It's Time for New Food and Wine Experiences!
When January rolls around every year it’s time for new experiences, especially when it means new restaurants, food trends and great events to try out. Always wanting the inside scoop on what’s new, I posed the question to Facebook food friends who have their finger on the pulse of the food and beverage scene and started a “must” list 2012. Restaurants to try:
A communal dining restaurant located in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, Belle Clementine’s nightly menu is inspired by seasonal offerings. I love the communal dining restaurant experience as it allows you to experience your meal in an intimate way with fellow diners. Dinner takes place Thursday through Sunday. There are usually 3 courses plus dessert and the $35 price includes one drink (paired wine, beer or a non-alcoholic) and gratuity. That sounds like a great deal to me!
Set to open in early spring, Restaurant Marché on Bainbridge Island is the brainchild of former Canlis Executive chef and cookbook author Greg Atkinson. The menu will be a combination of recipes from Atkinson’s books and will also be influenced by the island’s locally sourced shellfish, produce and more. To say that this is the most anticipated restaurant opening in 2012 would be an understatement. I think we will be seeing a backup on the Bainbridge ferry because of all the people heading over to Restaurant Marché.
Described as a “community-supported restaurant,” Skelly and the Bean in a new and unique eatery set to open later this month on Capitol Hill. Owner/chef Zephyr Paquette, who cut her culinary teeth at Seattle hotspots Dandelion and Elliott Bay Café, envisions the space as part neighborhood restaurant and part incubator where new and experimenting chefs can try out new projects and cuisines. And the cute name? According to this Seattle Times article, Skelly is a close family friend and Paquette’s first investor (and a smart kid, he was 7 when he decided to invest) and Bean is his little sister.
New Products To Try:
Deluxe Jam Deluxe foods, jams, jellies and sauces are created from peak-of-the-season, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables from Washington (well, except the citrus), following classic French recipes. Deluxe Foods was founded in Seattle by jam enthusiast and bonne vivante Rebecca Staffel. The first cookbook editor at Amazon.com and later editor-in-chief of Amazon’s Kitchen store, Rebecca has also worked as a literary agent, representing award-winning cooking authors Jennifer McLagan, Elizabeth Andoh, A.J. Rathbun, and Robb Walsh. A long-time cooking-class junkie, Rebecca has studied with Anne Willan at La Varenne, as well as Rick Rodgers, Nick Malgieri, Carolyn Beth Weil, and June Taylor. Details here.
Gourmondo Salad Dressing New small batch gourmet dressings from the wildly popular Gourmondo Catering Company are now available in grocery and specialty shops. Four new flavors of their signature salad dressing are available to the public: Cyprus Citrus, Tuscan Herb, Classic Balsamic and Bacon Balsamic. These dressings are produced in small batches to preserve the high quality and flavor in each bottle. Details here.
Marie and Frere Chocolate Shop Marie & Freres is headquartered in Seattle's up-and-coming South Lake Union area. You can see, taste and buy the latest creations direct from the plantation. Marie & Frères Chocolate has some of the most exquisite chocolate macaroons ever confected” says the New York Times. Details here.
New Events to Consider:
Seattle Wine and Food Experience Experience wines from around the world at the fourth annual Seattle Wine and Food Experience, Sunday, February 26, 2012 at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. An amazing array of wines will be offered from nine regions, with a special focus on Oregon. While the event itself is not new, there are interesting new elements this year including SIP Northwest Distillery Row featuring more than a dozen craft distillers to sample. Add to that a beer and cider exhibit, a sparkling wine and oyster bar and an Artisan Food Shop where you can sample and purchase gourmet products. All of these elements will expand the tasting and educational opportunities for guests. A fundraiser for Big Table, you can feel good while having a great experience for $49. This one goes to the top of the list! Details here.
Taste Washington Also not a new event, this is the signature event of the Washington Wine Commission. What is new is that Taste Washington has been expanded to two days in 2012. Now you have twice the time to taste your favorite wines from over 200 Washington wineries, meet the state's groundbreaking winemakers and sample fare from the state's premier restaurants. Plus there are star-studded seminars so you learn more about the Washington wine industry that we all love and support. All in the heart of the Emerald City. Details here.
Seattle Weekly’s Voracious Food Awards Voracious Tasting 2012 will host 1,000 attendees at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, April 5, for a night of culinary celebration and recognition featuring 40 select restaurant samplings, a handful of food trucks, specialty food sampling, libation tasting from local mixologists, live demonstrations, live music, and the fifth annual presentation of the Seattle Weekly Food Awards to this year's winners of the Sustainability, Innovation, and Pellegrini Awards. Just attending an event in the Paramount Theatre is a great experience surrounded by the glory of the building’s history and décor. Top that off with 40 chefs and some great libations and make sure to add this one to the list. Details here.
What’s on your list of “to try” in 2012? We’d love to know so we don’t miss anything. You can share here and please join us on Facebook or Twitter at @sptlightseattle.