Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eating Seattle: Poppy

I've got a theory about Poppy which I'm hoping you can either confirm or deny. The theory goes something like this: Men hate/dislike/roll their eyes at the place, and women love it/like it/are intrigued by it/find it fun.

Now, I'm already about to throw a wrench into my own simplistic assumption by telling you that I do not love Poppy, and I am a woman. But then again it's entirely possible, and maybe even probable, that I like to eat more like your typical man than your typical woman. I don't know if this is true (more studies must be done, surely), but it's possible.

Anyhoo, my review of Poppy is up on the Seattle Mag website now, and I hope you'll read it to get a more rounded, broad idea of what I think of the place.

But if I were forced to sum up my reason for not loving it, it'd come down to this: I like to get lost in a dish I enjoy. I like for there to be enough of something warm, stewy, meaty, savory and so on for me to actually feel satisfied after eating it. I love a big bowl of pho, a hearty cauldron of ramen, but size isn't all that matters--we can all get our fill of a rich, hearty chili or an intensely clammy chowder in a thick cup of the stuff. I just like to take my time, taste it a bunch of times, really get to know my food.

At Poppy I was frustrated by all the little dishes that neither added real value nor enhanced the other dishes. But mostly I was frustrated by the tiny portions at the heart of the thalis, because, when they were good, I just wanted to get lost in them, and I couldn't. Have you ever been to a mediocre (or even worse) restaurant, eaten a full meal, but left feeling like you just didn't scratch the itch? You're belly was full but you were far from satisfied?

So Poppy doesn't curl my toes. What about you?

[where: 98115]


Anonymous said...

woman here, did not like it. You can read my reasoning here:
We are not alone.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I both liked it a lot (we went a week or two after opening). I wouldn't put it at the top tier of meals I've ever had, but I've eaten at some pretty amazing places. I definitely found it to meet my expectations, and I'd go back.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I both enjoyed our dinner at Poppy. After reading your review, I do agree with you on many points. I, too, like to get lost in my meals, which didn't happen at Poppy. But, I did enjoy sampling foods that I normally would not order. I'll be back.

Alex said...

I have only been to Poppy once. I went with all guys. My friends had dinner and were not terribly impressed. I only had dessert, but I loved it. So I plan to go back sometime to see what dinner is like.

Ali Scheff said...

thanks for the responses! I notice that there's alot of "we'll be back" but not a single, "we've been back twice." And I find myself saying that alot, although it's not always followed through on in my case. Isn't it interesting to think about the restaurants you really DO go back to vs the ones you mean to go back to?

Leslie said...

I went with one dude and some ladies and we all liked it pretty Poppy theory, elaborated on in the link at the end, is that liking it and not liking it depends on the severity of your ADHD.

We, too, said we'd go back. However, because its appeal to us is novelty, I doubt we actually will make it there for a full dinner unless we all a) strike it rich and b) there are no additional new restaurants opened in Seattle for a while. I like an adventure, which the food was and could be again, but with all the other new restaurants to try and limited resources, I'll probably be swayed to try something new elsewhere.

I will, however, take people there for desserts and cocktails; those elements seem pretty sure fire.

Abe said...

My girlfriend and I both like Poppy. I suspect it's best when we're looking for something in between small plates and, well, regular plates.

Deliciously original cocktails help, as do the printed daily(?) menus (I recall one particularly murky Sunday last fall when it read "Thali for a foggy Sunday"...)

Anonymous said...

I think I could make your curl toes, yes, since you're asking.

Al said...

I know, a very late comment but I thought your review of Poppy was too generous while your tone came across much more true on your blog.

With that said, I still have not found a meal that compares to my memorable meals at Herbfarm back in the days. Maybe some day when I can go to the French Laundry, I can change my answer.

I thought the appetizer menu had too many fried items and I love fried food. Their drinks are unique but not worthy of going on my faves list and while I thought the beef ragu was my favorite, none of the dishes bring back repeatable memories when I think about my night at Poppy. Unfortunate in so many ways and ultimately, for me and my girlfriend, $100 for two people is not considered reasonable. I'll take Kingfish Cafe over Poppy any day!