February Eats

Ciao!  Assaggio Ristorante is a breath of fresh air when it comes to hospitality and authentic Italian fare.  It is a great place for a table for two, a party of friends, or business associates.  A staple since 1993, Assaggio provides personal attention and a varied menu (from central and northern Italy).  A remembrance and a warm greeting was had by the executive chef, Mauro.  Check out the great blog at  http://www.assaggioseattle.com/  A shout out for Michelle at the bar is needed -she was welcoming and our server was knowledgable and more than accommodating.  Suggestions were made, substitutions were granted – I was able to choose half and half (two different pastas) on this evening.  A sampling of choices this evening were:

  • Gamberoni alla Griglia – Grilled prawns dipped in goat cheese
  • Bruschetta – the fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil – delicious!
  • Prosciutto con Arugula
  • Red wine from the award-winning wine list accompanied the meal
  • Cinghiale –  wild boar ragu
  • Vongole – Linguini with manila clams
  • Melanzane al Forno – Baked Eggplant
  • A special of the evening – Risotto with chantarelle mushrooms and duck
  • Osso Bucco
  • Pepperonata (made to order for the vegetarian of the bunch)

The bar is small so happy hour may not be on the agenda, depending on the evening.

Jazz Alley – Jazz Alley is a longtime Seattle favorite hosting quality food and entertainment.  Visits here have been many and no doubt, there will be more.  Come for dinner prior to the event or just show up for dessert and drinks.  Seating options are plenty.  On this night, celebrating a friend’s birthday, we saw Smooth Jazz Guitarist Peter White.  The drummer and the rest of the ensemble were fabulous!  Entertaining, a nice mix of styles, and worth the $28 ticket.  http://www.peterwhite.com/  Check out the calendar of events, parking info (complimentary), and sample menu at  http://www.jazzalley.com/  For reservations…online or make a phone call.  All in all, it always make for a nice evening out!

MunchbarNOTE:  As of January 2012, Munchbar in Bellevue, WA is now closed. See June 2011 for an earlier mention.  Looking for the best veggie burger ever?  Munchbar has it.  The veggie burger is beautifully built using crispy onions, arugula, avocado, sundried tomato and black olive mayo.  Delicious!  Also tried this time around was the mini munch®* slider (melted cheddar, tomatoes, pickles, crispy onions, shredded romaine, “fancy sauce”).  I suggest ordering  it without the fancy sauce as it comes with personal sized ketchup (and mustard) bottles.  Again, loved the music played here.  And hey…there’s a Las Vegas location too.  http://www.munchgroup.com/bellevue/

Palomino –   Bellevue – Great lunch once again!  Check out my initial November 2010 post.  This time around, Dungeness Crab Sliders were on the menu – Yum!… and I can recommend the Turkey Panini as well.   http://palomino.com/

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Exotic Wines Festival

The 3rd annual Exotic Wines Festival took place at Teatro ZinZanni, Tuesday, February 21st, 2012.  As this evening was also Mardi Gras, there were attendees in costume and many of the wine reps were wearing masks, hats, beads…all which made it very festive!  And the location at Teatro ZinZanni was perfect! 25 Washington wineries poured some of their more unique wines using these exotic grapes.  These include Tempranillo, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Mourvedre, and more.  I had the opportunity to try a number of these and my favorites came from Brian Carter Cellars, Five Star Cellars, Kerloo, and Pleasant Hill Cellars.  A special performance by the beautiful and fabulous Vita Radionova, with the use of hula hoops, was a special treat!  Also, the guests enjoyed getting their pictures taken with the sexy Manuela Horn.  So much fun!  Proceeds benefited the ZinZanni Institute for Circus Arts (ZICA).  http://dreams.zinzanni.org/

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Rat City Rollergirls

Have you been wanting to go to one of those “I have to try at least once in my lifetime” kind of events? Well, this is it!  Roller Derby at its finest… Seattle’s own Rat City Rollergirls!  http://ratcityrollergirls.com/  Check out their site to learn about the sport, the teams, the Rollergirls, view the schedule (once a month for the next six months)…and more.

The Rat City Rollergirls league is made up of the following four teams –  Throttle Rockets, Grave Danger, Sockit Wenches, and Derby Liberation Front (DLF).  One word:  Interesting.   On this night, all four teams were playing…Sockit Wenches vs. DLF and Throttle Rockets vs. Grave Danger.  Each game (considered a “bout”) consists of two 30 minute periods.  The event is held at Key Arena at the Seattle Center, and yes, the food and drinks are just as expensive as they are at any other sporting event, although the popcorn is “bottomless”.

Each player (and referee) has their own unique name – like Iron Megan, Hard Cora, Panda Beer, Loco Chanel, Sirius Smack, Know Mercy, and Re-AnimateHer…the Ace Frehley makeup and fur leg warmers are cool!  Those who score and keep track of the penalties wear white lab coats.  Check out What is Roller Derby? in “About us” on their website…you’ll find out about jammers and more.  Try to read up on it prior to going!  If you have been, then I’m sure you will want to go again.

Want to become part of a roller derby team?  Are you tough?  Can you roller skate well?  There are clinics for both players and referees as well as a junior roller derby program (I-5 Rollergirls).

Oh, and in case you were wondering, they do have a 50/50 raffle.  🙂

A Lingering Season…

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “Away in a meadow all covered with snow
The little old groundhog looks for his shadow
The clouds in the sky determine our fate
If winter will leave us all early or late.”
– Don Halley

 “Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”
– John Boswell

 “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)