Anchovy Innocent.png
This is an anchovy, the mascot of Anchovies & Olives. Not pictured: olives.
Upon entry into Anchovies & Olives I was immediately aggravated by the

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Anchovies, Olives and--This Being a Surly Gourmand Column--Your Mom

Anchovy Innocent.png
This is an anchovy, the mascot of Anchovies & Olives. Not pictured: olives.
Upon entry into Anchovies & Olives I was immediately aggravated by the bizarre woven wooden crap on the walls. It looks like you're trapped inside a gigantic Easter basket. Now I know what a Cadbury Egg feels like: wobbly and brimming with lots of sticky white cream. Your mom knows the feeling too.

Once we sat down, my rage about the interior design abated enough for us to order some food. We started with the hamachi crudo. I liked this. Cubes of hamachi, supple and glistening like a coed on the beach, were slicked with a creamy sauce amid ribbons of shaved fennel, pine nuts, and a brunoise of something crisp and sweet, which was probably apple but could have also been pear.

Eleven dollars got you a big-ass pile of Italy's most famous ham: I'm talking about prosciutto, of course, and not Roberto Benigni. A generous heap of air-dried pork, coiled up and accented with aruglua and shaved reggiano and drizzled with olive oil, was salty and sweet and, predictably enough, served upon a wooden paddle thingy suitable for spanking your mom. This was a pretty cliched presentation, but fuck it: I was shitfaced, so it was okay.

The octopus salad was fucking awesome: thin slivers of chilled tentacle were piled atop a bed of fried brussel sprouts with a mint and pecan pesto. The mint lightened things up, and the warm crispy sprouts were an effective flavor foil to the cool and clammy octopus.

Next came a sauteed cod filet perched atop a bed of fluffy creamy fingerling potatoes and chunks of sauteed chorizo. The latter had been fried a bit and bled its delicious paprika oil all over the potatoes, and this, I declare by the ghosts of all the Caesars, was rad. The cod was perfectly prepared and flaked apart when you looked at it.

Finally, the gnocchi with braised rabbit was so good I would punch an orphan in the face repeatedly if that were the only way to ever get it again: tender shreds of stewed rabbit twined erotically around some of the lightest and most airy gnocchi ever. Seriously, the gnocchi-- bathed in a light tomato sauce and partnered with that succulent rabbit-- were like little nuggets of nothingness. The gnocchi, devoid of corporeal substance, when combined with the idea that a bunny had to die to complete the dish, makes this the perfect food for nihilists. They should've called this "Fatal Attraction: The Entree."

Anchovies & Olives, which just got nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, is delightful. They take reservations and they don't fuck around. Don't bother with the prosciutto and you'll be fine. Just try to ignore the walls or your EYES WILL BLEED.

Rating: 8 nihilists out of 10

Anchovies & Olives is located at 1550 15th Ave in Seattle.

For reservations call 206-838-8080?

 
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