Seattle Restaurants New – Manolin


Fernet Panna Cotta, Bitter Chocolate

Fremont is not the Fremont I remember. Nor is Ballard. Between 1999 and 2004, I lived and/or worked in both of these neighborhoods. From 2004 through 2009 I was a frequent visitor of Fremont because of the boathouse. We left Ballard just as the condominiums were moving in, and these days it’s like a foreign country. It’s like what Bellevue looked to me (before I started working in Bellevue).

Back in the day, like 10 years ago, Stone Way was not the place to be. It was industrial. Now there’s the new Brooks Running building. Fancy restaurants like Joule. And this one. Manolin. I don’t even know what was there before. The buildings on that street were almost invisible, just a roadway to get from 34th to 45th.

Manolin was fun. Bright and airy, yet cozy and intimate. A kind host. A waitress who knew her whiskey. Fun cocktails and more fun appetizers (Plantain Chips! Daikon Dumplings!). But I’m a desserts kind of girl, so here are some pictures of desserts.


Rhubarb Shortcake, Ginger, Bourbon Vanilla

There are two kinds of desserts on the menu, and we ordered both. Because that’s how you do it.

I am in no way complaining about the changes that have happened in Fremont, because, come on. It’s been 10 years since that was my playground. Things are going to change. And I think for the most part, it has changed for the better.

But it’s not me. So it’s weird. I miss it.

Well, okay, maybe that panna cotta is me.

Just a little bit.


Ventoux, woohoo

VentouxNew coffee place up the street. The espresso is good. The treats are nice, too. The place is a couple doors down from crossfit, which is nice, if I ever thought to bring my wallet with me at 5:30 in the morning, and if I had time to enjoy an americano in the morning before heading to work. I do not.

But, I did test it out with the kiddo. They offer Mighty-O donuts, which the kiddo approved. Sure, they’re vegan. But they’re good.

The second time I was there it was mid-morning, with an okay crowd (most of the tables occupied), and I did recognize a few crossfitters, so I’m glad someone is making use of the post-workout espresso option.

That little corner of our neighborhood becomes more and more inviting. Hooray!

Ventoux Roasters. 3404 NE 55th St.


Here are the two Seahawks themed WODs we did, the first was the Friday before the NFC Championship game and the second the Friday before the Super Bowl.
Big blue Friday!

Here is the reward for doing said workouts … A Seahawks doughnut from the one and only Top Pot. It’s also the reason I’m going to attempt the Whole 30 this week … Too many doughnuts.
And the real reward is right here:
Go Hawks!


Dinner at Crush. This was a few months ago. Thanks to Pooja K. for bringing her camera. This was a decadent dinner that I shared with work folks. We may not agree on movies or music but you can bet we agree that there is some seriously good food around town.

Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese Gougeres

Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese Gougeres

Seared Sea Scallops, Black Currants, Cauliflower & Vaudauvan Broth

Seared Sea Scallops, Black Currants, Cauliflower & Vaudauvan Broth

Anderson Valley Lamb Saddle, Herbed Potato Gnocchi, Artichokes, Olive, Mint & Syrah Sauce

Anderson Valley Lamb Saddle, Herbed Potato Gnocchi, Artichokes, Olive, Mint & Syrah Sauce

Pistachio Sable

Pistachio Sable

Of course the photos don’t do the dinner justice. The flash makes everything a little less impressive, but still one of the amazing meals of the year for me.

Final notes about the cannoli

I wanted to share the “research” I did when I learned that the November Daring Bakers Challenge would be cannoli. After reading through the instructions I decided I needed to try cannoli to fully appreciate making them. So Lily and I trekked first to Remo Borrachinni’s Bakery on Rainier Ave. Remo’s is an Italian Bakery/Grocery that is all about family. When I walked in on a Saturday mid-morning a group of friends were sitting at a long table near the front, like they had been there for hours. The bakery was busy, where customers picked up their sheet cakes. Borrachinni’s is known for the great sheet cakes at reasonable prices.

I eyed the cannoli in the display case and immediately knew this wasn’t going to be the best cannoli ever. Simply because there was a sheet of cannoli, already filled with ricotta filling. Which, if we read the previous blog post, means that the crisp shell probably would not be crisp. I insisted on tasting, however, because I was there and it seemed I would have really failed if I didn’t at least try one.

It was still pretty good, but I was fairly certain not how it should truly taste. The filling was sweet, with little bits of candied fruit mixed in. The maraschino cherry was not necessary, in my opinion. The size of the cannoli was small, closer the the size of the ones that I ended up making, and that was a plus. The dessert can be so rich that you don’t really need a large one to be satisfied. All in all, for the price, at around $2, the cannoli was decent. Not the greatest. I probably wouldn’t order it again from here. I wouldn’t mind going back to the bakery itself, however. It’s traditional and a Seattle favorite.

Rather than return home I opted to try one more place. Whereas Borrachini’s isn’t exactly known for its cannoli (they don’t even mention on their Web site that they offer them), DeLaurenti’s is known for it’s gourmet Italian goodies. Located in the Pike Place Market, it was filled with tourists looking for gifts to take home, as well as locals who know where to get a good sandwich, espresso or dessert. I had high hopes for a tasty cannoli there. I was not disappointed. I ordered one for around $4 and when the clerk mentioned it would be a few minutes, I knew I was in the right place. I saw the women behind the counter take out the pieces to assemble the cannoli on the spot. The dessert was big compared to what I saw at Borrachinni’s, filled with the richest, creamiest ricotta filling. A couple of small slices of candied orange garnished the top, alongside some more filling, and perfect little chocolate shavings completed the package. The taste was exactly how I imagined it should be. It was an impressive sight.

With that inspiration in mind, I set out to make my own cannoli a few weeks later, and you know the rest.


Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…

The firm took me and my co-workers out to the ball game yesterday. The M’s hosted the Padres and we had great seats … a couple of suites above the Hit it Here Cafe, in Ichiro‘s turf. It was a terrific view, one that normal folk like me don’t get to experience every day (or every decade). If you’ve ever wondered how the high-rollers, um, roll, well I’m here to tell life is pretty good. Open the fridge to a variety of beers and soda pops. Wine also available if that’s your poison. Before the game, munch on buckets of popcorn and peanuts. Sure, it’s typical ball park fare, which is just up my alley, especially when you’re at a ball game.

My pal Mags declared, “Hot dogs taste better at the ball park,” and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I even had a hot dog. Oh. Scratch that. Other than the dog I enjoyed two weeks ago at Andrea’s graduation bbq, I can’t remember the last time I even had a hot dog (I remember getting a wiener at the Wiener Circle when I was in grad school … could it have been that long?)

hot dog!

hot dog!

Mine was a simple dog. Ketchup, of course. But then I tried to add relish, but the relish they provided was in a squeeze bottle, and instead all I got was relish juice. Oh well. I did not let that deter me from enjoying said dog. A little potato salad and mac & cheese on the side. Tasty. Mags and I continued to scout out the suite, to see if the catered affair would eventually include some type of sweet dessert. But, alas, I needed to leave a tad early to bus it home to see my sweet little baby and feed her some dinner. Sure enough, as I left the downtown bus tunnels headed home, I received a text/picture message from Mags:
how the high-rollers eat

how the high-rollers eat

Wouldn’t you know it!
Best of all, the M’s won! 9-3. Ichiro scored a home run to lead off the first inning. Can’t get much better than that (well, I suppose if I was able to stick around for a cookie, that would have been pretty swell, too).

The Library: Check it out

At “Next Months” last week the babies were getting fussy so it was decided that we should sing to them. We sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and I realized I didn’t know the words to the song. I had to later look them up in a Nursery Rhymes book I took out of the library. “Like a diamond in the sky?” Really?

What cracks me up is the previous night I had been singing to Lily. The husband and I sang “American Pie”. Not the entire song, for pete’s sake. But just the one verse that I’ve been able to memorize. “Did you write the book of love and do you believe in God above …” Hopefully I have now successfully gotten one of two songs to repeat over and over again in your head. Because that’s what happened to me.

Speaking of the library … LOVE it. I recently got my Seattle Public Library card, and am actually using it! The Northeast branch is about 6 or 7 blocks from our house. Of course, four of those blocks happen to be uphill on the way to the library, and it’s hard pushing a stroller up. Thank goodness for the Baby Bjorn. The library has CHANGED since I went as a kid in West Hartford. First, I can go online at home and click here and there and hold books that I want to take out. Then, they email me when they are available (or I can go online and check the status). Walk in, find my held books and check them out. Even the check out is automated. I can renew online. Those stamped cards with the due date listed is a thing of the past. They also have CDs and DVDs of recent stuff. I am kicking myself for not getting back on the library bandwagon sooner. Will have to make a trip to the downtown library soon (the new one has been open for how long now?)

Cool pic of the Library downtown (but not the one I frequent)

Cool pic of the Library downtown (but not the one I frequent)

I am also singing “American Pie” right now … “And good ol’ boys were drinking whiskey and rye …”

Legalize Frostitution

Day 8, stuck here at the house. We ventured out yesterday to First Hill for a doctor’s appointment. While the freeways were clear of any snow, slush nor ice, the roads to and from the freeway were a far different story. First Hill being, you know, hilly, there were several main roads that were closed, so we went the most circuitous route possible to get to Madison and Minor. And, if you think it would make sense for the city of Seattle to, at the very least, plow the streets leading up to oh, I don’t know, a HOSPITAL, well ho ho ho are you way off-base. At least, I was when I said to the husband, “Surely Madison will be clear of snow.” The ride to the doctor’s was bumpy bumpy bumpy. Baby was not fond of the ride, so far as I can tell. We thankfully have a 4Runner with 4WD that got us to our destination, but boy was I nervous about all of the OTHER cars on the roads, like the lame Toyota Corolla in front of us trying to get to Capitol Hill, or the insane Honda Civic that thought it could bypass a “Street Closed” sign on Boren but then fishtailed and ran into the curb. Some great driving going on.

And, I’m not the only one complaining about the poor job the city has done with clearing the streets.

So, that was our only jaunt of the week (not including a two-mile round trip to UVillage over the weekend). Needless to say, we’re staying home as much as possible. As you might have guessed, I’ve been a little stir crazy. I baked cookies last week, intending to give them to some co-workers. Being as how I never made it back to the office, the work cookies soon became neighbor cookies. I made a batch of chocolate chip and a batch of sugar cut-outs, and frosted them with this lame icing from the BHG cookbook. I wasn’t crazy about the cookie dough, either, so I decided to try again.

Snowman Sugar Cookie

For this batch, which I finished today, I used the Best Rolled Out Sugar Cookies. Seriously, that’s what they call them at I also found a frosting recipe from allrecipes. It is my go-to site for simple recipes and all-american cooking (i.e green bean casserole).

I had quite a bit of fun frosting these. The frosting is way better than what I used from BHG. BHG was basically powdered sugar and milk. Blech. I sent the husband out for food coloring and added it to the new version, made of powdered sugar, milk and butter (the original recipe called for shortening but I declined. I’m not sure what shortening does to frosting that butter doesn’t)

The toppings I got from Williams Sonoma, on sale. I’m hoping we make it to the in-laws tomorrow for Christmas, so I can give these cookies away. Otherwise I am going to come out of this snowstorm one roly-poly cookie-eating chica.

See more cookie pics on my flickr photostream.

BTW, I am not so clever as to have invented the title of this post. I have to give credit to Cupcake Royale.

Speaking of cupcakes, I imagine this frosting would be incredible on a nice chocolate cupcake. Yeah!

Phew! I’m back

I was doing a little upgrading and nearly lost access to the backend of this here blog. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally learned (the hard way) how important BACKING UP is. So, I’m quite pleased that I had my wp-config.php file backed up.

So, I’m back.

Snow on the deck

Snow on the deck

I’ve worked from home the past three days due to snow. Day 1, there wasn’t actually any snow. But the threat of snow had several people staying home. Day 2, indeed there was snow. Day 3, the aftermath of snow falling. Here is a big difference between snow in Seattle and snow in other (normal) cities.


  • Schools close when there is NO SNOW ON THE GROUND
  • Local TV stations begin their news broadcasts at 4 a.m. to talk about snow. They only show spin-outs and accidents.
  • No one shovels their walks.
  • Sledding down the middle of the streets.
  • People go CRAZY! Oh yeah, and they don’t know how to drive.


  • It’s 20 degrees below zero and the University does not cancel classes! I went to Calculus in below 20 degree weather, I kid you not.
  • It snows on top of frozen snow and there is no cancellation of nothing.
  • The news stations say, “Yep. It’s snowing.”
  • It’s the law. You have to shovel your sidewalk.
  • People go to work. I grew up in Connecticut and I can’t remember any day that my father did not go into work because it snowed too much. I think maybe he didn’t go to work when Hurricane Gloria hit us in fifth grade. That was the time we lost power for 2 or 3 days.

So, there you go. A quick little recap of the week. Monday is my last day in the office (assuming I make it into the office, as the forecast calls for snow on Sunday night and you know what that means …) before the end of the year.

Happy Snow!

Jury Duty – Day One

Jury Duty via Chattycha on FlickrI missed work today because I had to appear at the King County Superior Court. For jury duty. My first time. That’s me, Juror #101052652. The tip from the office was that the courthouse had wireless, so I brought the laptop, and man was that a good idea. Because 75% of us were just sitting there, waiting. My friend, Cathy, was summoned on the same day as me (what are the odds) and she was called pretty early in the morning. From what I can tell, being called consisted of filling out questionnaires; waiting; filling out more questionnaires; waiting some more. Meanwhile, I caught up on email, read through all of my favorite blogs, did some blogging of my own and then was let go for a two-hour lunch. An hour after lunch they let us go early. Poor Cathy had to stay though. She could still be there for all I know.

I did not bring my camera; the husband feared it would be confiscated, but we shouldn’t have been nervous. Yes, I did go through a metal detector and my bag was scanned, but the atmosphere in the Jury Assembly Room was far from strict. The Bailiff, Greg, kept trying to make jokes (the ol’ “Good Morning. (pause to silence). C’mon, you can do better than that! Good Morning (Audience replies in that school-boy drone, “good moooorning”). He tried to make some other cracks and all I could do was giggle because no one even lifted their heads up from their newspaper, books, magazine, laptop, etc.

Back to the 2-hour lunch. I walked a few blocks and stopped at Soup Daddy’s (recommended by the Jury Supervisor) for some clam chowder and a chicken salad sandwich. On the way back I saw a Cow Chip stand and had a calf chip. No pics (see the previous paragraph). I did not know what to expect for lunch (i.e. would they make you eat in a cafeteria? No. Could we do whatever we wanted? Yes, provided you got back at the assigned time). Tomorrow, when I return (for those of you in King County, jury duty is a two-day commitment. Keep that in mind. I didn’t know), I’ll be prepared with ideas for where to eat in Pioneer Square. Any suggestions for someone with an hour to kill? (Salumi is out. I could not fathom going there without the husband). If all else fails, I discovered there is a Jimmy John’s on First & Yesler that will likely be calling my name. I’ll even bring the camera, too.

Anyway, all of this jury duty talk kept reminding me of that movie based on the Grisham novel, “The Runaway Jury” with John Cusack, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. And all I can think was, what are the odds that you actually land on that jury. You are summoned on the very day the trial of the century is picking jurors? No way. They lost me. I tried to suspend my disbelief, but I cannot.