When celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay converted Everett's Prohibition Grille into Prohibition Gastropub, he was simply putting a new name on traditional, if fancified, pub grub. See the last six posts; it was a made-for-TV makeover that descended on Hewitt Avenue like an alien space ship, confusing and scaring off many regulars (who may actually have preferred the week-old "soup of the day" and braised "pork wings"). Time will tell.
Meantime, back in Belltown five years ago, a couple of ambitious but low-key Seattle chefs launched their first joint venture, Spur, as a high-end gastropub. Cornichon was originally a bit put off by the pretentiousness of the fare; there was already a perfectly good gastropub, Black Bottle, just down the street, that wouldn't dream of using a word like gastrique on its menu. Still, Spur prospered, and the chefs, Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, went on to open two more restaurants, Tavern Law on Capitol Hill and The Coterie Room virtually next door to Spur.
At Spur these days, the duo continues to turn out food that far exceeds the "gastropub" image. Take, for example, a dish called Sockeye Salmon Crostini. It's pricey, at $4 per bite, but you won't find anything quite like it anywhere else. The salmon is poached sous vide, served on a bed of marscapone with some capers and pickled shallots atop a perfectly toasted slice of bread. (Drop of olive oil and garnish of microgreens: gilding the lily.)
It's a shame to eat this in one bite, so feel free to use your knife and fork. You'll understand in a flash why so much is made of New York's lox-and-bagel breakfasts; there's a unctuousness to the salmon, underscored by the creamy cheese, offset by the sharpness of the condiments and the crunchiness of the crostini. It's one of those transcendent moments
Posted recently about a similar transcendent moment, the Beef Lips Terrine Dijonnaise at Radiator Whiskey. Also a bite to remember, but truth be told, the salmon crostini is better.