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Seattle Lodge Restaurant Critiques: The George and Charlotte

Geoducks can strike worry within the hearts of those that behold them: These Northern Pacific burrowing clams have an elephantine appendage that may stretch to 3 ft lengthy. However at The George, the newly opened restaurant in Seattle’s 98-year-old Fairmont Olympic Lodge, chef Thomas Cullen renders the mollusk right into a factor of straightforward magnificence, a crudo dressed with shiny yuzu, charred-jalapeño oil and crispy puffed rice. “Geoduck is an unimaginable delicacy that we’re so lucky to have in our area,” Cullen says. “It has an identical consistency to a extra widespread clam, however the taste supplies a sweetness of the ocean.” The dish is an ideal encapsulation of Cullen’s culinary imaginative and prescient, as he shakes up staid resort restaurant clichés with progressive makes use of of the seasonal spoils of the Pacific, Puget Sound and surrounding farmlands.

The George within the Fairmont Olympic Lodge / Picture: Courtesy of Fairmont Olympic Lodge

Along with traditional brasserie dishes like bouillabaisse and entire roasted rooster, you would possibly discover a particular reminiscent of pink singing scallops topped with roast ramp butter made with the foraged wild onion that grows for just a few weeks every year. “For out-of-towners, it is a true style of spring within the Pacific Northwest,” Cullen says. He even reinvents the traditional seafood tower: Prawns and king and Dungeness crabs share area on the pebble ice with geoduck and salmon-belly crudos, the latter dressed with ramp nuoc cham and watermelon radish. And as an alternative of serving the clams and mussels uncooked or steamed, he cold-smokes them and packs them in olive oil, Spanish-style.

About 4 blocks away, South Korean model Lotte opened its third U.S. property in late 2020 within the gleaming F5 Tower, with interiors by Philippe Starck. The Sixteenth-floor restaurant, Charlotte, affords panoramic views of Elliott Bay which are nearly as suave because the regionally targeted cooking. The elegant prix-fixe dinner contains such dishes as English pea and nettle soup with Alaskan weathervane scallops, smoked roe and peavines and stone-oven octopus with brassicas, sunflower seeds and pickled caulini. And if you happen to occur to not be a seafood lover, there’s an ode to Northwestern forests and fields within the type of dry-aged venison carpaccio with elderberry, candied trumpet mushrooms and porter aioli on a caraway-rye waffle.

English pea and nettle soup with Alaskan weathervane scallops at Charlotte / Picture: Courtesy of Lotte Lodge

“Not too long ago, we took our workforce to go to Hama Hama on the Hood Canal to assist them perceive the place our merchandise come from and have a greater connection to the native meals methods that we worth,” says government sous chef Jeffrey Hunter. Along with elements like Hama Hama’s famed oysters, Hunter typically experiments with sudden finds reminiscent of Japanese angelica shoots, which the workforce preserves in addition to fries in a tempura batter.

“We attempt to modify dishes slowly as new elements come into season,” he says of his altering menu. When produce is at its peak, the workforce would possibly course of and protect it for later within the 12 months—as he does with ramp bulbs and greens within the spring—and on the top of summer time, he creates a vegetable-focused tasting menu to have fun the area’s spectacular choices.

Charlotte within the Lotte resort / Picture: Courtesy of Lotte Lodge

Even if you happen to’re not ordering prix fixe, the gorgeous bar menu within the lounge affords equally contemporary and thrilling snacks reminiscent of Hama Hama oysters with finger lime mignonette pearls and inexperienced apple, Salt Spring mussel toast with Broccolini and oyster emulsion, and smoked-oyster-stuffed rooster wings. As typical, the dishes are all about simplicity and letting the area’s briny terroir converse for itself. “We glance to have fewer objects on the plate,” Hunter says, “with every merchandise ready exceptionally.”



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