The Restaurant I Cannot Name

It’s mean, I know. To write a review about a place that you don’t get to go. But I’m not doing it to be cruel. I’m not even doing it to brag, though that would be the appropriate thing to do, given the amazing-ness of the food. It should be the pride of every foodie in the city to have attended one of these dinners, and it is with great joy that I tell you that I’ve just enjoyed my second adventure at the Unnamed Restaurant.

Owned and operated by a lovely man out of his beautiful farm is simply a labor of love. You can see it in the joy that the man, and old school restaurateur type, greets newcomers as they enter. He grew up in the city and has since left his restaurant life in Seattle  and learned to live off the land on his farm.

My first experience at the Unnamed Restaurant was enlightening, a study in the miracle of an open kitchen, as I watched Joel, the endlessly good looking cook, make such endlessly good looking delicacies as whipped lardo from the pigs on the farm. Nearly everything served at the dinners comes from the farm, with the exception of six items: salt, pepper, flour, sugar, coffee and wine. I doth protest on the salt, that it shouldn’t be so difficult, i.e. see here, but I’m not sure it resonated.

This time out, Morgan was cooking. We started, as always, with pizzas–today it was prosciutto, caramelized onion and… something else, while the other had the garden’s bull horn peppers. Then we sat and started in on the soup, a tomato and cabbage, rustic farmhouse soup. The best part of the soup course, as Lauren wrote, here, is the raw butter with fresh, hot, delicious rolls. Then we moved onto the antipasto course, with aged cheese, beef carpaccio, tomato jam and pickled squash. The wine kicks in here and I only want to tell you about how great the people sitting next to us were, a pair of Microsoft-y couples that kept us laughing throughout the long meal. We had (be still, my beating heart) lamb testicles. They were amazing. I promise I don’t just eat these things for the shock value, but they were tender, soft, flavorful. I remember a beet salad, a chicory and apple salad with apple cider vinegar, whole wheat tagliatelle with guanciale, potatoes au gratin, and a beef roast stuffed with leeks. I know the dessert was apples and caramel over rose geranium ice cream. I know I’m missing some of the amazing things we ate, and maybe if Frank, who so kindly drove us, remembers more, he can fill it in. I will tell you that 3 months later since my last trip to the farm, I not only still remember the whipped lardo, but also the butter sauteed ravioli with fresh ricotta and other incredible elements.

At the price of $100 fro a ten course meal with all the wine you can drink all coming from 13 acres just a 25 minute ferry ride outside of Seattle, this seems like a deal too good to be true. Well, unfortunately it is. The only way to get in is to go with someone who has been before. There are about 20 spots each week–the dinner is served every Sunday night, and even from the list of more than 1000 people trying to go, each prospective diner must write an essay answering that months question to earn their spot.

I write about this dinner, not, as it might seem, to brag about my great experiences, but to highlight what an amazing place with such amazing food exists. To hope for and support the future of places like this.

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2 Responses

  1. I am but a simple man. One of my favorites was the roasted pepper gratin with fresh cheese. A nicely layered dish of peppers, farm-made cheese and sprinkled with breadcrumbs on top. A simple “shouldn’t I be making this at home?” kind of dish that combined the fresh full flavor of the peppers grown in a green house not 30 feet from our table with the salty, creaminess of the fresh cheese.

    I also truly enjoyed the beets and the perfectly sweet tomato jam that was part of the antipasto platter.

    One dish you forgot was the roasted squash wrapped in prosciutto and roasted again that the MSFT crew loved so much, but which I thought was just ok. (I guess I kind of expected more of the usually sweetness that squash has to come through to balance with the saltiness of the prosciutto). I liked it, but it wasn’t one of my favorites.

  2. I am so happy that you went again. Isn’t the tomato jam to die for? I can taste it now…

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