Out with the old, In with the New

 MDS01831

Out with the old, in with the new! OK, Seattleites, looking to venture out to dine (and drink) in the Emerald City on New Year’s Eve? Eater.com has you covered for finding the perfect place to celebrate into the wee hours after you’ve watched the disco ball drop.  (Dec. 22 update courtesy of Uitti).

Listed in alphabetical order, the eight hot spot choices are… (drum roll, please): 1.  Bait Shop, 606 Broadway E., (206) 420-8742 There is something tremendously cozy about this Capital Hill bar.  Perhaps because it’s just off the beaten path in the busy neighborhood, or because the home-style menu is unfussy and extensive, with an albacore BLT, Dungeness crab fritters, and jalapeno lime wings.  Bait Shop will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on NYE, with a champagne toast at midnight… 2. Ballard Annex Oyster House, 5410 Ballard Ave, NW, (206) 783-5410 Whether you pronounce them oi-sters or er-sters, if you’re into into these bivalve mollusks, this place has ’em–in abundance!  New executive chef Jake Wilson is preparing for a busy night New Year’s Eve, when shells will be shucked and oysters will be slurped.  Plus, if you hang out at the Annex, you will be in one of the “most partiest” neighborhoods in the city.  Other menu items include smoked white fish toast with with sour cream and capers and prawn cocktails. 3. Burgundian, 2253 N. 56th St., (206) 420-8943 This establishment is owned and operated by the folks who run Brouwer’s in Fremont. While there is great fine dining in Seattle, this Tangletown restaurant has excellent bar food (including the best poutine–frittes on steroids, to the uninitiated–in the city).  And with the hiring of chef Jeff Davis, some elevated cuisine, like mushroom pappardelle in a creamy herb sauce and a classic pan-roasted pork chop. 4. Cafe Racer, 5828 Roosevelt Way, NE, (206) 523-5282 Okay, so this is a well-kept secret, but we’re going to spill the beans.  This Roosevelt watering hole has amazing burritos available until the place closes at 2 a.m.  The stomach has a tendency to feel hungry late night on New Year’s Eve, and if you don’t want to fill up on corner store chips, Racer’s breakfast burritos are the thing.  Quick, convenient, delicious. 5. Monsoon, 615 19th Ave. E, (206) 325-2111 Sophie and Eric Banh will be offering a three-course menu of refined Vietnamese dishes for $48/person.  The menu will include a whole grilled fish and oysters, and pastry chef Roger Martinho’s excellent sweets.  The prix fixe menu will be offered alongside Monsoon’s regular menu, which includes kabocha squash soup, ahi tuna fresh roll, and pan-seared Alaskan true cod. 6. Palace Ballroom, 2030 5th Ave., (206) 448-2001 Join Tom Douglas, restaurateur extraordinaire, as he hosts a get-together at his classic downtown establishment.  Tickets for this event are pricey, though, coming in at $175 per person, and they include cocktail hour, a five-course meal with wine pairings, and a midnight toast.  The fare includes smoked dark tart, apple and beet terrine, French onion agnolotti, and cauliflower panna cotta.  There’s also vegetarian options., if you’re so inclined. 7. Rock Creek Seafood & Spirits, (206) 557-7532 This Fremont eatery will be whipping up some celebratory specials–and offering complimentary part hats and horns for the stroke of midnight.  Rock Creek’s menu changes daily, so it’s always a surprise, but past menus featured Point Judith calamari, short trip Neah Bay black cod, and squid ink spagatini with Manila clams. 8. Last, but far from least, is Stoneburner, 5214 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 695-2051 To pair with dinner, this Ballard Italian eatery is offering a array of champagne flights–ranging from $15 to $25–for the big night.  Chef Jason Stoneburner will be offering his usual mix of tasty seasonal vegetable-inspired meals and wood-fired pizzas.
New Year’s Day Fare, Southern-Style Everybody knows eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the new year brings good luck, or so Southern cuisine lore goes, anyway… With that in mind, the following recipe is bound to help ring in 2015 with a bang, y’all…

gar shrimp photo

Photo by Romulo Yanes

GARLICKY BLACK-PEPPER SHRIMP AND BLACK-EYED PEAS (a gently-tweeked version of the Gourmet/March 2009 recipe by Paul Grimes)

This Low-country-style dinner—shrimp with saucy black-eyed peas and smoky bacon—is worthy of a glass of sweet tea.

Ingredients

  • 4 bacon slices (pancetta may be substituted)
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-ounces) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken, or vegetable, broth

For shrimp:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Preparation

Make black-eyed peas: Chop bacon, or pancetta, place in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until browned, but not crisp.

Cook scallions, carrot, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in fat in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are pale golden, about 10 minutes. Add black-eyed peas and broth and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Make shrimp: Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook shrimp with garlic, stirring occasionally, until just opaque (shrimp will not be fully cooked), about 3 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, then briskly simmer 2 minutes. Add bacon and black-eyed-pea mixture and simmer until just heated through (mixture will be juicy). Discard bay leaves.  Viola!

The Big, Bad Ass World of Football

pete carroll photo

Forgive me for being giddy with pride, but the Seattle Seahawks did it again, this time becoming the top NFC-West seed after handily defeating the St. Louis Rams 20 – 6 in Sunday’s game on home turf.  Not that Coach Carroll would take my advise, it does seem that the birds are establishing a pattern of lackluster play in the first half of their games, only to come on like a steamroller in the second, causing a little temporary distress among the team’s rabid fans.  Good thing he keeps plenty of chewing gum on hand as he paces frenetically up and down the sidelines.

Anyway, because of their win, Seattle gets next Sunday off.  What’s a Seahawks fan to do?  Break open some bubbly and dive into some black-eyed peas, perhaps?

Happy New Year!

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