Friday, October 17, 2008

First Solo Fine Dining Experience~

I have been reading and watching restaurant buzz in Seattle for a longer period than I have been eating out foodie style. I have this Achilles habit- I tend to resource myself and try and educate to avoid mistakes before I dive into a new activity. VEIL, in Queen Anne, was a restaurant that I have been following for a few years. Just two days ago I learned that it was abruptly closing it's door. Without much thought I got online at and made my first fine dining solo reservation.

Last night I head to VEIL armed with Clinton Kelly's new book and a positive attitude. I almost faltered in my determination when standing with my glass of wine waiting for a table. As I glanced around at the hipsters in VEIL, I was happy I had dressed for comfort AND FASHION. I belonged at VEIL- solo or not. The meal and solo experience was wonderful, and Clinton's book the perfect partner for this adventure. While tasting flavors or lemon, peanut, and parsley I learned how to make hollandaise sauce, use then vs. than, and write a thank you note. I had to stifle my laughter more than a few times reading the publication. I highly suggest it; as well as dining solo- even if it is just once.

This is my review for VEIL that I posted on Yelp-

Superb! I made it to VEIL for the last night of dinner. I just had to go and end the suspense of what I was missing. I walked in on time for my reservation and was submerged into a warm, sleek, and sophisticated environment- soft white with subdued pink accent were the colors present. I waited for my table to clear, at the suggestion of the host, in the lounge area with a good glass of Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir was suggested by the bartender and had a very good nose. It was enjoyable to sip on throughout the night. I found both the lounge and restaurant spaces varied from each other yet both pleasant.

I generally enjoyed the menu offering of first, second, and entree courses and mused over what to order. I decided to order the Sailor Diver Scallops first. They were delicious, but more firm then those I consider perfect. The scallops were paired with cauliflower, cauliflower puree, pork, and other accomplishments. The cauliflower puree was addicting and the pork a great contrast. For my second dish I ordered the octopus. I was informed that I was receiving the last offering of the dish for the evening. The octopus came cut into large pieces with almonds, aioli, saga, chorizo, chickpea puree, marinated chickpeas, and other flavors. One garnish was a powder that was a tangy cheese flavor- I was later informed that this was a reduction of the chorizo. The chickpea puree just like the cauliflower puree was complex, delicious, and a new flavor for me. The tart lemon accent was perfect. I enjoyed the chorizo, but was overwhelmed with the larger octopus pieces because I found them to be too chewy and oily (which translated to slimy after a while in my mind). The saga was a perfect accomplishment to the octopus and helped me eat the last of my dish. I started to get full half way into the second course. I would not order the octopus again. Not because it is bad but because I learned a lesson on what I find enjoyable. I HAD to have dessert because of the reviews I had read, and promptly ordered the Salted Peanut Butter Ice Cream. It truly was a great finish. The chocolate crispy that lined the bottom of the bowl and the chocolate milk? that was poured over the ice cream were perfect pairs. I was surprised at how rich the ice cream was without being overwhelming. The perfect peanut taste was achieved with this ice cream.

Thought out my solo meal I was served appropriately and with a casual easy smile. With each dish I was informed of all the flavor components. The house manager also keep watch over me- aiding the server when he was consumed with his larger table. The meal was very slowly paced which was perfect for my book ready but at some moments I ate very slowly not certain of when I would see my server again to order another course. At the end of my meal I was greeted by Shannon. I thought he was lovely. I had been seated next to the kitchen so I had been trying to sneak peaks in there all evening. I am disappointed that VEIL is closing. Having finally made it to a dinner service I wish I would have done it earlier. It is a great place for drinks, lounging, a dinner, and a dessert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's something realy liberating about dining alone. And I LOVE Clinton Kelly, but didn't even know he had a new bok out. Going to have to check that out...

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