Monday, January 30, 2012

Blind Pig Bistro - Seattle, WA

We heard tasty things about Blind Pig Bistro so we came here for our date night on Friday. The location is unexpected, a tiny spot wedged between a Subway and a teriyaki joint in a mini strip mall, but we didn't judge the book by its cover and thank goodness. The food was delicious! We couldn't stop ordering..

Chalkboard menu because items change frequently. I like the option of a half or full size so you can sample more dishes.

Handwritten wine list.

Started off with oysters: two Kumamotos with scallion and coriander marionette, and two Fat Bastards with grapefruit and pimentón ice.

Fluke crude with avocado, chillies, and apple. The creamy crudo was perfect with avocado, offset with a hint of sweet tanginess and a kick.

Chioggia beets with blood orange, fennel, sorrel, and horseradish yogurt. I love beets and this dish was very fresh with the citrus notes and subtly spicy from the fennel and horseradish.

Staring adoringly at the roasted kale and quinoa salad with a poached egg, radish, and crispy capers. One of my favorite salad combos ever.. must try to make this at home.

Our favorite dish of the night.. Sturgeon with brussels sprouts, anchovy, pine nuts, currants, and mint. The sturgeon was so flavorful and buttery, and that brussels sprouts mix was incredible. We should have ordered like ten of these.

Pork belly with treviso and cauliflower. Happy to see treviso, this Northern Italian veggie, being used. It's been pretty "trendy" lately in food.

Skirt steak with charred eggplant, hedgehog mushroom, and potato confit. Hedgehog mushrooms are so good!

Finished off the meal with a rich chocolate mousse drizzled with sea salt, olive oil, and spices.

Blind Pig Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sometimes I just want to slow it down

Étoile Isabel Marant corduroy shirt (similar)Rag & Bone jeggings, Banana Republic rainboots (similar), Marc by Marc Jacobs umbrella (similar)

Photography by John Nakatsu

Shot these a while ago (if you're detail-oriented you can tell my bangs haven't been chopped/butchered yet). I've gotten asked what I wear on chill days, it varies but this outfit was a pretty accurate depiction especially since I wore this shirt to death in the fall (also seen in this post). Anyway, one of my favorite simple pleasures is stomping through a puddle knowing you won't get soaked.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Burgundy jeans: styled 3 ways

Outfit 1: Maison Martin Margiela dolman button up, Lanvin cutout boots
Outfit 2: Wilfred wool boyfriend blazer (similar), Zara booties
Outfit 3: Wilfred oversized cardigan (similar), sheer metallic shirt from Hong Kong boutique, Topshop boots

I wanted a pair of burgundy jeans for fall/winter because I could just envision them with so many looks. I bought this pair by Twenty8Twelve colored "blood" which is kind of hauntingly accurate. They're colorful enough to spruce up a plain ensemble, but also appropriate for the season. I wore them so much I'm sick of them now, and to save you all from being sick of looking at photos of them I condensed three shoots into one post. Shows how mindlessly easy it is to wear colored pants.. will be branching out more into that in the next seasons.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monsoon - Seattle, WA

Coming to Monsoon in Capitol Hill was a lucky stumble.. we had intended to go to a restaurant across the street but it wasn't open yet (got really hungry at 5pm.. feed me!) but I'm glad to have landed here. Ever since our trip to Vietnam, we've been even more obsessed with the cuisine, and Monsoon gave it just enough of a modern twist yet preserved the traditional flavors I love.

Green papaya salad with grilled wagyu beef, rau ram, and caramelized shallots. This salad is one of my favorite starters, the fresh ingredients combined with a lightly tangy dressing just open up your appetite. The grilled wagyu beef was so tender and added some warmth to the dish.

Grilled Monterey squid stuffed with duck, basil, and jicama. I love how the entire squid was preserved, so beautiful.. though I'm sure beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a lot of people would be grossed out by the intact tentacles..

Crispy organic tofu with lemongrass, sweet onions, and roasted Shiitake mushrooms. Maybe because I love my mom's fried tofu, but it's really so simple and delicious especially sautéed with tons of garlic.. though I'm convinced that anything with tons of garlic would be tasty.

Barbecued Carlton Farm pork spare ribs in ginger, hoisin, and five spice. The meat fell off the bone, was just right sweet, and went well with the pickled jicama and carrots.

Half portion of wokked soft noodles with oyster mushrooms, duck egg, green onions. Hints of all the ingredients with a smokiness from the wok made these noodles work as a complement to the other dishes.

Coconut cream pudding for dessert. It had the consistency of flan, and flan is one of my favorite desserts ever + coconut.. can't go wrong.

Monsoon on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inside the dying city - Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Vince chambray shirt (similar), Zara elbow patch sweater (similar) and boots (similar), Rag & Bone jeggings

Here is the second part of this post on the inside of Civita di Bagnoregio, the "dying city" in Italy. The city was so charming, but with a definite quiet desolate feel which I loved. The silence makes you notice the little things.. like a pop of orange from an unattended persimmon tree against its archaic surroundings, skinny stray cats meowing for some scraps and affection, and the apparent restorative efforts of newer arches supporting the ancient Etruscan architecture. My favorite moment is the last photo of when we were leaving the city just as the sun was setting and the entire entryway was illuminated with a fiery amber glow.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not going to title this winter wonderland

Veeko coat (similar), Ralph Lauren sweater dress (similar), Nordstrom rainboots (similar), Plush fleece-lined tights, Hollister legwarmers, ASOS faux fur snood, H&M fingerless gloves

Woke up this morning to snow, which comes for a few days a year in Seattle and is generally received ambivalently -- delight and freakout (an inch of snow?! Snow tires ASAP!) We took the opportunity to shoot in it, and then it turned into a mini blizzard. It's fun when doing this blog gets us into random little moments like that. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe: Smoked rosemary beets salad with steak

I got my first Full Circle delivery on Monday, which consisted of a box of 12 organic fruits and veggies. I got a pound of Chioggia beets, and though I love beets, I've never cooked with them so I was excited to try this recipe. As a disclaimer, making this meal will take 1+ hrs because of the time to roast the beets, so it's not one of those quick dinners (I made one the night before that took literally 15 minutes.. so easy and delicious, I will share that sometime).

The gorgeous color of beets always gets me. Chop off the tips and bottoms and wash.

I prematurely cut the beets up because I wanted to lessen the roast time.. Don't do this. Roast the beets whole, it makes it easier to peel the skin off after. Place the beets in foil with fresh rosemary, wrap up the foil, poke a few holes on top with a fork and place onto a grill over charcoal for 1+ hours. You can also use the oven on 400 degrees F but you won't get the smokey flavor.

Once the beets are done roasting, toss them in with roughly chopped parsley and basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I also got 1.5lbs of redskin potatoes from Full Circle, and what better than potatoes with steak? These are dressed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. I tossed them in the oven until golden brown.

My fiancé loves cottage cheese, so when I found this cottage cheese dressing recipe I had to give it a try. Mix cottage cheese with thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and juice.

The finished product: smoked rosemary beets, parsley and basil salad on the left, thyme lemon cottage cheese dressing, medium rare steak, and a side of homestyle potatoes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The dying city - Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Ralph Lauren coat (similar), Vince chambray shirt (similar), Rag & Bone jeggings, Zara boots (similar)

One of my favorite places in Italy is Civita di Bagnoregio, or the "dying city." It was built 2500 years ago by the Etruscans on clay/basalt, which has intensively eroded over time. Only a small village with a population of 14 remains, surrounded by hills and valleys as far as your eyes can see. It's one of those wonders where you can observe nature and the manmade coexist so beautifully. I'll post more photos of the inside of the city soon.