Wednesday, April 11, 2012

out to lunch


I love it when old haunts re-invent themselves instead of staying in the "holy cow did I used to like this place?" gray area where the charm has clearly worn off.  There is a difference between timeless beauty of an well loved city cafe or restaurant and the worn out, tired look of a place, you know what I mean?  Back in the eighties (I love saying that), we used to start our evenings on the deck at Ray's Boathouse, then head down to Pioneer Square to dance on some old wood bar, or, on more well-behaved evenings head to Cutter's for drinks, a bite, and a view of the Sound and West Seattle twinkling across the water.
Cutter's is a long time institution in Seattle, who's tag line was "Come for the crab, stay for the view" and has been in the same lovely spot overlooking Elliott Bay for the past 25 years.  After closing its doors for a two month, down to the studs remodel, it is back and ready to reopen tonight.  I spent about 10 years in the food business, I worked in and ran cooking schools all around the Puget Sound area and got to meet and work with some of the most talented chefs in the business.  It was a great business, but after we adopted our two children, I retired and worked at home.  Now a fashion blogger, I rarely get the opportunity to do anything in the food world and I certainly miss the people and the excitement of all that is culinary.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a lunch for friends and family at Cutters, where the new look and the new menu were rolled out, and I have to say I loved the look of the place.  And the tastes.

An open kitchen, restaurant and bar areas are a modern & classy cool, with upside crab pots as light fixtures in the bar, deep sea diving signs, and that same fabulous view.  The nautical touches wink to the seafood personality of the restaurant without being kitchy, the simplicity of the restaurant's new design let the location speak for it, and the menu doesn't disappoint.  They have added a raw bar with sushi and oysters, and Chef Simon Zatyrka is leading the kitchen team with an emphasis on sourcing locally and using purveyors from the Pike Place Market, which is a mere stone's throw away.  I am always happy when an in season approach is taken with food, and what better place than the Market to find the freshest seasonal best.
Well, its back to chatting about fashion for this girl, but I certainly enjoyed revisiting the culinary world.  Cutters, old friend, I am so happy to know you again.  You are the whole package.

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