Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brunch at Tilth

While I've been back from my vacation for over a week, I left little slivers of my heart in each place we visited. For over a month, my biggest questions involved what to eat, whether to go swimming and red or white. Needless to say, the transition back to the real world was inevitable bus nonetheless challenging.

In an attempt to lessen the blow, we treated ourselves to brunch at Tilth, an organically certified restaurant in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood serving New American cuisine out of a renovated craftsman home. Maria Hines, the executive chef and owner, not only received a 2009 James Beard award, her restaurant has been the recipient of national attention (Tilth was named one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country by the New York Times).

I hadn't been t
o Tilth in quite some time and was eager to check out the ever-changing seasonal menu. From past experience, I knew that the Croque Monsieur -- served with a side of baby lettuces -- was divine, but the Russet Potato "Risotto," Dungeness Crab Fritatta and the Slow Cooked St. Judes Albacor Tuna were also entirely alluring. This is when our server came to the rescue. She answered all questions honestly, described each dish knowledgably and offered graceful suggestions. With her help, I knew that the Baked Dutch Blueberry Pancake with blueberry compote and farmer's cheese had my name all over it.

Typically, I am not one to order anything sweet in the morning (pancakes, french to
ast, waffles, scones... no thank you) but this concoction was extraordinary. The pancake itself, which puffs during baking and quickly settles into custardy goodness, was creamy and eggy in the middle and thin and crispy around the edges. The blueberry compote was beyond typical - it was almost buttery with the slightest tang of lemon. If there were one thing I could change, it would be to receive a heftier dollop of that smooth, creamy farmer's cheese. What a perfectly-matched compliment. (On a side note, even their drip coffee tastes uncommonly good -- the secret lies in local Caffe Vita blends).

A warm, welcoming atmosphere plus graceful service plus carefully prepared, thoughtful food.... life back in the real world isn't so bad after all.

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