As far as homegrown chefs go, Seattle has so many talented ones helming their own restaurants. Love exploring their ideas and foods. Headed to Renee Erickson's The Whale Wins in Fremont for dinner. She also runs Ballard's awesome oyster bar The Walrus and the Carpenter.
Instead of the usual system of tipping, there was a mandatory 20% service charge at the restaurant. Fine by us who live with the useless 10% service charge at home and the 7% GST. However, some of our friends mentioned that it does annoy some people who prefer to tip 15% or even lower if service is less than stellar.
I wasn't that hungry. Knowing that, the man was still in the mood for beef and went for broke. He ordered the 32oz côte de boeuf meant for two. Muahahaha. The ribeye was from Oregon's Painted Hills. Done medium rare, it was spectacular. I was happy with the sardines on toast. Matiz sardines on toasted sourdough. It was topped with a mountain of fennel and parsley that tasted pretty good because of the tomato-curry aioli. The touch of curry was brilliant. For good measure, I ordered mustard greens with boozy golden raisins. Wondered why it tasted meaty, and grinned when I realized crispy beef fat butter was used! Win lor.
The Whale Wins is gorgeous as a brunch place. All that natural light flooding in. But we went at dinner, which provided a slightly different vibe. Still good. Was at a full table and very pai-seh to be taking photos of everything. So kept to just a few shots, then back to the conversation and laughter at the table.