For a restaurant owned by a California catering company (Bon Appetit), TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum sure makes every effort to incorporate the local in all that they do, even listing the percentage of local ingredients used in house at any given time. The restaurant recently acquired a wine endorsement that establishes it as a licensed wine retailer, meaning it can now sell bottles of its Masterpiece red and white to customers for take away, at $23 and $19 respectively. The blends are a collaborative effort between TASTE's director, Danielle Custer, and Don Townshend of Townshend Cellars in Colbert, Wash.
Townshend and Custer are working on their next round of blends and plan to make more wine this time around. Custer said, "These were definitely an experiment, and the reaction has been great. We just want to make enough wine to offer the experience to our guests in the restaurant and catering clients, too."
Executive chef Craig Hetherington will make cheese to go with those wines and for the upcoming Taste of the Northwest Farm Dinner in mid-May, which coincides with the Seattle Cheese Festival. He's planning paneer, ricotta, crème fraiche, and mascarpone, all made with salmon-safe dairy. I'd be on the look out for these creamy beauties to hit the restaurant's menu about the same time.
And if that weren't enough, I spied a "Farm to Glass" cocktail on the bar menu. It contains Oregon's Clear Creek kirshwasser, local mint honey, and verjus (literally "green juice") from grapes out of Red Mountain's Klipsun vineyards.