Image: Ruth Reichl
Spot prawns: Ready, set, snap

Ruth Reichl’s blog from last weekend includes dining details from her trip to Seattle, where she ate “nothing that wasn’t wonderful.” She-Who-Needs-No-Introduction (but I’ll do it anyway: former New York Times restaurant critic, former Gourmet editor, memoirist, cookbook author, now fiction writer) wandered Pike Place Market (photographing magenta peonies, porcinis, purple artichokes, and razor clams) and enjoyed “a perfect little meal” at Lark: oysters kissed with the citrus yuzu, raw artichoke salad, farro—which she called “caviar of the forest,”—and charred octopus with bacon and peppers. “I’ve always loved Lark for its simplicity, seasonality and bold flavors, but after a particularly vegetable-deprived week on the road, the menu was a special treat,” she writes.

She also had nothing but love for T-Doug’s Dahlia Lounge, lavishing not one but two adverbs (“gorgeously fresh and beautifully cooked”) on the salmon, and deconstructing her wild lettuce salad with the precision of a chemist. “Each one of the greens, grown at Prosser Farm, had stunning integrity.  Each added its own subtle flavor. There must have been a dozen different leaves in there, from nepitella to baby lettuces and herbs, but it was an absolutely perfect expression of a Northwest spring.”

Finally, from the what’s-a-trip-to-Seattle-without-a-little-death-by-severed-head department: Reichl celebrated Seattle’s ephemeral spot prawn season with a few live ones from Taylor Shellfish. “You pick up a shrimp, give the head a quick twist, then suck down the sweet, transparent meat,” she writes. “The flavor is like nothing else I've tasted; much more subtle than any other creature that emerges from the sea.”

We think this may be becoming a habit for Reichl.