Monday, May 24, 2010
Bastille's Bar Manager Extraordinaire, Charles Veitch, sets us up each week with a classic cocktail recipe. Charles is an ever-flowing spring of knowledge and is particularly talented at sharing his learnin' with others. We'll post drink recipes on this blog on a regular basis, but you'll have to come down and let us set you up to get the full effect!
The Aviation Cocktail is one of those with a mysterious past. We really don't know who first created it but, according to David Wondrich's Imbibe!, it was first printed in a 1916 book by Hugo Ensslin called Recipes for Mixed Drinks. The drink has remained popular over the years and recently became one of the classics for aficionado imbibers. Until recently the creme de violette was often left out of the mix but even the smallest amount of the liqueur adds depth and color to the cocktail.
• 2 oz gin
• 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur (LUXARDO)
• 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (SQUEEZE ½ LEMON OR MUDDLE 4 WEDGES)
• dash of creme de violette (ROTHMAN & WINTER)
• shake and strain into a cocktail gllass
• lemon peel for garnish
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Seared Scallop with Olive Oil Poached Mushrooms
and Asparagus Salad
6 jumbo scallops
1 pound local jumbo asparagus
1 pound wild mushrooms (morel, hedge hog, trumpet)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
1 fresh lemon (zest and juice)
2 TB tarragon sprig (chopped)
1 TB sea salt
Olive Oil Poached Mushrooms: First clean your mushrooms. In a broad pan add a half-cup of EVO and set the heat to medium. Shave the shallot and sweat it until tender. Reserve the second have for the asparagus. Add a pinch of lemon zest and the cleaned mushrooms. Slowly cook the mushrooms until they collapse and become tender. If needed add more EVO to cover. Remove from the heat; add the chopped tarragon, honey and season with sea salt. Allow cooling before serving.
Asparagus Salad. First set a large pot of salted water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Cut the tips of the asparagus off and split them. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus stalks into thin strips. Once the water has boiled, add the asparagus tips and shavings. Remove from the boiling water after only a few seconds and cool in the ice bath. Dress the asparagus with some of the mushrooms, EVO, lemon juice, shaved shallots and serve with seared scallops.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Emilia Arnold is a valued member of our service team. Below she talks about her recent visit with Corky Luster, our rooftop bee curator.
After helping me suit up in a big, white jacket with attached beekeeper's veil ("You look like Kenny, from South Park!") Corky Luster, owner of the Ballard Bee Company, introduced me to the more than 50,000 bees of the two busy hives on Bastille's rooftop.
Corky takes apart the hive so we can see its inner workings, calming the bees down with smoke as he goes.
He places a docile drone, a male bee, in my hand. The drones live to eat and make conquests, Corky says. "They're basically Italian boys," he adds, with a laugh.
But really, these bees are Ballard bees through and through. Like Bastille's owners, James Weiman and Deming Maclise, the bees like to keep it local. They collect nectar within a five mile radius of their hive, and they especially love the blackberry bushes near the neighboring railroad tracks.
Their honey is destined for the Bastille dining room, just a few floors below the hives. Having the bees at Bastille is all part of the restaurant's focus on using existing spaces in an innovative way to add true local flavor to the menu.
Corky scrapes some fresh honey from inside the hive and gives me a taste. So far, that local flavor is delicate and floral and delicious.
Our queen bee, Marie Antoinette, and her workers are busily making the honey that will soon appear on Bastille's menu. Harvested honey just needs a quick strain and then Corky hands it off to Head Chef Shannon Galusha.
Shannon's got some big plans for the honey, which will likely land in everything from entrées to cocktails. For the summer, he's talking about hibiscus honey iced tea, a goat cheese, honey and Charente melon salad and honeycomb bars for the plateau au chocolat. And the rooftop honey will be oozing its way into even more dishes come fall.
But if a date with bees doesn't appeal to you so much, don't worry! You won't find Bastille's bees hanging around the patio (which opens May 10) trying to get into your soda. Hornets and wasps go after trash and sugar, Corky says, but honeybees have a more sophisticated diet. They eat water, nectar and honey.
And they turn those simple ingredients into more delicious honey, and lucky for us the bees don't seem to mind sharing. With Corky keeping the bees buzzing upstairs, and Shannon hard at work downstairs, it's sure to be a pretty sweet summer at Bastille.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
$45 per person (plus tax and gratuity)
3 courses: appetizer, entrée, cheese
We’ll make 3 wines available by the carafe for $20
Please join us for a special evening of great food from the Ballard Farmer's Market on Monday, May 10th at 6pm. Shannon and Jason will prepare various courses from goods brought to us from the amazing farmers, foragers and fishermen who show up outside of our front doors every Sunday!
We'd love to show you the menu, but Shannon and Jason need to shop the Market first! Needless to say, you can expect super-fresh produce from nearby and inventive preparations from the kitchen. James will contribute a coupla delicious, affordable wines available by the carafe.
This is the way we Bastillians like to eat: great product prepared with care (but without pretense) with quaffable wine served at a table of friends and neighbors.
This kicks off our monthly series of Market Dinners, which we'll hold on the second Monday of every month.
Reserve your space at our community table now!
There are only 18 seats available, so get on it!
Friday, April 30, 2010
I am sure that you have been impatiently awaiting an update on the rooftop garden. I apologize if anyone had difficulty sleeping, tossing and turning while thinking “For crying out loud, I need to know what is going on in the Bastille rooftop garden...NOW!” Fear no longer, locavores.
Particularly of note, even in the colder weather that we have had the past few weeks, the bees have been very active and have started storing quite a bit of honey.
Corky Luster, of Ballard Bee Company, says we are ready to start harvesting honey from the hives. The photo below shows us examining the hive frames to assess how healthy the bees are (very healthy).
Below is a frame that the bees are packing full of honey as we speak:
Elsewhere on the roof, the salad greens are growing well and have been enjoying the past few sunny days tremendously, we can see them here catching some rays late last week…
More to come in the next few weeks!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Behind an iron gated front label, within walls of glass and under cork is a wine like few others from Washington State, resting undisturbed in patience. “GARSON!!” That is until a savvy or rather lucky--and equally fortunate wine patron orders a bottle from our “Damn Good Wine List”, here at Bastille Café & Bar. The wine, Gramercy Cellars “Inigo Montoya” Tempranillo 2007, is without a doubt Walla Walla at its very best. It’s made by Greg Harrington, the youngest American to ever pass the Master Sommelier Exam, and he has a merciless approach to his winemaking. Greg’s work with this grape (Tempranillo), has quite simply dumbfounded the Washington wine community with its only recently realized potential.
Gramercy Cellars was founded in 2005 by Greg and his wife Pam, who handles the marketing and retail sales. Their philosophy to making wine is the following: in order to make truly great wines it takes minimal intervention, great vineyards, time and patience. They look to select only the very best grapes, harvest ripe (not overripe) and avoid smothering the wine in new oak, like so many in the business do. Regardless, the point is, IT’S FRICKIN’ WORKING!!!
The levels of complexity that this wine achieves are staggering, here are my tasting notes: Dried fruits of raisins and dates; fall leaves; earth; and a medley of fresh wild red, black and blue fruit--it’s a wine for thinking. I sensed moderate levels of alcohol and noted a lacing of firm acidity. A focus wine for me, is one that has no apparent end or beginning, and it slithers down the center of you palate. This wine does just that for me. Add to that a bite of braised beef or a morsel of wild mushroom…have another sip, and time becomes easily lost, also seemingly endless. I could go on…
For all things holy, take the time to taste this wine. It may not be on the Bastille wine list for long. Other wines listed from Greg Harrington include: Gramercy Cellars Syrah “Lagniappe” and Wines of Substance, Cabernet Sauvignon (his second label), by the glass for $10. Show no mercy!
Dave Bender is a sommelier and
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wait! There it is. A shred of light - it's coming! The luminescence transforms the street into The Land of No Worries! Gaining momentum, our patio habitué begins scouring the block. Where might he enjoy a beer and a lamb burger, all the while soaking up his vitamin D? There must be somewhere!!!
There! Just over the herb retainer, a woman sits with a glass of rosé and a beet salad! She is intoxicating. Her euphoria entrances him. He has found his slice of heaven.
It is May 3rd, the official opening day of Bastille's patio. See you there.