Sazerac Restaurant (In the Hotel Monaco)
1101 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Web Site: http://www.sazeracrestaurant.com/
It’s very rare that I get to sample most of a restaurant’s entire menu within the course of a few visits. It’s even rarer that I get to eat at one restaurant almost every day over the course of one week. In fact, I can’t even recall when I’ve ever done this.
But circumstances presented itself recently when I had the chance to stay for a week at Seattle’s Hotel Monaco, a boutique hotel owned by the Kimpton Group. I ended up eating almost every dinner meal, two breakfasts and a lunch at the on-premises restaurant, Sazerac.
Typically, when I travel I try different restaurants and I have a chance to go out with different folks, but this was a unique situation where I spent 10 hours a day at the conference center and then came back at night to have something to eat.
I found Sazerac’s food to be so good, that I wanted to explore as much of the menu as I could.
A grand tour awaits at Sazerac in The Hotel Monaco. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The lobby at the Hotel Monaco. This a beautifully-decorated small hotel, with attentive service, and the added benefit of having a truly excellent restaurant sharing the same facility.
Sazerac’s main dining room. Warm, inviting. You walk in here and it feels like a place you want to dine in.
After a six hour flight from Atlanta, I arrived at the Hotel Monaco early on a Saturday afternoon. On the weekends, Sazerac has a brunch menu. Brunch? I needed a drink first. A spicy Bloody Mary. In fact, I had two of them. They were that good.
The menu, as you might have guessed, based on the name of the restaurant, has a certain Southern/New Orleans kind of flair to it, mixed in with flavors integrated from all over the world.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is always on the menu, and it is a very good Gumbo indeed. The roux is more of the blonde type than a dark type you might see more frequently in New Orleans, this is more of a New Iberia or North Louisiana type. It’s already been spiked with hot sauce, so there’s no need to amp this one up.
It may be the Pacific Northwest but this Gumbo is legit.
Brunch has some other interesting items on it, like this shrimp and avocado stuffed omelette in a hollandaise sauce.
It turns out it was fortuitous that I got to Sazerac on this particular Saturday during brunch. The Chef de Cuisine, Jason McClure, does a special cooking demo/class along with paired Washington State wines four times a year. I had arrived and finished brunch just as his class was getting started.
It did not take too long after explaining that I was a food blogger flying in all the way from Florida to get in on the action!
The first dish that was plated for the cooking class was a dungeness crab salad with heirloom tomato. After I had tasted this, I had basically made my decision that I would make every attempt to eat at this restaurant every day for an entire week. It wasn’t a hard decision to make.
The second dish was a pecan/panko encrusted chicken breast with a grain mustard aoli. Chicken was nice and juicy and the mustard had the perfect bite to go with the crunchy fried texture.
The dessert course, a blueberry tart, was paired with a late harvest white dessert wine from Washington. The restaurant has a very good beverage program, with a good variety of well-priced bottles and wines by the glass.
I was incredibly jet-lagged and tired so after that meal — with the unplanned (but very much appreciated) tastings, two boozy bloody marys and a few glasses of wine I decided to crash in my hotel room for four hours. By the time I woke up, it was HAPPY HOUR!
The Happy Hour menu at Sazerac consists of small plates, charcuterie and personal pizzas. This is a talleggio cheese and mushroom with onion jam pie, with a very thin crust. Like everything else at this restaurant, it’s awesome.
In fact it’s pretty much safe to say that virtually everything in this restaurant that I tasted was consistently excellent, so I don’t know if it’s possible to go wrong by ordering at random.
Beet Salad with Microgreens, Pistachios and Goat Cheese.
Arugula/Frise/Asparagus/Mint/Fava Bean Salad with Bacon and Fontina
Sliders. Often sliders are an afterthought on a bar menu. Do not hesitate to order these.
Mini pulled pork sandwiches with mustard BBQ sauce and melted white cheddar. The pork in this case has not been smoked but it has been slow cooked, resembling more of a Cuban rather than a southern BBQ style. But still very tasty.
The “Piquant” pizza that another patron ordered. Has spicy Salami, Garlic and sliced chile pepper on it.
This one has homemade andouille sausage, braised greens and pickled peppers on it. Cajun pie!
This is the only dish I had the entire week that had room for improvement. It’s a grilled baby artichoke appetizer with an onion mayonnaise. Sauce was amazing, but the baby artichokes were not the tender hearts, they had a lot of the choke on it and I had to do a lot of scraping to get the good stuff off.
That being said, if this was the only thing I didn’t completely enjoy on this menu I have to say this place is doing really well.
A braised pork cheeks and mushrooms entree another patron at the bar ordered. He loved it.
Home-made grilled lamb sausages with crispy kale and a pile of French lentils underneath. OMG was this good.
A classic beef tartare. Carnivore’s delight.
Mini grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato jam…
Ordered alongside a hearty tomato soup. This stuff would be even more incredible if amped up with red pepper flakes and served with fried calamari!
Diver scallop entree with manilla clams and chorizo. Man this one really hit the spot that night.
I did not sample many of the desserts at Sazerac, but I did have this one coconut/kaffir lime/macadamia/dulce de leche panna cotta that was practically orgasmic.
Breakfast, late in the week. Herbed omelette stuffed with spinach, cheese and bacon. Simple but perfectly executed, with nice crispy home fries.
Truffled potato croquettes with truffle cheese and truffle aoli ordered by one of my colleagues one night during a working dinner. Yes, I did try one. Yes, you should order them.
Appetizer portion of Brick-roasted Gulf Prawns with chorizo, caper berries and a lot of garlic. Dang. I wish I ordered a few plates of this.
A nice wide-angle view of the main dining room during early dinner service.
Bacon Cheeseburger, avec frites. Granted, one of the least interesting things on the menu but if you want a burger, this is a good one.
A curry mushroom soup with sweet potatoes. Very Indian tasting. In a quirky good way. Brothy, not creamy.
Chicken Baguette club sandwich. I don’t know how the heck they do it without sous vide, but this is the juiciest grilled chicken sandwich I have ever eaten outside of my own home. According to Chef Jason this is marinated only for a few hours in olive oil and lemon juice. I need to try this out myself.
A nice treat from the staff after having dined at Sazerac all week. Shortbread cookies, baked in-house.