Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Turkish Wines Embraced by Seattle's Top Restaurant

With Seattle being one of the more sophisticated wine markets in the country, it’s only appropriate that a new category of wines in the US is emerging here.

Top restaurants in Seattle are now serving Turkish wines. You can spot Turkish wines on the already impressive wine lists at Maria Hines’ Golden Beetle, Jason Wilson’s Miller’s Guild and Meeru Dhalwala’s Shanik to name a few.

Cichetti, Toulouse Petit, and Re: Public also carry a comprehensive line up of Turkish wines. Here, wine enthusiasts can taste their way through different wine regions of Turkey. Barrel Thief and specialty wine stores are also introducing Turkish wines to Seattle’s wine scene.

Turkish reds tend to be higher in tannins and therefore pair beautifully with steaks, pastas, and lamb. Gali’s blend, from Thrace, is an example of a delicious savory old-world style wine that will surely capture the hearts and minds of the some of the toughest wine critics among us (coming soon to Metropolitan Grill).

After a recent tour of Turkish wine region, Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein says, “Turkey is justly positioned to be the next ‘break out’ country for wine lovers seeking a new region that offers both the familiar classic vinifera varieties and the exotic”.

Seattle-based importer Olga Rai of VinoRai is the force behind this debut of Turkish wines.

Rai has channeled her passion for wine into bringing Turkish wines to the US wine lovers; “We offer an exciting new wine experience. We’re very pleased with the reception Turkish wines have received in our local market. People in Seattle are open-minded, educated and willing to try a new category of wines and are curious about the story of Turkish wines”

Turkey is also considered the birthplace of wine. Its rich history in the art of winemaking dates back to 9000 B.C. Located at the same latitude as Napa Valley, Turkey has a staggering 800 different indigenous grape varietals. Its native varietals are definitely are not to be missed!

Rai adds, “There’s a lot of excitement building about Turkish wines. We have several native varietals arriving for the fall and we’re excited to be hosting one of our producers, Nilgun Kavur, of Gali Wines here in Seattle at the end of August.”

The First Annual Big Melt, Seattle's Grilled Cheese Festival

What’s your favorite kind of grilled cheese sandwich? Are you a traditionalist or perhaps more of an adventurer? Regardless, you'll want to be at Seattle’s only grilled cheese festival, The Big Melt.

The ooey-gooey goodness of melted cheese combined with the crisp crunch of hearty grilled bread are the essential elements of one of the most simple, yet classic, comfort food creations. Participants in The Big Melt will be adding their own twists to the classic as they try to stand out from the crowd.

Festival-goers will reap the rewards as they sample creations from Beecher's Seattle, Metropolitan Market, The Ultimate Melt and others while also enjoying award-winning craft beer from Stoup Brewing, local wines and other local specialty beverages, snacks and desserts.

The Big Melt will support Northwest Harvest as attendees will be asked to contribute to the "mac and cheese tower" by donating boxes upon arrival.

Event: The Big Melt
Date: Sept. 7
Time: 11am-4pm on Sun.,
Place: Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park (7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115).
Visit for more information.

The Big Melt is brought to you by Fork, an iPhone app and community of food, photos and friends. Attendees and participants will be using the Fork app to compete against one another to see who can take the best grilled-cheese photo during the event.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kaisho Restaurant Brings Asian Street Fare to Capitol Hill

The Kaisho team has relaunched Kaisho Restaurant in Capitol Hill with an asian street style theme, leaner menu, farm-to-table focus, and with the talented executive chef Kalen Schramke who moved over from the original Kaisho in Bellevue.

The new restaurant is hip, approachable, and focuses more of a city approach with a larger bar, open seating and less on the full dining experience. 

Some great new additions to keep an eye out are the following: 
  • Sake cart: Kaisho guests can sample and try a number of different types of sake (dry, sweet to spicy) as it's being wheeled around the restaurant. Guests can order from a list of over 40 sakes and also purchase sake flights. 
  • Spices: If you are a person who love spicy, and yes I'm talking about those who ask for Sriracha everywhere you go, executive chef Kalen Schramke has made is own sauces that will turn up the heat. We like to keep this a little secret, but go ahead and ask and he'll bring out some samples for you. 
  • Menu: The menu is far more simplified than its previous location in Bellevue, one page for dishes, one page for drinks. Pick from a range of dim sum items, noodles, meat, and vegetable plates.

Here are some dishes we recommend: 
  • Thai style fried chicken: This is an absolute MUST, seriously, if you love chicken, you're about to be in heaven. The chicken is local from mt. vernon hormone free. Give yourself 20 minutes to cook as it's made fresh to order. Take a look at pictures here
  • House smoked brisket gyoza: There's something about these that make us wanting more. It's different than your traditional gyoza as it's filled with a savory house smoked brisket that is full of flavor and the red dragon sauce make's it that much better. 
  • Potato cheddar dumpling: This is a magical dumpling, each bite will make you see rainbows. The combination of the creme fraiche and house-made bacon is full of flavor. 
  • Beef short ribs noodles: If you're craving noodles, this is a must too. The coconut braised beef is super tender and has a great sweet flavor to it, combine that with the chillies, peanuts and dandelion greens, you'll want more of it. 
  • Bao burger: The Kaisho experience isn't complete without trying this burger. Your typical bread is replaced by a soft, sweet steam bun and wedged in between is a juicy, ground beef burger with shoe string onions, special sauce. This goes great with some extra hot sauce. 

Scroll down for pictures. Comment below if you have any questions. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

5th Annual All White Party is Now Sold Out, Get on the WaitList

The popular All White Party is back for its fifth year! The party was started by Jeff Otis and Bryan Otis of Matthews Winery in Woodinville, where the event was held for the first three years. But due to space constraints, parking, curfew, and crazy growth, the Otis brothers combined efforts in year 4 with Brenton Webster and moved the party to the Seattle Waterfront - where 3000 people joined us dressed in all white and partied the night away!

This year, the guys from Matthews Winery are showcasing a special vintage called the "AWP All White Blend" that will be available exclusively at the All White Party. If you haven't purchased your tickets, get on the waitlist, fast! Must be 21 to get in.

Get on the waitlist here.

Li’l Woody’s Teams Up With Beecher’s To Create the "World's Best Mac & Cheese" Burger

“World’s Best Mac & Cheese” is the upcoming Li’l Woody’s burger of this week --August 19-25. The Beecher’s Mac & Cheese burger will feature a scoop of Beecher’s beloved mac & cheese, a slice of Beecher’s “No Woman” cheese, Hills bacon and green onions. Get them while they last!

Hailed by Oprah as one of her “favorite things” in 2010, Beecher’s has a following across the globe. Li’l Woody’s has received such accolades as winner of 2013’s Seattle Weekly Burger Battle and Seattle Magazine Best Burger (readers choice) 2012 and 2014. The all-Northwest collaboration between Li’l Woody’s and Beecher’s is chronicled in a new video, which shows the making of the burger. (

The Beecher's "World's Best Mac & Cheese" is made up of their Flagship and "Just Jack" cheeses, with an addition of the "No Woman" cheese slice. 

“This burger is one amazing creation,” says owner Marcus Lalario. “If Oprah knew about it, she’d be in line with everyone else.”

About Li’l Woody’s:
Li’l Woody’s Burgers has two locations: Capitol Hill at 1211 Pine Street; and Ballard at 2040 NW Market Street. Both are neighborhood hot spots, for locals and visitors alike. Business hours are 11am-11pm Monday through Thursday and 11am-10pm Sundays in both locations; Ballard is open 11am-10pm on Friday and Saturday while Capitol Hill stays open until 3am on weekends.

About Beecher’s:
A cheese lover since childhood, Kurt Beecher Dammeier remembers encouraging his mother to buy artisan cheese at a time when processed cheese was overtaking the market. In 2002, Kurt was walking through Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market and noticed that a long-time tenant had closed up shop. Inspired, he called the landlord, returned to his office and announced they were going into the cheesemaking business. Flavor and purity go hand in hand at Beecher's. All products are free of bovine growth hormones, hydrogenated oils, nitrates and polysorbate.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

B-bag: The Fashionable, High-Quality Bag For The Craft Bartending Professional On-The-Go

A carpenter is never far from a toolbox. A fisherman doesn’t leave home without a tackle box. And now a bartender can carry everything from a cocktail shaker to a bar spoon on the go with a high-quality handmade bag designed and assembled right here in Seattle, a mecca for the thriving craft cocktail scene.

Barkeeper & Co. has developed the B-bag, the perfect complement for the bartender who loves crafting that perfect cocktail. The waxed filter twill canvas exterior has a zipped pocket that will hold a wide variety of bartending tools. The interior has a water-resistant, hand-washable liner and a unique adjustable insert made by Trek Pak that provides space for up to eight bottles of liquor and wine or shakers and mixing glasses.

The bag was inspired by the work of Barkeeper & Co co-founder John Ueding, craft distilleries manger for Seattle-based Click Distributing and owner of Mixing Glass Consulting, which helps restaurants improve their cocktail offerings. Ueding is also the creator of Amaro No 1, winner of the Double Gold Medal/Best in Category in the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft American Spirits competition.

Over time, Ueding built a collection of high-quality tools that were used at everything from local bar demonstrations to the Iron Mixologist contest. Finding an ideal bag to store everything was a greater challenge. “The bags were either extremely expensive or ugly and not very functional,” Ueding said.

Over beer at the Hilltop Ale House, Ueding and fellow bartender Craig Krueger realized they could build that bag — one that would meet the needs of bartenders, distillers and others in the industry. Krueger came to the partnership after running two successful businesses: Shake Bartenders, a top-shelf bartending service in Seattle and Southern California and Local Craft Tours, guided tours of Seattle’s top distilleries that was featured on KING 5’s Evening Magazine.

“I wanted to use my progressive entrepreneurial business startup skills and create a one-of-a-kind product — the perfect bartenders bag that neither I nor any of my staff had for events,” Krueger said.

Bartender & Co. is working toward a year-end launch for the B-bag that includes a nationwide Kickstarter campaign in September and partnerships with local companies including Scrappy’s Bitters, Bradley's Tonic Co. and “Aphrodisiacs, with a Twist” author Mark Sexauer.

While the bag is designed for the professional bartender, the B-bag is versatile enough for anyone who enjoys owning a well-made bag.

“It's a craft bartenders bag, a bar bag for the cocktail/wine connoisseur or even a bag for a Orange County housewife wanting to take all of the ingredients of her favorite cocktail to a dinner or private event,” Krueger said. “Throw all the tools and inserts out and you have yourself a weekend bag.”

Photo credit to Clane Gessel

Burger-vores Rejoice! 8 oz Burger and Co. Opens Second Location in Ballard Wednesday

Ballard is getting even more delicious this week with the addition of 8oz. Burger and Co., the second location for the rustic burger joint that has proven that “not all burgers are created equal.” The Ballard location will continue with 8oz. Burger and Co.’s commitment to using raised grass-fed natural meats from Northwest farmers, and locally sourced sustainable products- including a well-stocked selection of local spirits and brews. The restaurant’s bar will offer more than 50 whiskies, 12 beers on draft and craft cocktails with house made ingredients. The new eatery is located at ­­­­2401 NW Market Street and is slated to open its doors Wednesday, August 20th for Happy Hour and dinner service beginning at 4pm. Details can be found at .

8oz. Burger and Co.’s menu will boast many of the Seattle-themed designer burgers
that have become the trademark for 8oz., earning them numerous awards including “Best Burger in Seattle” by Eater and “Top 10 Fries in Seattle” by Seattle Met. There will, however, be some offerings unique to the Ballard location- like the “PB & J Burger”- a house blend patty, frisee, tomato jam, cinnamon spiced peanut butter, fontina, and bacon on a pretzel bun.

It’s just such out-of-the-box delicious creations cooked up by owner Kevin Chung, himself, that have made a name for 8 oz. Burger and Co. in Seattle. In November, the Capitol Hill location re-branded, breaking free form the 8oz. Burger Bar National chain completely, with a new name to match the completely independent menu. “We are thrilled to be expanding into Ballard,” says Chung. “We’ll be continuing with the things that have made 8oz. Burger and Co. so popular, with its own Ballard spin. Chris Fogal, our Bar Manager, came to us after pouring drinks at Il Bistro, Blue Water Bistro, Night Kitchen, Matador and Tom Douglas’ Tanakasan. He created our season craft cocktail menu on Capitol Hill and will be heading up the bar at Ballard, as well. The focus is local- lots of craft beers and a large selection of top shelf bourbons and rye.”

The newly renovated and restyled space features many elements that are similar to the Capitol Hill location- like reclaimed wood, subway tiles, and butcher block tables- with its own Ballard twist. Some unique design elements will include a metal hook and rope chandelier, a gorgeous cooling element displaying fresh produce, meats, and local kegs, and 5 murals painted by renowned Seattle artist, Japhy White.

It’s his passion for getting things just right, that took Chung around the country in search of the ultimate burger. He worked on perfecting the craft as the owner of a neighborhood restaurant in Magnolia for three years before opening 8 Oz. Burger and Co. on Capitol Hill.

Photo credit to 8 oz Burger and Co.

September Sunday Feast at Tavolàta is Cuisine of the Mediterranean

The September Feast at Tavolàta celebrates the wonderful flavors of the Mediterranean with a menu that travels though Spain, France, and Italy. Chef Addam Buzzalini starts the September 7 meal in Malaga with a summer gazpacho and moves though Spain’s coastal cities before going on to France and its island of Corsica for fresh oysters. After France, it’s over to Italy for two classic hearty dishes, then a beautiful dessert from Malta!

Dinner is $65 per person and as the Sunday Feasts often sell out, reservations are required.

Here’s the menu:

First (Spain):
  • Malaga Porra Anteguerana: tomato gazpacho with air-cured ham
  • Valencia Arros amb Costra: hand-made sausages with red pepper sauce and a fried egg
  • Barcelona Tapas: country olives, prawns with garlic, smoked mussels, and 18-month Manchego with tomato-rubbed crostini and olive oil
Second (France):
  • Marseille Bouillabaisse with local fish and shellfish and traditional rouille toast
  • Corsica Freshly-shucked oysters, cured meats, and grilled Loupe de Mer with peppers and onions
Third (Italy):
  • Sardinia Wild Boar Ragu with fregola sarda
  • Rome Tripe stewed in tomato sauce with Pecorino Romano
  • Malta Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with smoked local honey, king figs, and pastry
Dinner will be served family style at the communal table (tavolàta) where seating is limited to 26 guests. Dinner begins at 6pm and the cost is $65 per person. Reservations are required. Please call 206.838.8008 to reserve your spot.

2014 Sunday Feasts – SAVE THE DATE
October 12 — Duck, Squab, & Quail
November 2 — Braised Meats
December 7 — Lobster

Opened in January of 2007 by chef Ethan Stowell, Tavolàta is an urban Italian eatery located at 2323 Second Avenue in Seattle’s bustling Belltown neighborhood. Sublime house made pastas, simple Italian cuisine, and a 30-foot communal table (tavolàta) that runs down the center of the narrow room keeps the crowds coming back. Tavolàta offers a full bar and a selection of Northwest and Italian wines. Tavolàta serves dinner seven nights a week from 5pm to 11pm. A happy hour bar menu is offered from 5pm – 7pm every evening. Tavolàta has a small patio for seasonal dining. For more information or reservations, call 206.838.8008 or visit

Photo credit to Ethan Stowell