Posted on | March 7, 2010 | 5 Comments |
We havenâ€™t really explored the West Seattle restaurant scene much, I am not sure why though. It is not that long a drive from Belltown, but somehow we never think about this neighborhood while trying to pick a place for dinner. Spring Hill has been on my radar for a while, but I keep forgetting about it when it comes to decision time. But last month on my birthday Siv made reservations there after reading some great reviews about the place and wow, I am really glad he did.
The first thing I noticed when we entered the restaurant was the big open kitchen that runs the whole length of the place. I love getting a peek into the restaurant kitchens. The dining room has a chic, warm vibe with that metal and glass style minimal decor. The menu matched the decor perfectly, a simple one pager divided into three sections, bread/vegetables/cheese, shellfish/fish, meat/poultry. The shellfish/fish section had the most number of choices, divided into raw/chilled and hot. The wine list had a few specialty cocktails and a nice selection of wines mostly from the local wineries. We decided to stick with beer as it was a school night.
After looking through the menus and discussing the portion sizes with our waitress, we decided on four dishes. Started with this fuji apple salad ($10) with chicories, cider vinaigrette with crushed chilies, fireweed honey crĂ¨me fraiche and bacon. The simple flavor combination was amazing, though I wish they had cut the apples a bit thinner and that the dish had a bit more greens. But overall it was a great start to a fabulous meal.
Our second course was supposed to be the manila clams, but instead we were served the mussels ($13 ). We didnâ€™t make an issue as we were quite hungry and the mussels looked really good. These were cooked in their own juice with lemon, butter and parsley and served with salads and croutons. The mussels were really fresh, but had a stronger smell than usual. It mightâ€™ve been the cooking in its own juice process. We didnâ€™t mind the strong smell, but I donâ€™t think everyone would enjoy this.
Then we had the handmade tagliatelle ($21)Â with crispy pork shoulder, hen of the woods mushrooms lacinato kale and grated parmesan. This was my favorite dish of the night. It got quite cold by the time we had it, even then the flavors were amazing, then just imagine how it mustâ€™ve tasted when hot. The tagliatelle was perfect al dente and the pork pieces were such a treat. My mouth is watering just thinking about this one.
Along with the pasta, we had the pan fried rainbow troutÂ ($27) served over cracked bulgur, celeries and caramelized fennel. The caramelized fennel added that surprise element to this dish that exemplifies the simplicity of the fresh flavors of Spring Hill.
As usual, we were quite full by then and decided to skip dessert and just had coffee. The food was amazingly satisfying without being overpowering and the service was friendly and helpful. Spring Hill is definitely worth the drive to West Seattle, I am just sad that we waited this long to try this place out.
Update: March 14th 2010 â€“ Brunch at Spring Hill
We went back to Spring Hill for brunch on Saturday. Brunch is supposed to be till 2pm and we reached there at 1:55pm. Normal restaurants wouldâ€™ve turned us away, as the place was almost empty by then. But we were seated promptly and was presented with the most interesting brunch menu Iâ€™ve seen in a while. We started with a couple of cocktails.
Bloody Mary($10) for him and Grapefruit Cooler ($8) for her. The garnish on the bloody mary? Sausage and pickled vegetables. Iâ€™ve never seen a meat garnish on a drink before, I had a sip of the drink and a bite of the sausage, both were awesome. But that didnâ€™t make me regret my choice though, the grapefruit cooler with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and sparkling wine is the perfect breakfast cocktail, it has this amazing cooling effect and that strong punch of grapefruit juice that will knock off any remains of sleepiness from your system. We were off to a good start.
It was hard to pick any single dish from this really eclectic menu. Each dish sounded better than the other one. So finally we decided to share one dish in addition to our individual entrĂ©es. Bad idea! Each dish is filling enough, the additional one was quite the waste, we had to eat half of it and get the rest of it to go. But all the three choices for really really good, so I donâ€™t really repent the extra dish all that much!
The quiche ($8) of the day had pork belly, potatoes and fennel, which we both wanted, so that was our shared plate. It came with a delicious watercress salad with radishes and parmesan. Quiche was good, though I couldnâ€™t taste much of the pork, but I thought the salad was the real star of this one. The portion size was pretty hearty, we shared half of it and asked them to box the rest of it to go, which was done promptly.
I had the Croque Madame ($11) for my entrĂ©e. A croque madame is aÂ croque monsieur â€“ a grilled ham and cheese sandwich- served with a fried/poached egg on top. Spring Hill version used duck prosciutto for ham, gruyere cheese and a sunny side up duckâ€™s egg. It came with a simple arugula salad. I preferred the watercress salad to this one, but the croque madame was delicious! Iâ€™ve never had duck prosciutto before, I didnâ€™t take a picture of it, but it was absolutely amazing. I couldnâ€™t finish the bread, but I cleaned up everything else in the plate, including the bechamel sauce, the egg and even scraped off the melted gruyere from the bread.
Siv had the quinoa waffle with fried chicken nuggets and sausage gravy ($10).Â It is really not my kinda dish, but he really enjoyed it. I got a taste of the nuggets, and they were perfectly fried. I skipped the rest.