Jul 2015
Smart Catch: A New Seafood Steward

Hmmmm, such a dilemma it was. Toward the end of dinner last night, someone at my table asked which of the four outstanding seafood dishes we'd just eaten was our favorite. How to choose? Particularly with chefs the likes of Thierry Rautureau (Luc & Loulay) and Branden Karow (Culinary Director with Ethan Stowell Restaurants, who I first met when he cooked with Thierry at Rover's) taking care of things. ...

May 2015
Inn at Langley: Bucolic Modernism

Whidbey Island is one among many beloved destinations for folks in the Puget Sound area, popular for day-trip escapes from the city, second homes and get-away weekends with friends. Walking the beaches, visiting lighthouses, biking country roads, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, catching crab....that's what we tend to associate with a trip to Whidbey. And you fuel up on big piles of island-raised steamed mussels, a pint of local beer, ...

Nov 2013
Restaurant Photos: A Different View

I came to the conclusion this week that I'm deeply tired of that pause from the pleasure of eating out that's inescapable when the let-me-get-a-shot-of-that-before-you-take-a-bite routine kicks in. So I plan to give it a bit of a break. While at the same time giving a break to family and friends who usually love, but surely sometimes are perplexed by, hanging out with a food professional. Of course I'll still be taking food snaps, no way around that. They're part of the toolkit ...

Oct 2013
Leavenworth Retreat: Sleeping Lady

  The shuttle bus was free, so there was no reason to complain. Not that we would have, anyway. It's Oktoberfest season after all, revelry abounds around the beer-fueled festival no matter how far away from Munich it may be celebrated.  And as much as I'd already come to relish the tranquility of the setting, it was an even more striking example of how much a refuge Sleeping Lady is. My husband and I ...

Aug 2013

Paris: A Review

Paris: A Review

So there I was in Paris for a month earlier this year, living la belle vie, nothing but time to wander, read, eat, write, ponder, drink, consider, explore. It was glorious, as you can imagine. Unseasonably cool and quite wet weather didn't dampen the experience. I made a number of blog posts, far more than a typical month for me. I wrote and wrote and wrote, tens ...

Mar 2013
Chocolate Mousse, Spanish Style

I’m not a big dessert person. I won’t pretend that I never order it when out for dinner. Key words like “caramel” or “ice cream” or “coconut” will often at least pique my attention. But more often than not I’ll just nibble a bit of cheese with my husband after dinner, or simply linger over the last of my wine and skip that final course. That being said, at the close of a recent dinner at the charming and delightful ...

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 ...

Sep 2011
Escape to Bainbridge, with Dinner at Hitchcock

After a particularly hectic, demanding, tiring summer, we were in need of a quick and relaxing get-away late last month. Though the Seattle-area has loads of regional escape plans that radiate out from the city--Whidbey Island, Walla Walla, the ocean coast, Port Townsend, Hood Canal--I wanted to be unwinding sooner than later, so minimum highway time was a plus. We opted for Bainbridge Island, a quick 30-minute ferry trip from downtown ...