August 16, 2009

The pork-filled wedding reception that led to a fabulous dinner out

Yesterday we went to the wedding of Rik's former student teacher. It was an unseasonably cold August afternoon, even for Seattle. Underneath my dress I wore a camisole and slip, plus a sweater and shawl over everything, in an effort to keep warm in the 60 degree temperature.

The bride was beautiful. The groom teared up during the very short ceremony and had to borrow her hankie. Since we were all standing, it's just as well that the whole thing only took about ten minutes. We had a glass of wine to celebrate and then saw the menu sign posted on the buffet table. Main dish? Pork tenderloin. Appetizers? Bacon rolled around something, cured meats (more pork, no doubt). As kosher-keeping Jews, pork is not on our diet. The thought of sitting outdoors in the cold, eating salad and not knowing anyone else at the reception, was enough to convince us to sneak away early.

Because it wasn't even six o'clock yet, we went up to Capitol Hill in an attempt to see if there was a table available at Jerry Traunfeld's restaurant, Poppy. Our lucky day -- there was one table left!

With glasses of viognier (Rik) and sparkling cava (Jill) in hand, we enjoyed the most amazing dinner EVER. Traunfeld was the chef at The Herbfarm for many years and although we never had the chance to enjoy his cooking there, I had read about him many times. Poppy is his attempt to create a more accessible restaurant following the same commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients and as many herbs as possible.

The menu follows the Indian custom of thali, where several small dishes share one platter and the diner chooses at will in what order to eat. My thali (actually a "smallie" included:
Green gazpacho with lemon basil
Melon, sungold tomato and huckleberry salad
Grilled Wagyu Denver steak with Walla Walla onions and farro
4-spice fingerling potatoes with mint
Zucchini-basil gratin
Cucumber-radish kimchi
and in a nod to India, Nigella naan

Rik's was similar but featured onion soup and salmon. Delish!

We shared a dessert thali, which featured roasted bing cherries with almond streusel and honey-lavender ice cream, a chocolate cookie-mint ice cream sandwich with bittersweet chocolate sauce, cumin cashews, small cream puffs, apricot jellies and nutter-butter squares. It was heavenly and I ate more than my share.

This was one of the most decadent and enjoyable meals I have ever eaten. It was worth every penny! Based on the crowd filling the place, there is no recession in Seattle.


  1. sounds completely fabulous and since we are coming back to Seattle next July I will definitely visit

  2. Wow, the desert made me drool!!!!

    You make me giggle though 60 degrees is quite warm here in the UK!!!