As many of you know, I was in Seattle last week attending the “International Food Blogging Conference” (IFBC). As part of the conference, all attendees were treated to dinner at 25 of Seattle’s top restaurants as a guest of Urbanspoon. When I started thinking about their task of spiriting away over 300 people to dinner at 25 different restaurants, my mind started reeling at what a daunting task that must have been to organize. Not only did Urbanspoon accomplish this undertaking, they took into account everyone’s dietary restrictions plus provided the transportation to each venue! The names and locations of the restaurants that we would be visiting were kept secret until the afternoon before dinner. I am not big on surprises; I was always the kid who liked to shake all the packages under the tree to find out what was inside. Thanks to Urbanspoon’s effort to keep us guessing, and a last minute change on my part, I ended up with the group going to dinner at “John Howie Steak”. In other words… I won the lottery!
John Howie Steak is located in ‘The Bravern’, an upscale mall in Bellevue, Washington, just a short drive from Seattle. After walking past Hermès, Louie Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, I started to get the sense that we were in for a treat…was I ever right! As we walked through the restaurant, I took note of the many different seating areas. The restaurant was warm and inviting in addition to being private and quiet. I love to eat in a place where you can carry on a conversation and actually hear each other speak! Our group was escorted into one of the beautiful private dining rooms. When we sat down at the table and read the menu I heard audible gasps…but those might have just been coming from me. If you look over the menu below, you will understand my excitement.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
House Charcuterie Platter
Tempura Kurobuta Bacon with Maple Sambal
Big Eye Ahi Tartar
Champagne, “John Howie Brut” by Duval Leroy, Vertus, France, NV
Jamón ibérico Serrano
Heirloom melon, Pureheart watermelon, black pepper candied pecans,
Riesling, Efeste “Evergreen”, Columbia Valley, WA 2011
New Bedford Sea Scallops
Creamed leeks, pickled summer chanterelles, crispy coppa
Pinot Noir, Evening Land, Willamette Valley, OR 2011
American Wagyu Beef Zabuton
Maine Lobster Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Spinach with Organic Sunny Side Egg
Fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette
Butter Braised Cascade Porcini Mushrooms
“John Howie” by Mark Ryan Winery, Columbia Valley, WA 2010
Tableside Bananas Foster & Cherries Jubilee
The food was all wonderfully prepared and the wine selections were perfectly paired. Not only did we enjoy the phenomenal food and wine at John Howie Steak, the service was stellar. Our “army” of servers was efficient, knowledgeable, and pleasant. We also appreciated the personal attention we received from John Howie, who took the time to talk with our group. The only drawback of my experience here is that I live too far away to enjoy this restaurant more often. I am sure if it was located in the Bay Area I would be a regular patron. Mr. Howie was kind enough to give us all a copy of his book “Passion & Palate, Recipes for a Generous Table”. It is full of great recipes and stories from John’s personal and professional journey. If you would like to discover more about John Howie Steak, or Urbanspoon who made our dinner possible, be sure to check out the links below. Enjoy!
John Howie Steak http://www.johnhowiesteak.com
Get the book! Passion & Palate: Recipes for a Generous Table
International Food Blogging Conference http://www.foodista.com/ifbc2013