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Pace Yourself {Sip Restaurant}

October 18, 2011

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We’ve been terrible about our Thursdays for a few weeks now. We’ve still been trying new places. Life has just been super busy and it seems like we’re favoring the start of the week over the end. B’s co-worker, NJ, is in town from Denver at the moment. We usually drive him to his hotel during his stays once or twice since he generally stays downtown. Inevitably, at least one trip home results in dinner. Last week, this was also a good excuse to move Thursday up a couple days.

I inadvertently screwed things up. B suggested Purple, but there was also some conversation about trying a new place. We ended up parking just down the street from Sip, though, and NJ and I left B to pay for parking while we went to check it out. I thought we were going to stay if it looked good. B meant for us to stay only if it looked amazing… and could compete with his (ok, fine, our) beloved Lobster Mac and Cheese. Anyway, we stayed and B wasn’t thrilled at not getting his Purple. I think the wine flight helped ease the blow.

Off the bat, Sip sort of reminded me of a hotel bar. It’s certainly nice enough. I’m not exactly sure what made me feel that way, but it did. It’s a bit of an odd shape as you enter near the hostess station and then have to walk a long way up a ramp, past some soft seating on the right, then past the bar on the left, eventually into the dining room that opens up at the end. I imagine they’ve just done the best they could with an oddly shaped space.

B and I spotted the Black Truffled Popcorn (hidden on the sides portion of the menu) right away. It really is one of my favorite snacks. Since Local Vine moved from Belltown to Capitol Hill, it hasn’t been the same. Among the casualties was the quality of their truffle popcorn, so it had been awhile since we’d had any that was really good. This was excellent. Lots of truffle flavor, but perfectly popped and not oily. I’d definitely order it again.

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We also opted to share the Cured Meat Sampler. It was good as well, but maybe not what I was expecting. There was an awful lot of stuff piled on top of the meat. The meat and olives themselves were great, though. And it’s a good thing they were. We had lots of time to enjoy them. Probably the only downside to Sip was how slow the service was. I mean, it was painfully slow. Everyone was friendly enough, but we had actually finished our starters for awhile before we even had the chance to order our entrees. At least we had good live music to listen to while we waited.

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For dinner, NJ, opted for the Burger (Painted Hills beef, marche, tomato, artisan bun, roasted garlic aioli, dijon mustard, Beecher’s Flagship, potato frites). For me, one of the hardest parts of avoiding bread is avoiding burgers. Seattle is a city that has more gourmet and specialty burgers than you could eat your way through in a year… almost all of them amazing. Every once in awhile I’ll cheat and just go for it, but I’m trying to do that less and less. The burger got two thumbs up from NJ.

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B had the New York and Frites (10oz all natural Angus, Hawaiian black salt fries, house made green peppercorn steak sauce). For all the flash free photos I’ve taken over the past year, if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that nothing photographs worse in low light than steak. This steak was no exception. I sometimes have a pretty low bar when it comes to food photos, but this one didn’t even meet that. B’s take on the steak is that it was really great, but my chicken was better.

While I debated back and forth between the steak and the chicken, I eventually chose the Jidori Chicken (natural free range breast, truffles, parmesan, prosciutto, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and butter sauce). I have to agree with B. My chicken was better. Asparagus is one of the rare vegetables I won’t eat, but everything else on the plate was fantastic… and generous. I had more than enough to share a good portion with B.

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We ate more than enough, but still wanted dessert. They had some excellent options. Sadly, dessert wasn’t meant to be ours. The pace of the meal was still so slow that by the time we finally saw our server again, we were afraid it would be another hour if we dared go down that path. In their defense, the tagline on their website is “Life’s fast. Sip slow.” Maybe we just needed to relax.

We’re likely to return to Sip again in the future. Who knows? Maybe something was happening on the night of our visit that dramatically slowed things down. The food was great. The music was a nice bonus and we were in good company. There isn’t much else we could ask for on a chilly, October evening.

 

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