TASTE the butter
i will admit, i haven’t always considered taste restaurant, in the seattle art museum, to be a viable place to spend my lunch money. i think my last experience eating at an art museum was at the guggenheim in bilbao, and though i can’t remember what i ate, a residue of outrage at the price of even a coke still coats my judgement of museum restaurants. it was completely unfair of me to write of taste because of this experience, yet i’d once put it on the list of restaurants i didn’t even consider when i was downtown and hungry (the ipanema grill and fish club are on that list, as well – maybe i should give them a chance…).
i’ve now consumed two extremely satisfying (and, yes, quite affordable) lunches at taste and am currently looking for opportunities to go back for dessert, dinner, and one of their sunday suppers. that first visit was at the suggestion of a friend – the second was my idea. while nearly everything i’ve eaten at taste thus far has been rich, fresh, and substantial, the dish looming most powerfully in my memory is the local braised greens ($7! as much as a coke in bilbao!).
such a simple, unassuming title – and price – doesn’t really indicate what you will actually find on the white oval platter you receive.
the greens – mostly kale, subtle, earthy, not chewy like they are when i cook them – are tossed with bacon and rosemary vinaigrette to top velvety polenta. a deeply butter, creamy, and salty sauce forms a moat around it. a little polenta, a few greens, and a dip of sauce create a perfectly balanced bite. the greens cancel out the butter.
as i write this, i’m becoming more and more convinced that this may be the best light, gray-day, inexpensive, single diner meal you can get in seattle (next to le pichet’s oeufs plats, that is – and remember, i can’t speak for the ipanema grill). lunches are mellow, the bar seats are comfy, and there’s wine by the glass.