For me, one of the highlights of the 2013 International Food Blogger Conference this past weekend was the Saturday night surprise supper hosted by Urbanspoon. I was quite lucky to get to eat at Michael Mina’s RN74 (1433 Fourth Avenue at Pike Street, Seattle, Wash. 98101). According to its website, “the cuisine at RN74 aims to be a perfect complement to the wines — creative, modern, but simple interpretations of regional French cuisine punctuated with seasonal, fresh ingredients and bold flavors, all executed with a signature original twist. Recently, OpenTable.com diners voted RN74 Seattle onto the 2012 OpenTable Diners’ Choice lists.” I can see why.
First off, the service was fantastic! I don’t think anyone ever wanted for food or drink once the dinner began. We were served family style and the wait staff, who knew we were food bloggers, patiently let us snap photos of each dish (all of my food photos were taken with my iPhone, so please excuse the quality of some of them.)
Our tasting menu consisted of three courses: Appetizers, main entrees and dessert. These were served with a gin-based mixed drink called the House Spirits Swizzle, and red and white wines.
The first course included Maitake Mushroom Tempura (citrus Mousseline, scallops); Warm Epoisses Cheese (sour cherries, buckwheat crêpes, toasted hazelnuts; Ahi Tuna Tartare (Scotch bonnet peppers, pine nuts, sesame oil, mint); and Tomato Soup Fondue (Emmenthaler grilled cheese.)
The mushroom tempura was fantastic! Earthy and crunchy at the same time.
The Epoisses crêpes were filled with ooey, gooey cheese. I was okay with the buckwheat crêpes, I guess, but probably would have liked it better with more traditional crêpes.
The Ahi tuna tartare was out of this world! They chopped the tuna and mixed it with the other ingredients at the table. It was oh, so fresh.
Last came the tomato soup fondue with Emmenthaler cheese croutons. Total comfort food – the croutons were excellent and the soup was creamy and perfectly seasoned. I need to make this at home!
On to the second course, which included: Painted Hills Côte de Boeuf (garlic frites, poivre sauce); Neah Bay Salmon (creamed lentils, red wine girolles); Pan Roasted Halibut (heirloom tomato, puttanesca); and Dungeness Crab Spaghetti (lemon, poppy seed, sweet butter.)
The beef was excellent – I loved the poivre (Brad would have, too!) Perfectly cooked and seasoned. I didn’t try the garlic frites but heard they were good.
The halibut was tasty – nice and flaky with great flavors and seared to perfection.
I only tried a bite of the crab spaghetti, which was rich and creamy, and none of the salmon because I wanted to save room for desserts. And I’m glad I did!
The third course started with Crunchy Chocolate Profiteroles (rocky road ice cream, Nutella) and ended with Croustillant (olive oil cake, lemon curd sherbet, huckleberry compote.) I’m still not sure which was my favorite – they both rocked!
Thanks IFBC and Urbanspoon for arranging such a great Saturday night! Not only did I get to sample some awesome food, but I also got to meet some great bloggers as well.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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There’s a special kind of magic that happens at the best restaurants, when everything comes together—charming service, scintillating company, great ambiance, flattering lighting (outstanding food is a must, of course)—and we walk out feeling as if dinner was worth every penny spent, even when we cringe a little the next day thinking about exactly how many pennies we spent.
So true, and so very well put, Roman.
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