Christina Orchid's eponymous restaurant on Orcas Island, housed on the upper level of a converted gas station, is one of those iconic spots in the Pacific Northwest. Christina herself is an icon, a living legend, a national treasure. And now there's a splendid cookbook that brings Christina's generous and creative spirit into own kitchens.
Book-signing party yesterday at Dahlia Lounge. Yummy oysters with cassis granita mignonette, chanterelle chive toasts, wild blackberry crema. Recipes in the book, along with charming stories about island life. Go buy it! Photos, by Michael Skott, are mouthwatering. Great work by Sasquatch Books, which upped the press run when editor Gary Luke realized what a gem he was getting.
Photographs of unknown faces in the window of your neighborhood wine shop, a glowing tube suspended above some upright barrels promoting wines from obscure corners of Tuscany, hand-lettered signs extolling wines made by three sisters. You'd expect merchandising like this from Budweiser or Gallo ... not from a new Seattle-based importer called Small Vineyards, LLC.
After three years of exile in a corporate cave, Washington's oldest fine-wine distributor, P & S, is back with one of the state's savviest wine guys, Bill Schallert, at the helm. Schallert actually owned the firm outright some 30 years ago and has stuck with it through a series of mergers and buyouts.
The P & S portfolio includes the Nickel & Nickel line of single-vineyard wines from California ... a winery that's doing a great job of respecting the minute differences of soil and climate from one vineyard to the next, just like they do in Burgundy. Fewer bottles per label, more distinctive wines. What a concept!
Election Update: chicken-or-salmon Donkeys 60%, beef-or-snapper Elephants 40%. Now we know.
Belltown's prestigious Cascadia, where Al Gore's been seen to dine when he's in town, doesn't shy from controversy. This election season, it's a $25 "Race to the White House" dinner ... with a twist. Three courses, one vote. The Discerning Dem side of the menu features Boston Clam Chowder and grilled salmon with Heinz ketchup; the Refined Republican column puts Florida citrus dressing on the salad and Texas beef short ribs on the entree plate.
Dessert is bipartisan genius: ribbons of red, white and blue sauces leading to a molded, white-chocolate White House with a piece of dark chocolate cake inside. Chef Kerry Sear, a native of England, hence not an eligible candidate, reports that the other Kerry is leading; he'll announce results on election night.
I'll keep this up for a while, anyway, until the suspense is over. Here's a live link to the US Forest Service volcano-cam. Below is what it looked like at noon Monday, Oct. 11th ... and a few days earlier.
Many of these posts also appear on Seattlest.com, part of another network of city blogs.
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