Monthly Archives: July 2007

Coupage (Seattle, WA) – CLOSED


Last night, Lauren and I planned to have a low-key night of home cooking and play around with my new toy. But at around 7:30 I got a call from Mike, asking "do you want to go out to a nice dinner tonight?" It’s a rare treat to have Mike and Erin free for an evening sans children, so we instantly updated our evening plans and quickly scored a reservation at Coupage for 8:30. Thank you OpenTable 🙂

I had been meaning to come back to Coupage since our fantastic inaugural meal this past spring. It’s located on the main drag of Madrona (34th Ave), right across the street from the Madrona Ale House. While waiting for our table we hung out at the bar with Kevin, the friendly bartender who offered us a variety of wines to sample. He also updated us on the latest changes to the menu (which is slightly different then what you’ll find online). At his recommendation we started with the arugula salad that was served with golden and red beets, and a toasted sesame goat cheese that I am still savoring the memory of. If you go to Coupage before the menu changes again, this is a fantastic opener. Mike and Erin’s buttered lettuce salad with toasted hazelnuts and pecorino cheese was also quite tasty, but I preferred our choice 🙂

For the main course, I got to sample four entrees (the joy of having friends that embrace roving forks). Actually, it was five dishes in total, since the waiter misheard "scallop" for Mike’s porkchop. The chef/owner, Thomas Hurley, came by to apologize for the mishap and insisted that Mike enjoy the extra scallops on the house while they prepared his pork so that he wouldn’t be left without a plate of food in front of him. Thomas is very, very nice and genuinely cares not only about his food preparations, but also about his diners’ enjoyment. And he does a great job satisfying both of those goals.

The seared sea scallops were thick and crispy on top just as I love them prepared, and given the bonus order on the table I got to enjoy more than my fair share of buttery shellfish goodness.

The halibut was another solid offering, cooked perfectly to a silky texture and seared lightly on top. Served atop a simple, yet surprisingly delightful mix of mushrooms, corn, and peas.

The Coupage burger. It has foie gras. It is $28 and worth every penny. It’s made from ground short ribs, which means that you can get a burger that’s a little crispy on the outside, and super juicy and bright red on the inside. It may be the best burger in Seattle (though Mike argues that the foie gras gives it an unfair advantage). It’s so good that even Gio, who normally eats muy rapido, savors every single bite. If you are not a vegetarian/aquatarian/chickitarian then you have to try this burger. It will blow you away.

Mike’s porkchop arrived about halfway through our main course. According to Kevin, the pigs come from Idaho, are over 350 pounds, and I quote "I’ve had a lot of pork in my day, and this is the best pork chop I’ve ever had." And it didn’t disappoint. Even though we had filled up on scallops and burgers and halibut, we still picked the porkchop clean.

All in all Coupage is one of my favorite new restaurants in Seattle, an east of Madison alternative to Zoe and Eva.

UPDATE (August, 2008): Unfortunately Coupage has recently closed. However, the original chefs (and supposed inventors of the foie gras burger) Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have opened Joule in Wallingford which I’ll be checking out soon.

1404 34th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98112

Daily: 5:00PM-late (Dinner)
Sun: 10:00AM-2:00PM (Brunch)

The Herbal Kitchen


Due to the magic of registries, Lauren and I received a bunch of cookbooks for our wedding. So far my favorite one of the bunch is The Herbal Kitchen. It’s written by Jerry Traunfeld (executive chef of The Herbfarm), and it is his “what I cook at home” cookbook.

I really like the abundance of of pictures in this book. Personally I get extra inspiration out of a preview on the final product. And, as promised, the recipe execution is more accessible then The Herbfarm Cookbook. We made 3 dishes for guests last night (popcorn chickpeas, cherry tomato, melon, and mint salad, and penne with walnut pesto and eggplant). All of them required minimal prep and tasted fantastic. There’s also a fun beverages section (we had Rosemary gin and tonics). Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Tamarind Tree (Seattle, WA)


The first time I tried to have dinner at Tamarind Tree was last November. I had never even seen the place, but multiple friends were raving about the food. It was a Saturday night, and we snaked our way through the traffic jam of a parking lot on the northwest corner of 12th and Jackson. Tucked away in the back corner of the rundown-looking shopping center was the entrance. Inside was the sound of a waterfall, a tastefully warm interior, and a more upscale feeling than your average Vietnamese restaurant (while remaining unpretentious).

Tamarind Tree doesn’t take reservations, and the wait that night was quoted at around an hour. We made a hasty exit (Mark was ravenous already), and I forgot about Tamarind Tree for a few months.

Fast forward to mid-June. Lauren‘s boss recommended Tamarind Tree and gave her the tip that if there’s a wait you should just enjoy their specialty cocktails in the interim. Out we went to celebrate Kavita‘s MBA graduation, on a Friday night this time with call-ahead estimated wait of 20 minutes. It wound up being very quick (maybe 10 minutes) and we followed Karim’s advice to sample the cocktail menu. Turns out that Tamarind Tree makes a fantastic pineapple mojito! We had an enjoyable meal, finishing with an amazing Thit gĂ  xĂ o xa ot (a.k.a. “chili chicken”). The tender chicken was bursting with flavor; spicy hints of chili pepper and lemongrass layered in with the onions.

Tonight Lauren and I returned to Tamarind Tree for a second graduation celebration (a bit of a tradition being established this summer it seems), this time to celebrate DeAnn’s release from the shackles of UW grad school. A slightly longer wait, but it gave us time for DeAnn to experience the pineapple mojito…

And raspberry mojito…

And continue with a guava martini over dinner 🙂

I was able to steal a sip of all drinks ordered, and while the pineapple mojito is still my favorite on their list, the raspberry mojito (with fresh raspberries), pomegranate martini, and guava martinis were no slackers. I didn’t care for the kumquat martini, though I hear it’s the most popular drink on the menu so YMMV.

Tonight we sampled an array of vegetarian options, starting with shitake and eggplant satays. I’m a sucker for good mushrooms, and these did not disappoint. A common issue with shitake preparations is that they will emerge rubbery and undercooked. Not here, where the marinated, grilled morsels in front of us were even better than the menu description:

Next up were the very tasty tamarind tree rolls (also offered with your choice of meat). served with roasted peanuts for a nice crunch, they were the best Vietnamese spring roll that I’ve had in Seattle to date.

Tamarind Tree has an enormous menu, and I’ve only scratched the surface of it (I will remedy that over the next year). With such flavorful food, friendly staff, chic zen ambience, and just about every dish under $10 it’s a wonder the waits aren’t even longer!

Tamarind Tree
1036 South Jackson Street, Suite A
Seattle, Washington 98116

Daily 10:00AM-10:00PM (Lunch and Dinner)

Piroshki on Broadway – CLOSED


I’ll be honest, after 8 years of Capitol Hill living I’m pretty much done with on-Broadway dining. There are a few exceptions though. One is Galerias on the north end. Another is Piroshki on Broadway.

Piroshki on Broadway

Mushroom, Spinach, and CheeseLocated across from Dick’s burgers, Piroshki on Broadway is great for a quick snack. They make omelettes for breakfast and pirogies for lunch, but their bread & butter (actually bread & filling of your choice) is the piroshkies. Their spelling however is inconsistent. If you’ll notice, the sign is “PIROSHKY”, but the menu and interior signage has “PIROSHKI”. You make the call.

The piroshki I always crave is the Spinach, Mushroom and Cheese. They are mixed together in garlic which provides a nice counterbalance to the slightly-sweet bun.

If you are one of those anti-mushroom types, the Smoked Turkey and Cheese is also pretty tasty. Russian fast food at its finest!

UPDATE (May, 2009): Piroshki on Broadway has lost their space due to construction of the Capitol Hill light rail station. There is a rumor that the owner still serves russian food at Swedish on First Hill.

Piroshki on Broadway
128 Broadway East
Seattle, WA 98102

Mon-Sat: 7:30AM-10:00PM
Sun: 8:00AM-8:00PM