20 Culinary Questions with Seattle Magazine Food + Dining Editor Julien Perry

photo Julien Perry is the Food and Dining Editor for Seattle Magazine and one of the founders of the One Night Only Project. Prior to joining the magazine, she was an editor for Eater Seattle and a restaurant reporter for KOMO news radio. Despite being a graduate of the Baking & Pastry program at the Seattle Art Institute, she  wasn’t always the gourmand she is now. “I used to be a bodybuilder and was on a strict diet for most of the mid 90s. I’m pretty sure I had more artificial sweetener coursing through my veins during my competition diets than a silo of Sweet ‘n Low,” reveals Perry, who also appears regularly on  Q13 Morning News and Evening Magazine. Still fit and fabulous, but with a much more varied and envious array of food at her fingertips, she shares her answers to our 20 dining Qs. 

1. What are some of the best qualities of the Seattle dining scene?: I’ve lived here for 20+ years, and some of the best qualities include: always incredibly fresh local produce, staggeringly good seafood, chef-driven restaurants, and a quaint neighborhood feel in a big city.

2. Any restaurants at which you’re something of a regular? Most Ethan Stowell restaurants (mkt., Bar Cotto), Corretto (across the street from my home), Rock Creek, and the bar at Canlis (until I can afford to have a real meal there).

3. The next time I’m in Seattle, where must I dine? The Whale Wins, Joule, mkt., Il Corvo, Matt’s in the Market, Le Pichet, and Rock Creek.

4. Last best restaurant(s) you dined at? I had several awesome meals at Dot’s before it abruptly closed in late June. Outside of that, I had a multi-course meal at Canlis that was unexpected. I got to be a guinea pig for chef Franey’s new tasting menu. And it was divine.

5. Restaurant you’d most like to try but have yet to — anywhere? Restaurant Marron just opened near my home on Capitol Hill. Prix fixe menus only. Intrigued!

6. Favorite city (cities) for dining outside your own? San Francisco. But I always secretly hope to move back to New York City (I lived there in 1996), where the food scene has absolutely exploded.

7. Destination dining cities you’d love to visit? Anywhere in Europe.

8. What’s your overall favorite type of cuisine? Mexican. I just love the simplicity and the flavors and the spice. Besides, what better comfort food is there than nachos?

9. Shared plates, tasting menu, or the classic app/entrée/dessert? Shared plates! I can never make up my mind. I like to order a little bit of everything and share with a friend.

10. Dish you can’t resist ordering? Sliders and frites. Guilty as charged.

11. Have you ever done a bang bang (a la Louis C.K.)? If not, what’s the greatest # of courses you’ve eaten in one restaurant siting?Continue Reading

OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Wine Lists

corks-blogAs the grape harvest continues at the nation’s vineyards, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Restaurants with the Most Notable Wine Lists. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Featuring talented sommeliers and lists to impress any oenophile, the winners span 27 states and include Canlis in Seattle, The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Veritas in New York City. Home to the nation’s most renowned vineyards, California accounts for 21 honorees, followed by Maryland with eight winners and Florida, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington with five apiece. Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas restaurants each boast four winning restaurants. Michigan and Nevada both claim three winners. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, and Tennessee each have two winning restaurants. Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin restaurants are also represented. American fare restaurants had the greatest number of winners, followed by those serving Italian and tapas/small plate cuisines.

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OpenTable Diner Reviews Reveal Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S.

What’s your recipe for romantic dining? A fireside table? Fine wine? Or the right dining companion?

As we look forward to the romance of Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The list of winners, which includes Canlis in Seattle, Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Calif., and White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, spans 32 states. California restaurants earned 16 spots on the list, followed by Hawaii with 10 winners and Florida with eight. Virginia boasts seven winning restaurants, trailed by Ohio and Texas with six honorees apiece. Nevada, New York, and Tennessee all have five winning restaurants, while Arizona and Utah have four each. Colorado restaurants earned three spots, as did those in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington restaurants are also included, among others.

Cheese pleases, as fondue, especially that which is served at nationwide The Melting Pot restaurants, proved extremely popular for the fourth year in a row. American regional fare accounted for almost half the spots on the list. French cuisine was also well represented. Other popular cuisines included Italian, European/continental, and seafood.Continue Reading

10 Things You Need to Know About Top Chef Seattle Episode 4

Tom chuckles at CJ’s plan to undermine John Tesar at every turn.

Full disclosure: Top Chef Seattle is driving me a little bit batty this season. I don’t feel as though I’m getting to know several of the contestants — and I know some others too well. We’re barely seeing Bart, Brooke, Eliza, or Chrissy. This episode featured a lot of two cheftestants who could have gone home but didn’t. Given this disconnect, I wish they’d lower the field to 10 from the get-go so that we could really get to know competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox and on to the pertinent points. 

1. On last week’s episode, the talented Kuniko went home for undersalting a batch of potatoes. They were more like scalloped potatoes, so it’s not something you can adjust after it’s baked. While Josie of the raw turkey should have gone home, she had immunity, so they sent Kuniko packing. But — rejoice! She is back in Last Chance Kitchen. I’m pulling for you, Kuniko!

Try as they may, the Canlis cannot stop staring at Hugh Acheson’s commanding brow.

2. His fellow cheftestants believe that John Tesar is living up to his reputation as Dallas’s (and now Top Chef’s) most hated chef. He’s got an ego and a lot of opinions as a chef of his age and experience might have, but I think they need to be less sensitive to what he says in the break room. Jeez.

3. Speaking of hating John, in addition to Josh not being a fan, from almost the first frame of last night’s show, CJ makes it clear that he’s gunning for John.

4. His gun must have jammed as John Tesar, and not CJ, walked away with the QFC win — and immunity.

5. Naomi Pomeroy from Beast likes her red meat slightly more well done than you might think.

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