This past week, I had an opportunity to meet some local food bloggers here in Seattle, thanks to the team at FoodBuzz, who hosted a lovely community meal at Spring Hill in West Seattle. It's crazy to see how many food bloggers there are out there these days, ranging from the most sophisticated professional sites to the more blogging-as-a-hobby types like my own.
In its two years of existence, FoodBuzz has managed to connect and aggregate the content of so many people... it's pretty amazing. More importantly, the people at FoodBuzz are terrific---really passionate about food and about their work in establishing those connections and making partnerships.
This was my third visit to Spring Hill, and each time I've been, the food has grown in its polish and sophistication. We started with two amuses: a house-made cracker with foie gras and a riesling gelee (really nice texture to the cracker, the richness of the foie gras accented perfectly by the gelee), and a bite of dungeness crab and kampachi crudo (a bit more acid/vinegar needed).
Next, mussels roasted in their own juice, with lemon, butter and parsley, accompanied by a watercress salad. Simple and fresh, a nice expression of the mussels natural flavors.
We then enjoyed a bite of smoked oysters on house cured sopressata, with potato chips. This was probably my favorite bite of the evening. The smokiness of the oysters accented their natural briny sweetness, which, in turn, paired beautifully in both flavor and texture with the intense savory meatiness of the sopressata. This one raised eyebrows at our table... really delicious.
My main dish was one of Spring Hill's signature plates: sauteed black cod, fennel chowder with fennel frond oil and smoked king clam panzanella. Perfectly cooked black cod, its buttery silken texture contrasted by the light crunch of the panzanella.
With the richness of the meal, it was great to finish with the buttermilk panna cotta with huckleberries.
Special thanks to Ryan and Alexa for hosting everyone this evening, and to the dining companions at my table for the great conversation: Dianasaur Dishes, GastroGnome, OC2Seattle, and Going for Seconds. Hope to be able to share food with you all again sometime!
And a heartfelt congratulations to Spring Hill for being named one of Bon Appetit's Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America. Mark and Marjorie have created a fantastic place in West Seattle, and their efforts and warm hospitality are evident in the experience they provide to their diners.