Curious Appetite

Month: November 2010

Sunshine on the mindful appetite- Lunch @cafefloraveg

Today was one of the glorious sunny fall days that make Seattle worth living in- and Cafe Flora is a great spot to be indoors when choosing to eat-in. It is full of open windows and cozy rooms, one with an actual flowing fountain as if vegging out in the whimsical garden of vegetarian bliss,  and you could bask in its gastronomic glory (and sun) for hours.

I used to always think of Cafe’ Flora as the restaurant for people who wanted to be vegetarian or vegan on the week-ends, as its menu is exclusively vegetarian and vegan, now w/ many gluten-free options. And it used to always seem like a heavily fakon’ bakon soy imitation kind of novelty place. Well, that was over 5 years ago and its menu has diversified to celebrate the beauty of vegetables, not its imitation meat inventions.


I was in for lunch. And boy was it yummy. (and sunny)

This was their Lentil Pate Platter w/ In-House Pickles Veggies (including purple cauliflower, beets, red peppers and of course a cuke), Marinated Olives, a Raspberry confit, crisp sweet tarty sliced (I bet local honeycrisp) apples to finish and daggered with these crispy olive oily sea salt Panzanella Croccanti (crackers). ====== $9 ====== best gourm-deal of 2010.

The lentil Pate was as you would expect, creamy yet grainy, sticky, lentily, rich and delicious. Perfect pair of Croccanti dagger crackers to schmear with.

You would think that I suffered a salt-lick coma from all the pickledness, but everything was pleasantly unbriney and full punched with flavor. Good crispage concerning the pickledge and good meaty herby olives. as I was soaking in sun in our greenhouse-like room, I saw a waitress take a sandwich board in the back that said “Happy Hour.” And that’s when I’ll be back.

Cafe’ Flora, thank you for showcasing palatable gourmet veggie plates for those of us who would like to be vegetarian on the week-end, or at lunchtime =)

sEATtle Restaurant week: POPPY.

For my birthday dinner this year it was a toss up between Joule in Wallingford or Poppy in Capital Hill. I went with Joule and kept Poppy on the back burner of my eating wishlist. Well, Seattle Eat Week was just the perfect non-birthday excuse to get into Poppy.  3 courses for $25. A pretty rich deal, considering Poppy specializes in 7-piece fusion full main “Thalis” which run $32 just on their own. With an appetizer and a dessert that could well run you a near $50 hole in your wallet.

There were a couple appetizer and Thali options to choose from.

I started with: Poached Oysters (on the half shell) with creamy sorrel sauce and bacon

I Thali’ed:

Lavender Duck Leg a top whipped potatoes sided with: pumpkin cardamom and green chile soup,  radicchio grilled fig and pumpkin seed salad, brussel sprouts with shallot rings, chard chantrelle and farro gratin, gingered burdock pickle, and a modest oval disk of nigella-poppy naan bread.

I dessert’ed:

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with tiny tiny malt balls sprinkled on top served in a martini glass.

This sounds like a lot of food, but it was the perfect amount. I wont embellish much on each small dish as the flavors should speak for themselves, Pumpkin Cardamom and Green Chile Soup, those words should invoke memories of fresh cracked cardamom, kick-tart green chile and creamy savory smooth pumpkin squash. And I am so confident of Poppy and its culinary artistry that I hope you will take the flavors for their word and experience them for yourself.

I cannot emphasize how amazing subtle yet potently flavorful the oysters and its sorrell sauce swam on the palate. I cannot describe how tender, juicy and calming the lavender duck leg was with its perfectly crisped herbaceous skin was.  I cannot describe how full of complimentary character the chard chantrelle and farro gratin was, perfect bread crumbage and gruyere gratedge. Nor can I describe how the dark chocolate malted ball sundae (in the cutest little martini glass) reversed my life-long disgust and  towards anything malted or likewise maltballed.  That sundae reversed my angst towards maltness so much that I have (had) a stash of chocolate peanut butter maltballs in my sweets pantry.

Dear Poppy,

Despite your obvious contemp./modern plastic Ikea-esque tea-light ambience on the tip of Broadway, I applaud and thank you for your presence. Your choice of herbs and whole ingredients have dazzled my palate and inspired me ever so further. You also have convinced me that experimental, adventuresome yet nourishing eating on a budget that moved me to write this glowing reflection is attainable.

To all you readers, I highly encourage you to partake in this fabulous flavor melanged experience. With a friend, 2 friends, a sister or all of them,a brother, a mother, a date, hell you could even get jolly and invite the Real Change guy with you on the bill. just don’t let it go unwitnessed and unshared.

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