Happy Hour at Koral

Koral Bar & Kitchen, new to downtown Bellevue, WA, is located in the Hyatt Regency.  Koral is a new venture by the owner/operators of Pearl (one of my favorite happy hour spots).  The decor is modern rustic (at least that is my take on it) and the menu varied.  You might say some things belong, others maybe not.  In the bar, seating can be found at the bar, longer tables for groups, and a number of high rounds for smaller parties.  To try out this new joint, we ordered the following:

  • Oxtail Sliders – flavorful and satisfying – the best option on the happy hour menu
  • Macrina Potato Bread (needed for the extra cheese from the Pub Cheese dish) – recommended!
  • Charcuterie –  with all the true Charcuterie plates in the area, this one misses the mark – definitely skip this!  The pickled cucumber was nice.
  • Pub Cheese – pretty good – a salted soft pretzel with a “clump” of cheese.  A little out of place with the rest of the menu though.
  • Tai Tung Pot Stickers – enjoyed!  Pork and Vegetable filling.  The sauce is nothing to write home about but it is a nice selection anytime, although Din Tai Fung is right across the street.

At happy hour, the appetizers and drinks are half off, with the beer at $2.  A pretty good value to set you up for the evening.  The service was ok as you had your main server and others helped serve and clear.  Their specialty cocktails are a bit overworked, some hit the mark while others fall incredibly short – stick with a beer (selection is limited) or a more classic drink.

Will we be back?  Yes, as I would like to try the main menu, it’s a great location, and like the concept…but with all the great choices in the area, I’m not sure how soon that will be.   http://koralbellevue.com/

Epulo Bistro

Located on Main Street in Edmonds, WA,  Epulo Bistro is a neighborhood treasure… serving up charming  ambiance, quality menu selections, good presentation and warm hospitality.  As the restaurant filled with patrons, and the noise level rose, the setting still remained warm and inviting.  This visit was to celebrate a special occasion; our choices for the evening included:

  • Cheese: “Caveman” Blue Cheese, Peppered Goat Cheese, Mt. Townsend Creamery Trailhead, Honey Comb, Fig Compote, Drunken Cherries
  • Oysters – “Kusshi” Oysters on the ½ shell with citrus chilli, mignonette, and lemon (on the daily Featured Items menu)
  • Painted Hills Short Ribs, Roasted Potatoes, Arugula Pesto, Crispy Walla Walla Onions
  • “New Bedord Scallops” –  Butter poached sea scallops, tri-color lentils, mirepoix, leek caviar juice (on the daily Featured Items menu)
  • Zeppole – handmade doughnuts dusted with cinnamon and sugar served w. salted caramel anglais
  • Panna Cotta – Classic Italian vanilla cream, served with seasonal fresh fruit.  On this night it was a Pear crumble.
  • We enjoyed some of Epulo’s specialty cocktails to start and brought in our own bottle of wine for dinner (corkage $15)

Many other menu option choices exist…which will be tried on another visit.  One thing to note:  a friend highly recommends the Snake River Farms Wagyu “Flavor Cut” 6 oz as well.  Dinner served nightly. Closed Monday. Brunch served on Saturday and Sunday. 

I am sure some things have changed since late 2009, but I think this blog posting is an interesting addition – http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/allyoucaneat/2010344320_epulo_edmonds_welcomes_another.html

Epulo, whether it’s for a special event or an evening out, it’s sure to hit the spot.  http://www.epulobistro.com/

Washington Wine Month

March is Washington Wine Month!  If you missed the first festival of the month, the Poverty Bay Wine Festival in Des Moines, WA (one of my favorites), you will have other opportunities to partake in the festivities.  Other events this month are:

  • Walla Walla Wine @ Sodo Park – Monday, March 12th at Herban Feast http://wallawallawine.com/
  • Stop by your local wine shop for a tasting event – they’ll be able to tell you what you need to know about wine
  • Try a new varietal at a favorite restaurant
  • Taste Washington – Saturday, March 31st and Sunday, April 1st at CenturyLink Field Event Center  http://tastewashington.org/

Some events during the month are listed on various blogs, newsletters, and websites… like  http://www.washingtonwine.org/events/

…of golden daffodils

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.  – Author Unknown

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
William Wordsworth

“Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn.”
Lewis Grizzard and Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You

Salty’s on Alki

Salty’s on Alki Seafood Restaurant has been a Seattle go-to restaurant over the years…with awards aplenty.  I myself had not visited for 15-20 years, until recently.  The food was of high quality, service was exceptional, the decor was festive; and how about the view of the Seattle skyline across the water?

Salty’s on Alki is a fun place for happy hour.  The menu showcases “Be Happy Grub” and on this night, we ordered the Flatbread (Salmon) and Prime Rib Dip Slider – the Slider was liked but the Flatbread was a bit too “fishy”, although we were impressed by the size of the dish.   They also have a nice selection of signature cocktails and we really liked the Salty’s Salmon Amber draft beer – I’ll have to find out which brewery makes this for them. I need to give a shout-out to Scott, the manager helping out in the bar this evening.  Scott got us in and out of there in time for our event downstairs and made our short time there enjoyable. 

In the banquet room, as there was a large group of us, a variety was ordered.  An appetizer sampler was enjoyed – crab legs, calamari (good!), sushi, and coconut crusted white gulf prawns.  Our party ordered a bit of everything…Vancouver Island Clam Linguine (Uli’s Famous Andouille Sausage with Beecher’s Flagship Cheese – the Beecher’s cheese was delicious), Hearts of Romaine Caesar (nice flavor), B.L.T. Salad, Chef Trevor’s Cheesy Bacon Burger, Washington Dungeness Crab Mac & Cheese, Proscuitto-Wrapped Ling Cod, Salmon, and more.  Also, a game was played here this night – the staff was helpful and the needed equipment was provided.  All in all…a nice place for a special event, happy hour with friends, or to bring an out-of-town guest.