TABLEHOPPING You never know who you're going to meet next, but when you're at a dinner at Scribe Winery in Sonoma (www.scribewinery.com), you can bet that it'll be someone interesting. Back in the early summer, I was one lucky lady to be seated next to chef Kylen McCarthy and the delightful Eva Soroken. The talented duo is behind Pioneer Square Pantry (www.pioneersquarepantry.com), an artisanally minded partnership based in Seattle and Tokyo that is like a virtual shop, crafty collective, and traveling culinary road show.
They do pop-up dinners in Japan and beyond: Kylen's eclectic dishes feature many of PSQP's homemade pickles and mustards as well as other Pantry partners' goods, while Eva has an amazing eye for sourcing everything from exquisite pottery to creating totes, tablecloths, aprons, and more in the most gorgeous indigo blue. They also make some crazy-good granola (I dig the San Juan Island salt they use in it). Kylen and Eva have the lifestyle thing down, let me tell you.
They invited me on a weekend August trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit Seattle and Lummi Island — and show me their world. Seriously, where do I sign? While I'll be doing a recap of the overall trip on tablehopper.com, here are some Seattle highlights. Hit them up when you head up north.
Bakery Nouveau: If you worship at the Holy Church of Buttery Pastry and Scrumptious Bread, you better make a pilgrimage to this West Seattle house of temptation. The croque monsieur I brought on my plane ride home was one for the books. www.bakerynouveau.com
Canon: My Seattle-based cousin and I thoroughly enjoyed our time, and quality cocktails, at this award-winning bar with an utterly jaw-dropping selection of spirits. Just wow. www.canonseattle.com
The Harvest Vine: Kylen used to work here, and helped me book a big table for my family dinner. We feasted on a parade of Basque plates, and relaxed (and basked, ha ha) in the rustic atmosphere. Jamón in the casa. www.harvestvine.com
Rain Shadow Meats: This local butcher supplies meats for some PSQP events, and recently opened a counter in Pioneer Square, where we tucked into some tasty sandwiches, including the Zuni — yes, a shout-out to SF — with roasted pork shoulder, and juicy corned beef on rye. www.rainshadowmeats.com
Sitka and Spruce: This spot is always at the top of any food-obsessed traveler's Seattle list. We enjoyed a Sunday night supper at the chef's table, with clean flavors, Northwest ingredients (natch), and fab wines. Monday nights are reportedly a can't-miss for the all-Mexican menu, featuring a killer suadero and al pastor. www.sitkaandspruce.com
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: We managed to hit both locations at least a few times, whether we were grabbing a cappuccino in the morning or picking up beans for Chemex o'clock in the afternoon. www.stumptowncoffee.com
Hotel Monaco–Seattle: I dug the mod-swank style of my room here — it were recently remodeled — and the downtown location was handy. And you can borrow in-house Public bikes for tooling around. www.monaco-seattle.com