The Coterie Room
After leaving Seattle for the sunnier, warmer climate of Los Angeles about a year ago my friend Megan recently returned for a visit. Megan and I met through our blogs many years ago. She is the face (or force!) behind I♥Bacon.com. And when my cooking club lost one of the original members it was Megan who moved into the open spot which she then filled for about 5 years.
With this history, you might guess that food and dining are an important part of our friendship. So when she returned to Seattle I sent her a list of new, or at least new-to-her, restaurants in town so she could select a location for a dinner reunion. Her choice? The Coterie Room.
I approached the evening’s dinner with a little bit of trepidation. While I love McCracken & Tough’s style and innovative creations, I’ve sometimes found the menu at Spur, their first location, a little precious. As an example a mid-summer cheese plate once featured peaches as one of the accompaniments. It was the perfect time of year for sweet, drippingly juicy, peaches in our area – I couldn’t wait. When the plate arrived the cheese portions were very generous but there were only three very small “peach balls” gracing the plate. They were very cute. And very disappointing. Then again, the cocktails at Tavern Law, their Capitol Hill speakeasy, never fail to please. So, to The Coterie Room we went and it turns out I had nothing to worry about. At all….
The Coterie Room moved into the space formerly occupied by Zoe Restaurant in Belltown. It sits right around the corner from their sister restaurant, Spur. The interior is much the same as Zoe’s layout with a few notable exceptions. There’s a wall of ferns; a gigantic crystal chandelier above the dining room; the bar is more of an actual bar; and, maybe, the open kitchen is a little more open. I’m not 100% sure on that last bit but it seemed like it was a little more open.
There were three of us for dinner and we decided to try the Ham Cracklings. Not a hint of grease marred the cracklings which were wonderfully light and crisp. They’ve elevated a guilty pleasure to a gastronomic treat, much as they’d done with corn nuts at Spur.
We split two entreés: a handmade pasta with greens and fresh peas; and the day’s fish special, halibut with fresh chickpeas, peas and greens. Both were deliciously satisfying with every element complementing the others in the dish. All ingredients tasted as if they were fresh picked or fresh from the sea. While portion sizes were very respectable, prices are at the upper end of the scale. But when you leave feeling as satisfied as we were it’s a little easier not to care too much.
There were many items on the menu we would have liked to try so it looks like another dinner will be planned soon. Then again the “Duck Egg Brunch” menu looks pretty enticing, too. I’m looking eagerly anticipating my next visit to The Coterie Room.
The Coterie Room
2137 2nd Avenue