We were in Seattle a few weeks ago pouring at taste Washington. We were very lucky to discover Crow 2 blocks from our hotel and we could be seated immediately at the chefs table. There were 3 of us so we tried several dishes. Sitting at the Chef table everything going out to the tables came up right next to us so it was easy to choose. Actually surprising that we did not grab a couple of extra dishes because they were tempting. We started with a Bibb lettuce salad with roasted grapes, pistachios and Honey Vinaigrette, fluffy and lovely. Greg tried the house Lasagna, apparently a signature dish. The biggest slice of lasagna I've ever seen. It was quite good, but a good one to share. I had the roasted chicken wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of sautéed greens, perfectly cooked, and we watched them make it. Mark had the Braised Lamb Shank with Posole and lime vinaigrette, needless to say he was not sharing much. We ended the meal with a dessert chocolate combo. We kept seeing the desserts go out so had to try one or steal one. Crow is a nice little restaurant that we happily found and would go back.
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We had been trying for months to get a reservation at Ava Gene's. Then Mark planned ahead and gave me a reservation for Christmas. So we were excited when the day came, but it also snowed a lot that day. So it was the only day this winter that Ava Gene's closed. I sent them a message on Instagram and they got us in as soon as they reopened. They even greeted us with prosecco. We shared some very interesting salads, no lettuce in site. They make all of their own pasta so I tried their gnocchi with ragu, very homey and comforting. Mark had the Steelhead with lentils and grapefruit, very interesting flavors. Not your typical Italian eatery. Ava Gene's has a friendly atmosphere with a great staff.
1 cup dried mission figs
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup pine nuts toasted
¼ cup basil leaves chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic minced
Place figs into a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain water and place figs into the bowl of a food processor. Addremaining ingredients and process for one minute. Scrape down the bowl and process until the mixture is well blended and finely chopped.
Best when refrigerated overnight. Makes 1¾ cups. Keeps for one week refrigerated, it freezes well.
Thinly slice bread and brush both sides with olive oil. Place onto a baking sheet. Place pan under a preheated broiler and toast. Turn over slices and toast the other side. Watch carefully as they will brown fast. Spread each toast with goat cheese and top with tapenade. Serve.
Rally pizza opened very close to our house. We were pretty excited because the chef came from Ken's Artisan pizza. I have been trying to make the perfect crust in my wood fired oven using Ken's pizza book. Needless to say mine is not as good as Rally. Yet.
We have eaten at Rally 5 times now and I think our car drives there automatically. It is that good. If you have eaten pizza in Europe you're in for a treat. They have a small list of choices and the pizzas have just the right amount of sauce and toppings. They always have a special and so far their lamb sausage special is our favorite. They make their own ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and sausages. All are really special. They also make great salads. Their market salad is different every time we go, local and in season.
If making great pizza was not good enough they also make frozen custard and a dessert call a concrete. A concrete is like a really gourmet Blizzard. My favorite so far was pumpkin pie. They actually blend a piece of pie with their frozen custard- YUM! Big enough to share.
This place has great pizza, but do not expect tons of cheese or an American style pie. Pretend you're in Europe and you will be pleasantly surprised.
For the Jar:
2 cups self rising flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup dried cherries chopped
Place the four into a quart wind mouthed canning jar. Mix sugars and garam masala together and pour into the jar. Add cherries and press down gently. Seal jar.
1 jar of mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsps raw sugar for garnish
Pour contents from the jar into a mixing bowl. Add everything except raw sugar. Stir together. Divide batter between 12 muffin papers in a muffin tin. Top with sugar to garnish. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool.
4 tbsps olive oil
2 shallots chopped
1 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup pecans chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps water or more as needed
Heat oil in a fry pan, add shallots and cook until translucent. Add cherries, vinegar, sugar and ginger to the pan and simmer until the cherries are soft. Pour mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until spreadable. Adjust seasoning and add more water if needed.
Serve on crostini with a slice of brie, or just on crackers. Keeps well and can be frozen.
Makes 1 cup.
2 cups roasted cashews salted
1 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tbsps peanut oil
1/3 cup honey
½ tsp chili flakes, more if you like it spicier
salt and pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together and spread onto a baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees. Stir mixture every 5 minutesuntil golden brown and evenly toasted. Cool and break up larger clumps.
Makes 2 ½ cups.
For 2 drinks:
3/4 c dry white wine wine
1/2 c soda water
1/2 c orange juice
Mix together and enjoy!
1 bottle of dry white wine
2 cups soda water
2 cups orange juice
Pour everything into a pitcher and stir. Enjoy!
3/4 cup couscous
1 cup chicken broth
Bring broth to a boil add couscous, stir once, cover and remove from heat. Letset for 10 minutes, remove cover and fluff couscous with a fork. Cool.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups roasted chicken meat diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup parsley chopped
1/4 cup basil chopped
1/4 cup mint chopped, plus more for garnish
2 cups romaine lettuce thinly sliced
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl, stir in couscous and dressing. Stir together and place into a serving bowl garnish with chopped mint.
Serves 4 to 6.
We are always looking for good restaurants when we are at the beach. Rockaway is not a big place so most of the good restaurants are in Manzanita and Cannon Beach. The Offshore Grill in Rockaway has new owners and they are doing a great job of reinventing this space. We started with a couple of different dinner salads both great. I had their fried oysters which were cooked perfectly, ask for tartar sauce ( I am addicted to tart tar sauce and they were served with cocktail sauce). Both are house made and the cocktail sauce was lovely. Mark had their salmon special also cooked nicely and artfully served stacked on a bed of black bean pilaf. They also had a peach cobbler that I am still dreaming about. They apparently run out of the cobblers so if you're interested order it at the same time as your meal. So next time you are in Rockaway try this restaurant out. We want them to still be there the next time we go!