Saturday, January 30, 2010

Joule, Wallingford, Seattle

First of all, I would like to apologize for my snobbish absence. Rest assured that it is not for lack of restaurants to try, not for Seattle's falling into the ocean, nor lack of places tried in the last four months. Nay, the reason for my silence I shall blame entirely upon the country. The mister and I moved from the walking-culture delights of Capitol Hill to Hobart.

That's right.

Such a horrible name.

There is nothing withing walking distance save millions of trees, a few hundred deer, and maybe a dozen elk. This being the case, our local places now consist of diners and dives I could never deign to review...but the mister and I still manage to get into the city about once a week or twice a month for some tasty food and beverage consumption. I will catch you up on those places post haste...however, today I am still in food bliss from the fabulous meal we had last night at Joule.

My friend recommended this as her personal favorite restaurant, so the mister donned his cap and I my gloves, and we set out to Wallingford.

The restaurant stars must have aligned for us because we got an immediate parking spot right out front, immediately sat despite arriving 30 before our reservation, and everything we tasted made the country-bumpkin scales drop from our eyes. As if being back in Seattle wasn't enough euphoria...

I have only two complaints which I will get out of the way. The restaurant is quite frigid; I suggest you belly up to the counter so you get the benefit of the stoves to keep you warm. Also, this place (like so many others we have visited, and perhaps our most common complaint) is very loud and very small...with no noise barriers. If we had sat across from each other, at a table we would have been shouting the entire time (I cannot imagine having a good time here with a group). Since we were cuddled up side by side, we were able to both flirt and speak more easily.

Now on to the food.
Holy God.

So this place is advertised as Korean-French-American cuisine. I had no idea what to expect, but as we feasted our eyes on the menu while sipping our first cocktails, I saw just the most interesting combinations. For our first course, we decided on Zucchini Basil Pancakes with shrimp and soy mustard sauce as well as the "Mac and Cheese" made with speatzel and truffle oil. Both of these were so incredibly flavorful - we were swooning all over each bite.

After ordering two glasses of the delicious Barbara, the mister settled on the Lamb Sirloin with castelvetrano olives and tamarind yogurt for his entree while I chose the Dungeoness Crab Stuffed Cannelloni with mint sauce. I do not consider myself an exhibitionist, but this dish made me so audibly pleased that I knew I was making a fool of myself to the stool-sitter next to me, but I was in such nirvana that I didn't care. And that, folks, is one fine entree. As a side, the mister ordered a little kimchi of beef tongue on the side, which was also really tender, spicy, and delicious.

After our meal, it felt foolish to not try at least one dessert. I chose the chocolate torte with blood orange salad, and it was lovely...but nothing terribly memorable. The french press that accompanied it was vastly more delightful.

The service was warm and efficient, the manager (who I am guessing is also the owner/head chef) spoke to us several times over his work, and we felt so ridiculously good when we left. So much so that we headed to the newest speakeasy on Capitol Hill, Still Liquor...which we regretted...but more on that place in the next review.

Joule was a bit on the expensive side, but nothing we felt wasn't worth every morsel. I wouldn't necessarily go there for an anniversary or something eventful, but I would go there for no reason at all, over and over again. The mister and I toasted to exactly a lovely meal for no reason at all.

Bottom Line
By far the best restaurant experience I've had in the last year.

1 comment:

Previously Stated Snobbery