Ooh, my favorite!

Brass + Marble
October 31, 2012, 9:59 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

I’ve mentioned the slow and ongoing process of introducing my aesthetic with my guy’s, and while it’s not impossible it will be a fun challenge mixing the two. I wish I had enough of a designy lexicon to properly describe our differing styles, but let’s just say that his organic, minimal, masculine has to mesh with my polished, fanciful, feminine. So…yeah.

Andrew’s house is rich with beautiful pine wood floors and oversized chefs table. With all of the wood the addition of other natural and organic elements will be the best way to incorporate a more feminine look. Of course I know precisely the pieces to add and really there is no better combination than the elegant and graceful pairing of brass and marble (or stone). Oh how I lust after these pieces and the pocketbook to support acquiring one, oh hell, even two of them.

Herst table lamp / Kelly Wearstler mini bauble box / Jana table lamp / Marcy gold leaf console / Oval brass objet / Marble and brass tray

Either of the lamps would be great because I am still hunting for a the perfect one, but I am also excited that Worlds Away has a marble top console. I was lucky enough to score two of their glass-top side tables on super sale and would die if I could find a larger piece.

The Known Universe
October 30, 2012, 10:08 am
Filed under: Compassion, Green, Nature, Videos

If you watch one thing this week, it should be this. Chills.

From the American Museum of Natural History:

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.

I wonder where this exhibition is now. (Still have chills.)

[via LikeCool]

The Whale Wins
October 29, 2012, 6:52 am
Filed under: Food, Restaurants, Seattle

For me, there are only a couple of chefs in Seattle that are showcasing what Seattle dining and cuisine is really and truly about. In a place and time where the hype-machine glorifies mediocrity it’s easy to confuse glitz for good food and celebrity chefdom for good cooking. There are, however, two chefs worthy of praise and recognition, and Renée Erickson is one of them. (It’s no surprise to anyone who catches my weekly favorite recaps that Chef Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce and The Corson Building is the other.)

You’ll recognize Renée as the name behind Boat Street Café and The Walrus and the Carpenter, and while those are some of the best that Seattle has to offer, there really is nothing quite like her latest venture, The Whale Wins.

I was lucky enough to be able to join Andrew for a little sneak preview on Friday and I can’t even begin to describe the setting or the food. For day three of a secret soft opening it was nothing less than stellar.

The Building

Located in the newly renovated Fremont Collective building on Stone Way, The Whale Wins is one part of a quadplex of sorts. To the left you’ll find the relocated Joule, to the right you’ll find the relocated Evo ski and snowboard shop, and downstairs you’ll find an indoor skate park.

When you take your seat be sure to look up and check out the warm welcome from the light installations. H-E-L-L-O, H-E-L-L-O.

Then marvel at the open ceiling with exposed beams that purportedly mimics those of a ships internal lateral hull structure. Regardless of what they are, it’s gorgeous.

The Setting

Like both spaces before, the setting Renée has cultivated here is gorgeous. I have too many favorites to mention, but to name a few there are the marble top tables dressed with butcher paper, sea green/blue thonet chairs, ship lap panelled walls, Blue Willow china serviettes, killer lighting, and an enormous vintage sink at one of the server stations. Oh, and the vintage brass pepper mills? Un. Real. (We now have one coming, by the way.)

Elegant and bright, yet casual and welcoming. I’m just so excited that Seattle has another perfectly Northwest culinary destination.

The Food

Real. Classic. Perfectly executed.

Succulent roasted chicken with crisp skin. Perfectly roasted beef tenderloin (served at room temperature) with vibrant arugula pesto potato salad. Roasted radicchio with its tangy bitterness cut by a creamy buttermilk dressing and a burst of poppyseed.

The menu seemed to be structured around classics: perfectly executed staples, seasonal and local ingredients, and Renée’s mom’s brownie recipe! From beginning to end the meal was delicious, comforting, soulful, and endorphin-inducing. The main courses from the Oven section of the menu were elegant and sturdy with SO much flavor imparted from the wood-fired oven. And really, I never order chicken but this one shouldn’t be missed…and neither should the roast beef for that matter. Additionally, one of my favorite parts was the use of herbs: vibrant and refreshing, but not overpowering.

And if it wasn’t already perfect enough, they offer my favorite François Pinon Vouvray Non-Dose bubbly by the glass ($10) and by the bottle ($40)!

Winter Lettuces, herbs, pistacios, and Yarmuth sheepsmilk cheese

Roasted Radicchio, hazelnuts, buttermilk poppyseed vinaigrette, and preserved lemon rind

Roasted half chicken, cauliflower, butter, and chervil

Roast beef tenderloin (sliced thin and served at room temp), arugula pesto, potatoes, and fresh horseradish cream

Shirlee’s brownie (omg!)

The Service

Warm, welcoming, perfect. Considering all of the things that float through your head in preparation for an opening the staff was attentive, happy, fun, and relaxed. Pros from beginning to end.

In the end…

It’s likely there will be quite a frenzy when it officially opens on Wednesday (Halloween), so be ready. But here’s my take on it: dinner here is going to be obvious. It will be amazing, but it will also be a spot to see and be seen, and that’s not why I eat out. I’m not a foodie. I seek out and appreciate legitimately good food. So for me, in the end, it’s all about lunching. This is the best opportunity to get to know the staff, the food, the space. And it’s so much more personal. Take advantage of those special days and turn them into special dates by setting aside time to make it a true lunch. Have a glass (or two) of bubbly, sit back and let the kitchen determine your courses, and add dessert (have I mentioned Shirlee’s brownie yet?) with Stumptown Coffee’s Duramina french press.

Pure perfection.

These are a few…
October 26, 2012, 11:16 am
Filed under: My favorite things, Personal

I made it through the marathon work weeks, twelve of the last thirteen days (I was able to sneak in a day on Tuesday but in some ways it was harder to go back). Knowing it was going to be a long haul we made sure to sneak in lots of great moments to make it easier. It was indeed great times, but still I am looking forward to having a regular work week again.

Here are a few of my favorites. Kiss!

Matcha green tea. I’ve been perfecting my technique and I’m finally ready to share it with you. Look for the full scoop next week. This is THE best way to start your day, promise.

Osetra caviar crackers. A total splurge, but so worth it in the midst of a long week. Another trip to the Seattle Caviar Company is in order but probably not for this guy again…unless I can make up a special occasion to justify it. (*wink)

Autumn walk with the Westies. Brother was up for a visit so he and mom tagged along for Westie sitting in the park. I love the Autumn-ness here.

Sources of inspiration
October 25, 2012, 11:08 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

I have a like / hate relationship with Pinterest. It’s become really hard to find images that are surprising and inspiring, so when I do find a setting or style that catches my eye I pull it aside (offline) to make sure I don’t lose track of it. This little vignette here was one of those images, and as much as I love the settee, the eclectic collection of art is what really caught my eye and has been a source of inspiration for weeks.

In the same way that I can’t really connect with Pinterest, I’ve been having a hard time finding really meaningful and inspiring art. I’m just so tired of cheesy prints. If only those Keep Calm prints, and all of their variations, would just die already! As always, there is the matter of what my wallet can handle when looking to collect original works of art (oh yeah, then there’s my fascination with Persian and Moroccan rugs), and as of yet I have no secrets or tips for acquiring on a budget. So for now I will be patient and slowly work to curate a nice little collection with pointed vintage finds and perhaps a few moderate splurges with this image as my offline inspiration.

P.S. For me, the only really and truly best use of Pinterest is from Nina Garcia!

[Image via {this is glamorous}]

Bus station sonata
October 24, 2012, 10:07 am
Filed under: Smile, Videos

The Arts Council of England and Nexus set up this installation at the Haymarket Bus Station in Newcastle, UK. Commuters were invited to play a Beethoven sonata with pianist Andy Jackson of the Cobwebs Orchestra, and surprisingly enough most people said they had never touched a piano before. There’s something special watching them play. Makes me smile.

[via Daily of the Day]

Alexander Wang Prisma Wallet
October 23, 2012, 2:47 am
Filed under: Fashion, The Finer Things, Yes please

I am in desperate need of a proper wallet. I can’t even tell you what I have at the moment, but I think its original purpose was to house business cards. It will be a big purchase, so I’m holding out for the perfect find. It has to be functional, practical, resilient, and stylish.

This absolutely perfect specimen of a wallet does not meet any of the main three criteria, but it sure as hell nails the stylish aspect. I got to play with it at Barney’s the other day and it was glorious. The soft rosy-nude leather was to die for; the perfect hue, but oh so frageelay. Just as it could easily be taken into sweet territory, the gold hardware adds a sexy edge. And with a dimension of 4×8 it could also double as a small clutch. Two-for-one!

Alexander Wang, Prisma Long Compact Wallet, $370

Glass fish straws
October 22, 2012, 10:05 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Green


Cute glass fish straws! Safe for hot or cold drinks, these guys are handmade from borosilicate glass in Colorado. I’ve tried the stainless steel straws but didn’t care for the texture or the taste it left in my mouth, and the cute striped paper straws are great for events, but not for everyday use since often times they’re made in China. I have a ton left over from the wedding so I’ll be working my way through them regardless, but I think glass would be much better for sipping at home, don’t you?

Set of 2, $25

These are a few…
October 19, 2012, 10:09 am
Filed under: Music, My favorite things, Seattle

I’m 5 days in to a 12 day marathon at work. No weekend this week, so instead I caught up with my dear friend Gena over coffee and tea and also snuck away for some lunching. The only hard part has been the gloomy, stormy weather that makes me want to stay in bed. Enjoy your weekend, friends. Make it an extra good one.

Here are a few of my favorites from the week. Kiss!

No surprise, I lunched at Sitka & Spruce. Smelt, loxed trout, and lightly fermented vegetables. Oh, and some bubbly.

I indulged in Thai pastries. Chef made these pastries filled with her pineapple preserves as a gift for one of our servers that just moved to Hawaii. These piggies were ‘seconds’ so they became mine.

I had this on repeat. Then I decided to check out the video. Nothing like Time (Clock of the Heart) as the soundtrack to an extra long week. I suddenly see the irony in this.

Before, During, After
October 18, 2012, 8:31 am
Filed under: Compassion, Photography

This is an amazing series by photographer Claire Felicie. In an attempt to capture how life-changing experiences affect the way we look she photographed Dutch Marines before, during, and after a year of service in Afghanistan. It’s easy to be desensitized to headline chatter and imagery about war, but for me at least, this series captures everything.

Read more about it here.

[via my fave newsletter NextDraft]

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