If the Seattle food scene had a mascot, it would likely be a Brussels sprout.
The fashionably lowly sprout is the perfect symbol of all that's dear to Seattle diners: It's healthy, indigenous and hamishe. Many eaters can't stand its distinctively bitter taste - Anthony's has tried and failed to sell it to the restaurant's middle-class crowds - so it stands too for adventurousness and iconoclasm too. Upscale restaurant-goers in Seattle tend to order Brussels sprouts even if they don't instinctively like them, which is why so many chefs have resorted to the exasperated mommy trick of frying the greens and disguising their flavor with plenty of bacon.
Chef Tamara Murphy uses pork for her roasted Brussels sprouts too, but the Serrrano ham's salt doesn't overwhelm the dish. It instead carries on a perfectly civil conversation with the sweetness wrought from maple syrup and the woodsiness snatched from rosemary. But all those flavors take a backseat to the tender split sprouts with crisped outer leaves, satisfyingly earthy and green. It doesn't taste obligatory: It tastes fabulous.