beans. "I had this a month ago and I knew I had to come back when I saw it was on the restaurant week menu. It's so good, it's my favorite dish!"gushed the lady seated next to us.

So there you go. A plate of beans but the most unctuous, multifacted and wonderful plate of beans you could ever think of. Cassoulet! Which is French for slow-cooked bean stew of awesomeness delivered from the heavens.

I posted some photos of dessert below. But who cares! We got cassoulet!

Pumpkin panna cotta

Pear sorbet crisp

Chocolate mousse

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