Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wild Vine Bistro

I met up with a friend at The Wild Vine Bistro in Bothell, near Mill Creek, WA. We have eaten here before and have always enjoyed it.  On this Monday night they had a ½ price Bottle of wine special for all wines under $50.  So we tried one I was unfamiliar with IQ2 which the server informed us was a sister winery to Page, both out of Woodinville, WA.  This ’08 Blend named Friends seemed appropriate for the occasion and was very approachable.  We quite enjoyed this wine with the Cheese plate and then the other special of the night; Pasta Carbonara.  The dish described as fresh pasta with in house Duck Breast Prosciutto light cream sauce and egg yolk.  The presentation was interesting in that the egg yolk sat on top of the generous portion of pasta with an amazingly tasty sauce.  Stirring the egg yolk in and then being left speechless with the experience. The freshness of this dish was obvious from the first taste and is one I hope makes it onto the regular menu as I will be back for more.  My friend and I shared another bottle of wine, this time an Argentinian ’09 Malbec by Alamos this is where I hope Washington Malbec will be in a few years as the vines get some age to them.  The Wild Vine also hosts live entertainment from local groups such as The Side Project, Woodrush, May Palmer, and Greg Murat.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Russell’s Dining and Bar

What’s the best way to cap off the night after a day of volunteering at one of the many Woodinville wineries? A stop at Russell’s Dining and Bar in Bothell, a converted barn visible from I-405 and now surrounded by a business park.  I was greeted by none other than Russell himself, as always made to feel very welcome. As I settled into the bar area and was offered a sample of wine, I was just going to have a desert but a new item on the menu caught my eye and the aromas of great food  made me hungry so I ordered the Duck Confit Nachos.  This item is on the Bar menu so there is a Happy hour price of $10 a savings of $3 from the regular price I paid on this Saturday night. My plate arrived with a warning that it was very hot, and it was, piled high with corn nachos, shredded Duck Confit and a Corn Salsa this was a meal in itself.  Then I tried the new desert item, recommended by Russell, the Chocolate Caramel Tart. I think I have found a new favorite desert in this triangle of dark chocolate coated custard with a caramel drizzle. 
Russell’s Dining and Bar has some great features in addition to awesome food, the upstairs is an event venue with vaulted ceilings and wood floors just begging for dancing or large crowds.  There is no corkage fee for locally made wines and is a favorite of many of the area’s winemakers.  On this evening I counted four in attendance, who, without their permission, I am not going to name at this time. This is the place for great food and meeting good friends.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sojen Cellars

May Palmer performs at Sojen Cellars

An oasis in north Everett, Sojen Cellars is enjoying its second year at their Hewitt Ave location.  Max and Jen Jensen are very inviting folks and have made a very welcoming venue from a former motorcycle detail and custom guitar shop. The open brick walls add to the ambiance and make a perfect backdrop for the local talent showcased here each week.  Not only can you get to taste their hand crafted Washington wines but on Friday and Saturday nights they feature such local musicians as May Palmer, Woodrush, Electric DNA, and  Kelly Shirey.  Max and Jen like many of the local wine makers started in their home and soon outgrew their space. But with their move came a name change, their original incarnation was as Griffin’s Crossing but another winery felt it was too close to their name and threatened legal action. The story goes that Max was often heard saying “So, Jen…” and it stuck.
 Max and Jen both have “Day jobs” and open their tasting room Wednesday through Saturday evenings to give lots of folks opportunity to taste their offerings.  Often times folks will order takeout from one of the nearby restaurants like Terracotta Red or Buck’s American Cafe and bring it in to enjoy with a glass or bottle of wine from Sojen.
Sojen Cellars has a presence on Facebook and Tweet as @SojenCellars
This place is walking distance from the Everett Train Station so if the Twidow* is late picking me up from the Sounder because of a meeting or something you can find me here.

*Note – Twidow: a spouse or significant other that doesn’t Tweet or understand why you do.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Children grow up so fast

It seems like just yesterday I was in the OB's office with the Twidow and saw him moving on the ultrasound. Then holding her hand as she labored to no avail and we went into the OR to bring him screaming into the world.  Christmas after Christmas I watched the joy on his face as we surprised him again and again with something special.  First day of school, then high school, then he was out on his own. 
Over 25 years later and I'm sitting at his bedside in a hospital as he recovers from Gall Bladder surgery. He made it through just fine, but at over 6 foot tall and well filled out he is still my little buddy. His mother is out of state at a family wedding and feels left out, but then when they were little I always had to take the kids for their shots because she hated to see them hurting so I guess it is just as well. 
He is at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, the most award winning hospital in the state of Washington, on the same surgical floor I spent time on last year when I had Appendicitis so I know the nurses and know he is in good hands. This really makes it feel better for me since my better half is so far away. His nurses really doted on him since they all knew me and others came by to visit so he felt very special, which of course he is to me. We even got to see a new nurse that was a student when I was in here.
I think the hardest part for him was the not eating all day then only clear liquids for the night.  But like me the chicken broth was his friend.  I stayed rather late as no one made me leave his roommate was pleasant and didn’t seem to mind my sticking around as I want to help him the first time he walks to the bathroom, I just can’t see one of the girls helping this big guy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon

On Saturday, January 29th, 2011, I had a blast pouring wine for the Edmonds Winery Release party for their 2008 Bentley and Syrah.  Bentley is a scrumptious red blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Malbec named after the winery dog a very friendly black Cockapoo. Bentley was there and greeted all the folks who ventured out in the rain to experience these new wines.  The winemaker, Doug Petersen, made his world famous Chili that really warmed the soul. The 2008 Syrah is a 100% Syrah from Destiny Ridge in Horse Heaven Hills area of eastern Washington.  Both wines are ready to drink and full bodied.  To celebrate this release May Palmer “Queen of Ivory Soul” belted out a 2 hour set and kept the crowd happy with her music. The crowd ranged from regulars and wine club members to folks who had just read about it that day in the Everett Herald.  I was also honored to meet the video blogger Antoine Pin and founder of Underground Winos of Seattle.  Author Peter Ghavami and his wife also visited; his book "Lean, Agile and Six Sigma Information Technology Management" is an IT Manager’s bible. Over all it was a great way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon and this free event was enjoyed by many.