The last post from the Rolling Thunder Cantele USA Tour 2013…
Above: The Cipollini con Pancetta, spring onions stuffed with slowly braised pork, were among the best things we ate on the tour.
You really don’t need us to tell you how great the food is at Spinasse in Seattle, where Chef Jason Stratton (winner of the 2010 Food & Wine magazine “best new chef” award) continues to rack up the glowing accolades from local and national press alike.
This dude is so good at what he does — and so is his front of house — that he can’t even get a bad Yelp review, for crying out loud!
Above: The restaurant’s signature dish, classic Piedmontese Tagliarini with Sage, fired on every cylinder. Simply pefect…
By the time Paolo and I got to Spinasse on the last day of the Rolling Thunder Cantele USA Tour 2013 — eight cities in nine days — we had already had some pretty spectacular meals.
But Chef Jason’s wholesome, authentic cooking was just the thing we needed to cure our palate fatigue.
This restaurant literally has everything going for it. And it’s even got hipster location in the heart of the über-cool Capitol Hill district.
Above: Chicken Marengo, taken from a page out of one of Italy’s great cookery books, “The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well” by 19th-century gastronome Pellegrino Artusi.
But with all of its great food and grooviness, the thing that really got me about Spinasse was what a thoughtful restaurant it was.
This was not a willy nilly hodge podge of pan-Italian cooking. No, it was a well-balanced menu inspired by the great cuisine of northwestern Italy.
As much as I loved the cipollini and tagliarini (above), it was the Chicken Marengo, based on the historic recipe by Pellegrino Artusi, that really blew me away.
The chicken fell right off the bone and was juicy and tender. And you could taste the stock in the sauce without it being over salty.
But it was the fact that this dish was included at all that really struck me. It was utterly delicious AND it revealed that the team behind Spinasse has a deep understanding of Italian culinary tradition and its past, present, and future greatness.
I really loved this place… even after a week of eating at some of the other “best” restaurants in the U.S.
Chef Stratton and team: chapeau bas! I really loved your restaurant. Grazie…