Tag Archives: Food and drink

New Bremerton Restaurant to offer ‘accessible fine dining’ in Manette

A new “accessible fine dining” restaurant will open in the former spot of The Patio in Manette. That’s what executive chef Timm Higgins calls the soon-to-open Orion.

The restaurant will feature local, seasonal foods, and Higgins plans to change the menu monthly. Higgins, who was trained in french technique at Le Cordon Bleu Collage of Culinary Arts in Portland, has created an opening menu that includes such dishes as scallops in brown butter with Brussels sprouts, bacon, apple and champagne; chicken with roasted garlic gnocchi, peas and carrots with hunter sauce; or wild mushrooms with Parmesan risotto croquette, blue cheese and Marsala.

The full opening menu is posted below as well as in the window of the restaurant. Continue reading

Beer and Cupcakes: Grand Openings Friday and Saturday

Kitsap has two new venues to celebrate today and Saturday.

Today, Valhöll Brewery, 20186 Front Street, celebrates the grand opening of its taproom to the general public. Some locals got a taste of Valhöl’s beers at the Kitsap Oktoberfest this summer, where they served up a Smoked Cherry Rye and a Licorice IPA, both of which quickly disappeared. I tried one, the smoked cherry, at the suggestion of Charles Keating, who suggested rightly that it went well with the Popcorn Chef’s dark chocolate and chipotle flavor.

Reporter Tristan Baurick will have had a story on the brewery in Monday’s paper. He says the beers all pack a punch, (though apparently it was too early in the day for him to taste-test it) and are brewed to be full of flavor.

The grand opening is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (sorry for the late notice). Their beer also is on tap at Tizley’s and Hare & Hounds.

On Saturday, the trio of ladies from Bella Bella, who we met last spring, have opened a retail location for their cupcakes at 10726 Silverdale Way, Suite 107, in Silverdale. Their celebration goes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and they’ll serve cupcakes (of course), kolaches, Blue Bird Coffee and Espresso, Viking Feast Ice Cream, and Smith Brothers Farms Milk.

For much of the past year, they had been making cupcakes at a commercial kitchen in Bremerton for parties and for special order. They started baking in their new kitchen today, according to a post on their Facebook page.

The Rest of the New Kitsap Restaurants of 2010 (Part 4 o 4)

This brings to a close our look back at the new eateries that have graced Kitsap in the past year, according to the the Kitsap County Health Department. If  you missed any, you can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. If I’ve missed any, please let me know.

Seabeck Pizza (Silverdale) – The locally famous pizza chain that offers delivery by boat opened a sixth shop in Silverdale. The new spot is a bit more landlocked near the corner of Myhre and Ridgetop. I’m still waiting for the day when they’ll deliver to the city of Bremerton.
Location: 9919 Trident Lane, Silverdale

Seoul Korean BBQ – Kitsap now has two Korean restaurants with this more recent addition to the local food scene. (The other being Suzy’s Kitchen near Sixth and Callow in Bremerton). It offers Korean barbecue shared and cooked at the table, tried it over the holidays, and said the place did not disappoint.
Location: 10408 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale

Shima Express – Though they’ve offered such and other Japanese fare on the Island for quite some time, Shima last year opened an addition for sushi and bento boxes on the go.
Location: 112 Madison Ave. N, Bainbridge Island

Taqueria El Huarache – This Mexican restaurant opened during the summer. They offer standard fare like fajitas and burritos that you’d expect at an American Mexican restaurant, but they also offer a few more authentic dishes, such as menudo and lengua as well as homemade Horchata.
Location: 19424 7th Ave NE, Poulsbo

The Daily Dish: I have to say this nearly every time I talk about this place. Pasties. It’s pronounced pass-tees. They’re not the things you find at local espresso stands. They hail from the midwest and they’re like pot pies you can hold in your hand in beef or veggie with a side of gravy for dipping. Plus, the Dish offers early morning breakfast muffins and fresh mini doughnuts with a variety of dipping sauces, such as strawberry cream cheese or chipotle chocolate. Doughnuts also are offered in “Donut Offense” size to serve about 10 shipyard workers (60 donuts) who forgot their badges, got promoted, engaged, etc. I’ve been looking for something with character to fill the old home of the West Side Burrito Connection, and early last year I did.
Location: 208 First Street (near the ferry terminal), Bremerton

Still Looking Back at 2010’s Eateries: Part 3 of 4

Last week, I started taking quick looks at the new restaurants and eateries that opened their doors to Kitsap customers in 2010. This weekend, I’ll finish those glances with a look at the rest of places (one more post after this). I’d love to hear your takes on any of the new eating establishments. Here’s the post on restaurants that start with the letters B through E, and the last one with letters G through L.

Mirracole Morsels Granola Factory – Local granola maker Nicole Matheson (whose product you may have seen at area farmers markets or at Central Market) opened a factory and cooperative bakery in the old Kingston Hotel early this year. Offerings go beyond granola with cookies and trail mixes and bread from the Borrowed Kitchen Bakery, which shares in the co-op.
Location: 25931 Washington Blvd. NE (Corner of Highway 104 and Washington)

Paella Tapas Bar – An offshoot of Burrata Bistro, this Front Street Poulsbo restaurant offers wine and tapas, the “small plates” that sustain Spain’s Madrileños until their late-night dinners. Food reviewer Bernard Jacobson gave it a 9 out of 10 for food quality and 10/10 for service.
Location: 19006 Front Street, Poulsbo

Pane D’Amore – After finding artisan bread lovers in Lynwood with it’s bread truck — which was briefly shoo-ed away by city for violating city codes against mobile businesses — Elliott Yakush, as planned, set up a retail location in a less-mobile fashion next to the Treehouse Cafe, which let him sell his breads at a table.
Location: 4569 Lynwood Center, Bainbridge Island

Papa’s Bar and Grill – Todd and Lisa Arnold opened this locally flavored spot in the Perry Avenue Mall in the spot where Ammirato’s used to be. They offer fresh soup, pizza and burgers. Some of the local flavor literally comes in the form of Minder meat used in its burgers, but in the aesthetic sense, it’s a wall of East and West High photos. Customers can add their own.
Location: 2901 Perry Ave Suite #5, Bremerton

Pho Tai – This small establishment offers both Vietnamese pho and teriyaki. But it’ll be tough to compete with Poulsbo’s other locally loved pho restaurant, Pho T&N, which is right around the corner.
Location: 19367 7th Avenue

New Kitsap Restaurants of 2010: Part 1 of 4

So, so much to eat and try. In 2010, nearly 30 new eateries opened in Kitsap County, and nine got new owners.

Some new eateries were highlighted in various Kitsap Sun articles and blog posts throughout the year, though some we admittedly missed. I plan to visit the new restaurants in more detail in the coming months and invite you to share your impressions on any of the new eateries of 2010.

I’ll be stretching this blog post out into four parts through this week because that many restaurants makes for one awfully long blog post and — let’s be honest — so I can get as many eyeballs back to the Food Life blog as I can.

We’ll go alphabetically based on a list of new restaurants provided by the Kitsap County Health Department:

John Strasinger the owner/ chef at the new Bay Street Bistro cooks zucchini at the downtown Port Orchard location.

Bay Street Bistro – I talked with chef and co-owner John Strasinger about his new restaurant a month and a half after it opened in late July. Strasinger tries to procure as many ingredients as he can from local farmers, and has worked to build up the restaurant as a neighborhood dinner spot. Recently, they’ve started serving lunches and this fall put a savory gorgonzola-laced cheesecake that’s just as good as a mouthful on its own or on a cracker.

Boogaloo’s – The name filed with the health department is “Boogaloo’s Shrimp Shack”, but the sign out front says Boogaloo’s Bar-B-Que. I’ve also seen it referenced on sandwich-board signs around town and in a Kitasp Sun sports story as Boogaloo’s BBQ and Boogaloo’s Barbeque Pit. Whatever it’s called, it opened this summer in a tiny building on Bremerton’s waterfront boardwalk. Owned by Tony Thomas of the former Soul Brothers restaurant chain in Bremerton, which had its local heyday in the late ’90s. I was away in college, so I missed it the first time around, but word is that the brisket is just as heavily smoked and tender as it was back then.

Burger Me Now – This spot on the plaza at Highway 303 and McWilliams, between Safeway and Toad House is exactly what the name would imply: a burger joint. Burger Me Now offers a variety of burgers, from a $6 standard to a $7.45 teriyaki chicken burger as well as seafood and chips. I’ve not tried it yet. I can’t seem to go near the Toad House without wanting a beer, and get distracted. We’ve been talking about it for months, but someday Mike Moore and I are going to put out a roundup of burger joints — including this one — on the Kitsap Peninsula and immediately surrounding areas.

Chet’s Place – This is the latest offering at 610 Callow Avenue in Bremerton, spot to a former Mongolian Grill/Nightclub, the Ponderay Cafe and Lounge (gosh, I loved the Ponderay’s German sausage and potato pancakes), El Camino’s and others. Chet’s Place serves up soul food including grits, hush puppies and fried okra. It also has a lounge because there has to be some place to get a 9 a.m. beer on Callow Avenue, right?

Deane’s Pizza a& Subs – I feel that I almost have to like this place since I almost share a middle name with it. That said, I haven’t actually tried it, but if you want to, it’s across from Fred Meyers in that plaza with the 24-hour fitness place and Emerald City Smoothies. They offer — you guessed it — pizza and subs and opened in May. The pizzas offerings seem to go beyond the standards with things like taco pizza and alfredo pizza.

Der Blokken Brewery – This Manette brewpub opened in spring to fanfare from the local brew geek community. In addition to a hard-to-find-on tap lineup of beers, such as Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish and Der Blokken’s own Black stout, they offer a lineup of pub fare including a gorgonzola burger, chicken wings, occasional steak special and a personal favorite poutine, the gravy and curd smothered fries of French Canadian fame.

El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant – This Gig Harbor-based restaurant opened a Port Orchard branch on Lund Avenue, near Bethel, this spring. It’s family-style Mexican with dishes such as arroz con pollo, burritos, enchiladas, etc. The handful of online reviews for this place are mixed.

A Taste of Icelandic Ice Cream

In case you missed it, Tristan Baurick offered up an article in today’s paper about Viking Feast Ice Cream, which some of you may have seen this summer at local farmers markets.

Viking Feast Ice Cream

The low-fat, but tasty treat uses an ingredient called skyr, which is similar to yogurt.

I met them at the Kitsap Oktoberfest, where they served up Hale’s beer flavored ice creams, as well as summery raspberry, key lime, blackberry and other flavors. Eggnog and gingerbread flavors were on tap this month. Viking Feast currently has no more beer offerings, though people keep asking them and they’re thinking about it, Tristan said.

If you don’t want to wait until the next beer fest or farmers market to try it, you can find out where it’s sold on Viking Feast’s Facebook page. Locations currently include the Port Gamble General Store, Real Foods on Bainbridge Island, CBC Chocolates and Crimson Cove in Poulsbo and at Aldrich’s Market in Port Townsend.

And just in case you read the story but missed the video, Tristan offered a quick look at Viking Feast’s factory, the process of making the ice cream and talked with Thormod Skald:

South Kitsap Student Makes the Best Crab Cakes

Photo courtesy of Dustin Buchholz

Picture this: a dollop of tartar sauce atop three golden triangular Dungeness crab cakes. And nestled between those is a crisp, fin-shape tuile flavored with chili and black bean. And all of this atop a thin spread of black bean puree and drizzled with a creamy corn sauce.

The dish, created by 17-year-old Dustin Buchholz, also tastes pretty good too.
So said a panel of judges from the Washington State Chefs Association.

Buchholz, who bested a group of college-age culinary students, was the youngest competitor in the Association’s annual Best of the Pacific Northwest last month.

Buchholz, a South Kitsap High senior and culinary arts student at West Sound Technical Skill Center, has been interested in cooking since taking a course in high school.

Well, that course wasn’t the first kind of cooking he’d done. He started by making breakfasts with his grandfather.

“We do hashbrowns, eggs, toast and bacon,” a favorite thing to do, he said. And he claims to be pretty good at it, too.

He now works as a dishwasher and prep cook in the Clubhouse at McCormick Woods.

Initially, he hadn’t even planned to enter the competition.

But his boss, Clubhouse Executive Chef Bruce Bonholzer, had regularly pushed Buchholz to push him to learn more and believed Buchholz could do well in the competition and paid his $35 entry fee into the student category.

Once entered, Buchholz had to develop a recipe and decide how to plate it.

“You just kind of make them and start adding different things,” he said. He toyed with recipes from work, got ideas from his boss and his skills center instructor and crafted a recipe all his own.

Aside from taste, the dish has to look good.

“You want it to have a variety of colors and be eye-appealing to whoever is judging it,” he said.

The morning of the competition, Buchholz and assistant Alex Radovich went to the skills center, putting together all that they could of their Mexican-themed dish ahead of the competition.

From there, they took the mostly prepared crab cakes to Le Cordon Bleu School in Tukwilla, where they breaded, cooked and set all the parts on glazed, green plates, chosen specially for the competition. They made extra for other attendees to taste.

Buchholz was confident as he prepared the dish. That was, until he finished and got a chance to see and taste other students’ dishes.

“I was actually doubting myself toward the end,” he said.

One girl created a layered crab cake that looked almost like a wedding cake. Others had beautiful tasting dishes and “really neat flavors.”

But come decision time, the judges loved most of the dish and suggested he sell the tuile. They didn’t care for the large amount of tartar sauce, though, and suggested he use more cream of corn.

He received a first-place plaque and a $350 prize.

For Buchholz, a career in culinary arts may depend less upon whether this honor can launch it and more upon the U.S. Navy, where he hopes to follow in his grandfather’s wake.

“I’ve always wanted to go and serve my country,” he said.

And with a fleet of ships’ messes, he may just get that chance.

So what is the recipe for these award-winning crab cakes?

“I’m going to keep that one to myself,” Buchholz said.

Weekend for Wine and Chocolate

With Valentines Day on it’s way (on a three-day weekend, no less), local wineries and chocolatiers are gearing up for the coming buying frenzy.

And it’s not just about bringing home the box or the bottle. Looks like some regional and area proprietors are offering a little experience as well. Cost is a few dollars at each winery.

Here are a couple that are closer to home. The state’s tourism website has a few more:

On the Olympic Peninsula, six wineries from Port Townsend to Port Angeles will host a Red Wine and Chocolate weekend. Cost is $25 to taste at all wineries or $5 each. Most of the wineries are in Port Angeles, so you might consider making a weekend of it so you don’t have to risk getting tipsy for the drive back.

Seven Bainbridge Island wineries will offer tastes paired with chocolates chosen by the winemakers.

View Wineries of Bainbridge Island in a larger map