Ah, Seattle Restaurant Week. A week (ok two 5-day stretches over two weeks) that offers unprecedented deals at more than 100 of the finest Seattle Restaurants. An opportunity to sample 3-courses of the finest food for a scant $25 ($15 at some places for . This wondrous time only happens twice a year, and this week happens to be one of those times. So, I started scouring the list, figuring out where I wanted to go. The first of these places was Preservation Kitchen in Bothell.
Selecting Preservation Kitchen came down to a complicated algorithm that combined distance from the office, lunch being served, and it not being Grazie (been there, underwhelmed). So, in actuality, it was pretty much the only choice. I grabbed one of my co-workers and we headed down to Preservation Kitchen, getting there just before noon (note: during Restaurant Week, it is in your best interest to leave for a lunch 15 minutes before noon to avoid the inevitable rush). We actually missed it the first time, and had to loop back. It’s almost like an oasis in the otherwise chaotic and under construction areas of the Bothell Everett Highway.
When we walked in, we tried to order quickly, knowing that we had barely 45 minutes to eat. I actually felt a little bad because the server was trying to be nice and do what you would expect from a nicer establishment, and we were like “Yeah, yeah, we know what we want to order”. Well, that was until I realized that what was on the menu that they gave us was different than the menu I had seen online. There was this one line that said “Skirt Steak and Truffle Fries”. I had gone in for sure ordering the Pulled Beef Sandwich, but I just kept being drawn to “Truffle Fries”. How could you not? (Yes, I’ve officially gone foodie when the mere site of the word “truffle” has me completely rethinking my entire dining experience…my Wyoming roots are officially gone). So, I did it. I went for the skirt steak and truffle fries as the entrée, rounding out my 3 courses with Arugula salad and the deconstructed Apple Pie.
My excitement quickly waned as I dove into the salad. It was salty. Ok, not just salty, but saaaaaalty! Now don’t get me wrong, I like a fair amount of salt on my food, usually adding my own as well as black pepper, but I needed to glasses of water to get through it. The salad had potential with grapes and Gorgonzola and walnuts, but it lacked sweetness and, if I didn’t say it already, was salty. Needless to say, by the time the steak arrived I was nervous. But, there was redemption! The steak was very well cooked to a perfect medium rare. It was nice and juicy, and quite delicious; which is actually saying a lot because I rarely order steak when I go out…kind of partial to my own (I’m damn good). If anything though, it was slightly under seasoned which was surprising given the salad. And the fries were wonderful. I could have just made a meal out of those. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, a hint of truffle permeating every bite. So delicious.
By the time dessert arrived, I was in a much better food mood, though anxious about getting back to work. The anxiety dipped a little as I took my first bite though. Great flavors with the ice cream and apples; flakiness from the phyllo dough. Then there was this spice that would hit, right at the end. It took me awhile to place it, then finally, Rosemary!! I don’t think I’ve ever had rosemary in a dessert before. It added an interesting complexity to the flavor, primarily because my association with rosemary tends to be savory over sweet. While I found it odd at first, it slowly grew on me.
About the second we downed the last bite of dessert, the server was back with our check and we bolted for the office. All in all, I would say I had a really good, and unexpected meal at Preservation Kitchen. I say unexpected because when I think of fine dining, I definitely don’t think Bothell (Kirkland maybe, Bellevue possibly). It would definitely be a place I would recommend for the Eastsider; those living in Mill Creek, Bothell, Woodinville for a nice dinner. I wouldn’t put it quite at the level of the Barking Frog, but it definitely scores up there.