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while at my friend’s house one saturday night, something on the coffee table caught my eye: seattle metropolitan‘s best restaurants 2010 issue.  as i took inventory of the city’s top 60, i realized that i’d patronized a good 80% of them, but it was the remaining 20% on which i fixated.  i vowed to work my way through these orphans, which brought me to belltown’s tilikum place cafe.  i’ll be honest, i’d heard of tilikum before, but just always assumed that it was some restaurant in an indian reservation casino…but we all know what happens when you ass-u-me.  despite being located within close proximity to a smoke shop, tilikum bears little other resemblance to native american ethnology.  the menu began with a crescendo of european-influenced appetizers such as bacalhau stuffed peppers nestled in a rich potato cream, conjuring images of my recent travels to portugal.  following closely after was  a loving spoonful of hand-cut pasta dipped in sage butter that rivalled even cascina spinasse.  sadly though, the menu proceeded to diminuendo at the entree section, featuring uninspired selections such as pork tenderloin and pan seared chicken (zzzzz…) anticipating a downward spiral, we decided to skip dessert, dutch baby and all, in favour of an icelandic music showcase at the nearby crocodile cafe, where lay low stole the show, and some of our hearts. 

belltown bacalhau

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