Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dinner at Crush in Seattle

Recently, my wife and I ate at Crush in Madison Park (suburb of Seattle). As we drove up to the restaurant we realized that it is a converted Tudor style home which gives the restaurant a lot of character. The downside is that finding parking is a bit tough (no parking lot) and the restaurant capacity is somewhat limited (which on further reflection, may be a good thing).

As we walked in, we were greeted at the door by Chef Jason Wilson as the host was on the phone. This was a bit of a surprise, a pleasant surprise. While we were there, we didn't see him cook, he alternated between host his guests, and watching his staff/checking over the food.

As you walk in, the host stand is in front of you with steps to an upper floor to the immediate right. Scanning to the right there is a bar, behind which is the kitchen and some tables. To the left is a main dining area with tables.

The restaurant has a very clean look in a modern style (the Crush web site has a good picture of the dining room). The chairs were white, plastic egg-like things, very modern but not terribly comfortable. Overall, it looked nice and had enough warmth that it felt good to be there. Unfortunately, we found through the course of our evening that it was hard to have a nice conversation due to the high level of ambient noise. At times that was a little frustrating.

Chef Jason Wilson describes the food at Crush as Modern Northwest Cuisine. The menu changes quite frequently but you can expect to see a fair number of seafood dishes as well as grilled meats. We had the really light yet tasty Baby Beet Salad with Blue Cheese & Pear to start and had a pasta with beef rib for our main course. The pasta was a bit on the rich side for us as it had cream and olive oil but the quality of the food and cooking was apparent. I did spy what looked like really outstanding scallop and lamb dishes at the table next to us and kind of wished I had ordered something different. Next time I guess.

We ended our meal with bread pudding which was cooked the way we like it - not too sweet.

Overall, it was a good meal, probably the main thing that wrecked it for us was the noise level. I would be wary of going here for a date or romantic occasion for that reason.

Definitely make reservations, word on the street is that Crush tends to overbook on the reservations so bring patience - although it is important to note that we got seated right at our reservation time and had no complaints in that regard. Service was good.

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