Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scrumptious Seattle: How To Cook A Wolf

For date night in Seattle, we narrowed our many options down to Le Pichet, How To Cook A Wolf, Crow, and The Walrus And The Carpenter.  In the end we chose the "Italian-inspired" How To Cook A Wolf.  After an afternoon spent at the Seattle International Beerfest, we rested, hydrated, and dressed at our hotel downtown, then took the bus up to Queen Anne in pursuit of some awesome solid food.  We arrived a little early for our 8pm reservation, and since there isn't much space to wait inside the restaurant, we took a short walk around the block, enjoying the crisp air and lingering sun.

How To Cook A Wolf is a surprisingly small space, but also an attractive one.  The walls and ceiling are almost completely and continuously covered with warm wood paneling, with a strip of hammered copper and some light installations.  Of course, the shiny interior design comes at a price, which is a complete lack of sound insulation, but no matter.  The menu is relatively short, with a handful of salads and starters, a section of main dishes, and several pastas, all meant to be .  Everything is meant to be shared, which worked pretty well.  Our server was friendly and helpful if harried, and we ordered the following:

Salmon with English peas, morels, and parmesan.  It's hard to find fault with carefully and not excessively cooked salmon, and the morels added a great burst of saltiness that played off the peas' sweetness.  I liked the smear of pea puree on the plate.  Parmesan flavor wasn't particularly strong, but I didn't miss it.


Albacore crudo with strawberries, basil oil, and Serrano chile.  This was the star of the evening, a perfect mix of clean flavors.  Strawberries and basil oil would not have occurred to me as a flavor combination, but it definitely works.

Strozzapreti with beef cheek bolognese, oregano, and mint.  I forgot to photograph this, mostly because we waited quite a long time for it to arrive, and were rather hungry by the time it did.  Strozzapreti are like extra-large, slightly unfurled macaroni.  The bolognese was delicious, though it could have used a little more mint.  This dish was essentially comfort food with more glamorous starting materials.

It turned out that there had been a mistake regarding our order - probably the temporary omission of the pasta - about which the staff were very apologetic, especially after I asked whether they were understaffed (the answer being yes, since they had just opened their patio and were still working out how many servers were necessary).  We were offered dessert on the house, but after we declined, our pasta was comped.

Logistical issues aside, I would still happily return to How To Cook A Wolf.  On a summer evening it's quite pleasant to sit surrounded by glowing wood, copper, and fresh air, enjoying delicious and interesting seafood and pasta.