First stop was Sur la Table. I just love the hustle-and-bustle of that store during the holiday season. And it doesn't hurt that some of my favorite people still work there, ten years after I worked there with them.
We grabbed some calamari linguini from Pappardelle's, a pound of prawns and a half-pound of calamari for what turned out to be a fantastic dinner (more about that coming soon) and a loaf of Le Panier's seriously delicious onion bread, which I hadn't had in years. The bread has all these little bits of toasted onion through it. Amazing.
I also used to work there (yeah, yeah, where didn't I work in Pike Place, right?), and I remember making garlic bread (crushed garlic, butter, a little salt) using the onion bread. You either split the loaf in half, spread the garlic butter on it and broil it, or you slap the two buttered sides back together, wrap it in foil and bake it for 20-25 minutes at 350. I'm telling you, it's the best garlic bread you can make.
Of course we all shared a bbq pork hom bow (Ruby loves hom bows--smart kid), a sable chocolate from Le Panier (with big pieces of toasted hazelnut and dark chocolate slivers), and a terrific bratwurst from Taxi Dogs (my first time eating one). Damn, great brat--it literally popped with juice every bite we took.
Now for the food news: On our way to the car we walked by the Virginia Inn, which is expanding! They're taking over the space between Le Pichet and their current space, which used to be, um, what exactly? I don't remember.
There's a sign in the window that says Virginia Inn is building a new kitchen. Does this mean that one of Seattle's classic taverns (opened in 1903!) will be putting a little extra work into their food? I love the Virginia Inn--great space and a refreshing throw-back. I'll be keeping an eye on this one.