Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spring Hill

The chef of Spring Hill is one of the funniest people I've ever met. I met him back when he worked with my brother like 8 years ago. I would show up to meet up with them for some late night beers and some great food at the Dahlia Lounge. Mark is a great chef and is truly passionate about food so waiting for him to open his own restaurant was very exciting. My mom and l. nopen invited us to dinner and were also anxious to visit Mark in his new space.

When you walk into the restaurant you immediately feel something interesting is happening-- from the unique but simple decor to the noisy open kitchen setting this place has that it factor. We were immediately seated in a spacious booth where we could easily watch the chefs' make their magic. The place was packed for a Saturday night at 9pm in West Seattle, apparently the buzz is catching on.

The one page menu was broken into three sections: Small Dishes, Shellfish and Main Courses.

We started with a few selections from small dishes, first the roasted beets with pears, salty smoked hazelnuts, rogue blue cheese and a little bit of basil. I love beets and these were perfect with the tangy cheese. We all enjoyed this plate, great flavors.

L. and l. nopen shared the beef steak hot & cold, which is wood grilled rib eye cap steak & raw steak tartare with some potato cracklings. Both of them raved about this dish, I will take their word for it...I can tell you that it had nice presentation.

We also shared a starter from the Shellfish section, the wood grilled prawns & creamy grits, topped with a poached egg, hen of the woods (mushroom) with rich shrimp gravy. I could have eaten this dish and left, it was my favorite thing I tasted that evening. The grits and the creamy gravy matched perfectly with the grilled prawns. The egg was perfectly cooked, I was very impressed. I might need to recreate this myself.

We also shared a few bottles of wine thanks to mom and l. nopen who know way more about wine than I do. Spring Hill has a large selection of northwest wines we enjoyed the nota bene cellars, syrah, 2005. Tasted good to me, but like I said I am not so sure I can tell the difference besides being white or red.

Now onto the main courses, my mom who only eats veggies or fish went for the king salmon. The salmon dish looked interesting and tasty when it came out topped with salmon crackling. I tasted the creamed corn along with the kale which had a hearty taste with a touch of sweetness from the red pepper relish.

L. knew he was going to order the 1/2 pound burger before we even got there. I have met so many chefs whose passion is a good burger and this was no different. The burger is topped with made in house bacon, teleme and special burger sauce. Stacked on the side are hand cut beef fat fries. L. was in heaven, this burger looked very bold and tasty.

l. nopen always takes a chance when he orders. He went with the roasted duck which looked rich and glazed sitting along side a quinoa biscuit. He enjoyed the dish and ate every bite.

Upon reading the menu I wanted to try the pork, but it was out for the evening. I wasnt upset, because I was also interested in trying the halibut. The halibut was coated in a crispy smoked clam panzanella and olive oil sauce sitting on a bed of escarole. The fish was perfectly cooked with a crispy pan sear. The dish was very well designed with a balance of light and hearty.

I was ready to throw in the towel and call it a night when the dessert menu showed up. We all read over the options but to our surprise Mark had his own plan for our dessert choices that evening. He sent out every dessert on the menu. Insane. Amazing.

Made in house sorbet/ice creams. Raspberry, Blueberry, Nectarine, Salted Peanut and Ovaltine.

Fudge cake with more salted peanut ice cream. So delicious.

Damn if I can remember what this was. Blueberry or something...maybe, damn. I don't know, I was on dessert overload. Very good.

Spring Hill is full of northwest fare done right with a simple approach letting the fresh local ingredients shine through on their own. The look and feel due to Mark's partner and wife Marjorie combined with the creativity of Mark's menu have left me excited to go back. Go to their website for better photos and full menu. Congrats Mark and Marjorie.

5:45pm - 11:00pm

4437 california ave sw
seattle, washington 98116

Closed Monday
Reservations accepted

Spring Hill on Urbanspoon


TekkaDon Juan said...

wow, that looks like it was quite the extravaganza!

though a ubiquitous menu item, the beet salad looks great. and i know B loves that rogue river blue!!!

and sans poached egg, that shrimp and grits concoction sounds like the truth. i'm a fan of creamy grits...and shrimp gravy?!? oh lord.

l. nopen...i'm always interested to see what he's eating. you're right; he is the adventurous one. the quinoa biscuit sounds good, and possibly gluten-free!

and kale? YES PLEASE!

sounds like you guys really did it up at spring hill!

ps, nectarine sorbet = bangbang.i'm.dead

Suge White said...

that is what the dr ordered

Anonymous said...

that place was on hit, loved pretty much everything i tasted. i love beet salad w/blue cheese, i forgot how good raw beef could be, i am amazed @ grits with prawn gravy!

the burger was perfect. the chef told me he was glad i got it- it was clear that there's a lot of love in there; a half pound perhaps?

and the dessert ambush was delicious- the salted peanut on the fudge cake??? hog heaven.

big ups mark!
(and thanks B & LNopen!)

ndrwmtsn said...

wow said...

goddamn that looks SO good.