Jan 2015
Oysters for The Ark

So, first some news. Things have gotten pretty briny around my house, and that's not just because the Puget Sound is a brief stroll from here. I hadn't anticipated that my 2014 would wrap up fully engrossed in oysters, but that's how it played out. By complete coincidence, two Seattle publishers reached out to me about oyster-related projects. The first, an article for Seattle Magazine, appeared in the December issue and covers both the current boom in oyster bars ...

Apr 2014

It's sad but true -- as a Washingtonian, I am most decidedly a wet-sider. I've lived pretty much my whole life here on the damp, evergreen west side of the Cascade mountains. And while we get over to the Yakima and Tri-Cities area every year or so to visit friends, that feels like quite the trek. The extra hour ...

Aug 2013

Sure, I got caught up in the groundswell of interest in Downton Abbey after it got so many friends yammering about it in that first season. I dutifully caught up on all the episodes, watching that last season in real-time, able to commiserate and grouse along with them (really? a car crash in the last scene? after so much distress already that season??). So I'm a bit of a fan, though in a pretty mainstream way. News of new cast members/characters ...

Feb 2013
Rover’s: An Appreciation

My husband and I still remember that first meal we had at Rover's. It was August, 1988. We were both having grumpy weeks, didn't like our jobs, whatever the grievance. So we played hooky that lovely sunny day and walked onto the Bainbridge ferry to escape a bit, wander Winslow, explore the beach. Then a huge treat that evening to cheer us up even more: dinner at Rover's. They had a larger outdoor patio then, it was years before the renovation ...

Nov 2012
Portland: It Always Delights

I love living in Seattle for just a huge range of reasons...... But one that's standing out for me right now is its simple geography. Not that it's on the Puget Sound, or framed by two mountain ranges or in the Cascadia zone that creates a distinctly lush environment for countless outstanding foods that enrich our dinner plates. Those are all perfect reasons to ...

May 2012
The Space Needle — Golden Memories

A couple of months ago I had been at a late afternoon gathering on the 100-foot level of the Space Needle (celebrating the launch of Check Please!, to be exact) and had a short walk from there to a dinner date downtown. Somewhere around 4th and Denny I saw a few tourists on the street corner, pointing their cameras up over my right shoulder. I turned to look and saw the Needle ...

Apr 2012
A Day with Dario: the Butcher-Philosopher

It doesn't take much to motivate me to hop on the train and head south to Portland. Though some motivations are more pronounced than others. As was the case last week when rock-star butcher Dario Cecchini was in town. Soon as I'd heard word of his pending visit a few months back, I'd been inspired to see the man work. Not because I'm a butchery fanatic. But because I've come to relish any opportunity to gain first-hand, direct insights into the ...

Feb 2012
Sun Setting on a Seattle Icon: Le Gourmand

I was heartbroken when I first heard Bruce Naftaly's voicemail message this morning, letting me know that he and his wife and business partner Sara had decided to close Le Gourmand and Sambar in early June. I've been a card-carrying fan of Le Gourmand for many years, and of Sambar from the first French 75 I sipped on that glorious garden patio. How could the news be true? But a few minutes later when I had a chance to ...

Mar 2011
Meeting a Legend: Paul Bocuse

This past weekend, at dinner with friends, some random course of conversation brought up a crazy story that I told the group. It was something I hadn't thought about for a while, but they loved the story and urged me--repeatedly--to write more about stories like it. It'll have be another time that I tell you about the round-trip flight from Seattle to London for just one night. But it did remind me that I have racked up some interesting, unusual experiences over the years. ...

Jul 2010
A Seattle Gem Turns 25: Le Gourmand

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the passage of time. You'd think I'd get used to it at some point, but I never do. I often joke in an overdue email reply to someone that "I blinked twice and a week went by!" Honestly, it does feel that way sometimes. Last week my husband and I were talking about something that happened in 2000 and I was stunned by the realization that the turn of the millenium was over ...