[Hello Robin; The London Plane; Barnacle. Photos: S. Pratt]
Seattle Weekly Food and Drink Editor Nicole Sprinkle declares Matt Dillon's The London Plane, "a Wes Anderson film for the palate" in her recent review. Peeking into the kitchen from the Pioneer Square spot's balcony, she writes, "It looks as if a CSA cherry-picked all its very best produce, then a food stylist came in and prepared it for a layout in a Martha Stewart Living spread."
The veg heavy menu, "bona fide herbivore eye candy," includes a handful of protein (salmon lox, leg of lamb, meatballs) but keeps its focus on, "the freshest, most exotic produce and grains." Sprinkle is into the "bombastic tang" of the carrot raita with cumin and mint but finds the chicken, trofie, and lentil salad bland, with a mere two pieces of dry chicken that, "felt like an afterthought."
Sprinkle wants more warm food and less cold salads, and while the whole concept is "very clean and fresh," she warns, "don't come expecting comfort." Overall, she declares it good. Especially if you need, "a place to meet that friend who devotedly shops at Anthropologie, religiously reads magazines like Dwell, and sees every Wes Anderson movie the moment it hits theaters."
This week, Seattle Times Restaurant Critic Providence Cicero heads to Ballard to try review Renee Erickson's Barnacle, the small apertivo bar next to her The Walrus and the Carpenter.
Cicero explores Barnacle's drink list centering on wine-based aperitifs (Carpano, Cappalletti) and Italian liqueurs (amaro, fernet,) and menu, with meats cured in-house, including mortadella "studded with pistachio." Sardines are simply served with saltines and lemon wedges. The critic calls the pickled pork tongue, "spectacular with creamy tonnato sauce (tuna mayonnaise) and a splash of the lovely Ligurian olive oil…" A multi-course dinner included only one miss: the rims on the her spicy sausage ravioli failed to soften. Still, the sauce was a "delightful spring fling."
Overall, Cicero says that the Walrus sibling "can stand on its own as a destination for a light repast of snacks and small plates." She has few negatives, but awards Barnacle 2.5 out of four stars.
Seattle Mag's Julien Perry checks in at Hello Robin, the "adorable blue- and white-trimmed jewel-box cookie shop" next to Cone & Steiner and Tallulah's on 19th Ave. on Capitol Hill. Perry uncovers one of owner Robin Wehl Martin's baking tricks: freezing the dough, "which helps the cookies keep their shape when they bake, while creating a crispy outside and soft inside." The best cookies in the case? The Mackles'more, "a harmonious triple threat of cookie dough baked on a graham cracker (a grahmmy?) and topped with Valrhona chocolate." The critic also loved the "super-punchy" habañero orange chocolate chip and Mexican chocolate crinkle.
· The London Plane Is Tasty Yet Twee [Seattle Weekly]
· Sip and Nibble Italian-style at Ballard's Barnacle [Seattle Times]
· Cookies on Capitol Hill: Hello Robin Wows [Seattle Mag]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [-ESEA-]