Beverly Hills North…

Another birthday rolled around too soon, which kinda sucked. But whom am I kidding? I love life, so it was great to just be alive and healthy as the alternative sucks way worse. Wanted to blow it out last August at Seattle’s Canlis as it’s THE place to blow it out in the northwest. But calling to book even a month before the big day found it totally booked and no cancellations leading up to my b-day.  

Time to switch to plan B. The web gal and I had been impressed with the food and service when we were at John Howie’s Steak where we had steak sandwiches and a couple of fine cocktails at their happy hour. So based on that experience, it was JHS here we come!  

Out in our hotel parking lot we bumped into a weary construction worker, just coming off his shift, who informed us, Bellevue was like the Beverly Hills of Seattle. Oh. Nice to know. When we pulled up to the restaurant, the web gal went to park in the underground garage, and I jumped out to honor our reservation and almost ran smack into a brilliant, cobalt blue Ferrari in the valet parking section.  

Up the escalator to the second floor where a JHS hostess smoothly led me to a nice, window table. I’ve been in a lot of high-end restaurants but never had a highway as the view, however the restaurant’s ambience whisked you away.  It was a lot easier to look to my right to take in a very finely decorated restaurant with a terrific high ceiling, expert lighting and white tablecloth tables than the swishing madness of the I-405.  

Ordered a margarita and started to feel like Frasier when his family thought he was making up an imaginary girlfriend when they saw him dining alone as I waited and waited. Finally, after about 20 minutes, the web gal made it to the table and said, you wouldn’t believe that parking garage, mainly expensive sports cars and I had to park in the farthest lot. 

Once settled in, we had a great time. Our waiter, said with a laugh, we could call him whatever we want, everybody else does: Josh, Joshua, Captain, etc.  We went with all of Josh’s recommendations, a couple of perfectly grilled, rare, rib eye steaks, a butter grilled potato cake and grilled asparagus with sauce. The web gal usually just makes faces when she tries the tannic, full wines that I like, so there was no point in ordering a bottle. Josh, knowing my taste, brought me an excellent glass of Napa Valley’s Louis Martini 2018 Cab that hit the spot with just the right mixture of herbs and tannins that makes the combo of steak and red wine sooo good. 

I’m not a big fan of dessert, find many too sweet, can easily forgo it. But the web gal loves them. She sneakily ordered the lemon compote with strawberries, which she knew was right up my alley. And Josh brought out a molten slice of delicious chocolate cake with one candle, so I didn’t keel over trying to blow a bunch out LOL. A birthday gift of John Howie’s Passion & Palate cookbook put a fine capper on the evening and made for excellent fine dining adventures when home.

Next night when we showed up for the Washington Wines Organization’s charity picnic at Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, we had a little time to kill before the event opened, so I went up to the Enoteca wine shop, sipped a few samples, before settling on Napa Valley’s Antinori Family Estate’s Antica 2009 and Columbia Valley’s Northstar 2019 Merlot.  

After a trip to the car trunk with my precious cargo, it wasn’t hard to have a ball at the event as I’ve been too many rubber chicken dinners to count. So now I only go to an event when I know I can eat some great food, sip some great wine and have a lot of fun. And that WWO picnic hit all the right notes. Just so much fun when everyone there is on the same page. Hard to choose between all the food choices, but my fav was Jack’s BBQ.

Next day after we checked out, we had fun driving a few miles down the I-5 to stop at the Premium Outlets, next to the Tulalip Casino. We had fun just walking around, window shopping, didn’t buy anything, but went to Ram Restaurant to split a perfectly grilled burger and hit the road. Cheers…