[Photos: S. Pratt]
A pretty positive set of reviews this week kicks-off with Seattle Magazine crushing on Vif, which joins other Upper Fremont newcomers Roux and RockCreek. Ali Scheff recommends, well, practically everything, but calls out the "tender scones," fruit galettes and a lentil salad "so delicious, you'll wonder how they did it." She declares that you will actually somehow leave Vif feeling lighter than you did when you walked in. Total selling point.
The Seattle Times has Bar Cantinetta's first legit review. The bar-centric spinoff of the Wallingford and Bellevue Italian bistro has the same rustic countryside aesthetic, but with a paired-down menu. Says Providence Cicero:
November's swoon-worthy, parchment-wrapped package of black cod with puréed celery root and sweet potato has been superseded this month by short ribs over polenta. Sticking around for the holidays is a near-perfect butternut-squash risotto, extra creamy with mascarpone and studded with spicy bits of sopressata. Get it while you can.
She also exclaims that "pasta here is a must." Three stars.
Over at The Stranger, it's a "which is better?" battle between Canon and The Old Sage, which has become a bar destination in its own right since opening in late July. Says Bethany Jean Clement:
There's reason to expect very good things from Old Sage's menu of "non-traditional" smoked meats and seafood, but what I had there one night last week didn't quite rise to its price point, including the $9 roll.
Her praise of the restaurant's food is nearly non-existent, but at least she loved the Savory Smoke cocktail with mezcal, Drambuie, Madeira and celery that she calls "one improbable combination that tastes great."
Canon is another story. She loved both the cocktails and the food, especially now that former Elemental chef/co-owner Laurie Riedeman is doing the cooking.
The other night, the basic wintery pleasure of roasted bone marrow was augmented with smoked-garlic gremolata, subtle and just right, and two big bones' worth was only $8. Perfectly braised octopus came with creamy-light white bean puree and slices of rich, dark, chewy chorizo, plus salsa verde and chorizo oil ($12): a plate of neo-Spanish greatness.
The fawning goes on and on, making Canon the obvious victor in this battle.
· Chic Eats at Fremont's Vif [Seattle Magazine]
· Bar Cantinetta fits the bill for tasty pasta in Madison Valley [Seattle Times]
· Dark-'n'-Manly [The Stranger]