Seattle: Sutra and some wine...
As described in Seattle Day 1 + 2 Post, the Sutra dinner needs describing in full detail so you can get the full amazing experience of the dinner. This is one of two different vegetarian tasting dinners we signed up for on our PNW trip, and the only Vegan restaurant we went to.
Sutra is farm to table vegan food, but self described as vegetarian. I think this has to do with the stigma around veganism, and doesn't deter people. They have a five course dinner, with one sitting night with room for thirty-five people. What does this craziness mean? It means once a week, their chef comes up with a kick ass menu of crazy elements, local and in season that they can. It means the chef is coming up with new ideas, and making sure that you are getting a taste of things that you might not create at home.
We headed over to THE TASTING ROOM before heading over to dinner. This cute wine tasting bar is also a cute place by pike place, and near another recommended bar Kell's (right next door). It's on a little side street right by the entrance to Inn at the Market (hotel). They had quite a few different tasting flights, and all wines from Washington. They didn't have any wines from the places we were planning on going in woodinville, so I had a mixed flight. It's a really great place for sit around a communal table and a glass of wine before dinner.
We move on to the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle to SUTRA. We were sitting in the main dining room, with about 20 others, including some really great PNW characters (think stereotypically about a vegan restaurant in seattle and you have most likely pictured our fellow diners that night). I had one request for the dinner, that it included Ramps. Ramps are "wild leeks" that look similar to scallions, but with leafier ends that taste like mild garlic. They are actually hard to find here in the markets, but I knew the PNW would not disappoint. My travel companion wanted chocolate with her dessert and we got a chocolate habanero mouse. Check and check! Enjoy the photos below of our dinner and then the menu written out below. I am still figuring out how to re-create some of these items, but first on the list is FINDING RAMPS >> off to the farmer's market asap.
FIRST + SECOND COURSE: Asparagus-Coconut-Kaffir Soup with Urfa Biber Roasted Asparagus Tops served aside a salad of Little Gem Lettuce, French Breakfast Radish, Pickled Fiddlehead Fern and Shaved Fennel wit a Heampcream-Hijiki-Truffle Dressing and Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
The first course was beautiful, it might have actually been my favorite in hind-sight although I thought the fourth was while I was there. The lightness of the truffle dressing when paired with the picked ferns and fennel was incredible. This is the way to eat truffles on your salad. The soup was so interesting. When was the last time you had asparagus with lime paired together in a flavor profile. The Keffir lime was a perfect and surprising pair with the salad.
THIRD COURSE: Fingerling Potato, Smoked Black Pearl Lentil Cake with Sauteed Ramp, saffron Poached Tokyo Turnip, a Fig-Pascilla Sauce and a Caperberry-Lovage-Sunflowerseed Crumble.
The highlight of this plate for me was the ramps. I have been itching to try them and have yet to find them here in RI, although I have a few places left to try on my list of possibilities. Ramps have to be foraged, so thank you SUTRA for finding them for my birthday travels to Seattle.
FOURTH COURSE: Velvet Pioppini Mushroom Cashew Cheese, Mung-Bean Crepe with a Nettle-Kale Saag, Roasted Carrot and a Cardamom-Ginger-Tonnemaker Cherry Sauce
This course was amazing, if only for the ridiculous genius who created a vegan crepe and a saag that was delicious. If you closed your eyes, you might not guess 'crepe' but the presentation of crepe was certainly there, as well as the flavors. I never would have ordered a kung-bean crepe on my own, so thank you again for introducing me to great vegan cuisine.
FITH COURSE (no photo): Pecan Brittle Crusted Habanero-Choclate (theo's) Mousse Torte
We ate this too quickly to realize that we had forgotten to take a photo. Mousse certainly does not need animal products, because this rivaled some of the best mousse I've ever had. The lightness because of the coconut milk and the pecan brittle was sweet against the light habanero taste. A perfect ending to our taste of deliciousness at Sutra.
The only drawback to our dinner was the length of time between plates, because of this I highly suggest that you partake in one of the drink pairings. There's a wine pairing and a non-alcoholic pairing, which help with the gaps. If you don't think some conversation and drinking will fill up the time then I highly suggest requesting to sit at the bar. By bar I mean bar height area in front of the plating. This way you can watch them make everything right in front of you and hopefully take home some cooking tips!