Brimmer & Heeltap, a new favorite

My short list of favorite restaurants is a moving target. Sunday we found a new contender, Brimmer & Heeltap, in Seattle. Yes that is the real name, not sure the history but do plan to find out as there is another visit already on the radar.
Small, intimate, rustic, and fresco dining, everything it takes for a perfect environment. Jen, the owner and founder got it right. Her bio says she knows the industry, but her real talent is that she is the perfect hostess, we felt like family, no more than that, we knew we were welcome and valued.
One of the tests of a stellar resturantuar is the ability to extend your passion through your staff, our server Lauren, matched Jen’s sense of hospitality. She is an artist, and took time to show us some of her work, which I find amazing, as well as she took an interest in my sketches. 

In the end of course it is about the food, and we were impressed.

Of course started with bubbles, and to go with them we had Tapioca Puff Chips, with chili-lime sauce. They could sell these by the bag and I would give up potato chips for a long time. Light, a bit picante, with the promised lime – my kind of snack.

Tricia ordered the scallops, not a big surprise. They came with a Poblano Aioli, but not just a glob of mayonnaise – the aioli was applied with air injected, making it light and airy, amazing.

My steak, well I don’t remember one that I have enjoyed more, it appeared to be a fillet mignon, cooked perfect, with sautéed oyster mushrooms and micro greens on the side. Thank you Lauren and Jen, we will be back, soon, Saturday I think.

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The Kitchen

“I can’t picture you guys in a different a kitchen” — our daughter’s first reaction upon hearing that we had sold the house she grew up in, where we had lived for almost 16 years. She has a knack of distilling the essentials.

It’s the kitchen that I will remember years from now. The meals we cooked for the two of us, the three of us, and for groups larger than twenty. There is a library where I took my morning tea and talked to God, a deck where we spent many summer evenings with cheese and wine, but the kitchen was always the heart of the house.

That kitchen was my base, my beacon. Three weeks in Australia doing seminars, it was visions of Tricia in that kitchen with wine and cheese that often got me through. Trip after trip, city after city, it was that kitchen that  always came to mind when I thought of home.

When we had visitors, be it family or friends, it was the kitchen where we congregated. That is where the best conversations happened, the best laughter, it just worked better than the living room.

Alexis gets it, our biggest challenge as we search for a townhouse for the next chapter of our life – it has to have a kitchen, not just a place to cook, a kitchen that she can visualize us in, that we can visualize us in.

Tomorrow morning at 10.00 am PDT we sign the papers that make the sale official. We know little about the buyers, they are investors is all we know, I think they live in California; we have no idea of their plans. I want to tell them that they are not just buying a house, they are buying a kitchen. They are buying the place where we made so many memories, where we laughed, we cried, even had a disagreement or two — we were a family, we loved life and each other in that kitchen.

When we moved in it was not much of a kitchen, lots of pink paint and a harvest gold stove that took forever to heat up. Thanks to our friend and contractor Jay we transformed it into something beautiful — French doors, granite counters, new stove, cherry cabinets. Then over the years we added the love and cooked the meals that made it ours.

We will find another place, smaller, less work, more time for travel and life. Less demands for yard and maintenance. We will set about to create new memories, I am confident that many of the new ones will have something to do with a kitchen; we will make it our kitchen just as we did this one. Funny thing about memories, you can’t take them away, and you must always make new ones.

So we will sign, finish packing, and say goodbye, shed a tear, and raise a toast. Then it’s time to move on, there is a kitchen out there that needs us, sitting there all alone and empty. Tricia and I know how to do it. We will cook for us, invite some folks over and cook for them, then before you know it we will have a kitchen, and we will fit right in, it will look just right.

Travel never ceases to be full of surprises.

I am siting in the Admiral’s Club at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Now this was not the original plan. I was booked on United out of Seattle at 8.00 am this morning, changing planes in Denver, continuing on to Cedar Rapids. The first flight had a mechanical, first one hour, then 2 hours – the plane was still in the hanger, that usually means a more serious issue. My connection was in jepardy so I called reservations for United. BTW you usually do better phoning instead of standing in the customer service line.

They changed me to American, yeah. American is a partner with Alaska so now I am getting Alaska miles. And thanks to nice relations with American and Alaska I can use the Admiral’s Club, so a glass of wine and cheese as I wait for the next flight. Sometimes things just work out for the best.