This Tuna Ain't No Chicken of the Sea

albacore at barking frog.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
This albacore really floats my boat!
Why do so many chefs treat albacore tuna like its fattier cousin, ahi?

When seared, albacore tends to wash out and get pale. Like chicken of the sea, but not in a good way. The lovely, leaner fish seems better suited to poaching in olive oil or crudo-fying.

At least that's what I've firmly believed until I tried chef Bobby Moore's seared albacore at the Barking Frog. Hot damn!

I went for lunch on Tuesday and the dining room was slam-packed with ladies and gents doing Seattle Restaurant Week. This three-course $15 lunch was indeed a screaming deal, even when I added a glass of pretty-in-pink rose from L'Ecole. (Yes, you can drink rose in October, especially if it's above 60 degrees out.)

My meal started with a iceberg wedge salad with housemade Thousand Island. Oh, hell yeah. I sincerely hope this marks the beginning of a Thousand Island comeback trend. Maybe Thousand Island will be the new blue cheese? Probably not, but I can dream, can't I?

Then, out came the tuna, wearing a spicy Togarashi coat, perched on top of sushi rice and, yes, looking a little like ahi in its ruby redness. The wasabi aioli on the side was a spectacular condiment, too, though the kitchen could have turned up the heat a smidge. The slaw on top turned this dish into my new favorite tuna salad.

When I tried to order the blackberry sorbet after practically licking my entree plate clean, the server talked me out of it. "You've got to try the chocolate creme brulee," she coaxed. "It's so good."

She didn't have to work hard to convince me and, yes, she got a bump in her tip because that was some stellar sweet. I would have paid $15 for pastry chef Matt Kelley's dessert alone, made with a blend of Valrhona's Jivara milk chocolate and Cacao Barry's 64 percent dark guayaquil dark.

Oh, and, by the way, don't even think about going to a Seattle Restaurant Week restaurant without a reservation!

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