“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to Seattle and the Astra Hotel
I visited Seattle again a few weeks ago, and on this trip I decided to visit a hotel that was centrally located in the South Lake Union neighbourhood of Seattle. After arriving, I checked in to the Astra Hotel which was very well situated. Located in the heart of the Tech community, a few blocks away from South Lake Union, it’s close to grocery stores and restaurants. The hotel is also steps away from local transportation that includes the streetcar, buses and more.
As I was on my own on this trip, I can tell you that this is a great hotel for the solo business traveler as well as for couples or families on a leisure visit.
My room had a great view of the iconic Space Needle and one of things that I liked in the room was the tech pad where with a press of a button the sheer would go up and down and you could have a great view blocking out the sunlight by day, and you could also press blackout for the blinds to lower at night. There was a mini-fridge along with a spacious closet and drawers. There was also another great feature where with a press of a button you could display “Do not disturb” or ‘Make up room” so that those outside the room in the hallway would know.
I loved the fitness facilities offering up all the latest equipment as well as free weights and it is open to guests 24 hours a day.
I had a restful sleep in the comfy bed, the room also had a mini fridge where you could store some of the items you picked up in the downstairs market or ones that you brought with you.
I tried all the beverage and food offerings in the hotel which included Altitude Sky Lounge roof-top outside/inside bar; as well as Otium Grill and Greens that serves both lunch and dinner; and Café Ladro located in the lobby for coffees and a light breakfast.
Altitude Sky Lounge is a perfect pre or post dinner spot for those that are visiting. I enjoyed the Know it All cocktail along with some bites which included the Marcona almonds and crispy chickpeas, Toasted Macrina bread and Jarred Smoked Salmon.
Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Bourbon Steak in downtown Seattle with my friend Brian at this fairly new French Steakhouse. Here we shared several dishes, starting off with the Burrata & Asparagus with egg mimosa, breadcrumbs, tartufo vinaigrette; which was delicious. The Phyllo-Wrapped Scallop with pea espuma, smoked trout roe, melted leeks was very good.
The Sunrise Farms Brick Chicken with English pea, Asparagus, Haricot verts, ramps, onion and chicken jus; tender and juicy chicken that we both loved. We had some of their Duck Fat Fries with spruce tip salt & BBQ sauce as well.
The 16 oz Boneless Rib-Eye (Creekstone, KS); was perfectly cooked, and was the star of the dinner; we also loved the Glazed Mushrooms with pearl onion, sesame; absolutely delicious flavours. The Truffle Mac & Cheese was another great accompaniment.
For dessert we shared two, my favourite was the 24K Dark Chocolate Molten Cake Sundae with hidden treasures of Luxardo cherry, crunchy wafer pearls, ice cream and whipped cream, topped with a hard brown sugar shell. We also had the Basque Cheesecake with roasted strawberry, lemon curd, sesame crisp.
This was a wonderful restaurant to enjoy some delicious food in downtown Seattle, I interviewed their Executive Chef Megan Vaughan on my podcast listen here to learn more about her and the restaurant.
Bourbon Steak is located at 1433 Pike Street and on instagram @bourbonsteakseattle
Otium Grill and Greens is located in the lobby and is open for lunch and dinner. The next day, I visited for lunch and my friend Janice joined me. We shared the tasty Broccoli & Stracciatella salad, Roasted carrots, Little Gem Salad wth chicken and the Chicken Avocado Sandwich.
For dinner I headed over to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood for dinner to Cook Weaver where my friend Sam joined me. The restaurant specializes in tasting menus and it’s minutes away from South Lake Union or downtown. Sam and I met at camp together years ago in California and he now lives in Seattle so it was great to catch up with him. Although he is Vegetarian, he decided to try the 7-course Vegan tasting menu (you can get that by request) and I had the Non-Vegetarian 7-course menu. Their motto is that they serve Inauthentic food that’s Euro Asian and the menus change often. As you will see we actually had 8 courses as Chef Zac added an extra dish just for us.
These are the courses that I had as part of the Non-Vegetarian Tasting Menu.
Fried mussels, corn salad with chips and cantaloupe, nori dressing
Sautéed zucchini, smoked carrot condiment, thanh son tofu, shallot and peanut
Breakfast radish, Parmesan curry broth, green rice, lime leaf oil
Squid ink noodles, wild caught shrimp, crawfish sauce, parsley
Pan roasted king salmon, strawberry sauce & compote, fresh herbs, pickled jalapeño
6th course (surprise extra course)
Carrot taco (for both of us) on Ethiopian injera
Roasted chicken thigh, blue cheese croquette,
Frozen strawberry mousse, strawberry gel, shortbread cookie, lemon balm, pine nuts
This was a wonderful restaurant to catch up with a friend or to celebrate a special occasion or a visit to the city. I interviewed Chef Zac Reynolds on my podcast and you can listen here and learn more about him and his restaurant.
The next day I enjoyed a wonderful brunch at Ben Paris that is located downtown Seattle near Pike Place Market, my cousin Gilda joined me.
I started off with a Cortado while Gilda had a Latte which was a great way to begin.
I had the Cauliflower Caesar with chicken; while Gilda had the tasty Wild Mushroom Hash with fried eggs, potatoes and herbs.
We both shared the delicious Ricotta Pancakes with fresh berries, vanilla bean anglaise as kind of dessert without actually having one of their notable desserts.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Astra Hotel provided me with complimentary accommodation as well as meals in Altitudes Sky Lounge and Otium Grill & Greens. Bourbon Steak, Cook Weaver and Ben Paris provided complementary meals. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.