Evening one we settled into BOKA Kitchen where we were greeted with some amazing cocktails created by the restaurant’s bar manager Mi-Suk Ahn. The libations were inspired and delicious as well as gorgeous. She created some non-alcoholic beverages with fresh fruit infusions and sparkling water for two in the group who were not imbibing. Executive Chef Angie Roberts made it her mission to make sure we didn’t leave hungry. She started us off with a warm asparagus salad paired with a German Riesling, Geoduck two ways, razor clam chowder, Columbia River sturgeon, veal cheek, paired with a sensational ’09 Heaven’s Cave “Inspiration” Merlot and finished us off with strawberry shortcake paired with an Italian Moscato. Angie has a wonderfully creative flair. Every dish was artistry on the plate and a joy on the palate.
Hotel 1000’s rooms were spacious, modern and incredibly comfortable. Everyone got a kick out of the remote control operated window blinds. The story goes the building used to be a pawn shop and Jimi Hendrix’ dad bought his son his first guitar there. I settled in for a good night’s sleep and after breakfast we met for a walking tour of Pike Place Market. Every once in a while you get lucky and meet someone who is so passionate about where they live it’s infectious. Penny Truitt of Seattle Food Tours is one of those people blessed with a spark that engages everyone within her radius. Every place we went with her she was greeted like a member of the family. We stopped for tea at Vital Tea Leaf and enjoyed several different fragrant and flavorful teas lovingly prepared. I thought wine was expensive. Some of the aged teas were selling for more than $1000! We sampled dried fruit in the market and went across the street to a produce market and tasted incredibly sweet and juicy Taylor Gold pears and Rainier cherries. We stopped for tea and crumpets, oh so heavenly, at The Crumpet Shop, nibbled on all things truffle at La Buona Tavola and finished our tour with phenomenally good chowder at Pike Place Chowder. You could literally spend a week at Pike Place Market and not take all of it in.
The following morning after breakfast at the barking frog and a visit with Mike Stevens from Brian Carter Cellars and Woodinville Wine Country, we walked across the street to the renowned Chateau Ste. Michelle for a wine and food tasting and a visit with Culinary Director John Sarich. John has been a fixture at the chateau for more than two decades. His knowledge of food and wine is staggering and an hour and a half with him flew by. We then stopped at Hollywood Hill Vineyards for a tasting and visit with owner and winemaker Steve Snyder. It was quite a contrast going from the state’s largest wineries to one of the smallest. Steve’s wines, notably his Pinot Noir, are well crafted and some of the only wines made with fruit grown west of the Cascades. From there we visited DeLille Cellars where Catherine Hay showed us their beautiful property and led us through a wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie. We ended our Woodinville tour at Covington Cellars and had a good visit with winemaker Morgan Lee. A tip of the cap to Jake Haupert, CEO of Evergreen Escapes for providing our transportation.