Archive for king crab

Morimoto Napa

Posted in Seafood with tags , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2011 by belltowngirl

My best friend completed his PhD in Physics a couple years ago and we have been meaning to celebrate with a trip to a great culinary landscape for sometime. We are both foodies and wine lovers hence we decided to meet in Napa on 4th of July weekend and it was definitely worth the wait. The wine region of Napa and Sonoma is very special to me as I started going there since my 21st birthday. The wine country has many great restos and it’s definitely growing especially neighboring towns such as Healdsburg (one of my favs).  I was reading the Wine Enthusiast magazine about the changing landscape of Downtown Napa and noticed that Iron Chef Morimoto opened up the first restaurant on the west coast in 2010. I am a fan of the Iron Chef and I definitely had to check out his dining establishment first in Downtown Napa.

Morimoto Napa is located right in the middle of the new Riverfront complex on Main St.  It has a very sleek and open feel to the restaurant with tall ceilings and minimalist design. There is an open kitchen which is great as you can see how the chef’s prepare the dishes and if your lucky you may even spot Iron Chef Morimoto in the action. Interestingly, before he became a chef he was going to be drafted to a major league in Japan, but ended his career because of an arm injury. Nevertheless, he has created a successful career for himself in the culinary world.

The menu had so many innovative dishes from the cold and hot appetizer categories.  All their raw fish and other seafood dishes are sourced from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.  We decided to try a couple dishes from the hot appetizer section.  I first tried the Morimoto bone marrow…with teriyaki sauce, 5 spices(cayenne, chili pepper, cumin coriander, paprika) topped with caramelized onion and panko which was roasted…Yum!  A nice touch was the Meyer lemons – add a splash and the fruit acidity cuts the richness of the bone marrow perfectly.

Morimoto bone marrow - Morimoto Napa

Morimoto bone marrow - Morimoto Napa

 
I am a major fan of seafood and tried the grilled spicy king crab with tobanjan aioli, and micro cilantro….very creative and delectable.  I initially thought the king crab was in its shell, but it was camoflaged with the creamy tobanjan to give it its red vivid color…very clever indeed.  The term tobanjan is a spicy miso paste that is very versatile especially for that added kick. 
 
Spicy King Crab - Morimoto Napa

Spicy King Crab - Morimoto Napa

 
As you probably know by now how much of a foie gras fan I am, I wouldn’t pass up on the oyster foie gras with market oysters, uni, foie gras, and teriyaki sauce….great balance of sweet and saltiness.  I am personally a fan of caviar sushi and the uni added a nice balance of sweetness to the oysters. 
 
Oyster Foie Gras - Morimoto Napa

Oyster Foie Gras - Morimoto Napa

Lastly, you cannot go wrong with great dessert to end your night of wine hopping in Napa.  I love anything rhubarb and the strawberry rhubarb tart with thai basil sauce and a strawberry jasmine milkshake…very tasty and refreshing!

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart - Morimoto Napa

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart - Morimoto Napa

 
I needed a balance of desserts from light to rich.  The miso butterscotch pudding with bitter chocolate foam and black tea caramel was perfect!  Great contrasting yet balanced flavors of sweet from the butterscotch and saltiness from the caramel. 
 
Miso Butterscotch Pudding - Morimoto Napa
Miso Butterscotch Pudding – Morimoto Napa
 
 
Morimoto has an excellent selection of innovative cocktails.  The white lilly – shirayuri which comprises of calpico, shochu, yuzu juice, and lemon juice was very tasty!  The term Yuzu is a citris fruit that is very tart.  Shochu is a distilled spirit.  The difference between sake and shochu is that sake is brewed while shochu is distilled.  Shochu has more of an earthy and nutty taste.  If you are a bloody mary fan, the “bloody mary-moto” has an innovative twist of grey goose orange vodka, heirloom tomato, teriyaki, wasabi, and pickled peppers.  Also, they sell shochu, premium, and aged sake.  Their most expensive sake is the “Morimoto 1972” which has spiced pumpkin and citris oil aromas with a tropical fruit finish…..priced at $504  for a bottle (500ml).  Overall, I enjoyed the innovative dishes at Morimoto in Napa.  This would have to be one of the best Japanese restaurants that I’ve had in awhile by far.  If you ever get the chance to visit Napa, definitely check out the Morimoto restaurant.  Enjoy everyone!
 
Morimoto Napa

Morimoto Napa

 
 
Morimoto Napa website:  http://www.morimotonapa.com/
 
Address:  610 Main St., Napa, CA 94559
 
Hours:  Sun-Thurs 5-10pm, Fri-Sat 5-11pm
 
Contact:  707 252-1600
 
 

Art Restaurant and Lounge – Four Seasons Seattle

Posted in Dessert, Fine Dining with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by belltowngirl

One of my favorite places for great Pacific Northwest cuisine and signature cocktails is Art Restaurant located at the Four Seasons Hotel.  If you remember Cascadia restaurant, the owner is now the executive chef at the hotel.  Chef Kerry Sear brings a modern and innovative cuisine to the flourishing restaurant scene in Downtown Seattle.  Art is really two restaurants in one – a sophisticated lounge and formal dining room.  The two spaces are separated by a partition of frosted glass, and share dazzling views of the Elliott Bay and the Olympic mountains.  The impressive array of food that I had is meted in fashionable “tasting tray” portions, which you can enjoy with your favorite glass of vino. 

The first tasting tray we had was the Market.  It was a seafood-themed tray with four contrasting dishes.  I had the king crab with lemon strips and it was a perfect accent ingredient of bright and lemony taste to the crab.  It was a great combination as seafood pairs beautifully with preserved lemons.  The yellow eyed snapper with the carrot and cumin relish gave a nice creamy taste to the tender and mild tasting snapper.  I loved the salmon with jalapeno black plum preserves….Great contrasting ingredients of sweet and spiciness.  The pan-seared trout and onion pickle with zinfandel tasted great as well. 

Seafood Tray  - Art Restaurant Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

Seafood Tray - Art Restaurant Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

The second tasting tray was the Chocolate.  It was a dessert-themed tray with four contrasting dishes.  I delved into the molton chocolate cake with blood orange sauce….moist and tasty!  I loved the bittersweet chocolate(64%) caramel tart with fleur de sel sprinkled on top.  A perfect balance of salty and sweet.  The delicate floral notes of of Fleur de Sel draws out the rich smoky tones in the caramel sauce.  I love anything white chocolate and the white chocolate with brandied cherry ice cream was sublime.  Lastly, who doesn’t like milk chocolate almond mousse cake with candied almonds…sinfully smooth and great texture! 

Dessert Tray - Art Restaurant Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

Dessert Tray - Art Restaurant Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

The lounge area is very sleek and modern and best of all it serves great cocktails.  I would say this is one of my favorite chic bars next to W Hotel in downtown seattle that is.  I like their categories on their drink menu from Market Fresh which uses fresh ingredients from Pike Place Market, Carefree for light spring cocktails, reMix which are classics with a twist, and (Con) Artist which does not include alcohol.  Also, just recently they concocted a drink to celebrate Four Seasons 50th anniversary with the Gold 61 cocktail. This one is absolutely sublime.  The cosmopolitan glass had Hennessy vsop, cointreau, douglas fir eau de vie (colorless fruit brandy), douglas fir sorbet, lemon garnished with gold sugar that is dusted on the rim, and an edible 10k gold leaf.  The drink looks golden and adds a nice to touch their golden themed anniversary.  Anyone who likes exotic cocktails such as this should definitely try it.  They also serve breakfast and lunch daily and would be an excellent stopping point to start off your day before heading to the museum or art gallery across the street.  Also, they valet for free for people dining at their establishment.  If you are familiar with the downtown seattle area, Art is across from the SAM Gallery.  Overall, I immensely enjoyed dining at the Art restaurant in the Four Seasons. Enjoy everyone!

Art Restaurant website:  http://www.artrestaurantseattle.com/

Address:  99 Union Street Seattle 98101

Hours:  Breakfast daily 6:30am-11am, Lunch daily 11am-2pm, Dinner daily 5pm-10pm, Lounge daily 11am-midnight

Contact:  206 749-7070