On the plate

Supreme—A new Sunday brunch to wrap your whole day around: Start with caramel- custard "grapefuit brulee" ($2.50) or homemade yogurt laced with

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The Hot Sheet

What's in, what's fresh, what's cooking.

On the plate

Supreme—A new Sunday brunch to wrap your whole day around: Start with caramel- custard "grapefuit brulee" ($2.50) or homemade yogurt laced with honey ($5); move on to blintzes stuffed with lemon ricotta and drenched in blueberry sauce ($9), croissants give French-toast treatment ($8), steak and eggs with New York strip loin ($13), or a daily special vegetarian tart ($7).

Tango—Exotic Latin flavors abound on the first anniversary menu. Tickle your palate with items like crayfish, asparagus, and walnut salad in balsamic dressing ($10); a "fallen souffl颠of spinach with oysters and a crispy pig's trotter ($11); quail marinated in "lemon tea," then grilled and served on a salad of basil and cracked coconut dressed in cilantro oil ($13); or seared scallops in a sea-urchin cream with black rice and mango salad ($16).

The Painted Table—Tim Kelley's spring luncheon menu emphasizes the lighter and more informal: a sumptuous salade ni篩se with grilled ahi instead of traditional tuna ($14.50), or a grilled vegetable and goat cheese sandwich with pasta and a white-bean salad ($9.50). Heartier items include the "Moo & Bleu" burger with a side of beer-battered onion rings ($10.50), and the barbecue-braised pork sandwich with pickled cucumbers and fries ($10.50).

In the glass

Arbor Crest '99 chardonnay—Just arriving in stores, the latest release from the Spokane winery is blended from fruit grown in three diverse Columbia Valley sites, including Sagemoor Farms' Dionysus Block 21.

Canon de Sol '99 merlot—The very first release by this new Benton City operation was rated "Outstanding" by tasters for Wine Press Northwest. The winery has no distributor yet but can be contacted at www.canondesol.com.

In the markets

The first local produce is beginning to arrive in market stalls. Eastern Washington asparagus as usual leads the way, but winter-over vegetables like leeks and greens abound. If you're lucky you'll find ramps—tiny wild onions like a cross between scallion and leek with a faint garlicky aroma. Keep an eye out for fiddlehead ferns, morels, and nettles. (Yes, nettles. You mean you don't eat nettles?!)

Coming up

4/30—A tasting focused on the varied wines of just one region of Tuscany: Montalcino, home of the fabled Brunello. The Back Room, Pike and Western, Monday at 7. $40 per sipper.

5/1—The Seattle edition of Taste of the Nation showcases food from 65 chefs, wine from dozens of producers, and an auction of dining and travel packages to benefit the national anti-poverty group Share Our Strength. Sheraton Hotel Towers, 6 p.m. Admission $85. Call 545-3663.

5/2—A chance to sample wines no longer on the market or not yet for sale in a banquet featuring Kestrel Winery products at Falling Waters Seafood Restaurant. The menu pairs a sold-out '96 chardonnay with Columbia River Chinook salmon gravlax, merlot with monkfish, syrah with squab, and cabernet with lamb, concluding with a roasted-pear custard cake to complement Kestrel's unreleased first-ever ice-wine. $90 plus tax and tip. Call 374-3707.

5/5—A rare chance to sample wines still months or years from bottling in the Cascade Wine Country's spring barrel tasting. Some of the area's top producers take part in the event hosted by Woodinville's Columbia Winery—among them Hedges Cellars, Delille Cellars, Chatter Creek, and Chateau Ste. Michelle. $10 admission includes souvenir tasting glass. No-host buffet. Saturday, noon to 5. Call 425-488-2776.

5/8—Flying Fish's Christine Keff exhibits the fruits of her latest on-site culinary research in a five-course Vietnamese-inspired dinner complemented by the wines of Chalone. $65 plus tax and tip. Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. Call 728-8595.

5/15—Break out the barbecue, scour out the smoker: The Copper River king salmon season opens today.

 
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