Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinner with Us at Oxbow Farm- July 16

Come July you’ll also find us out cooking on the farm, with the great team from Outstanding in the Field, the group of culinary vagabonds who stage white-tablecloth dinners in farm fields across North America. On Thursday, July 16 we’ll be cooking up a five course farm-to-table dinner to be enjoyed at a long communal table at Oxbow Farm in Carnation.

Working out of an al fresco kitchen, we’ll be making some great dishes to showcase the crops from Oxbow along with food from the artisans of Stokesberry Farm and Black Sheep Creamery and the wines from Novelty Hill - Januik Winery. The dinner starts with a 4pm tour of Oxbow by Luke and Adam. Guests then take their seats at the long, linen-draped expanse set between the soil and the sky. During dinner, the farmers and producers from Oxbow, Stokesberry, Black Sheep and winemaker Michael Januik will share the table with guests and talk about where the food on the plate and wine in the glass came from and what it takes to get it there.

Cost of the July 16 Outstanding in the Field dinner is $180, with wines paired to each course throughout the five-course meal. For more information and to make reservations visit We'd love to see you there.

Photo of a recent Outstanding in the Field farm dinner.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rebekah Denn's review of the Alinea book for the CSMonitor

Rebekah wrote a great article on the Alinea cookbook, which alienated art critic Regina Hackett who called it "soul-less" and conversely was a source of inspiration for Spur's chefs. To read Denn's entire piece, click the link above. In the meantime, here's what Denn reported we said about the book:

"I wanted to lug it one step further, and there I hit “Alinea”’s true niche. It was in the kitchen of Spur, a new Seattle restaurant that has won wild fans with splashy, chemistry-enhanced creations such as a deep-fried Bearnaise sauce.

Co-owners Dana Tough and Brian McCracken didn’t need to look at my copy of “Alinea” when I walked in holding it under my arm – they already had their own on Spur’s kitchen bookshelf, cover already gone and pages well-thumbed. “We jumped on this right when it came out,” said Tough.

Did the book speak to them, I asked? “We find recipes in [the Alinea book], and they inspire us to mess with those and come up with something different,” said McCracken. “What [chef Grant Achatz] is doing here is all revolutionary,” Tough said. “It’s all trying out new things, and seeing where he can take food.” The book “helps us lowly chefs around the country to come up with other things ourselves.”

Even the price – $50, stunningly inexpensive for a book of its production level –was a treat for the young restaurateurs, endowed with more creativity than cash. The price break must have been, Tough thought, “so that chefs could buy it.” The book’s audience was smaller than I had first pictured, but it was there. The book was more than the lab notebook it seemed to me, or the pretentiousness it broadcast to Regina. For the two young chefs, it was a heady hit of inspiration, on every page."

Photo of Alinea cookbook.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spur makes list of top five new gastropubs in the country

Click blog title above to read the article in this month’s DRAFT magazine

The editor of one of beer lover’s favorite magazines, DRAFT, came through Seattle a few month’s back. The result of her visit? A great write-up in their article on gastropubs and their top national picks.

We hope you’ll take a moment to read the entire article online. Here’s just a bit of it: “In the kitchen, McCracken and Tough match the bravado of the bar with neo-American dishes like a luscious, earthy Tagliatele pasta with oyster mushrooms, duck egg, and parmesan foam, and the most addictive menu item, pork-belly sliders with heirloom apples atop buttery buns. Nearly every ingredient is native to the Northwest: An exquisite buttermilk-fried rabbit confit hails from Oregon, while the butterfish, cooked sous-vide until it’s so soft it’s cheeselike and served with pickled grapefruit, was plucked from the nearby Pacific.”

June Menu at Spur

Baby Lettuces 9
speck. almond. sherry vinaigrette.

Sockeye Salmon Crostini 9
mascarpone. caper. pickled shallot.

Yakima Asparagus 10
spring onion. hollandaise. miners lettuce.

Parmesan Gnocchi 9
spring vegetables. chive pudding.

Hamachi Tartare 16
chiogga beet. champagne vinegar. horseradish leaf.

Veal Sweetbreads 18
fava bean. spring onion jam.

Tagliatelle 14
oyster mushroom. parmesan. duck egg.

Washington Chicken Confit 10
black pepper glaze. mascarpone. horseradish.

Spring Game Hen 22
english peas. baby carrots.

Pork Belly Sliders 12
heirloom apple. mustard. bourbon.

Ostrich Burger 15
ramps. buttermilk bleu cheese. shoestrings.

Lamb Saddle 24
spring vegetables. gnocchi. fines herbs.