Cheers to a Delicious Year

As always, my tasty adventures took me far and wide in 2016 through rugged, craggy hills of Colorado Springs to southern-infused Atlanta – and everything in-between. However, my first love will forever be the Pacific Northwest – thus were the majority of my favorite dishes in 2016. From Korean-fusion gems tucked within the decades-old crust of Pike Place Market to farm-to-table goodness on a lackluster intersection in Boise’s outskirts, I’ve done some mighty-fine eating!

State and Lemp / Boise, Idaho

State and Lemp’s 9-courses offered a glimpse into the area’s tasty culinary offerings.

A bit of a mix of farmer meets scientist, the genius behind Boise’s State and Lemp is undoubtedly their ability to pair locally-sourced ingredients with culinary creativity. My favorite course in their regularly-changing multi-coursed meal was the coffee oil-infused egg yolk accompanying a tender, juicy rabbit loin. Click here to read more about my Boise dining adventures.


Market Hall  / 9th & Olive – Seattle

The crispy chicken sandwich at Market Hall is anything but ordinary!

Market Hall‘s fried chicken sandwich appeared mundane on the menu, but was anything but! With avocado (no surprise a huge fave of mine), perfectly crispy-fried chicken thigh, thick slabs of bacon and a kick-ass chipotle aioli, this massive lunch entree could easily be lunch for two.


The Carlile Room 9th & Pine – Seattle

Chef Dezi’s “planty breakfast” might’ve been my healthiest breakfast of the year – had I not slathered it in hollandaise.

The “Planty Breakfast” caught my eye immediately on the Carlile Room‘s Friday-Sunday brunch menu. Combining pecan-flax toast, avocado, poached eggs, delicata squash, beets, sprouts sounded, perhaps, like the healthiest thing I’d eat this year – and undoubtedly would’ve been had I not ordered a side of hollandaise sauce. As beautiful as it was delicious, Dezi’s breakfast concoction is a new obsession.


ORFEO / 4th & Lenora – Seattle

A smoky char and lemony vinaigrette make the this a tasty and healthy dinner option (although intended as a starter).

I’m unsure how ORFEO‘s chef Kevin Davis manages to fire octopus to a tender perfection on his charcoal Josper grill, but I’m certain I love it! Add a dreamy mediterranean-inspired charred lemon vinaigrette and fresh seasonal veggies, and it’s as swoon-worthy as they get.


Salish Lodge / Snoqualmie Falls –  Washington

Waterfall views, perfectly poached eggs and heavenly hollandaise at Salish Lodge.

Maybe it was the view. Maybe it was because I took myself out to breakfast on my birthday. Maybe it’s because I adore eggs Benedict. Whatever it was, Salish Lodge has it goin’ on! Couple fresh Dungeness crab, heavenly hollandaise and views for miles and you’ll find a breakfast worth the drive to the Cascade foothills.


Fainting Goat Gelato / 45th & Wallingford – Seattle

Tangy goat’s milk adds to mastik’s unique flavors in a tasty gelato.

“Mastic” caught my eye at Wallingford’s Fainting Goat Gelato. I knew the term from living in an artist’s household, but never considered it as a flavor. Just WOW! Made with goat’s milk, this piney, Aegean flavor is unique and delicious. Apparently it boasts medicinal uses in lowering cholesterol and (as an oil) has anti-bacterial properties as well. Either way, it’s definitely worth trekking north of the city for a taste.


Shuga’s / Colorado Springs – Colorado

Charcuterie and bruschetta from one end of the table to the other.

Apple, brie and honey bruschetta might possibly be the simplest thing I’ve put in my mouth this year, but packed a punch of tangy, crisp apple, delicately pungent (yes, that’s a thing) brie and sweet, complex honey. Shuga’s, in Colorado Springs, has a half-dozen bruschetta types (most of which I tried) that were simple, elegant and delicious at the same time.


ChanPike Place Market – Seattle

Savory fingerling potatoes, pearl onions and rice noodles make Chan’s short ribs a hearty meal.

Tucked somewhere between Pine and Stewart Streets in the Pike Place Market, Chan – Seattle’s only Korean gastropub – boasts a slow-roasted, beautifully-seasoned short rib that’ll make you a believer your first visit. Couple this gem with their masterful mixologist and you’ll never want to leave.


Blueacre Seafood  / 7th & Olive – Seattle

“Where’s the hollandaise?” said nobody ever after trying Blueacre’s ‘Eggs Michael’.

It’s no shock I’m a lover of eggs Benedict. The ‘Eggs Michael’ at Blueacre’s made me a believer that sometimes a redeaux on a favorite is what’s in order. Blanketing fresh Dungeness crab, thinly-sliced local ham and an equisitely-poached egg in béarnaise (instead of hollandaise), make for a welcome brunch surprise.


Better HalfAtlanta, Georgia

Creative dining at the chef’s counter – definitely Atlanta’s Better Half!

Not your grandma’s flat-iron steak, Better Half‘s taken a spin far south of the border for a spicy salsa indio viejo (a Nicaraguan treat), with beautifully pickled chayote squash, sweet charred carrot and topped with a masa funnel cake – part of a never-ending lineup in their 9+ course tasting menu.

Eat well in 2017, friends. And if you know of a local gem you think I should try? You know where to find me!

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