Dinner at Grappa

Last week on a warm summer night I was sitting at home and I decided that a glass of wine and an appetizer sounded nice (when does it not?). Grappa came to mind because it was right down the street from me and I have always had pleasant experiences there. The decision was made! I grabbed my notebook and bag and went on my way.House Wine: Cabernet Sauvingnon. I did not have reservations, but I was seated right away in the very seat I had in mind. The people who reserved the table originally opted to sit outside. The table sits in their bar area in front of an open window, I felt it was the best of both worlds considering the August weather in Seattle. I love the bartender here; his name is Jesh and seems to be working most weeknights. I ordered the house Cabernet. They offer five $8 house options:  Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I actually like when restaurants just put the type labeled under house because it doesn’t make me think too much about what the wine should taste like.

Mixed greens salad: Candied Walnuts, cranberries, balsamic & blue cheese. This salad tasted just as you would expect. It was well dressed and had a good proportion of ingredients.

Halibut Amore: Cauliflower puree, reduced balsamic & almonds. I know I said that I was just going to get a glass of wine and an appetizer, but after seeing that description I couldn’t resist, classic me! The presentation was beautiful and I love how the fish was completely covered in the reduced balsamic. I don’t know about you, but I am a saucy person so this made me happy. Oddly enough but still tasty, the fish and balsamic smelled and tasted like mustard, which I assume was from the balsamic. Overall everything paired well together. Plus if I see cauliflower puree I am automatically intrigued.

Gelato:  Hazelnut & Pistachio. I don’t order dessert often, but I when I do it better be delicious! It tasted as good as it looks. I really liked how there were actual nuts in both of these. My favorite would have to be the pistachio but both did their names justice.

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Drinks & Apps at Westward

I came to Westward for the first time in a while to check out their menu as I am having a birthday dinner here later this week. The sampling has gotten me excited to check out their entrees. Let’s just say this restaurant is perfect for this time of year, being that is  mostly outdoors and has a view of Lake Union.

Salty Sailors Martini: gin or vodka, Carbano dry vermouth, & ras el hanout pickle brine. If you are looking for a sweeter version of a dirty martini then this is your drink! Chips & Dip: Tonnato, house-made chips & capers. For those of you not familiar with tonnato (I wasn’t), it is an Italian sauce with mayo and tuna. It’s traditionally served over sliced cold veal. In this case it paired well with perfectly crisp and salted house-made potato chips. The sauce was creamy with just the taste of tuna, not the tuna-salad texture. Wood-Fired Gigantes Beans: Tomato, marjoram, feta, & breadcrumbs. When ordering this small plate I wasn’t sure what to expect given the description but I was happy to be surprised. They weren’t lying when they labeled it “wood-fired”. It was piping hot and had a slight smoke. The main flavor I got was cinnamon and it really tied all of the ingredients together. The feta added a needed creamy element to balance out the acidity and spice.Yellowtail Crudo: Avocado, lemon balm, cherries, & puffed rice. I will say this is one of the more pretty dishes I have eaten. All the different textures worked well together. I wouldn’t think that cherries and tuna would be a good combo, but they were. The tuna was well seasoned and the lemon balm brightened the rich flavors.