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Friday, April 30, 2010

in praise of our seattle restaurant week meal at stumbling goat bistro

yesterday wrapped up 10 days of seattle restaurant week during which more than 100 restaurants served up 3 courses for $25. this is a better deal at some restaurants than at others, but to me it's just a great excuse to get out to new places and see what wonderful things are happening in their kitchens. 

on wednesday, we went to stumbling goat bistro. i knew about them because they are mentioned in the book i talked about in a january post, having attended the quillisascut farm school for the domestic arts. their style is right up my alley, pacific northwest cooking using high-quality seasonal ingredients. this was a spectacular meal! (though, admittedly, they had me at "attended the quillisascut farm school for the domestic arts"...)

before we even got to our three courses, we started with some fresh crusty bread and a duo of delicious spreads. one was tomato based, the other olive. 

my starter was steamed mussels in a warm champagne curry broth, and they were wonderful. i'm not certain, but i think that's fennel in there, too. usually rob and i share a starter, and he's really not into shellfish, so having my own bowl of steamed clams kinda rocked.

rob had the puree of stinging nettle soup. stinging nettles don't sound like they would make for good eats, but despite their attempts at self defense, cooking removes their sting and they become, for example, a delicious puree with tarragon, folded into a potato and leek soup base. this is nettle foraging season, and i may just gather up the courage to buy some from foraged and found edibles at the farmers market and give some soup a try, now that i tried this one and confirmed that it was as painless as it was super tasty. 

my main course was roasted idaho rainbow trout with pancetta, peas, and roasted pearl onions. i picked the trout because, believe it or not, i've been able to sift through the "okay to eat/avoid avoid avoid" seafood information long enough that i've retained a thing or two. and one thing i've learned is that farmed trout is on the list you can feel good about. 

this dish was flawless, if you ask me.  the trout was fully deboned and perfectly cooked with a nice, crispy skin. the peas were fresh and sweet, and the seasoning was just right, between the salty pancetta, the sweet roasted onions, and the lemony, buttery sauce. i ate the whole thing, and it's rare that i don't save some for leftovers when we go out. 

rob's dish was described as the "dark horse" of the menu. he had pork and beans. seriously. the dish was a cassoulet* of at least three different heirloom beans with smoked mushrooms served over kale, topped with a melt-in-your-mouth pork confit*. but the really cool part to me was that it actually maintained the flavor of the pork and beans we all know and (used to) love! the familiarity was in  the slightly sweet, light tomato-y sauce. this is what pork n' beans becomes after it grows up and gets a high-paying job and starts wearing fancy shoes. if only i could put this in a can and take it camping! (not a bad idea! stumbling goat, you listening?)

oy, dessert. rob had the pot de creme*. their menu describes it as an orange-infused milk chocolate custard with almond toffee. spectacular. but i didn't spend a lot of time with his because look what i had...

this was a dessert special, and frankly i can't even remember everything they told me about it. it was a chocolate terrine* with layers of chocolate ganache* and some other chocolate stuff and a ribbon of pistachio with a raspberry coulis. OMG! i admit, it was an odd choice after 2 courses of seafood, but i feel certain i made the right decision. if i'm only having a dessert craving once every 4 months, i want it to be a good one. and this was out of this world!

thanks for a great meal, stumbling goat!

*no, as a matter of fact, i really don't entirely know what this means... :)


  1. We used to live right there and never made it in. Too bad! That chocolate custard sounds right up my alley. And if you do beware: They hurt!

    But they make a lovely cream soup and I buy them dried from Jeremy and add them to soups all winter. I could forage them but taking my two crazy high energy boys into a stinging nettle patch is prolly not a good idea...

  2. ouch! there's so much to select from at the markets now that spring and summer produce is waking up, i'm not sure if i'll be tempted enough or not. i hear they are super nutritious, though, so maybe!