Hanna Raskin unearths the tale of Chimayo, an Orcas Island restaurant that made a "clandestine transition" from Tex-Mex to showstopping Italian food. Owner Bill Patterson bought the restaurant in 2010. Wary of alienating regulars with rapid changes, he kept the quesadillas and chiles rellenos but "started sneaking Italian dishes onto the dinner menu." In summary, Raskin visits a former Mexican restaurant with a menu that's almost entirely Italian, a new name in the works, and a location that's "maddeningly hard to find," both online and its actual location in the"rear corner of a shabby indoor arcade." Confused yet? She says the food makes it all worthwhile:
"Consider the aggravation a side effect of being sucked into a brilliant chef's vortex. The eccentricities that surround Chimayo are secondary to the splendid pasta the restaurant produces. And while pasta is the showstopper, I didn't find a single dish at Chimayo that would make a Seattleite regret the ferry ride."
Pastas are made with nothing but zero-zero flour and eggs from an "off-grid Orcas Island flower farm." Sauces and other seasonal accompaniments are "ethereral' no matter the presentation. [Seattle Weekly]
Speaking of tucked-away locations, Tan Vinh happy hours at The White Horse Trading Co., the Post Alley pub that's also kind of a bookstore. The seven-year-old spot is "one of the most distinctive bars in Seattle, both in décor and in its beer selection." Beers on hand are entirely English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Belgian-style, and White Horse is a rare location in Seattle that offers Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo strong ale. [Seattle Times]
Chimayo [Photo: TripAdvisor]