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Catching Up {The Coterie Room}

January 4, 2012

 

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So it’s been awhile… longer than I realized, actually. I have a whole list of reasons: Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, the New Year. Mostly, though, work was at the height of it’s craziness and I’ve been sick (yes, again… or rather, still). I just uploaded and looked through photos and see at least four amazing meals I won’t share here. The photo above is from a walk at the Olympic Sculpture Park after an outstanding lunch at Boat Street Kitchen. I’m sure I’ll go back and have plenty to say about another wonderful meal there. It feels strange to go too far back, though, so those places will have to wait for another time. Last Thursday’s dinner, though, I really can’t wait to tell you about.

Repeated plans to visit The Coterie Room were foiled. Work, health, just generally being too busy… Life kept getting in the way. The Thursday after Christmas, though, we had reservations and were determined to get there.

One of my favorite attributes in an awesome restaurant experience is a server who is genuinely enthused about the food. Our server, Matt, was just that. In addition to being super friendly and a generally nice guy, he seemed excited about the menu and was happy to explain to us what was awesome about the Ham Cracklin’s and why they definitely weren’t pork rinds.

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Turns out, he was right. Not pork rinds and definitely delicious. I admittedly have a bit of a salt addiction, but that definitely wasn’t the draw with these. They were light, not at all greasy, totally flavorful and delicious.

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And then there were the awesome French Fried Potatoes (aka frites) with aioli. The aioli was a little cheesy for me, but it was still wonderful. The portion was a bit more than we expected, so we started to get nervous that we over-ordered with our entrees, but that was just a risk we were willing to take.

It had been awhile since B and I truly had a terrible time deciding what to order, but The Coterie Room definitely posed this problem. After going around in circles, B settled on the Grilled Rib Eye (served with potato puree, horseradish pudding and Walla Walla sweet onion rings) and I chose the Smoked King Crab (served with hashbrown potatoes, gremoulata and bacon hollandaise).

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As usual, I wanted the steak. B named this steak in the top five he’s ever had… and number one in a restaurant that wasn’t a steakhouse. I tasted it. He was right. It was outstanding. Sous vide is a beautiful thing. My King Crab was no disappointment. The portion was much larger than it seemed. With the richness of the lobster, I only made it about halfway through. I probably could have finished it, but that really would have been a bad idea because there was still dessert to come.

We opted for two desserts, the daily ice cream and something with chocolate and caramel that  isn’t on the online menu. We didn’t manage to finish both, but they were both amazing.

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It had been awhile since we had a dinner like this… the perfect combination of hospitality, passion and amazing food. I loved Restaurant Zoe (who occupied the space before The Coterie Room) and the space still feels the same in a lot of ways, but the ambiance is totally different. There’s a particular comfort at The Coterie Room that never existed at Zoe. They’re a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. Having one more outstanding, walkable option is never a bad thing.

 

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