Disclaimer: I received entry to the Capitol Hill Food Tour compliments of Seattle Food Tours for review. I received no other compensation for this post. As always, opinions are all my own.
Last Friday I joined a group of fellow Seattle area bloggers on a food tour of Capitol Hill, which is a neighborhood in Seattle known for it’s more alternative culture. I haven’t really spent much time in the area, so I was excited to check out some of the local hot spots with a tour guide to show me around town to explain some of the history behind the area. I was also really excited to meet some fellow bloggers and go on my first official blogger outing! How official!
We arrived with hungry bellies at Bar Cotto at 4:30pm on Friday to start our adventure! Bar Cotto is smallish Parma-style salumeria and cocktail bar with pizza, Italian vegetables, bruschetta and a daily selection of both local and international cured meats.
Since this was a progressive dinner food tour, our first stop included drinks and appetizers. We had “torta fritta” (fried dough breads) with Prosciutto Cotto, Mortadella and Salami at this stop. We cut the bread open and put the meat inside it in order to eat it since the bread made a perfect pocket for it. This seemingly simple starter, was so delicious and the torta fritta tasted like it was melting in your mouth when you took a bite of it. It was absolutely delicious!
They also paired our starter with a glass of red wine Lambrusco, which is a sparkling red wine. I learned that sparkling beverages are great to pair with saltier and fattier dishes because the bubbles in the drink help to stimulate your taste buds and cleanse your palette faster than a drink without bubbles. Fancy!
Our tour guide, Coral, was absolutely fabulous. She explained how the different flavors in each dish worked together, how to pair different wines with foods and the history behind the restaurants and local landmarks we passed by on our tour. I learned a lot and gained a greater appreciation of the neighborhood, that I didn’t really have before.
Our second stop was Le Zinc, a contemporary French gastro-pub that features primarily local and French spirits in a casual atmosphere.
I loved how part of their logo gave a nod to the Periodic Table of Elements. Maybe that’s just my inner nerd coming out though!
I loved the decor of the inside of the restaurant and the over all cozy and warm feel of the atmosphere.
My friend, Katie, joined me for the tour and we had an absolute blast.
Here we had a second starter featuring scallops breaded with Comte cheese on a fingerling potato hash with julienne apple and fried taro root. I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but I decided to be brave and give the scallops a shot. Though they were prepared well and everyone else really seemed to enjoy them, I stuck to enjoying the fingerling potato hash which I could have eaten for days.
Here’s a random super dark trying to be artsy shot of a wine glass and a candle.
Our third stop was at Momiji which is a hand-crafted Japanese restaurant featuring sushi, rolls, omakase and other traditional Japanese foods prepared from great Northwest ingredients.
Being that I’m not a huge fan of seafood, I bet you probably figured out that sushi probably isn’t my favorite type of food either. So I was really happy to see some yummy green edamame pods being delivered to our table. I’m absolutely addicted to these little guys!
The presentation of these butterfly rolls with creamy crab, topped with tuna, avocado and tobiko was beautiful and the staff has their table service beautifully perfected. Even though the presentation was so well done, I was still skeptical since I haven’t really had a good experience with sushi before.
I was happy to see when they placed the trays in front of us that some of the sushi rolls had avocado on the outside, instead of raw fish, so I dove in! This actually ended up being my favorite restaurant on the tour and I LOVED the butterfly roll, as long as it had avocado on the outside! I also liked how the chef made a little butterfly out of a carrot and placed it on the corner of the plate. How cute!
Then we headed to The Tin Table for our main course, which was a dish prepared especially for us by the chef. How exciting! The Tin Table is a tucked away romantic spot in the upper floors of the historic Oddfellows Hall that showcases regional cuisine with an attention to locally sourced and sustainable farm fresh ingredients.
This wall was right inside the doorway of the restaurant and was filled with campaign glasses from all over, including some that were donated by long time dancers at the attached Century Ballroom. The glasses were all evenly spaced on the shelves before the wall was sealed closed, but as the ground began to shift, the glasses have moved more to one side of the wall showing which way the floor was leaning.
For our main dish, the chef created smoked steelhead trout served with bacon braised cabbage and apples, buckwheat spaetzle, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of pomegranate syrup. Once again, I’m not a huge seafood fan, but I was determined to go outside of my comfort zone and at least try all of the dishes. I was pleasantly surprised that this dish wasn’t as “seafoody” as I originally thought it was going to be, but I’ve resolved to the fact that seafood just isn’t my thing. No matter how professionally it’s prepared.
I did really enjoy the tour of the building where The Tin Table is housed, which happened to include a tour of the Century Ballroom, which I learned was where the prom scene from the movie “10 Things I Hate About You” was filmed.
All of the wall colors, sconces and drapery currently in the Century Ballroom were picked out by the design team of the Disney movie and left as is after the shooting wrapped.
I decided to do a little dance since we were in a ballroom, but managed to stop before Katie could snap an incriminating photo of me. She did however manage to take a video that will never see the light of day. Now in my defense, other people were dancing too, you just can’t tell. I wasn’t the only weirdo. I promise. Well actually everyone else had real dance moves and I was just kind of hopping around so I guess you can’t really qualify that as dancing, but I digress.
After I was finished showing off my sweet dance moves we headed over to D’Ambrosio Gelato for another sweet treat. D’Ambrosio artisan gelato is made from Organic Dairy products from Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy of Lynden, WA and fresh fruit, no corn syrup, no preservatives and no artificial coloring.
I had a really hard time deciding on which flavor to choose, so I taste tested pretty much all of them before I finally decided on the Nutella and coconut flavors. YUM!
Good call with this Katie! I couldn’t agree more!
This is the tour we did, but they have plenty of others to choose from including Pike Place Market and Belltown. Our tour lasted 3 hours, but the length and price of the tours vary based on which option you choose.
Questions of the Day:
Have you ever been on a food tour?
What’s your favorite type of food to eat?