Friday Food Porn: A Gastronaut's Crush

Photo courtesy Peter Mumford

This week's review of Crush was all about the quiet competence of a kitchen deprived of its award-winning executive chef. It's about silence and the rush, about the kind of training it takes to make a galley function just as well when the chef is in the house as it does when he is away.

This week's slideshow, though? It's all about the food and the booze which are the main draw at Crush--a too-brief tour of the scene and the cuisine as witnessed by Peter Mumford who hit Crush after I was done and shot his way through one night's service.

Photo courtesy Peter Mumford
Peter's snaps show all that is great about Crush--from the food on the plates to the drinks being slung across the bar and the electric vibe in the dining room and wide-open show galley on a really good night. But one of the things that I found most interesting about Crush (beyond the aforementioned food and drink) was chef Jason Wilson himself who, in his absence, actually did a better job of showing what a great chef is than he could've possibly done had he been in the house.

Without their general to command them, Wilson's troops did an amazing job with the menu--working in near silence for the entire night, casually and expertly banging out food of a caliber that's rare even in Seattle's best kitchens. On a normal night, Wilson would've been there, standing at expo, doing early prep with his guys, even washing dishes on Sundays to give his dishwasher a night off. But with him temporarily laid up and forced to stay clear of his kitchen, his crew stepped up admirably and cooked in such a way that--if Crush kept its line hidden away behind swinging doors like a normal restaurant--no one would've ever known he wasn't there.

As Peter's pictures show, the food and drinks at Crush are lovely. But to get a true feel for the place and what the crew is capable of, you really have to go yourself, sit at the kitchen counter and watch the guys at work. Wilson will probably be there when you show up, standing his post behind the pass. But even if he's not, the odds are very good that your dinner will look just as good as it does in this week's slideshow. And taste even better.

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