Monday, June 16, 2008

Cascadia

Cascadia, Seattle
Upscale restaurant in Seattle's Belltown area

We were meeting a friend in Seattle for dinner. He had heard good things about Cascadia and the chef had just agreed to sell the restaurant and take over in the kitchen of the new Four Seasons this fall, so it was an obvious choice for a group of foodies.

Rather than eat in the dining room, we opted for the bar, with large windows onto the sidewalk for people- and weather-watching, and a nice view of the sound. The bar menu, more casual, is famous for their mini-burgers and snowball martinis. Mark tried the snowball martini, a vodka concoction with, yes, a small snowball in it. It comes with a small sprig of fir in it, giving the drink a real alpine flavor. Mark enjoyed it so much he had two.

Service was impeccable up until the food was ordered. As seemed to happen a couple times in Seattle, we weren't completely understood when we ordered the mini-burgers, and our waitress brought twice as many as we'd actually ordered. Fortunately, they were good enough that we finished most of them. Maybe it's our California accent.

The mini-burgers are indeed worth the trip. You can get beef, salmon, or veggie, all of which got high marks. The salmon is an actual ground salmon burger rather than a small fillet of salmon on a bun. Mark liked the beef, while Tim's favorite was the veggie, with a good curry flavor, especially with a fried onion topping. We also got dijon, cheddar cheese, bleu cheese, chipotle pepper dip, and a cone of French fries, which scored pretty high on our French fry scale: thin and crispy, good potato taste.

The only other thing we ordered was the artisan cheese plate, offering a good variety of cheeses: a bleu, a couple soft cheeses (including a cow cream cheese that we all liked), a white cheddar, and a Swiss. We had trouble picking a favorite from the plate, but the bleu was very popular: nice, creamy, and sharp. All the breads supplied with it were nice too, crispy flatbreads and crunchy breadsticks.

Even the lounge menu was rather pricey, but for location and ambiance, you won't be disappointed. We don't know what Cascadia will be like after it's sold, but if you can get there this summer, check out the mini-burgers and enjoy the view out the window.

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