Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market—the Market’s biggest annual fundraiser—never lets me down, and this year was no different. In fact, with the addition of the new, expanded waterfront, there was even more of a buzz in the warm, slightly breezy air, as people put on their fancy pants (and dresses) and strolled through the closed-off cobblestoned streets and covered stalls, taken over by some of the city’s best restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries. Here’s what really stood out to me this year:
Chef Steps: The website that offers beautifully-curated cooking how-to videos, with an emphasis on high-tech cooking, is no doubt happy to finally be selling their Joule sous vide apparatus, and this divine bite of slightly-peppery, impossibly tender two-day sous-vide cooked pastrami showed it off handsomely. The only downside: yearning for an entire sandwich of it.
Treveri Cellars: Sparkling Syrah, who knew? But the effervescent, dry, not-too-sweet sparkling red from the Yakima Valley had me on the hunt for it over the weekend. I finally found it at Total Wines for just under $20 a bottle before tax. Can you say, “the new rose”?
Starbucks: The coffee chain doesn’t usually impress me with their sandwiches and baked goods, but they served up the best PB&J Ever! This tasty morsel of a sandwich with macerated strawberries and almond butter on fluffy whole wheat (no, that’s not an oxymoron) was an adult version of the kid favorite that could even sub as a dessert. Hell, who am I kidding? I’d eat it for any meal.
Luc: Chef Thierry Rautureau did a nice little sausage and cannellini bean puree that was both rustic and polished, with the flavor of the white beans surprisingly standing up to the meat.
Whole Foods: Knocking it out of the park with the Asian flavors, they served up a kind of chickpea fritter with sesame notes and a blended, savory nut sauce. A perfect bite.
The Fairmont: An ambitious, rich and savory soup with miso-broth, soba noodles, greens and pork fat belly. Kudos to them for the bigger-than-bite size portion.
Paseo: Keeping it real with simple, but perfectly roasted corn on the cob slathered with smoky spices and garlic aioli! It was a mouthful, and a bit unwieldy to try to eat while balancing a plate, a glass, and trying not to ruin your clothes. But for those willing to risk it, I’d say it paid off.
Matt’s in the Market and Ivar’s: There were a lot of gazpachos going on, but my favorite was a tie between Matt’s watermelon-based one with Oregon Bay shrimp (fruity, zesty, refreshing, beautiful) and Ivar’s heartier one with heirloom tomatoes, Dungeness crab and avocado crème fraiche.
Fran’s Chocolates: Yes, there were beer floats, caramel cups, even cotton candy. But the sublime simplicity of Fran’s dark and milk chocolate salted caramels were the just-right last bite to a joyous evening celebrating the market and all of its amazing food and social services. Plus, they were chocolatier to the Obama administration, which can’t help but make you weepy.