We came here on a Friday night to celebrate the end of the week. It’s a pretty small space so reservations are absolutely essential. We went at a weird time (5:30pm or 6:00pm) and managed to wrangle a seat at the bar. This was also our first experience at an Ethan Stowell restaurant and our minds were blown.
They started us off with a hunk of Macrina baguette with house EVOO and balsamic vinegar. I think they are pretty well known for their EVOO, which they source for carefully and sell bottles of in each ESR. We liked this a lot and had seconds.
They do small plates here, so we started with some grilled octopus with baby potatoes and chilli. It was doused in a creamy aioli like sauce and had a bunch of herbs and perhaps whole grain mustard. The chilli went really well with the octopus, which were charred beautifully AND still tender.
An amazing combination. This was actually my first time eating octopus (I tend to shy away from it in Singapore because it’s rather chewy there) and I loved it. The new potatoes were really good too.
Then we had the best scallops ever in Seattle – seared over lentils and shaved fennel. I’m not a fan of lentils so I hardly touched those, but the scallops were simply amazing. Totally flavourful (not wet/water-injected) it was almost moving. They were cooked perfectly too, with the center a little on the undercooked, creamy side which was on point.
Then we shared the spaghetti with anchovies and pangrattato. In general their pastas come in larger portions than the appetizers. We weren’t able to finish this. Part of the problem (apart from the portion) was that it was way too salty for us. I’m not sure if it was cause of the garlic bread crumbs, but when we took it home I fried it up with more spaghetti and garlic chips to make a full meal for the both of us and made sure to add very little salt. It was delicious, I especially liked the anchovy and mint pairing, but just waaay too much sodium.
The dessert here was so good it was an out-of-body experience – I opted for the chocolate terrine, which Z expected to be chunks of chocolate pickled in aspic but was really more like a wodge of the creamiest mousse you’ll ever experience with some feuilletine and other forgettable layers that existed to highlight the creaminess of the mousse. Yes, and yes again. If they had this on every dessert menu of every restaurant I would only order this and nothing else.
I love this place and their seasonal menu, which I think changes every fortnight or so. Can’t wait to see what else they are gonna come up with! :D Went home and bought myself his cookbook immediately, which is not only full of great recipes (especially pasta ones) but also very, very funny.