Hanna Raskin uses some Thanksgiving musings to show that some food "benefits most profoundly from a long nap in the refrigerator." Among these foods: the mantoo at new Halal restaurant Afghan Cuisine and Banquet Hall in Federal Way:
"Flavors behave like middle-schoolers at a Sadie Hawkins dance. They show up alone, overexcited, and jumpy. As the hours pass, they mellow and mingle."
But if it's a Sadie Hawkins dance, wouldn't the girl flavors invite the boy flavors? But we digress. Raskin's all about the "bewitching" mantoo: "Floppy, tissue-thin dumplings crammed with chopped onions and stupendously rich ground beef, seasoned with garlic and cumin, are smothered with a tomato-based meat sauce studded with lentils." While the plate is "an alluring mess of colors and textures," there's "nothing crude about its preparation." The menu has "a few winning meatless items," but the giant naan is puzzling. Her examination of Afghan cuisine is a nice (even Kauffman-esque) change of pace from the buzzier restaurants. [Seattle Weekly]
Over at The Stranger, BJC has her early impressions of Jamie Boudreau's Canon (technically Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium). Boudreau swears he's trying to create a "neighborhood bar" rather than a "cocktail paradise" (he's even got vodka, which BJC says he has previously dismissed as "for amateurs." The space is library-like, "but with beautiful bottles instead of books," and the occasional punchbowl, decanter, and even a sword. Say what he will about neighborhoodie intentions, "Boudreau has created Seattle's latest, greatest cocktail paradise." [Stranger]
Afghan Cuisine & Banquet Hall [Photo: Toby I/Yelp]