What is a Locavore? A relatively new term, it’s come to mean those that take part in supporting local agricultural practices by buying and eating local. It’s something I’ve been committed to ever since reading much of my favorite food related books (see book list tab above). I try to buy only local, if possible organic, and even further to go with grass fed (for meat). Emmer & Rye is a little restaurant here in Seattle that follows this Locavore movement. The decor is homey, literally. I believe it was a home before it became a restaurant, and a quaint little one at that. With farm tools and old family photos adorning the walls, Emmer & Rye makes you feel like you just picked fresh vegetables out in the garden and came in for supper.
Nestled on Queen Anne Ave N past Howe St, Emmer & Rye can’t resist being charming. The dining room is small, but don’t be fooled. The food is fantastic. For being a small locally-supplied restaurant, their menu is reasonably diverse.
We started with a special of the daily charcuterie assortment. It featured beef, pork coppa, some pickled vegetables, a pate, and a liver terrine. Everything on the plate was fabulous. The coppa was silky smooth, the beef was savory, and the pate went great with every condiment. It was a nice start to the meal.
Next was a winter squash soup with creme fraiche, crisp bacon, and apple chutney. A few soups are really fulfilling in terms of flavor. This was one of them. I swear I could eat 10 bowls of this. The flavors collided so well.
The cider braised pork came with root vegetables and rosemary-bacon potatoes. The sauce was tangy, rich with pork flavor, and mouth-watering silkiness.
The locally caught sturgeon was my other dish. It was delicious and flaky. It was topped with pork belly seared to a crisp and fennel broth that was light, yet very flavorful.
Kristi had the bolognese with grass fed beef, pancetta, and red wine sausage. It’s safe to say there were no leftovers. It was freakin good.
Now onto a very important topic…bread. I love good bread, who doesn’t? What really irks me is when restaurants serve you cold bread, cold butter, or if their daring enough, both cold. How are you supposed to spread rock hard butter on cold bread? It’s impossible and it ruins the bread. Emmer & Rye, however, had my back on this. They served delicious fresh, HOT, artisan french and sourdough loaves. With it was whipped butter. Oh! Hot bread and soft spreadable butter, the joy! The butter must have also been local because it was darn fresh and tasty. Hats off to you Emmer & Rye for hitting the nail on the head with the bread. The rest of the restaurant industry needs to catch on. Like it really takes that much extra energy to warm your bread and soften your butter.
Whew! That’s my soapbox for the day.
So if you’re venturing in the Queen Anne area, stop by and please your tastebuds. This has to be, hands down, one of the best restaurants in Seattle. It opened in 2010, but trust me, accolades are coming.
*next up…Homemade Bagels…*