Restaurant Week: Staple and Fancy

Swiss Chard Arancini

TMA'ed at Café Vitta listening to Cha Cha by D.R.A.M

Temi: We only tried one restaurant during restaurant week. It's sad, I know, but I think our one choice was a good one. We went to Ethan Stowell's Staple and Fancy and it was so popular we could only get a reservation at 10:30pm, 30 minutes before close. Even though we were the last people in the restaurant, from the very beginning, the service was amazing and the food was fresh.

Mari: Staple and Fancy's location is a little creepy late at night. When we turned onto Ballard Ave, it was a poorly lit street surrounded by warehouses and I thought the GPS led us astray.  At a second glance, I was able to make out the small Staple and Fancy sign hanging below the awning. The restaurant was neatly tucked in between a marine equipment business and the well-known restaurant, The Walrus and the Carpenter. Despite the sketchiness, having dinner this late meant clutch street parking directly across from it.

Temi: As soon as we were seated, we were given the restaurant week menu. Unlike most restaurants, they served all five appetizers listed on the menu along with our choice of entrée and dessert. The appetizers: Swiss Chard Arancini, Proscuitto and Parmesan, Albacore Crudo, Escarole Salad and Foie Gras Mousse. 

Foie Gras Mousse with Crostini 

Foie Gras Mousse with Crostini 

Albacore Crudo and Swiss Chard Arancini

Albacore Crudo and Swiss Chard Arancini

Mari:  I went with the Kabocha Squash Ravioli and Dark Chocolate Ganache cake, while Temi chose the Duck Ragu Rigatoni and Seasonal Sorbetto. Of the five appetizers, I could only eat the Albacore Cruda and the Swiss Chard Arancini. The Albacore was perfectly seared tuna that had my mouth watering. It wasn't heavily seasoned but the baby fennel, taggiasca olives and oranges on the side made up for it. It took a lot of effort to leave the other piece for Temi, but luckily the Swiss chard was pretty good. In all honesty, when is house made mozzarella balls mixed with rice and deep fried not going to taste good.

Temi: The salad looked appetizing. Crisp pear hidden among Pecorino drizzled with a champagne vinaigrette, yum right? However, I am yet to find someone who can make lettuce taste good to me. I ended up eating the cheese and pear and leaving the lettuce. The Foie Gras Mousse, rich people butter like I call it, was perfection with the Crostini and Balsamic. I would eat this for breakfast everyday if I could afford to.  Lastly, the prosciutto by itself had an overwhelmingly olive oil taste, but the Parmesan balanced it out.

Duck Ragu Riigatoni

Duck Ragu Riigatoni

Mari: You know a place is bougie when they change your utensils after every course. Although we felt a bit guilty about eating so late, we didn’t feel rushed at all. The kitchen would start on our next course only when we finished the previous one, but didn't keep us waiting. Now that's superb service.

Kabocha Squash Ravioli

Kabocha Squash Ravioli

Temi: After the first bite of my Rigatoni, I had such a rush of endorphins. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry, dance or just smile slyly. The duck melted in my mouth with the kale adding some crunch and the rigatoni coming in to assist. It was like a perfectly executed three-person tango! I'm hungry just thinking about it. The sorbetto, was sorbetto.

Seasonal Sorbetto with a Shortbread Cookie

Seasonal Sorbetto with a Shortbread Cookie

Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake with Almond Cream

Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake with Almond Cream

Mari: Let's just say dessert is not exactly their forte. The dark chocolate cake was good, but I would've liked it more if it had a molten chocolate center. I guess my dissatisfaction was probably due to how full I was from the Ravioli. Though the serving looked small, it was very filling. The kabocha squash pureed and stuffed in the pasta shells got better with every bite, but also more oily. The sage, brown butter, and walnuts mixed into the oil based sauce provided a good balance in taste and texture. I'd say a healthier version of cheese ravioli is the best way to describe it.

In Summary

The Rigatoni and Ravioli are the only things that are currently on the standard menu. However, Staple and Fancy has a Chef's menu option and based on our experience we would definitely recommend putting your trust in the chef. Either way you can't go wrong. Their service is probably one of the best we've experienced so far, especially since we were the only customers stopping them from going home. 

Ambience: Northwest classy

Wait time:  5-10 mins per course

Food:  Italian

Would we go back? Right now if we could

Halal Friendly?  The meat isn't, but plenty of vegetarian/seafood options

TMA Moment: 

Staying long enough to watch them pack up the sauce.

20151027_061250571_iOS.jpg

Have you been to any of Ethan Stowell's other restaurants? What did you think? Where should we go next?