Picture This: Ten from Seattle, Roux to Rain Shadow

Trying to complete my year-end posts, here are 10 Seattle-area restaurants I’d yet to report on:

  • Restaurant Roux
  • Crazy Pho Cajun
  • Bar del Corso
  • Chippy’s Fish and Drink
  • Rain Shadow Meats
  • Vios Cafe
  • Good Bar
  • Dumpling Generation
  • Naan -N- Curry
  • Violet Sweet Shoppe

Starting with Restaurant Roux, I can report that I enjoyed my dinner and regret that lunch service is no longer available, as Roux would be the ideal place for po’ boy sandwiches. That said, if looking for French Creole cuisine without a way to get to New Orleans, you won’t rue going to Roux. (Sorry ’bout that!)

Fried chicken gizzards with Creole honey mustard at Roux

Fried chicken gizzards with Creole honey mustard at Roux

Roux's jambalaya with Gulf prawns, braised chicken, and andouille sausage

Roux’s jambalaya with Gulf prawns, braised chicken, and andouille sausage

Shrimp and grits with red gravy ("wetter" than most I've had, but perfect for bread dipping)

Shrimp and grits with red gravy (“wetter” than most I’ve had, but perfect for bread dipping)

A side of collard greens at Roux

A side of collard greens at Roux

Speaking of New Orleans-style food, I couldn’t resist a stop at the new Crazy Pho Cajun in the International District. (There’s been a Federal Way outpost of the same restaurant.) Look for the usual banh mi, vermicelli bowls, pho, and other dishes you’ll find at Vietnamese restaurants, but there’s also a Cajun section of the menu with gumbo, etouffee, and po’ boy sandwiches.

Cajun crawfish pho at Crazy Pho Cajun is quite spicy, but ultimately I prefer my pho with beef broth instead of chicken broth

Cajun crawfish pho at Crazy Pho Cajun is quite spicy, but ultimately I prefer my pho with beef broth instead of chicken broth

I was long overdue to get to Beacon Hill to try Bar del Corso, a pleasant neighborhood spot.  The main draw is the assortment of wood-fired pizzas, but the small plates, salads, and salumi are also high-quality.

Polpettine (house-made meatballs in tomato sauce) at Bar del Corso

Polpettine (house-made meatballs in tomato sauce) at Bar del Corso

Bar del Corso's gorgeous asparagus

Bar del Corso’s gorgeous asparagus

Must-try at any upscale pizza place: margherita pie (with mozzarella di bufala)

Must-try at any upscale pizza place: margherita pie (with mozzarella di bufala)

Bar del Corso's rapini pizza with sauteed broccoli raab, coppa, smoked mozzarella, garlic, hot peppers, and a bit of tomato

Bar del Corso’s rapini pizza with sauteed broccoli raab, coppa, smoked mozzarella, garlic, hot peppers, and a bit of tomato

Hark! Another new Ethan Stowell restaurant. This time it’s Chippy’s Fish and Drink, somehow carved into the food-filled Kolstrand building in Ballard. A more casual affair, the quality remains what I’ve come to expect from Stowell, which is quite consistent (and quite high). Here are some samples from a media event I attended.

Chippy's potato chips with smoked clam and bacon dip

Chippy’s potato chips with smoked clam and bacon dip

Oregon Bay shrimp louie

Oregon bay shrimp louie

Chippy's little gem salad

Chippy’s little gem salad

Dungeness crab roll

Dungeness crab roll

Fried oysters (delicious!) with fries

Fried oysters (delicious!) with fries

Chippy's mushy peas, half pureed and half whole

Chippy’s mushy peas, half pureed and half whole

Just a portion of what was previously a huge fish and chips platter

Just a portion of what was previously a huge fish and chips platter

An Amtrak train trip gave me the perfect excuse to finally visit Rain Shadow Meats in Pioneer Square. This full-service butchery is very impressive, with gorgeous cuts of locally raised meats. It’s here that I came to a realization that despite my love of pork and my love of fat (in general), I’m not the biggest fan of porchetta. (Dare I proclaim that?) My porchetta sandwich was high quality, but I think the varying amounts of salt and fat in porchetta have led me to slight disappointment too many times. That said, I’m anxious to return to Rain Shadow sometime to try some of their other sandwiches.

Rain Shadow Meats' porchetta sandwich with crispy pork skin and sauce verte

Rain Shadow Meats’ porchetta sandwich with crispy pork skin and sauce verte

Vios Cafe is the veteran restaurant on this list of ten. I ventured in (for the first time) for brunch one weekend, and enjoyed a cup of the soup of the day (some sort of bean soup, I recall) before tucking in to one of my favorite breakfast dishes: shakshuka. This one had a little chili pepper bite to it, but wasn’t as hearty and delicious as the version Tasty n Sons serves in Portland. Still, a pleasant place to enjoy brunch, especially at the front corner table with the light streaming in.

Vios Cafe's shakshuka

Vios Cafe’s shakshuka

The scene inside Vios Cafe

The scene inside Vios Cafe

As “old” as Vios is, Good Bar in Pioneer Square is new. Housed in the old Japanese Commercial Bank space, you can see the massive vault doors right behind the bar. The setting is splendid and it appears to indeed be a “good bar” for a drink at any time of day. And some simple, good bites as well.

Inside Good Bar

Inside Good Bar

Boiled peanuts with Old Bay seasoning (tasty, but a mess to eat)

Boiled peanuts with Old Bay seasoning (tasty, but a mess to eat)

Good Bar's sardine with corona bean puree, anchovy, broccoli raab, and sherry vinegar

Good Bar’s sardine with corona bean puree, anchovy, broccoli raab, and sherry vinegar

Good Bar's sloppy joe with Painted Hills beef, tomato, stout, and roasted onion aioli on Macrina ciabatta

Good Bar’s sloppy joe with Painted Hills beef, tomato, stout, and roasted onion aioli on Macrina ciabatta

North of Seattle in Edmonds is the intriguingly named Dumpling Generation. To be fair, I’ve only had the following two bites, which were decent but not quite compelling enough to warrant a return visit. Still, it might be worth exploring the dumplings, noodles, fried rice, and more found on the elegant (really, it’s quite fancy) Chinese menu.

Spicy mixed cucumber at Dumpling Generation

Spicy mixed cucumber at Dumpling Generation

Pork with black mushroom and napa cabbage dumplings

Pork with black mushroom and napa cabbage dumplings

The Naan -N- Curry chain has made its way north from San Francisco, bringing Pakistani and Indian flavors to Renton. Friends from the Bay Area had raved about the food, so I finally had the chance to stop in for lunch. Specials include the usual meat choices of tikka masala, korma, tandoori, and the like, plus a number of vegetarian options.

Lamb korma lunch at Naan -N- Curry with good spice level, but leaving me a little hungry

Lamb korma lunch at Naan -N- Curry with good spice level, but leaving me a little hungry

The San Francisco "treat" in Renton

The San Francisco “treat” in Renton

Finally, for some reason I found myself in Laurelhurst one day and decided upon dessert at a vegan bakery. I’d heard good things about the Violet Sweet Shoppe (now also open in Phinney Ridge) and wanted to see for myself if I could satisfy my sweet tooth. The nice folks took time to explain their favorite desserts and what made them vegan, and it was a nice enough place to stay for a bite and a beverage.

Lemon bread at Violet Sweet Shoppe

Lemon bread at Violet Sweet Shoppe

Shortbreads are popular, but better for me was the small peanut butter cup

Shortbreads are popular, but better for me was the small peanut butter cup

Outside the Violet Sweet Shoppe

Outside the Violet Sweet Shoppe

Restaurant Roux on Urbanspoon

Crazy Pho Cajun on Urbanspoon

Bar del Corso on Urbanspoon

Chippy's Fish & Drink on Urbanspoon

Rain Shadow Meats on Urbanspoon

Vios Cafe & Marketplace on Urbanspoon

Good Bar on Urbanspoon

Dumpling Generation on Urbanspoon

Naan -n- Curry on Urbanspoon

Violet Sweet Shoppe on Urbanspoon

Tags:

#BardelCorso
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#Chippys
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#CrazyPhoCajun
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#GoodBar
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#Naan-N-Curry
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#Roux
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#Vios

One Response to “Picture This: Ten from Seattle, Roux to Rain Shadow”

  1. January 15, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    The chicken tikka masala at Naan-N-Curry was really good, but that photo of the Lamb Korma looks pretty delicious! Will definitely have to check out Good Bar just for that Sloppy Joe!

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