Eat. Seattle. Smith.

Sign in Front of Smith Gastro Pub

Gastro pubs are all the rage in Seattle these days. I’m somewhat guarded in my enthusiasm. I love the casual atmosphere, as I am often dressed in running shoes, leggings, and one of my vast collection of wacky Hawaiian shirts. Not restaurant worthy, in other words. But hungry nonetheless.

I’m guarded, because although I love the general vibe of these latter day taverns with their rustic slap dash look, open beam ceilings, picnic tables, and second-hand lighting, the food can be ill conceived or even an afterthought. Good idea. Poor execution.

However, I assure you that this is not the case with Smith on Capitol Hill in Seattle. As I walked by a street-side diner at the restaurant this evening, I did a double take on a plate of something rich, brown, gooey and highly aromatic. It turned out to be Poutine Fries with Cheese Curds and Gravy. I must have been drooling, because the lovely woman eating the dish actually offered me a bite. You have to LOVE Seattle, folks!

Heirloom Carrot Soup with Lemon Verbena, Spearmint & Garlic Gremolata

Heirloom Carrot and Leek Soup with Lemon Verbena, Spearmint & Garlic Gremolata

I was about to pass them by but intuition nudged, and I instead asked the obvious question: “What are these?” The vendor replied, “Why these are heirloom carrots of course. And you will never taste a carrot with more complex flavor.” Perhaps in response to the skeptical expression on my face, he added, “Don’t worry about how they look.”

LunaCafe OtherWorldly Mac & Cheese

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Macaroni and Cheese is one of the easiest dishes in the world to prepare and surely one of the most wonderful, which probably accounts for the million-and-one versions that hurried, hungry folks have come up with over the years. (If you read to the end of this post, you will get to my most fabulous rendition, which I promised you a few weeks ago in Quintessential Mac & Cheese, Part 1, which reviews the best of all the Mac & Cheese I ate last year in Seattle, Portland, and Boston restaurants, complete with photos.)