Calamari & Whiskey Sours @ McCormick's!

Last night I got together for late night eats with my friend Amber. I met her through our mutual friend when we were in college about six years ago. She recently started working in Bellevue and I live in Bellevue, so it made sense for us to get together in... Bellevue!

We decided on McCormick & Schmick's and started out with some whiskey sours. I learned that their house whiskey is actually McCormick brand. Pretty cool. Since I had already eaten dinner, we shared some calamari and French onion soup and both had great presentation and were quite good.

The calamari plate also had fried jalapenos, artichokes, onions and carrots, in addition to calamari rings. Aioli and marina dipping sauces were the best I've ever been served (huge compliment, I know!). The French onion soup had really impressive presentation. Served in something that reminded me of a short, historic vase without handles and overflowing with thick cheese. The soup itself had chunks of onions and bursting with flavor. Borderline too salty, without going overboard.

McCormick can be a pretty pricey restaurant, but we got out of there for around $21 each after tax + tip. Expect to pay more for a sit-down multicourse meal.

List All Day Happy Hour a Great Success

I serendipitously stumbled upon List in Belltown while looking for a dinner restaurant near the Ride the Holiday Ducks tour. Immediately I liked that there was an all-day food & drink Sunday happy hour. And I loved the $14 bottle of red wine happy hour special. So after the tour, my hubby and I treated ourselves to a lovely dinner, drinks and dessert for an excellent date night.

We both started with Old Fashioned drinks and the burger & fries plates. The fries were steak cut and good! Made even better with some truffle aioli. The burger left a lot to be desired; for instance, cheese would've been a yummy addition. Bun was from Macrina Bakery, and though I usually love Macrina the bread would've complemented the burger substantially more if it was toasted or grilled. The beef patty was fresh but pretty bland and the veggies were almost nonexistent (one very tiny tomato slice and a couple of small pickled onions).

After the burgers & fries, we decided we were still a wee bit hungry so we split an eggplant parmesan dish. When it was set in front of us, we were both pleasantly surprised by what we saw. It was literally a hunk of eggplant smothered in mozzarella (not parmesan which was odd) that sat on a plate of delicious tomato vodka-like sauce.

As with every satisfying meal, we had to end with dessert and split the chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream. Every bite was drool-worthy, especially when paired with a glass of cab-sangiovese-merlot (worth mentioning again that we got the whole bottle for $14, yeah!).

Stop by next time you're in Belltown, especially if it's a Sunday.

Happy Birthday Keisha!

My dear friend Keisha (and blogging partner) recently celebrated a birthday, hooray!

Keisha celebrated with a large group of friends in the evening, but earlier that day had a more intimate celebration with me and our other lovely friend Synthia where we treated Keisha to brunch at Barking Frog followed by wine tasting in Woodinville.

The brunch was superb. The three of us shared the crab cakes benedict, smoked pulled pork benedict and the croque madame. As a starter, we were given cinnamon bread with a delicious apple butter. Mmm! I ordered the pulled pork benedict and it was my first time having it. I cannot wait to have it again! Instead of being on English muffins, it was on jalapeno cornbread. The pork was flavorful and not at all dry. The eggs were a wee bit overpoached and could have been hotter, but overall what an incredily satisfying dish! The crabcake benedict and croque madame were equally yummy, and the croque madame was served on one of the fluffiest, tastiest breads I've ever eaten!

After brunch, we decided on a select few wineries to visit and sampled various red & white wines. My favorite tasting room was Davenport Cellars, owned by a husband & wife team who were living out their dreams of making, bottling and selling wine - even working outside full-time jobs to be able to do this.

Cheers to Keisha on another wonderful year ahead. Love you!