I remember once wishing I could read, write, knit, and watch movies all at the same time. I had little time for any of these, so I had to be selective. Though not the most thrilling activities, I always felt I was giving up something of myself in sacrificing any of them. A bit dramatic, perhaps, but the fact is few have the luxury of devoting substantial time and energy to the activities that enrich our lives. Work, regular life chores, and responsibilities get in the way, and so… we choose.
Thursday Night Bites began (at B’s suggestion) as a way to get me writing again. The blog was never meant to be the end goal, but rather the means by which I reestablished the habit of crafting words. In the beginning, it didn’t work because getting my feet underneath the rules and protocols of the blogosphere was a bit consuming. I haven’t found the community to be particularly accepting in the way so many bloggers do, despite taking all the steps one is supposed to take to build that camaraderie. I find a lot of the “rules” rather silly. I thought I was doing it wrong, but in reality, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Wrong for me, anyway.
I’m not sure when, but I lost sight of why food is important to me and started doing the one thing I really, really didn’t want to do… writing restaurant reviews. I’m neither qualified nor interested in doing this. I’m just a person who believes food is not only meant to nourish our bodies and contribute to our health, but that when shared with friends and loved ones, it can be a deeply personal experience and the foundation for lasting memories and connection.
And so I must find balance… between sharing what’s wonderful about the restaurants we visit and sharing why the experiences are personal, between writing about food and real writing, between relationships and work, photos and writing, reading and movies, and all the other pursuits that make life complete. With that declaration, I share with you a celebratory meal with B at Serafina.
Monday night dining in Seattle can be a bit tough. Lots of restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday nights. It’s rare we’re looking for a restaurant on a Sunday, but we often find ourselves looking for somewhere to go on a Monday night. A couple Monday’s ago, B and I had a small cause for celebration and searched our Monday options. We visited Serafina once before several years ago and had a memorably good meal, but we hadn’t returned since we discovered their sister restaurant (with which the share a patio), Cicchetti. Cicchetti is one of our favorite Seattle restaurants since in addition to their wonderful small plate offerings, they have a space that manages to brighten even the dreariest Seattle day with hospitality to match. Cicchetti is closed on Monday nights, though, and we were in the neighborhood and decided it was a good day to give Serafina another try. It was.
It’s always wonderful when the staff in a restaurant is excited about the food. While Serafina has a beautiful environment, what I noticed first was our lovely server’s enthusiasm for their menu and their chef. She made some excellent recommendations as we struggled with the many choices on their menu. We started with the Calamari Saltati (Squid flashed in the pan with garlic, lemon, Italian parsley, and chili flakes, sprinkled with bread crumbs). While I do love fried Calamari, this was a nice and much lighter preparation.
Both B and I considered strongly the Pollo Arrosto (Fennel crusted half-roasted chicken served with Jerusalem artichokes, baby carrots, turnips and a white wine reduction), but chose differently after our server pointed out it was a whole half-chicken. B opted instead for the Salsiccie d’Agnello (house made lamb sausages served with parsnip purée, salt roasted fingerling potatoes, pancetta, escarole and dried figs) and I chose the Gnocchi con Coniglio (Porcini-braised rabbit served with thyme infused potato gnocchi and diced root vegetables finished with parmesan). No regrets from our table and B raved about the parsnip puree.
We considered not having dessert, but after all, it was a celebration and we chose the Tortino di Cioccolato e Caffé (Grappa espresso ganache tartlet with chocolate pastry cream, sweet and salty pistachios, and bittersweet chocolate sauce). It made for a perfect ending to a fantastic meal.
B and I have shared a lot of meals. We’re ok with sharing a quiet meal without a lot of conversation. There’s a certain comfort in not having to maintain a conversation if it just isn’t what fits the mood. It’s even nicer, though, when we strike a subject that we’ve never discussed before, a topic that isn’t serious or consequential, but still sparks the kind of debate and conversation that could make hours go by unnoticed. Our dinner conversation was exactly this sort of conversation. I wished wholeheartedly that the next day wasn’t Tuesday and I didn’t have Pilates at 6:00AM, but Tuesday would come whether I willed it away or not, and so we enjoyed what was left of our dessert and wine and trusted that another such evening would follow before long.