It’s Top Chef: Seattle Wednesday! Mary and I took a field trip to Seattle’s Melrose Market last week since we hear it’s one of the spots used for filming. We couldn’t believe that neither of us had been there because it is truly a foodie’s dream: Taylor Shellfish, Rain Shadow Meats, Calf & Kid (cheese), Sitka & Spruce (restaurant), Still Liquor, Homegrown (sandwich shop), bar ferd’nand (bar,wine shop and coffee), Marigold and Mint (flower shop), butter home (furnishings, decor and gifts). Honestly, what more could we ask for?!
We want to tell you about this place since we hear it will be heavily featured on Top Chef: Seattle and you might want to check it out before it gets too crazy. If you don’t live in Seattle, we are giving you a sneak peak at a true Seattle gem before you see it on television. EnJOY!
We started our afternoon at Taylor Shellfish. For more than 120 years, the Taylor family has been dedicated to raising and providing shellfish from local waters to consumers all over the world. They were founded and based in the South Puget Sound, but now they have farms on the Washington Coast, Hood Canal, Samish Bay and up on Vancouver Island. In September, Taylor Shellfish Farms was awarded 2012 Seafood Champion Award at the International Seafood Summit for their commitment to sustainability.
The staff was super friendly and helpful. We enjoyed a cup of delicious Red Geoduck Chowder and a plate of the freshest, most tender oysters and washed it all down with a Pike Place Brewing’s Pale Ale. Yummy!
Next, we were on a mission to order some lamb shanks for a dinner party Mary was hosting. Rain Shadow Meats was the perfect place to fill the order. The lamb was delivered from Saddleback Sheep Ranch on Lopez Island, WA, in the morning, and butchered to Mary’s specifications and in her refrigerator that night.
On one hand, Rain Shadow Meats is old-school in that they bring in carcasses and do their own butchering on site. On the other hand, they are very modern in that they have a really great website that is up-to-date with what’s fresh in the case each day. Check it out and you’ll see that they are excited to have participated in Top Chef: Seattle by providing most of the “meaty goodness” we’ll see on the show. I think I’ll place an order for a fresh turkey from them ASAP.
While we waited for the lamb shanks, we enjoyed a lovely snack (above) of the most delicate ham, mustard, toast and sauerkraut at Matt Dillon’s Sitka & Spruce. Matt was awarded the 2012 James Beard Award for best chef in the Northwest. We are so lucky to have so many terrific chefs in Seattle (I just can’t believe there isn’t ONE competing on Top Chef: Seattle!).
The Sitka & Spruce space was light and rustic and it provided exactly the break we needed (the glass of Riesling and salted caramels delivered along with the check helped, too, I guess).
Matt Dillion is also a partner in bar ferd’nand, which is also located there inside the Melrose Market. Note to self: it would be a really cool space to host a small, private party!
We ended our shopping spree at Calf & Kid artisanal cheese shop where we were treated to a few samples and chose some savory treats to fill up our reusable shopping bags.
This is not the market that Seattle is currently known for, and as far as we’re concerned we hope that this will remain a secret between foodie friends. You MUST visit Seattle’s Melrose Market soon!
Did you watch the first episode of Top Chef: Seattle last week? Which celebrity chef did you think conducted the best challenge for the contestants?