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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday dinner 2011: The Herbfarm - Seattle

Every year, my bf and I have a tradition of having a holiday dinner with just the two of us. The season can get busy - in the best way - with friends and family, so I love the idea of setting aside a night to dine somewhere special and celebrate together. Bf made reservations months in advance for The Herbfarm, an AAA 5-Diamond restaurant that grows its produce/herbs in the backyard farm and sources everything else around the Pacific Northwest. The menu changes frequently and is always 9-courses paired with 5-6 wines. It was an entire experience of lavish decor, delicious and thoughtful food, perfectly matched wines with unlimited pours, and live music. The dinner lasted 4.5 hours! We had so much fun. I'll let the photos speak for this.

An almost overwhelming number of silverware and glasses, but the excitement of the foreshadowed feasting and drinking helped me look past that. The interior was decorated so festively for Christmas!

Patricio Contreras on guitar. They also had carolers come to each table to sing a couple Christmas songs of our choice, which was a cute touch.

The 1st course paired with the aforementioned brut. The following photos go into more detail about each of the three.

Poached scallop with Yellowstone River Paddlefish caviar, dill, and scallop crema. The light preparation didn't manipulate the scallop much so it just melted in my mouth, and its natural creaminess was enhanced by the savory caviar.

Chilled poached oyster on salsify panna cotta, pickled wild Chicken of the Woods mushroom, and fried leek. Having just come back from Italy, I was stoked to see panna cotta, but I've never had it in this savory way. It added a smoothness that drew out the briny flavor of the ocean from the juicy oyster.

Alaska Spot prawn in Jerusalem artichokes and local saffron.

Seeded rye loaf and sweet milk buns with house-churned Holstein cow butter. And our pet rock bulldog.

2nd course: Albacore tuna confit from the St. Jude fishing vessel on Washington coast, tuna tartar with crushed celery root, fresh radish, fennel bulb, and Klipsun Vineyard Verjus vinaigrette. Wine paired: 2010 Efeste Sauvignon Blanc, "Feral" Wild Yeast, Evergreen Vineyard, Washington. I'm not usually a big fan of white but this went so well with the tuna, and aren't the colors presented so beautifully?

3rd course: Oregon hazelnut-fed pork belly, schnitzel, and hazelnut-smoked loin with mustard-braised turnips, lemon thyme spaetzle, vinegar-red cabbage puree, and live mustard greens. Wine: 2010 Dowsett Gew├╝rztraminer, Celilo Vineyard, 1982 Old Vines Block. Considering the wine is older than I am, I had to have another glass.. and frying pork belly is genius.

 A shot of the open kitchen with the staff working under Chef Chris Weber (not pictured).

4th course: Rotisserie Moulard duck breast with pumpkin-farro risotto, seared local foie gras with caramelized onion and lavender-quince jam and Oregon winter black truffle duck jus. Wine: 2008 Westrey Pinot Noir, Oracle Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon. To experience the duck and foie gras together was sensational.. plus, I'm obsessed with truffle.

5th course: Whole-roasted prime rib of wagyu beef, confit of Ozette Native potatoes, wild winter mushrooms, Brussels sprouts in horseradish cream, woodoven-roasted carrots, roasted garlic clove, and bone marrow sauce bordelaise. Wine: 2007 DeLille Cellars Chaleur "D2," Meritage Red, Yakima Valley. We later chatted with Chef Weber who explained the process of this dish. They roast the entire prime rib starting at 10am for 8-minute segments so the juices flow to the edge, then pull it out for 8-minutes so the juices run back in, and on and on. All that meticulous labor paid off in the most juicy, tender, and flavorful slab of prime rib.

6th course: Fried wrapped parcel of Larkhaven Farmstead blue sheep cheese, roasted chestnuts, sheep cheese dust, sitka spruce syrup, and spicy cress to transition from savory foods to desserts.

7th course: Douglas Fir and Szechuan peppercorn sorbet with cranberry espuma.

8th course: Terrine of chocolate, marbled chocolate-brioche bread pudding with sugar plum jam, parsnip ice cream, salted chocolate tuille, and bay leaf eggnog sauce.

Finally, the last course, I ended the spectacular meal with a wild native brew of Madrone bark. The calming earthy hot liquid felt so good after the feast. Can't wait to come back!

Herbfarm on Urbanspoon


  1. Everything looks amazing! :) Happy holidays Carolyn!

  2. Wow everything looks so good, looks like you had fun!

  3. WOW! What a feast!!!! Everything looks amazing..but I'd probably only end up eating the desserts haha..

  4. Looks like the MOST deliciously decadent dinner ever! I don't remember the last time I sat at a restaurant for over 2 hours let alone 4! All the better to sober up after finishing endless bottles of wine...Incredible post, will DEF look them up next time I'm in town!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture Blog: WIN A FREE PAIR OF SHOES!!!

  5. Um, I know where I want Huz to take me on our anniversary!

  6. Everything looks so absolutely amazingggg! So delicious. Thanks for sharing! BTW, you look stunning in your outfit post below! Love the velvet dress!


  7. I definitely wouldn't have been conservative with the wine either =) Looks like an amazing dinner

  8. Wow!! That's some serious food porn. I don't think I've ever had a meal even close to as amazing as this looks. What a fun, special night for you and your BF! And p.s. I would have drank a ton of wine of I were you (endless pours? Heck yeah!)!

  9. I haven't heard of this place yet. But I'd love to go, because I live in Seattle too. Everything looks delicious.

  10. looks SO delicious!

  11. This seems like so much fun! Wish we had this here in Canada .. I'd love to sit and relax for a good few hours over lots and lots of food haha.

    P.S. The look on your face after a few glasses of fine is totally adorable! haha :P

  12. looks SO so good! i think my favourite courses would be the beef & the desserts, that beef looks just amazing! hehe good job making best use of the unlimited wine refills :)

    Katie x

  13. That meal looks amazing! 9 courses! And so elegant still after 6 6 glasses of wine :p

    Monochrome Magpie – Christmas Giveaway!

  14. What a sweet tradition! That looks like quite an amazing holiday feast!

  15. LOVE IT.


  16. that is the most ridiculously amazing dinner I have ever seen! and such an adorable tradition

    <3 Alison

  17. such a lovely place, and so romantic !

  18. nice post :) such amazing place ! the food looks so delicious..

  19. Wow, what an amazing dinner!
    Merry Christmas sweetie & cheers to an amazing 2012!

  20. So sweet! and the food looks divine :)

  21. oooo major delish!!!

    loving your blog!! following!


  22. OMG! The food looks delish and the place is soo festive/cosy/and warm:D Good choice to your BF:D

    I love that vessel and for H2O? quite posh,hehe

    What x'mas songs did u guys request then?:)

    You look gorgeous in the pics!

    Belated Merry Christmas Caroyln!!!

  23. Hi! I just came across your blog today. My name is Carolyn too- and I also lived in Seattle for over 7 years. Seeing a lot of the places that you visit is a pleasant trip down memory lane for me- plus you have great style. Can't wait to see more!


Thank you for commenting!
Love, Carolyn