Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Hill

On March 31 my cousin and I went to Spring Hill, a restaurant located in West Seattle. The head chef/owner is Mark Fuller, who used to be the head chef at Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge. We went for the last day of the Dine Around Seattle promotion, which is one of the best ways to get to dine at some of Seattle's finest restaurants without making your wallet weep. (30 restaurants offering 3-course dinners for $30, which is a bargain considering some of these restaurants charge more than that for a regular entree. Some even offer 3-for-$15 lunches.) If you're in the area and haven't taken advantage, they do it every March and November. This time around I managed to go to 3 restaurants, but didn't take my camera until this last one. :D

Here's the menu ... the Dine Around Seattle menu is on top of their regular menu. Since my cousin had been there before, we didn't make it a point to both order different dishes.

Sorry that some of these photos are blurry. I didn't use my flash due to not wanting to be rude to the other diners (plus flash washes out colors), and I took a lot of shots so some did come out crisp. But some I only took one or two shots, so if I didn't get a clear picture on the first try that was basically it. I used Photoshop to brighten the dark photos as best I could.

Butter lettuce salad with parmesan, radish, and citronelle dressing -- very lemony and so good.

Pork rillette with crostini and thinly sliced apple.

Putting it together...

I had heard how amazing the clam chowder was at Spring Hill and really wanted to try it. It wasn't part of the Dine Around Seattle promotion so we ordered it separately. They bring you the bowl with whole clams, pepper crackers, potatoes, a parsley puree, etc.

The server then pours the creamy chowder over the ingredients.

We mixed it up and the parsley puree infuses the chowder with pretty green specks and adds flavor. We both ate a few spoonfuls before I took this picture, lol.

The restaurant has an open kitchen, and almost every table in the place has a good view of it. Our table was next to where the food was being plated. Seeing all that yumminess constantly was totally awesome. :D

We both ordered the wood-grilled hangar steak, which was unspeakably delicious. You know that one scene in The Matrix, when Cypher goes in to have dinner with one of the Agents, and he forks up a gorgeous piece of steak? My mouth waters at that scene every time. I finally got to eat it myself. ;)

The steak was served on top of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and either creamed savoy spinach (says the menu) or creamed arugula (says the server).

Spring Hill is the sort of place where they are insistent upon serving food the way it's meant to be eaten -- the menu explicitly says "No Substitutions." They serve their steak medium rare. That means if you want well-done meat, you either need to go somewhere else or order something else. My cousin is pregnant and normally is totally fine with medium rare meat, but wants to be more cautious. She had to practically beg to get the server to ask the cooks to prepare her meat "on the medium side of medium rare." :D Many people may not care for this kind of 'snootiness,' but we personally like that they take a stand about the food they serve. Here's her steak; it was still medium rare, but definitely slightly cooked longer than mine:

For dessert we both got the chocolate fudge cake (it was flourless; it basically tasted like very dark fudge) with salted peanut ice cream. I'm not usually a fan of peanut-flavored stuff (though I do like peanuts and peanut butter), but it had a hint of honey in it, and coupled with the chocolate and bits of salt, it was divine.

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