|Look who's back?|
This season, we hit up new restaurants Belle Clementine (Ballard) and Rione XIII (Cap Hill), the not-as-new Cicchetti (Eastlake) and Art of the Table (Fremont), and perennial standby Poppy (Cap Hill).
And a programming note: I'm over doing the full-on review of each dish at each restaurant. It's nit-picky and meandering, and isn't fun to write. So we're going to change things up.
The Out of the Gate Award (best starter course): Tie! Art of the Table and Poppy.
Poppy featured a delicate salad of oil-poached albacore with avocado and fennel that didn't overwhelm the palate while being totally satisfying, which can be difficult with starter salads.
False Start Award (worst starter course): Rione XIII
|Rione XIII's starter|
My Main Man Award (best main course): Art of the Table
I seriously enjoyed the grilled pork loin with smoked bok choy, pepper jam, and pickled ramp vinagrette. AotT really impressed, going from a northern Italian starter to an Asian-inspired main without it being awkward or ham-handed.
Why You Do Me Like That Award (worst main course): Cicchetti
|That sauce tastes familiar..|
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Award (best ending course): Poppy
|Belle Clementine's cake|
That'll Do Pig Award (worst ending course): Cicchetti
Marcona almond brownies were pretty much standard fare for a church bake sale. They can, and should, do better than that.
Sotally Tober Award (best drink): Art of the Table
The "Winter is Coming" -Woodinvile rye, fernet, Cocchi di Torino, lemon and chili bitters, with lemon twist. Holy crap, I would have ordered seven of these if I didn't have to drive. Make this drink, now.
Is the Chicken Local? Award (best service): Belle Clementine
|Belle Clementine's uber local salad|
Best Dished (overall best restaurant): Art of the Table over Poppy in a close one!
Besides an awkward seating arrangement at their large table, not one problem with the meal. Friendly staff, delicious food and drink, and intimate setting. We highly recommend AotT to anyone looking for a cozy late evening date night. In a close second, Poppy still delivers a premium dining experience that I'd rate in the top 10 in all of Seattle. We also think Belle Clementine made a nice rookie appearance, if you enjoy family-style, communal table dining experiences.
Worst Dished (overall worst restaurant): Cicchetti narrowly over (or under) Rione XIII
|GIANT BOWL OF PASTA!|
|Great company, so-so nosh joint|
|Rione's tasty Maple Panna Cotta|