At the International Food Bloggers Conference this last weekend I had the pleasure of dining with a group of people at the Blind Pig Bistro. It was during the Urbanspoon Dine Around. The dine around idea was a lot of fun. Sending groups of people to undisclosed restaurants all over Seattle. We were able to dine with a group of people we had never met.
As one of only two men in the group I felt like a thorn among roses.
The restaurant was a small store front in a little strip mall set between a Subway sandwich shop on one side and a teriyaki shop on the other. At first glance it looks just like any other food place in a strip mall. It is a cozy space with a modern comfortable feel. The menu is hand written on a recycled classroom chalkboard. They specialize in fresh local produce combined with high quality global ingredients and cooking techniques.
They have a small bar with a few choice alcohols to choose from. As a scotch fan those are the ones I noticed, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. They have several beers on tap as well as wines to pair with their food offerings.
Our meal was what they call their Entire Menu. A plate of everything on the menu. They say it is enough for four people and as we shared it between three I can say they are right.
They started us off with their House Made Beer Bread and fresh house made butter. The bread had great flavor and mouth feel and the butter was really good .
Then came a great fresh zucchini salad. It was a combination of zucchini, bacon and bread crumbs with a hard boiled egg on the side and a tarragon dressing. The fresh bright colors and flavors were a delight to eat. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and this was a great preparation that I would love to have again.
We then moved on to a Roasted Beet salad. I typically don’t care for beets. It is one of those food that I was forced to eat as a kid. This salad has almost made me a convert. While this was not my favorite dish of the evening I did enjoy it.
We were then served a Porcini and Farro salad with poppy seeds, fennel and dandelion greens. Farro is a type of wheat grain that is sold dried then cooked until soft but still crunchy. It can be eaten plain or it makes a great addition to soups and salads. The combination of flavors in this salad was incredible. The umami from the mushrooms and the bitterness of the dandelion greens played well with the farro.
They then served us one of my favorite proteins Octopus with Romesco sauce, new potatoes, purslane greens and parsley. The octopus was cooked well and went well with all the other ingredients. I love this kind of food. It was one of the highlights of the evening.
Next we moved on to an Albacore, Puntarelle and chick pea dish with a smoked tomato aioli. Albacore is one of my favorite fish, both to fish for and to eat. I liked the dish a lot but I was not wowed by it as I use albacore often. The flavors mixed well together and the texture differences were nice.
The next dish while not the most photogenic was one of the most flavorful of the evening. It was a Clam, Mashed Potato and lardo dish. So much flavor. The sweetness of the clams and potatoes combined with the lardo was incredible. Truly one of the best dishes of the evening.
When the next dish was brought to the table everyone oohed and awed. Butter milk Gnocchi made with fresh buttermilk from the house made butter. The gnocchi was toasted and served with sultana, chard and white Chanterelle mushrooms. Really good with a nice toasted flavor that I found very pleasing.
Rainbow trout was next on the menu. It was served with Tatsio greens, a mix of corn and cauliflower and an anchovy sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked and well seasoned. The greens and vegetables worked well with the rest of the dish. This preparation was one of the favorites at the table.
Now on to the Duck and Lobster Mushroom Treviso served on a bed of Corona beans. As an avid outdoorsman I love game meat. Most people don’t know how to cook duck. The chefs here know how to cook duck. It was a perfect medium rare. Well seasoned, flavorful and just incredible. WOW is the best way to describe this dish.
While the duck dish was incredible my personal favorite dish of the evening was yet to come. It came in the form of a Bavette steak with a charred eggplant puree and new potatoes. While the steak and potatoes were what you would expect the eggplant puree was nothing short of extraordinary. When this dish was put on the table the eggplant puree was described as addictive. I will tell you now that I am an addict.
They finished off the evening with three incredible desserts. The down side was by this point I was way too full to enjoy it. All three were great and would love to return and try them before I have stuffed myself to the gills with incredible food.
If it hasn’t become clear this is my kind of place. Small, quiet, and great food. The service was great. Everyone from the wait staff to the chefs truly went above and beyond what most people would expect from a restaurant at a strip mall. Had I been driving by I would have missed it and knowing what I know now boy would I have missed it!
So if you are looking for someplace new for some really great food and don’t want the hustle and bustle of a club or big restaurant please give Blind Pig Bistro a try. You will be pleasantly surprised. Good things do come in small packages!
Thanks again Urbanspoon and IFBC for the wonderful dining experience.