Trellis, Flan, and a Stimulus for Sex Education

Trellis probably tops my list of the most underrated restaurants in the Seattle area. It's low-key, it's in a hotel (the Heathman), and it's in Kirkland. No wonder I'm always answering the "Trellis...never heard of it...where is it?" question.

This is a gem of a restaurant. Go on a Sunday or Monday, and you get a three-course meal for $29. That's a steal. Plus, there are 29 wines available at half-price.

Trellis is so good that I chose it for my recent birthday dinner. Tomatoes are always terrific there, so I started with a rustic tomato soup while pilfering a couple of slices of flatbreads from my friends--including one with arugula and thinly sliced oranges, rind and all, that was mind-blowing. My entrée was hanger steak with peperonata, and then as part of shared desserts, an old favorite: lemon-sage flan with sweet lemon cream, candied lemon zest, and sage. Light and luscious, it was perfect for the palate as a meal-ender, the citrus simply refreshing and the sage spicing it up ever so slightly.

So what does Trellis' flan teach us about sex?

It's all about the benefit of having some sage.

Lemon and sage is a classic combination of ingredients that works well together. Pairing them is wise.

As is the chef who created the dessert. Trellis' Brian Scheehser prepares the kind of food that teaches me something each time I visit his restaurant. It might be about flavor combinations, textures, or just plain freshness. (If you like the farm-to-table concept, note that Scheehser uses fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown on his ten-acre farm just a few miles from the restaurant.) He's soft-spoken and mellow, but full of wisdom. A real sage. How wonderful to know someone like that!

It's the same with sex.

We can all use a sage for our sexual lives, but most of us didn't have one when we were growing up. Think about it. How did you learn about sex?

I had no source of sex education in school or at home. As a result, I grew up in ignorance, totally naïve, both uncomfortable and unable to communicate about sex. No wonder I found myself in a relationship that faced an unintended teenage pregnancy.

I lacked a sage.

A sage can be older sibling, a parent (not likely, which is why the Swedish government believes it's unrealistic for parents to be the primary sex educators of their children), or maybe even a grandparent. Outside the family, you might find a sage in a health teacher, a youth worker, or some other influential person.

It's never too late to find a sage. Your sage could even be electronic. Some teens turn to Scarleteen, while adults can learn from sources like Kinsey Confidential,, and our local (though getting dated)

Or, perhaps your sage can be, ahem, your favorite sex (and food) columnist?

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