Seattle's Essential Dishes: Short Rib (in various forms) at Crush

Photo courtesy Peter Mumford

The short rib from Crush:

The menu at Crush changes a lot. With the seasons, with the tides, with the phases of the moon and the product at the markets and the whims of the cooks and chef Jason Wilson. But one thing that's always there? The short rib.

I was eating at Crush recently and was seated next to a couple who were regulars there. I asked them what was good--what they loved about the place that kept them coming back night after night. And they both talked about the ever-changing board, the seasonal digressions on specific ingredients or artful preparations of old standards. They talked about how there was always something new to eat.

And yet both of them? They'd ordered the short rib. They'd done it because it was their favorite thing on the menu. And Wilson keeps it there (tinkered with here and there, paired sometimes with baby carrots, sometimes with something else) because if he were ever to take it off, he'd be losing the most dependably beloved dish he has. There might not be riots on the floor, but his regulars? They wouldn't exactly be happy.

So, while the plates change and presentations may vary, single dishes like the short rib (and the fried octopus with pork belly, the super-luxe foie gras appetizers) remain as touchstones for those who've come to love them. So as essential as they are to the smooth operation of a night's service at Crush, so too are they essential to some of Seattle's most discerning fine dining fans.

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