Thursday, March 02, 2006

25 for $25: Etta's

Went to Etta's last night, on the first night of the 25 for $25 deal. For those of you who don't know, the deal is that 25 Seattle restaurants are offering a $25 prix-fixe dinner for a month (Fridays and Saturdays excepted).

Etta's is one of the restaurants in Tom Douglas Seattle restaurant empire, and like the others in his stable we've tried, maintains very high standards for food and service. Were it that all restaurant empire-builders could keep it together this well.

For starters, we both had the arugula, goat cheese (I think) and duck breast risotto. It was great. Rare slices of roasted duck breast on top of creamy risotto, with a little bit of greens mixed in.

For an entree, I had the Rubbed with Love King Salmon, which might have been my favorite Salmon dish ever. The salmon is cooked perfectly (i.e. still a bit pink and moist inside) and the rub/marinade gives it a slightly sweet flavor with not so much spice that it overwhels the salmon. It was served on top of cornbread pudding, which is what I always wanted cornbread to be. Atop the salmon was some shiitake mushroom "relish." There were some tasty greens on the side. Debbie had the pepper-glazed pork tenderloin, which was really good, with a sweet compote-y thing on the side, and atop some wilted pea leaves and tendrils.

For dessert I had the famous coconut cream pie, which is what you always wanted coconut creme pie to taste like--a good piecrust with whipped cream, shavings of coconut, and shaved white chocolate. Hard to beat. Debbie had a chocolate pistachio cake, which was also really good--a pistachio cake with chocolate-Grand Marnier ganache on the top and side (i.e. the back of the slice), covered with crushed pistachios on the back.

This was a great deal for $25--the salmon dish is $26 alone on the regular menu. We had some good pinot noir by the glass to go with it. Service was pretty good--the server apologized for the slow service owing to getting slammed by the 25 for $25 deal, but I thought it was just fine, really. The place was packed, so better reserve if you want to get in without a wait.

The evening was marred by a failed arrangement with a babysitter, so it was rather more stressful than it should have been.