I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile (I’m a broken record, I know) but this article spurred me into action.
A few months back Brandon and I joined some good friends of ours at an Alaska Airlines culinary cocktail/signature cardholder event at The Whale Wins, a hot new restaurant in Seattle. I had heard great things about the place and this event was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
We didn’t know it at the time (because neither did the judges) but we were sitting at the ninth “Best New Restaurant of 2013 in the COUNTRY,” as named by Bon Appetit on August 13. (!!!!!)
Anyway, this cardholder event was AWESOME! Renee Erickson, the head chef at the Whale Wins (and Boat Street Cafe, The Walrus and the Carpenter and Narwhal) was our host for the evening and spoke to the group of about 75 individuals (this private event occupied the entire restaurant) about the concepts behind her cooking and how the dishes we were to eat that night came about. All of the cooking at The Whale Wins is done in a huge, beautiful wood-fired oven and served at room temperature. It’s an interesting concept and one that we try out, often accidentally. Much of her inspiration came from London.
This was our menu for the evening:
THE WHALE WINS
Culinary Cocktail Event
Fave beans, ricotta and mint on toast
Egg salad and tarragon on toast
Chicken liver mousse and Boat St. pickled plums on toast
Fire roasted hama hama clams with mustard greens, cilantro and cream
Merguez sausage with shaved fennel salad, chickpeas and spiced yogurt
Oven roasted Washington wild king salmon with cucumber, sea bean and chive butter
Potatoes with herb butter
Turnips and radishes roasted with brown butter and preserved lemon
Columbia City baked bread and butter
Almond cake with poached cherries and rhubarb
Guiding Light with Big Gin, Lillet, orange blossom water and St. George Absinthe
Dark ‘n Stormy with house made ginger beer, dark rum, lime and bitters
R&R Cocktail with fresh rhubarb, Reposado tequila, lemon and sparkling wine
We were served the first course at our seats, an open-air dining space in the front of the restaurant. The second course was buffet-style at the main counter near the wood-fired oven. The Chef was talking to folks as they dished up and Brandon and I took the opportunity to talk about the oven. She was very conversational and we felt totally cool for being able to talk to her and actually say something educated. (We had been studying up on our own wood-fired oven.)
After we were done with the second course, we headed over to the bar where we were taught how to make the Dark ‘n Stormy, by bartender extraordinaire, Anna Wallace, from the Walrus and the Carpenter. All of the ingredients were provided and we mixed our drinks and enjoyed them, over the third course of almond cake.
Now you can make your own Dark ‘n Stormy:
2 oz Gosling’s black seal rum
1/2 oz lime
3 oz ginger brew
Build over ice. Garnish with mint and 2 dashes of aromatic bitters. And, enjoy!
Man, what a night! Have you been to The Whale Wins? Have you been to a fun dinner with a chef before? Tell me about it in the comments!