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Late Night Greats {Palace Kitchen}

May 5, 2011

B and I eat early. If you’ve kept up with this little Thursday adventure, you know we’re more likely to eat at 5:00 than 9:00. I swear by the time we’re 70 we’ll be having dinner at noon. We almost always make it in time for the early happy hour. Rarely for the late one. Last Thursday, though, travel plans mixed things up a bit. I took a quick overnight trip to Denver for work (including an unintentional trip through Golden, Colorado, home of Coors beer), arriving back home around 7:30. The trip was planned a bit at the last minute and just happened to coincide with the arrival of my friend (and Freshman year college roommate), A , from LA. Her flight got in a couple hours after mine, but it didn’t make much sense to make a repeat trip to the airport, so I just waited it out. Starving… starving.

Meanwhile, back in Seattle, B was enjoying some truffle popcorn at The Local Vine with B2 (in town from NYC) who’s joined us on a few different Thursday dinners in the past. These evenings always tend to end late. They just don’t normally start so late. Anyway, I was a little concerned we’d have trouble finding some place to eat so late on a Thursday night. Seattle isn’t exactly known for it’s late night dining. I compiled a short list a few days before, though, and finally chose Palace Kitchen of Tom Douglas fame. Afterall, I wanted a reliably great meal, and as I’ve said before, Tom’s teams never let me down.

By the time we were all assembled, it was almost 11:00. Not too late to enjoy our meal, though, and just in time for something special B and I had wanted to try for a couple years. Each time we’d visited Palace Kitchen in the past, one particular menu item caught our eyes. Steak and Eggs. Ok, so maybe that’s not the most creative or inventive dish in the world, but it was still totally intriguing in its simplicity as well as because they only served it after a certain hour (10:00, I think). Though a server on one of our recent visits shared with us that we could order them at any time, it only seemed right to order them according to the rules set forth on the menu.

Much to B’s dismay (and mine too, I must admit), last Thursday night, the steak and eggs no longer appeared on the menu. He decided to ask about them anyway. Our very nice and friendly server was happy to let him know that they are still available by request. And there was great rejoicing.

Before B’s steak and eggs (and everyone else’s entrees) arrived, there were appetizers, of course. Given B and B2 previous stop at the Local Vine, they were a bottle of wine and at least some truffle popcorn into the night already. A and I had a little catching up to do. No problem. We ordered a dozen Kusshi oysters to get the meal off on the right foot. I really do love oysters. It’s a new found love. I only really liked them until recently. I suppose I should start learning something about them now that I’m an official fan, but I figure I’ve gone this long being an official fan of wine without knowing anything about it other than what I like. I should be good for a couple years before I feel compelled to know more. For now, I know I like smaller oysters and red wines that aren’t too dry. That’s when it pays to live in a city with exceptionally knowledgeable restaurants staff. They’re the experts.

Kusshi Oysters

In the meantime, I was quite happy to enjoy the lively conversation flying around the table. Though A and B2 met for the first time that night, there was no lapse or quiet time. They both love great food as much as B and I do, A takes photos of her food and B2 takes photos of everything else (quite beautifully, I might add). There was plenty discuss and a few specialty cocktails to help in the endeavor. In an instant, the oysters were gone and the entrees arrived. Steak and Eggs for B, Wood Roasted Pork Loin for me and B2, and Slow Cooked Spring Lamb Shoulder for A. All were awesome, but I think B’s Steak and Eggs were my favorite.

Steak and Eggs

Wood Roasted Pork Loin

Slow Cooked Spring Lamb Shoulder

And then, of course, since they serve dinner until 1AM and it wasn’t quite that late, there was dessert. Dahlia Creme Caramel for me and B to share (including a super cool flat Rice Krispy treat on top), Coconut Creme Pie for B2 (a Tom Douglas specialty) and vanilla ice cream for A. Again, not a bad word to say about any of them (and they all eventually landed in the middle of the table for taste comparison), but survey says our Creme Caramel was the favorite. We agree. It’s not to be missed. Well, truly, none of them are to be missed, so save room.

Dahlia Creme Caramel

Coconut Creme Pie

Vanilla Ice Cream

Just before 1AM, we called it a night and called a cab. These last few weeks have been exhausting for a whole host of reasons, but this night was a nice reminder that there are moments worth being exhausted for. It was also just the beginning of many awesome meals to come in the next few days. Stay tuned.

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