Hanna Raskin offers a mixed, but decidedly negative, account of Maria Hines' "rangy Mesopotamian menu" at Golden Beetle. The cocktail list is enjoyable, the stuffed spinach "cigars" and gum mastic ice cream phenomenal, and the flatbreads "should be required eating." However the restaurant has "many frustrating flubs, most of them concentrated in the entrée section." Raskin encounters a "flat-tasting lamb tagine, served over a stingy serving of limp couscous," and a "miserable turkey gyro."
Golden Beetle is only the third in the nation to be certified by the "famously rigorous" Oregon Tilth (Hines' first restaurant Tilth also has this certification). However not every menu item is organic:
Every item on the menu that could possibly contain an unlicensed ingredient is underlined, a design decision that has the bizarre effect of making the illegitimate plates more attractive, since it seems unlikely Golden Beetle would sacrifice its environmental principles for hot mustard—unless the mustard was phenomenal.
Spoiler alert: the mustard was not, in fact, phenomenal. Also, "for a restaurant that intends to salute street eats, Golden Beetle does a lousy job with the lowbrow." However some small plates are spectacular: "For every lame chicken wing, there's a stalk of gorgeously roasted asparagus, braided with lively spring onions and bonneted with toasted discs of haloumi cheese." Raskin concludes, "What's good at Golden Beetle is so good that it's possible to forgive the dishes that don't work, assuming a patron's patience doesn't run out before the praiseworthy plates reach her table." [Seattle Weekly]
Bethany Jean Clement's account of her visits to Il Corvo morphs into a review with pasta-making proprietor Mike Easton. To keep his lunchtime pasta prices at $8.18 a dish requires some creative maneuvering with the seasonal produce at nearby Pike Place Market. Last week's fare included "a salty-dirty-hot puttanesca with the best, most nourishing-tasting spaghetti ever." [The Stranger]