The very first Caesar salad was a jerry-rigged dish with relatively few ingredients. According to family lore, Tijuana restaurateur Caesar Cardini whipped together coddled eggs, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and lemon juice - showily working in front of guests to distract them from the recipe's simplicity - and poured the dressing over whole lettuce leaves.
Whether or not the invention story is accurate, it's indisputable that chefs have since caressed the recipe, adding anchovies, switching greens and adjusting ratios to make the dressing thick and creamy. Nearly every alteration has attracted backers, earning the Caesar a permanent spot on the overly-contentious food list.
While we'll refrain from weighing in on crouton size and garlic measurements, we've chosen 10 Seattle restaurants that we think get the salad exactly right. Listed here with Voracious contributors' comments, as compiled by Erin Thompson, the salads are in no particular order - up until the very end. Click though to the final page to find our pick for the city's very best Caesar.
John Howie is known for its fine aged steaks, but the restaurant also offers quality sides The Caesar dressing of egg yolk, lemon, anchovy, olive oil, Dijon mustard, red wine, vinegar, and Worcestershire is mixed right in front of you and poured atop your romaine and garlic croutons.
What 's great about The Georgian is the splendorous formality. Even the traditional dishes are made to sound fancy, like the artful Olympic Caesar salad--a pile of romaine leaves sitting on a long strip of aged Pecorino and topped by a single toasted crouton.
Man can't (or shouldn't, anyway) live on steak alone, which is why it's nice that the Met does a Caesar salad. The dressing is house-made and accompanied by garlic croutons, fresh Parmigiano Reggiano and tasty Spanish white anchovies.
13 Coins isn't just a charming rest stop for the working man--it is a lacuna for everyone who needs culinary comforting. Sometimes that means an omelette or meatloaf sandwich, but salads are also available around the clock, including a huge Caesar, made with romaine, fresh-baked croutons and a tangy dressing.
At El Gaucho, the service is impeccable, the cocktails well-crafted, and the steaks super-sized. Even the accompanying sides are served with bravado; servers go beyond cracking some pepper and prepare your Caesar salads tableside, from scratch.
Chefs Michele Godina and Riccardo Simeone eschew the tomato sauces and rustic Mediterranean notes of southern Italy in favor of mushrooms, beans, bitter greens, and lots of northern Italian red wines. The Caesar at Barolo is a cuore di Romana grigliata, in which the traditional Caesar dressing and shaved Reggiano cheese accompany charred grilled hearts of romaine.
Machiavelli has hung onto its cheap classification by serving reasonable portions of pasta, instead of the towering noodle mounds that most red-checkered-tablecloth joints offer. But there's nothing bargain-bin about the flavors here. The Caesar salad is excellent-- you can order the simplest version for $4.50, or, for $1.50 more, top your greens with white anchovies.
3. Skillet Diner
Skillet Diner puts its own spin on the Caesar salad: The creamy dressing, croutons and Parmesan are intact, but instead of romaine there's hardy dark green kale, and vinegar-marinated boquerones instead of plain anchovies.
Via Tribunali's insalata di Caesar - constructed from crunchy romaine, grana padana and tiny anchovies - is the perfect starter before digging into one of Via's thin crust pizzas.
Queen City knows how to make a perfect Caesar salad: The romaine is crisp, the thick dressing is unabashedly garlicky, and, best of all, the cheese has the salty tang of high-quality Parmesan. Much credit is due to the Grill's house-made Caesar dressing, a concoction of anchovy paste, garlic, eggs, cheese, Worcestershire, and red wine that's been with the restaurant for years.
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