Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Steak Tartar at Elysian Brewery

Another installment of my "Seattle Series"....

Most microbreweries serve what is often called pub fare... burgers, sandwiches, fries, etc etc.  However, I did stop in at Elysian Brewing one afternoon near the end of my Seattle excursion and was pleasantly surprised by the upscale menu. Actually, there should be no surprises by this as Elysian crafts beer a cut above many others.

After enjoying several beers, it was time for an appetizer before moving on.  The tartar was so inviting by the description, I had to give it a shot. "Piedmontese Beef tartar, fried capers, parsley, charred mustard seed Dijon, smoked salt flake, salmon roe, crostini"  WOW!  It was among three "raw" plates served as appetizers. The other two options were tequila cured Sockeye and Oysters, which are pretty popular in Seattle as you can imagine.

Anyway, the presentation is magnificent.  Although it was delicious, the tartar was lacking in some type of binding as it fell apart somewhat. A nice touch would also be the addition of a quail egg on top. However, if you can overlook these small flaws, then you probably won't be disappointed.

Even if you don't want to venture out and order tartar, the menu provides a great depth of choices. And, not only does Elysian craft above-average beer, they also have a nice selection of wines and eclectic cocktails.  Check it out next time near the market - one block east and one block north of Pike Place.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Steelhead: Not your typical diner

Steelhead Diner's name is a bit misleading.  When you think of a diner, visions of a cook flipping burgers on a greasy cooktop circa 1950 often come to mind. So scratch that thought out of you mind before you read any further.

Located on a corner of Post Alley near Pike Place Market in Seattle, the diner overlooks part of the market, the open water behind the market and mostly the shops and streets in and around the market.  Inside you'll find two bars - one with a bartender by the windows and another that is geared for restaurant seating. I recommend the traditional bar facing the windows.  

Been to Steelhead twice - once for drinks and once for dinner.  The first time was for drinks.  As with this visit and a later visit for dinner, bread and a plate of butter with oil was served. What makes this unique is the butter and oil features a combination of cilantro, chives, parsley and salt that is made daily.

Another visit was for dinner. I started out with Wilapa Bay Shigoku Oysters on the Half Shell. Served with a red wine Mignonette.  These are priced by the oyster, but it is well worth it. A quick glance at the current menu says to me the menu changes with availability and/or seasons as they are not listed.  To me this is a good thing.  And so were the oysters.

A variety of salads are available but be sure to try the Steelhead Diner House Salad. Picture this (and you are if you look below): A full head of lettuce sliced in half and then served pretty much as a classic wedge salad. When it came out, I took the top half of lettuce and set it aside.  If there is any flaw dining at Steelhead, it would have to be the volume of lettuce on this salad.  However, since it can be set aside so easily, it can be overlooked. 

Another item not currently on the menu that hopefully will make a return is the Shrimp Po'Boy. Flash friend shrimp served with a served "NOLA style dressed". When I ordered this, I opted to have it served on a lettuce wrap. Unless you are big fan of buns, consider this lighter version as it allows the true flavors to come out, not masked by the heavy, chewiness of the bread.

Steelhead does it well with an ever-changing menu of fabulous food coupled with ambiance and an excellent location.  The dining room was fairly crowded both visits - one late afternoon and one at dinner time mid-week. One would expect weekend evenings to be packed with a decent wait for a table to open up. But keep in mind, the wait is worth it at Steelhead!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Peacemaker Lobster & Crab is the BOMB!

Yep, that's right.... an awesome lobster and crab place smack dab in the midwest. The heart of America. And if you've been following this blog thingy of mine, you know that I've eaten along both coasts!

Located in Soulard in St. Louis city proper, you have to nose around to find it. Several blocks up Broadway, you pass lots of bars and restaurants, then hit some residential areas before you see Peacemaker.

The menu is pretty straightforward: oysters, boils, poorboys, mussels, chowder, gumbo and of course lobster and crab!

You walk in and you feel like you are in some maritime throwback... lots of heavy rustic tables and the like. The tables have a large rustic bucket with the tools of the trade needed to break apart crab plus menus and paper towels.  The metal chairs looked great but the comfort level was non-existent.

Went there for lunch on a weekday arriving at 11:30 and the place was empty. However by noon there was barely an open seat in the house.

Peacemaker does lunch differently than dinner.  First you grab a table. Once you figured out what you want to eat, you walk up to a small table where a cashier takes your order and hands you a numbered placard to put on your table.  Unless you want a cocktail, you select your soda from an ice bucket and stop here to get necessary cups and utensils.The vintage Coke cooler is filled with ice and scoop.

One thing to note about lunch is they do not serve boils which I understand given the nature of a business crowd. Who wants to go back to the office drenched in butter?

Anyway, I had a fried oyster poorboy known as the Peacemaker and a cup of clam chowder. 

Overall, I'd give Peacemaker a thumbs up.  Although I'm not a huge fan of sandwiches on hoagie style rolls, this one was pretty good.  The chips were thick and crisp. The chowder could have been slightly thicker, but I was pleased with the flavor.

Another person at our table had a lobster roll and spoke highly of it.  Instead of served on a plain roll, the lobster roll and I assume the others, was served on garlic brioche.  

I'd really like to see how Peacemaker does dinner and hopefully in the next few months I'll find out!