I have to take you to this new Greek place I’ve found. We’ll sit across from each other over the smart, bright copper tables and I’ll demurely order the roasted white sweet potato salad (which is to die for) but you would be remiss if you did not order the lamb. I’ll let you chose whether to have it in salad or in pita form, just so long as you don’t pass this dish up — this is the best roasted lamb outside of Istanbul. My first bite here immediately trasnported me back to a stormy afternoon in Sultanahmet, when my companions and I kept ordering plate after plate of lamb roast. It’s such magic when you can attached a sensory detail to a memory. I don’t remember what else I ate or the name of the spot but I remember the smell first walking in the door out of the pouring rain, and I remember the flavor of the lamb — a taste I haven’t discovered again until Souvla. The space itself has been designed by its owner, Charles Bililies, and is simply gorgeous; all white, copper and wood, with laurels leaves and olive branches, and strategically placed subway tile. Don’t forget to order a cup of frozen Greek yogurt on your way out, either drizzled with olive oil and sea salt or crumbled with baklava. I have yet to try the third flavor — sour cherry preserve — but in my experience, you really can’t go wrong.
As great as it is that spring is officially here, let’s get real (talk) — there’s still 50 degree days to be dealt with before summer kicks in. I hopefully packed a handful of day dresses for my Seattle excursion, but in reality the above outfit was what I wore 90% of the time. Fortunately I’m learning to be a better packer, so in addition to the foolishly airy frocks I also managed to bring along two of my wardrobe essentials — high waisted dark jeans and the above striped Zara top. I don’t even want to tell you how many days in a row I’ve worn the outfit pictured here. Do you ever calculate how much a piece of clothing has ended up costing you? This dress was $90 and I’ve only worn it twice so far — but these jeans for $150 I’ve worn about 200 times… If we’re keeping track, than this striped top from Zara should be paying me a stipend at this point. I’ve probably averaged at a 6-10 wear count a month for over a year now. If I was really smart than this would be the only top I pack for a quick trip away, with jeans in the winter and cut-offs or a skirt in the warm season. I’m not at that point yet, but I’m getting close…
The year seems to be picking up speed — it seems like spring has just barely sprung and now April is nearly over. For my birthday this year, since I couldn’t have what I really wanted — which would be to have all the wonderful people I love from all around the world to be swooped up and deposited in one spot for me for the day — I was treated to a collection of tarts from B Patisserie and a nice bottle of wine instead, which turned out to be just perfect. I’m sharing this birthday month with Faye, who wrote a sweet post sharing the pretty little gifts she received.
This week I become obsessed with the gorgeous illustrations of Ryo Takemasa. Miss Moss has a fantastic collection of his veggie, fruit and flower drawings here. I began calculating how soon I can afford to buy these shoes. Samantha Pleet’s magical new lookbook has me longing for fall — and for those archery lessons I keep meaning to take.
It’s Easter weekend in SF, which means the 35th annual hunky Jesus contest is taking place in the Golden Gate Park tomorrow. In the meantime I’m heading off for the Ferry Building farmer’s market to get ingredients for brunch. How are you planning on spending your weekend?
In honor of the end of another workweek I thought I’d share two of my favorite watering holes in Seattle. These are both a little upscale to be considered pubs — but Westward, a bar and restaurant tucked away along Lake Union that pays tribute in their design to The Life Aquatic (!) — offers happy hour from 4-515 Monday through Thursday, and an extended happy hour Friday through Sunday from 330-515. If the weather is good dine on oysters around the cozy outdoor campfire with views of the lake, or find a seat at the bar and admire the cutaway diorama (a la the good ship Belefonte), with a different nautically influenced theme in each tiny cabin.
If you’re looking to both brush up on your cocktail history and see where the future is headed, Canon in Washington Hill is serving up recipes from the distant past (including a sherry cobbler — favorite of 1880s Palace Hotel barmen Professor Jerry Thomas), barrel aged cocktails (including an Oaxacan Scaffa –mezcal, punt e mes and maraschino aged 9 months in a bourbon cask that comes out like sweet smokey syrup), and crazy inventive concoctions including blueberry smoke, a truffle-garnished Old Fashioned, and a cocktail of vintage brandy from 1875 for a staggering $1100. All that and the saloon also boasts one of the largest whiskey collections known to mankind, along with a daily happy hour from 5-7.
I’m always envious of people who can really successfully thrift for themselves. Either my body is weird for vintage (or at least certain eras), or I just don’t have the right imagination to look at something that’s off see how to alter it into perfection — and thus so often browsing through vintage or thrift shops leaves me frustrated. Which is why when I do find something that fits and looks good the piece becomes so much more than just what it is — that needle in a haystack. I’ve hardly been able to stop wearing this 70s dress since discovering it in a certain Seattle thrift store the other week, and couldn’t resist pairing it with these fabulous wedges from Modcloth. With the weather this warm there’s no excuse to not take some tall strolls around a (very flat) part of town.
Every time I look at this photo I wish I was eating that bread all over again; one of the best baguettes I’ve found outside of France by far — and the butter! So creamy, so sweet; I don’t know what they’re doing up there in the PNW but if it results in butter like this than I approve. The other week while in Seattle my hosts introduced me to Bastille as we were cruising the Ballard Farmer’s Market one sunny Sunday, looking for a brunch spot, and they couldn’t have picked a better place. I know, because I tried. And failed — each time I stepped out on my own without a local’s advice, relying on Yelp or other online guides. I suppose I assumed, what with speaking the same language and having easy access to the internet, that I would have no problem navigating a new city, but each mediocre meal was a reminder of how important it is to have a local’s insight. In the end, anything my friends recommended turned out to be heads and shoulders above the top whatever lists or highest reviewed spots, and two of these places happened to be directly across the street from each other — one being the beautiful French café in question; which felt like a Parisian train station in the best possible way, and had the most amazing œufs cocotte I’ve had since Mamie Greens…
… and the other being a cozy, intimate coffee shop serving up pour overs and tasty, tasty espresso drinks in a funky, tucked-away, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location. Bring a book to exchange, or just borrow one from their shelves and sit in the window while you read and sip your macciatto and watch all the hip cats in Ballard walk by. The Anchored Ship would have had me just with their interior design — with it’s carnival lights and miniature ships (which really is all I ask for in a coffee shop) — but I’ll come back for the espresso and the grilled cheese.