Guest Blogger! Sous Chef “Cooks”!

24 04 2009

Okay, first off, I’d like to point out that the cook’s co-worker, who actually works in a restaurant kitchen as his other job, says that technically I count as a prep chef. Because I cut vegetables. (I am mediocre at it. The Regularly Scheduled Chef Says: she is much better than she gives herself credit for. And all my comments will be in green from now on!)

I do one of two things when I’m in charge of food: a) make tator tot casserole or b) take us out to eat! Thursday was the cook’s birthday, and when my first brilliant birthday plan went south (it didn’t go south it just postponed), I had about 24 hours to come up with a new idea. Easy: let’s go out to eat.

The cook, however, was quite difficult when I tried to find out what kind of food he was in the mood for. Personally I kind of wanted Italian, but that’s pretty much 90% cheese and heavy cream – no good for the cook with the dairy allergy. Thus, I turned to the internet: Yelp! Help me! In ten minutes I new exactly where we were going: The Stumbling Goat.

The Stumbling Goat is a small bistro in the quiet Phinney Ridge neighborhood. In Seattle it’s not hard to find a restaurant that does all locally grown food, but the Goat had almost all good reviews, and I liked the Phinney neighborhood.

Now, although I was instructed to keep the receipt so we’d have the names of each part of our meal, I promptly misplaced it. So let’s just say, we started with cheese.

FANCY CHEESE

FANCY CHEESE

This cheese is either goat or sheep (sheep), because it’s less irritating to the cook’s tum-tum. (HA! I said tum-tum.) It’s a hard cheese, which also makes it less damaging to my cholesterol level. Sharp and delicious! We ate it up along with two slices each of bread and butter. I commented on how I was glad they didn’t bring us TOO much bread, as I tend to fill up on carbs before the “real” food even arrives!

Our other appetizer is also not on the Goat’s online menu (I went there looking for the cheese!) – it was last night’s special.

BACONNNN

BACONNNN

Okay, calm down…. ahem. The appetizer special of the evening was a bruschetta with grilled asparagus and house-made maple smoked bacon. Let us pause for a moment to fully appreciate the thick-cut, gloriously meaty properties of that slab of bacon. Are you appreciating? Good, because it was AMAZING. We tried to remember the other ingredients, I promise. Obviously, there are some greens on top (watercress greens I believe). The white bottom layer was some sort of cheesy goodness, ricotta-like in consistency but far more flavorful. There was also a fancy mustard sauce and maybe something involving apples (crab apples I believe) . It was inconveniently sliced into 3 pieces, so we each ate one and had to bite the third in half. At this point, we were SOLD on the Stumbling Goat. We could have ordered four more plates of this appetizer and been good as gold. The combination of flavors was honestly kind of mindblowing(YES!!!!!!).

Onward to the main dishes!

Christopher's Entree

The Cook's Entree

The Goat had a tiny menu, and only one vegetarian option. The Cook, who is distinctly not vegetarian, chose it because he had just been thinking about how he’s never had polenta.

From the Goat’s website:

Walnut & Fromage Blanc Baked Polenta
with local greens, baby vegetables & balsamic reduction

The funny story about the vegetables is that both The Cook AND a woman next to him asked about the small quartered white things – they are, it turns out, baby turnips. The polenta comes in the form of almost a “sandwich” – a graceless and poor depiction of such a fantastic food. Polenta on the top and bottom; the center was the cheese and walnuts. Some onions, also, I believe. One of the things the cook was most excited about was the presence of lovage, an item we’d at least once attempted to find in a farmer’s market, even though we weren’t sure what we were looking for. We took the opportunity to ask the waiter, who reported that the lovage is a green, pureed and on the plate, as you see above. I had only a bite but it was delicious – I’ll let the cook detail if he so chooses. There are leftovers in my fridge.

The Sous Chef's Entree

The Sous Chef's Entree

From the Goat’s website:

Pan Seared St. Judes Albacore Tuna
with cerignola olives, emmer faro & Pipitone Farm San Marzano tomatoes

Of course I forgot exactly what “pan-seared” means, so I was slightly surprised – but not at all disappointed- to receive these almost sushi-like slices of tuna. The faro is the bed of delicious grains, and the olives were fantastic. I can’t even begin to list all of the spices encrusting that delicious damn tuna, but they were perfect. The tomato sauce was light and not overwhelmingly saucey, if that makes any sense. It was clearly a far cry from your standard spaghetti sauce. Did I mention the olives? They were fantastic. Such a fabulous addition.

Mashed Potato Pile!

Mashed Potato Pile!

Er, well, true to my Midwest form, I couldn’t escape ordering a side of mashed potatoes. They came with only one of the entrees, and neither the cook nor I ordered it. We split this glorious pile. Doesn’t it look delicious? (Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
M
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)Yes, it does. And that’s because it was. Even though we were insanely full, we finished the potatoes, because how can you not?

At this point, we were counting ourselves out for dessert. Although I was considering asking if we could order some and get it boxed up to go, I was leaning toward stopping at the grocery store for a piece of cake after we’d gotten through the second half of the birthday date (improv!) and had some time to digest. But when he boxed up our remaining entrees for take-home, he brought us dessert menus and described the night’s dessert special… and we were goners. The cook ordered the special almost before the waiter had time to finish describing it. Observe:

Stop drooling.

Stop drooling.

Okay. So here we have: rhubarb and strawberries. That’s when the cook was sold. But then the waiter went on to say: lemon glaze. YES PLEASE.

I highly recommend The Stumbling Goat for two things: 1) it’s a special occasional and you are willing to gut your wallet for an amazing meal, or 2) maybe you go for happy hour. Good atmosphere, great service, fantastic food. (Spacious bathroom!) And also, the cook now thinks I am the BEST EVER.

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2 responses

24 04 2009
Andrew

Great review, wonderful-looking food. It has been so long since I’ve had mashed potatoes, I kind of want to just hop inside and eat my way out.

-Andrew(sarcasm)

25 04 2009
CN from HD

THIS PLACE LOOKS HEAVENLY

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