As I take time to reflect back on 2011, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the most memorable things I ate in the past year in Seattle, Washington in no particular order:
1. Cured Pork Cheeks Confit Hash – Toulouse Petit, Seattle, WA
When I saw the Cured Pork Cheek Confit Hash featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate – Bang for the Buck episode, I knew I had to try it out. After the first bite, I was amazed at the complexity of flavours in this dish. The hash consisted of the smoky pork cheek pieces that were tender and flavourful along with perfectly fried fingerling potatoes, peppery arugula and perfectly cooked asparagus. It was all topped with two perfectly cooked overeasy eggs with a runny yolk that provided a silky coating to the hash. I loved the contrasting flavours and textures. This dish was phenomenal and easily one of the most memorable breakfast dishes I’ve ever had.
2. Cauliflower and White Truffle Soup with Dungeness Crab and Chervil – Toulouse Petit, Seattle, WA
Toulouse Petit was also voted one of the Ten Best Happy Hours in the Nation and some of the items did not fail to impress. This Cauliflower Soup with Dungeness Crab was out of this world. The soup was creamy, smooth, and velvety. They did not skimp on the crab either. The dungeness crab pieces were tender, fresh, and flavourful. And I thought the drizzle of white truffle oil added a nice flavour to the soup. I couldn’t believe how good this cauliflower soup tasted as I didn’t expect much initially from a bowl of cauliflower soup. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have ordered it if our server had not recommended it. Boy, was I sure glad I did! It was definitely the best bowl of cauliflower soup that I’ve ever had.
3. Dungeness Crab Ravigote over Fried Green Tomatoes – Toulouse Petit, Seattle, WA
Another dish that really impressed me at Toulouse Petit is their Dungeness Crab Ravigote over Fried Green Tomatoes. The slices of green tomatoes were lightly coated in a cornmeal crust and fried to perfection. On top of the crispy fried green tomatoes was a generous portion of Louisiana blue crab in a Tarragon-Chive Ravigote, which is a tangy white sauce seasoned with tarragon and chive. This dish was absolutely divine. The ravigote was light with the perfect amount of acidity that I could still taste the delicate sweet flavours of the blue crab.
4. Famous Made to Order Donuts – Dahlia Bakery, Seattle, WA
I’m not sure words can adequately describe how good these made to order donuts were. These warm, light, fluffy pillows of fried dough were absolutely divine and not like any other donut or beignet that I’ve ever tasted. Along with the mascarpone dip, these airy little pillows were little bites of heaven. The vanilla mascarpone tasted so good that I actually wanted to lick every last bit out of the container when we were done the donuts. The apple jam was quite tasty as well and acted as a nice contrast to the creamy mascarpone. I’m usually not a huge donut fan but these are out of this world as far as donuts are concerned. These definitely rank as one of the best donuts I ever ate.
5. Coco Pie Bite (Tom Douglas’ Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie) – Dahlia Bakery, Seattle, WA
This Coco Pie Bite is a bite-size version of Tom Douglas’ Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie so you can get a taste of the pie without having to get the whole pie or even a slice. This was easily one of the best tasting coconut cream pies that I’ve ever had. The pastry was flaky, light, and infused with coconut. The custard-like filling was rich and coconutty and contrasted nicely against the fresh vanilla whipped cream, which was topped with white chocolate and coconut flakes. I’m normally not even a coconut cream pie fan but Tom Douglas’ Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie has me converted. This is definitely a must-try item along with the Famous Donuts if you head to Dahlia Bakery.
6. New England Clam Chowder – Pike Place Chowder, Seattle, WA
Pike Place Chowder is famous for their chowders and has won numerous awards nationally and regionally for their chowders, in particular their New England Clam Chowder. This New England Clam Chowder was made with meaty clams flavoured with bacon, cream, and a secret blend of spices and herbs. This chowder was definitely tasty and easily one of the more memorable chowders that I’ve ever had. To me, this chowder had the perfect consistency. It wasn’t too runny or thick. I was impressed with how tender the clams were. This New England Clam Chowder from Pike Place Chowder is definitely a winner in my books!
601 Queen Anne Ave N
2001 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
Pike Place Chowder
Pike Place Market
1530 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101