Dishin’: A Soup-erman at Beàto

Almost done...
Last week, we described a soup-er stay at Alderbrook Resort & Spa. This week, we met Soup-erman—a chef who really loves to make soup. As we’ve turned the corner into summer and the weather is warming (at least a bit), what is it about soup that’s captured our attention?

Too many diners overlook salad and especially soup in order to focus on entrees and desserts. But soup is, like they say, good food. It’s comforting, a great way to ease into a meal, and an excellent test of the kitchen. Underwhelm us, and it’s a sad start. Wow us, and our minds and taste buds perk up, anxiously awaiting what’s next.

It was the latter when we let Beàto choose our dishes, starting us off with “la zuppa stagionale.” Our server presented big bowls, each with a gorgeous centerpiece of pea flan topped with a few fresh peas and Trampetti olive oil. She then poured organic carrot soup around the flan. Bravo, bravo—a serenade of soup—worthy of applause. It was absolutely luscious, with the creamy flan a perfect complement to the surprisingly sweet soup. A far cry from the throwaway peas and carrots from childhood days (the untouched section of our TV dinners), this soup was good to the last drop.

Taking note of our delight, then delivering other delicious dishes (see the photo gallery), was Chef Matt Williams; after four years of baking bagels in Boulder, this Soup-erman soared recently from Hunt Club to Tilth, before rising up to executive chef at Beàto. Offering him the opportunity was affable owner Brandon Gillespie, who left Wall Street for the wine trade and now proudly offers pours to match the restaurant’s fine food. In fact, tomorrow’s Hot Picks event will honor Brandon as one of Seattle’s top young wine experts. Maybe he’ll have a soup pairing on hand?

Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = “me”) on June 23, 2008. I am dismayed to report that Beàto will be closing this Friday, November 14—another victim of the economic times.

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