Monday, September 6, 2010

Restaurant Review: A Caprice Kitchen

Nestled in a quiet corner of Ballard, A Caprice Kitchen is a little gem of a restaurant worth finding. Its interior space creates an intimate atmosphere that is classy and inviting with a casualness about it as homegrown as its menu. If you want to surprise your palette and experience what it is like to eat with the abundance of the season, that is food grown or produced in Washington State, then you are in for a real treat! The only items A Caprice Kitchen outsources from our state are salt, chocolate, olive oil, and coffee. Everything else is produced from a variety of local farmers, ranchers, dairies, creameries, wineries, and breweries right here in our state's backyard.

I invited two of my friends from work to join in the dining experience who are just as interested in the art of cooking as I am. In fact, we discussed all kinds of things from growing our own food to scouting farmer's markets for good deals for weekend canning projects. We began our dinner with good conversation and with glasses of locally produced red wine. We ordered a cheese plate with fresh chevre, Seastack and Brewleggio cheeses served with a warm baguette, Golden Glen Farmstead butter, and a fig compote. I would have been happily pleased stopping here. But with so much left to try we continued sampling. We next ordered an arugula salad with a sorrel aioli dressing. I must say, this salad was simple yet delicious and I was fascinated by the use of sorrel to substitute what many would ordinarily try to use, lemon juice. Since lemons are hard to come by in Washington, sorrel it is! I find myself thinking about how I can incorporate sorrel into my own cooking and perhaps someday into my own garden!

Next to grace our table, was a soufle like pancake with Walla Walla onions and dill cream followed by slow braised pork in a beer spiced sauce with sauteed chard on the side. And I mustn't forget the dessert. One of my favorite seasonal foods are figs. They have the smallest window of peak seasonality and are so delicious and tender. To that end, we enjoyed a fresh fig tartlet with hazelnut-sugar cookie crust. Have I made you hungry yet?

Eating at A Caprice Kitchen was an exploration of local food. If you want to experience a wonderful meal and at the same time learn about what is grown locally in our state, you will be pleasantly surprised. You may even try something completely new and unique that you have never heard of before. Farm dinners are served Wednesday through Friday from 5 pm to 9 pm and brunch is served on the weekends. Bring a friend or two and enjoy an ever changing menu that will leave you feeling forever grateful for the wonderful farmers in the state and those that are so good at preparing the food grown from our precious soils.

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