Desserts, Pacific Northwest, Restaurants, seattle

Emerald City Eats: Bar Sajor & Cupcake Royale

July 27, 2015

Bar Sajor is owned by the same people behind Sitka and Spruce, along with several other Seattle eateries www.sitkaandspruce.com. We enjoyed one of our first communal table meals there several years ago—a very popular concept in the friendly Northwest. Bar Sajor www.barsajor.com has an open kitchen with a large wood burning fireplace on which a number of dishes are prepared. The room is open, airy and has a very casual vibe but there is an undercurrent of hip pretentiousness, which didn’t bother us. It was a warm evening but the windows were open wide to allow in the welcome breeze.   The restaurant was busy but still fairly quiet for a Saturday night.

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Bar Sajor’s airy, casual dining room.

Bar Sajor, like Sitka and Spruce is dedicated to the farm–to- fork concept using local purveyors for nearly everything on offer. The menu, which changes regularly to reflect seasonally available ingredients, is meant for sharing. Diners are encouraged to choose a selection of dishes to share with the entire table. Many dishes are available in several sizes to accommodate larger groups and appetites. Food is served as soon as it is ready in the kitchen, typically in no particular order. If you have a desire to receive your dishes in a specific order, you can ask, or just order a few items at a time, pausing between orders, which is what we did.

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It’s fun to watch the chef preparing dishes in the fireplace.

We started our evening with beers (local drafts and foreign and domestic bottles are served) and a nice glass of rose—perfect for a sultry summer evening. Bar Sajor is another of those restaurants that charges $5 for bread but theirs is “naturally leavened” and served with the very “of the moment” cultured butter and flake salt. It was really tasty and the cultured butter, which had a nice tang, was served in an oyster shell.

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Cultured butter in an oyster shell adds a touch of whimsy.

The “simple” salad was anything but. It featured crisp snap peas, Shunkyo radishes, fava beans, and fiddlehead ferns– which added a nice texture and an earthy element. All of the vegetables were perfect. The green goddess dressing was light and balanced, unlike the gloopy goo that was poured from bottles many decades ago. The salad is available in two sizes at $13 or $17. It made a delicious first course.

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There’s no excuse not to eat your vegetables when they’re this good.

Next, we enjoyed a beautifully presented “Grand Aoili” with dipping vegetables including seaweed, hard cooked egg, and a nice assortment of local fin fish and shell fish including Dungeness crab, shrimp, and house-smoked mussels. My only complaint—the dish could have been heavier on the seafood and perhaps the largest sized platter is. This dish is available in three sizes at $30, $55 or $95. We had a nice flinty Sancerre with the Aoili.

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The Grand Aioli brought back memories of France.

Our meat course was a juicy, perfectly prepared ribeye. The meat was cooked over coals and served with baby squash and Meyer lemon. It was a pricey $56 but certainly satisfied the carnivores at the table and their voracious appetites.

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The ribeye was a meat eater’s delight.

The Sequim strawberries and warm coppa arrived at the same time as our ribeye. The berries were perfectly ripe and the ham was an excellent compliment to the fruit. These were served with lavender and black sesame seeds. Delicious! The price was $16.

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The coppa complimented the berries beautifully.

With the meat and berry courses, we enjoyed a bottle of Domaine Philemon, a red varietal made with Braucol grapes from Gaillac, in the Southwest of France. The wine has a nice spiciness and a woodsy, floral aroma, perfect with those dishes.

We were much too full for dessert. Besides, we had our dessert much earlier in the day when we stopped at Cupcake Royale www.cupcakeroyale.com. Highly recommended to us by a Seattle friend, Cupcake Royale has multiple locations. We stopped in at the one near the Pike Place Market www.pikeplacemarket.org.

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No need to choose between cake and ice cream at Cupcake Royale. Try both.

The small storefront has delicious cupcakes in seasonal flavors like Raspberry Pavlova, Blackberry Brown Butter and Blueberry Lavender Honeycomb, and at least a dozen rotating ice cream flavors. You don’t have to choose between cake and ice cream here—have both. They also have coffee drinks– this is, after all, Seattle. There is limited seating available inside.

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Cupcakes and ice cream worth the wait!

If you haven’t satisfied your sweet tooth after Cupcake Royale, pop into the wine and chocolate shop next door. While we were enjoying our ice cream cones, one of our traveling companions took advantage of the complimentary wine tasting going on there. Next, another day, another delicious dinner.

 

 

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