ippudo, new york.

i love ramen. a lot. and ippudo is worth writing home about. the lunch set is pretty epic; a side salad, your choice of rice bowl (in my case fried chicken), ramen (my choice:  the akamaru modern with housemate noodles, umami miso paste, pork, cabbage, mushroom, scallion, plus a seasoned soft boiled egg!) i wanted to eat here again as soon as we left and am sad they don’t have a san francisco location.

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spinasse, seattle.

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spinasse, homemade pasta, good wine, creative vegetable dishes, great ambiance, perfect company. really enjoyed the brussels side, wild ramps with soft boiled egg, salad of cauliflower three ways, and cabbage special. our dinner was paired with a barbera that was well balanced, fruit forward and dry – delicious.

the housemade egg pasta with butter and sage sauce is a signature dish and came highly recommended, but didn’t end up being our favorite thing. it lacked the execution and refinement that defines most simple pasta dishes. it was surprising that an italian restaurant making homemade pasta would pair a delicate angel hair pasta with a butter sauce, turning it into a solid congealed mass. the beet and gorgonzola stuffed pasta was more interesting but also lacked flavor and that extra something to bring it all together.

overall i had a good experience but was definitely disappointed by the pasta dishes. i’d still go back and give it a second go.

sunday in seattle.

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post terra plata brunch, sunday continued with a visit to pike place market for seafood and donuts, and a late-afternoon affogato at chocolate box, featuring caffe vita espresso and molly moon ice cream. we then moved onto drinks, the evening started with a cocktail at tavern law, followed by a cocktail at barrio, and dinner at quinn’s.

a perfect day of eating and drinking our way around seattle.

 

terra plata, seattle.

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i enjoyed one of my best new brunch experiences of recent at seattle’s terra plata. we sat at the bar, took our time, and splurged! the restaurant’s “earth to plate” concept features produce from their rooftop garden in a sunny and unique corner space. to drink we started with a pomelo and mint mimosa, followed by a bloody mary with house-infused garlic vodka – both original and well executed twists on the classics.

the gf and i shared the bread pudding french toast with bourbon-caramel, pecans and apple to start (this was the splurge part, and it was totally worth getting too full!) my preference is generally for savory food but this was on a level all its own and anybody who stops in for brunch needs to splurge too! in the realm of savory we had chimichurri steak and eggs, and a winter veggie scramble – i’d recommend either.

basically, we enjoyed our brunch so much that we almost went back for dinner the next night. and if we lived in seattle this would easily be one of our go-to spots.

canon, seattle.

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canon has the most epic bar and biggest captain’s list that i’ve seen in a long time, and lacks the pretention of most bars of its caliber. our bartender, brian, was beyond helpful, letting us sample beverages of interest, and recommending other seattle must try eateries. i was won over by the hanky panky, one of their glass aged cocktails served in a flask; gin, sweet vermouth, fernet and orange zest, complex and balanced. the gf opted for “shrouded roulette,” where you tell the bartender what you’re in the mood for and he mixes you up something custom – brian nailed it, twice.

the food also makes canon worth a visit. angosture-bourbon nuts, with cashews, pretzels and caramel corn, are an addictive happy hour companion. the confit salmon with truffle dumplings, leek and mushroom was some of the most well prepared, flavorful, and delicate salmon i’ve ever had – we were seriously blown away.

this is a pretty impressive start to our weekend, and sets the bar high for what else seattle has to offer.

party bus!

i can with confidence say that the teacher bus is the only party bus you will ever need to know about, and if you don’t live in the bay area then i’m sorry for you.

bring your own ipod playlist or dj, a cooler full of drinks, and some friends and you’re good to go. the old school buses have been painted black, with their insides rearranged for maximum hanging out and danceability. skip the bar-hopping and enjoy a private dance-party while taking in views of san francisco from both sides of the golden gate and bay bridges. solar and biodeisel powered not only are the buses fun, but they’re environment happy buses too!