It’s not easy writing a sustainable restaurant review. First of all, restaurant scenes in Seattle are constantly evolving. Some of my favorite names Book Bindery and Spur had already closed their doors before I even picked up the pen. As for other places, even though I had a great experience the first time, it failed to impress on subsequent visits, Joule fits into that category. As a result, I had a short list of recommendations.
Art of the Table is a neighborhood restaurant in Wallingford, Seattle. With only six tables, and a chef’s counter looking over the kitchen, the space is intimate. The food centers on ingredients grown, foraged or caught in the Pacific Northwest, made from scratch.
I have been to Art of the Table enough times over the past five years and it has never ceased to impress me. On two recent visits all within a week, I had a la carte menu one night and chef’s tasting menu the other. I sampled over fifteen dishes in total, each of them was prepared in a thoughtful and artistic way. From a la carte menu, the cured and roasted pork belly is the best I’ve ever had, with tender juicy center and perfectly caramelized skin. The olive oil cake is light and fruity, which pairs seamlessly with dulce de leche ice cream and almond brittle.
The tasting menu featured nine dishes, including amuse bouche (foie gras on a cracker with candied pecan) and palate cleanser (Aprium sorbet with Rachel’s ginger beer granita). The Washington razor clam ceviche was tangy and refreshing, just what we needed on a hot spring day. I was already getting full by the time the roast beef arrived, so I asked the server to pack it in a box, and it was delicious the second day.
As a neighborhood restaurant, the service was personal and attentive. The chef was kind enough to help me take photos of the roasted beef after plating so that I have a nice photo to present here, instead of one from my doggy box.
The menus change daily, based on what’s fresh and local. Chef Dustin Ronspies admits that he would figure out the menu on his 10 minute drive over to the restaurant and he is confident that whatever he served that evening would be awesome. I love this place!
Finally, good things come in pairs. It is worth mentioning that chef Dustin Ronspies has a brother Derek, who is also a chef, of Le Petit Cochon in Fremont.