Tuesday, April 8, 2008



This "rustic neighborhood" restaurant was on my list of places to visit since it opened. With mixed reviews under its belt, it was time for me to make my visit for dinner. I had a short visit a few months ago for a nice glass of wine and some cheese but it was impromptu and more on a business tip. Upon the invitation from my mom and step dad we made the trip along with L. for a Sunday night dinner. We went early around 630 and were welcomed by the sunshine and rain into this small space with silk curtains and exposed rustic ceiling beams.

We admitted that we had never visited the place for dinner so our server explained to us that in order to enjoy the "range of small plates, allowing you to savor courses of cheese, charcuterie, vegetables, grains, fish, and meats" we needed to order between 2-3 plates per person. Let me acknowledge now that Lark does focus on using products from local farms and artisans. I will however point out that one of the cheeses was from Wisconsin....which is all good in my book.

Speaking of cheese we started with a sample of three cheeses ($12) which consisted of a blue cheese (Blue d'Auvergne) the Piave Vecchio which was a hard cheese and one more ....damn I forgot the name! They were all great, my mom was truly impressed with the blue. I happen to have loved all of them which made the first course great. If you are wondering what the small bowl was ..it was honey...which apparently is a palette cleanser...who knew?

The second item to arrive at our table was the Carpaccio of Yellowtail ($15). This dish was great and everyone loved the yellowtail. I would have been happy to leave after eating the yellowtail and the cheese. Also surrounding the yellowtail were green olives, a hint of lemon and some onions.

Also arriving within the second course was the Ricotta Gnudi. My step dad explained what gnudi was and it was great. Basically it is like gnocci without the pasta. Again, cheese in its pure aged form was perfect. I also loved the peas and pea vines that accompanied the dish and the hint of parmesan cheese.

The meal now began to pick up speed. We began receiving the "main" courses we all selected to sample as well as share with others. As it turns out, all of us ordered things that were particular to the individual, we did not share much of these items....and it wasn't out of greed it was based on interest in the dish.

My step dad went with the Veal Sweetbreads with favas, bacon and fingerling potatoes ($17) I did not taste it...but he enjoyed it!! Also in this picture in the large black bowl were the Mussels with pancetta, calabrian red chile and garlic. I ordered these and they were pretty good. I am now just making my way into the realm of shellfish and have been trying different things....let me just say the last time I had mussels my brother made them and they had red sauce and cheese ie: they were perfect. The broth that came with the mussels was too thin for me. It was clean and simple, the red chiles provided a nice spice but they just didn't carry the heartiness I needed at that moment.

L. had the Pork belly with carrots, pea puree and grain mustard sauce ($16) I tasted this dish and was at first very into the seared part of the pork....after my second bite, I closed up shop and decided that was enough. I think that was the general consensus on this dish. The carrots were yummy though.

Backtracking, I realize that we also got a side of the Sautéed wild mushrooms with
olive oil and garlic ($12). They were too salty for some, but I thought they were nice. I wasn't totally impressed but they were a nice addition to the meal.

My mom ordered the Alaskan King Salmon and it is strange I did not end up with the photo but perhaps that is when the wine kicked in. I do not like salmon unless it is smoked and dried so I did not taste her plate. It truly didn't appear as if she enjoyed it that much because she was pushing it on the rest of us.

We ended the meal with some dessert and we all ordered our own items. It was at this point that my step dad admitted he was still hungry after these small plates. The top dessert is the brown sugar date cakewith olive oil gelato and pine nuts and the bottom item was the valrhona pot de creme with almond croquant. I tasted the pot de creme and it SO rich...let me remind you that I do not really do dessert. This however would be a chocolate lovers favorite.

Which is why I ordered the rhubarb sorbet float with Blanquette de Limoux. Basically I saw another table order this and was impressed. How many times do you get the opportunity to order sorbet and someone shows up to dump champagne on it? It was good. L. had the pineapple tarte tatin with rum caramel and vanilla bean ice cream. He ate it so fast, I never got a bite!

This meal was accompanied by a nice bottle of Barbaresco which I had never had. It was great, nice, tasty wine with a clean finish. I do not know shit about wine, but I will keep this on my list of things to re-order.

This was a complicated dinner for all parties, I never heard anyone really rave about the entire meal and didn't hear the outpour of negative comments either. It was clear to me that my mom might go back for the blue cheese, my step dad for the carpaccio, L. for the pineapple tarte and myself for the champagne covered sorbet. I will leave you with a statement from the website in hopes that you find success with experiencing the mission of the place...

"Sundstrom’s version of small plates is intended to inspire communal dining with waves of courses coming to your table, a blend of simple, seasonal, classic, and adventurous dishes. You dine, talk, and laugh while experiencing more flavors than with traditional entrées."

926 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
tel: (206) 323-5275

Tuesday through Sunday
5:00pm to 10:30pm

Lark on Urbanspoon


ndrwmtsn said...

fucking expensive restaurant

i went there with my family and my (fat and balling) uncle ordered a few bottles of wine straightaway and didn't look back. i say my dad silently freak the fuck out.

i remember not much, except the raw fish was butter and i was impressed with everything else in general.

honestly, i can't fuck with lark or anything like it until i get a better job/new priorites

TekkaDon Juan said...

i was really looking forward to this review. thanks....very thorough and interesting. i must admit that ive been curious about lark for some time, and in general have to agree w ndrw. i dont think i could really fuck with this place, especially after receiving a more candid statement about your experience being "good but not impressed."

Suge White said...

if you can barely/newly appreciate shellfish and need fish to be dried out to enjoy it then that place is not for you.

is it for me? I have no idea but the review/pics interest me, the price tag...not so much

White Pepper said...

I said I only liked smoked salmon, you ass. And it isn't a fish restaurant so they have way more options than just shellfish and salmon. You would like it, especially if it was on your companies dime.

Food Bazooka said...

John gave me my first job in the biz, like 10 tears ago. I have yet to go to Lark, It's not quite in my paygrade!

l nopen said...

Lark should really state that they serve "large plates" with "small food". Maybe "sampler" would be a better description. While the menu items are ambitious they mostly fail to deliver. That said, the idea of sharing many different foods with friends and family is a concept that really works for me. The high lite of this experience was sharing with family.

White Pepper said...

Co-sign lnopen.

TekkaDon Juan said...

well put, L.