Sunday, January 3, 2010

Harvest Vine in Seattle

At Harvest Vine the Kitchen is the first things you see when you enter.  It’s surrounded by a copper bar where diners can watch the magic.  Make sure your companions don’t have any problems with steps as the dining room is down a dimly lit short staircase.

The cuisine is from the Basque region of Spain.  As they say on their website “Harvest Vine simply mirrors the philosophy of the Basque Country where its people are stewards of the land and sea and whose very lives are centered on the joys of the table.” Almost all of the produce and dairy products are certified organic.  The meats are all free range.  Chef Joseba is always looking for genuine Basque ingredients imported from Spain and France or grown here to his particular specifications.  The flavors and freshness of the dishes reflect his love of the food. This place is a must when you visit Seattle. The only downside is the service which is not consistent.  The staff is not very knowledgeable nor, well trained luckily they are pleasant.

We were a party of 6 and we shared all the food passing each plate around the table.  Each person taking a tasting plates worth so as to sample as many of the dishes as possible. When the food is great and the kitchen knows what they're doing the food comes out in the proper order so each dish compliments the next and the one prior.  The kitchen of Harvest Vine knows what they're doing. Yes of course sometimes you want another bite of of this or that and sometimes you're tempted to order seconds of a dish. But I must say I haven't been disappointed yet and neither have I left the table wanting one more bite.  In most cases I can't even consider dessert until hours later.  It's hard to imagine how full you can get taking one bite from here and another from there.  It's amazing how small bites can satisfy and fill you up.

To start us off we drank a 2008 Getariako Txalkolinado, Ulacia which is similar to a Vino Verde with a light effervescence. Then the food started coming out there were so many dishes I couldn't keep track and in some cases neither could the waiters. All the dishes come as small plates.  Each dish was beautifully done, nothing composed, just delicious. Along with the food we drank - a 2001 Castillo Labastida Rioja which was light and very soft and I liked this very much, not being the greatest lover of reds, it was delicious. A 2003 Son Bordils Negre was more tannic with more minerality light yet complex and I enjoyed that too. My favorites were the smoked trout with pickled greens, the duck ham, the delicate squash and the swiss chard.

An absolute must go to restaurant in Seattle. Don’t miss this gem.

The Harvest Vine
2701 East Madison
Bet Capitol Hill and Madison Park
Seattle, Wa 98122

7 nights a week 5pm-10pm
Reservations accepted
Private cellar dining available

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