All too often, when looking at a travel website, a dining recommendation is listed and its location might be one of the big cities like Los Angeles or New York. When that reviewed restaurant is from your hometown, you know you have to try it. I was glancing at Conde Nast Traveler and the Goldfinch Tavern, Ethan Stowell’s new partner restaurant in the Downtown Seattle Four Season’s Hotel, was mentioned as a new “destination restaurant” for the summer.
Taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have been having in Seattle, we made a reservation for Sunday dinner, excited to try a new menu as well as watch the hustle and bustle of the Seattle waterfront. Walking in, the restaurant was off to the right of the lobby, overlooking the Great Wheel and the constant ferry traffic. With no signage it could be a little confusing at first to know where you are headed. The stone and tile surfaces are accented with a dark wood, making the restaurant a bit dark and cold feeling, but the waitstaff and food quickly turned the feel around. I enjoyed the new concept of the restaurant where they have a “smart casual” dress code, and no white tablecloths – something perhaps a little more inviting than a typical, and more formal, Four Season’s restaurant. From the moment we sat down, the various members of the restaurant team were warm, welcoming and beyond accommodating in making sure that we had the best possible first impression of their new restaurant.
To start off, we ordered a round of cocktails and wine, wanting to try their craft selections. I had the Market Mule, made up of all local ingredients including Copperworks Gin, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, lime and Angostura Bitters. One of my favorite things to do when trying a new restaurant is to order several different dishes and share, family style, to be able to sample as much of the menu as possible to be able to give a fair opinion of the food. For our appetizers we sampled their Goat Cheese Bruschetta with a bing cherry compote and sage, Fried Olives and their Beet and Dungeness Crab Salad. Each one was fantastic and the presentation was beautiful. My favorite, the bruschetta, was the perfect combination of salty and sweet with the cherries and goat cheese playing off and complementing each other. Our entrees gave us the most ideal sampling of every aspect the menu had to offer. I enjoyed their King Crab with palm hearts, tarragon and orange and their Asparagus Salad. The hazelnuts, prosciutto and sage complemented the crunchy asparagus and added to the whole flavor dynamic alongside the king crab. The other entrees were the Goldfinch Burger, Penn Cove Mussels and the Mishima Ranch Wagyu Ribeye; all of which were served on wooden chopping blocks.
As we finished and were completely full, the recommendation of the “Sundae” came up and before we knew it, we had three desserts plus a surprise in front of us. Along with the Mocha Caramel Sundae we started in on the Warm Rhubarb Crostata, Lemon Panna Cotta and our surprise Warm Cookie Platter from our waitress. All four of these sweet plates were fabulous but both the rhubarb and the lemon desserts were so light and fresh, making them not only my favorites but also a perfect ending to a wonderful meal. Goldfinch offered the perfect mix of casual and luxury, not only in its food but in the surroundings and the service. Everyone that goes will be able to find something they like on the menu, both in their price range and in quality. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant to a friend, out of town guest or even Seattle native who might be looking to try something new.
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