August 15 would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and a national JC100 celebration has spun off a Julia Child Restaurant Week August 7 to 15, encouraging establishments across the country to pay culinary tribute in one form or another. Here are a few local restaurants that will be mastering the art of celebrating the fearless chef and towering Francophile this month.
Ballard's rowdiest of bistros is taking part in the Child celebrations August 7 to 15 with chef Jason Stoneburner's four-course, $35 menu of tuna nicoise salad, a cheese souffle, roast duck breast with chanterelles and potatoes Anna. Wine pairings are $15 and for dessert: chocolate almond cake. If you would prefer to celebrate Child's legacy with a drink in hand, the back bar will be airing old episodes of her cooking shows, Baking with Julia, Cooking with Master Chefs and In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs.
Surprise, surprise--French-born Thierry Rauturau's bistro is taking part in Julia Child Restarant Week. A special $35 menu, available August 7 to 15, includes a choice of salade Lyonnaise or quiche Lorraine, followed by sole Meuniere or poulet àl’ail, au citron et aux herbes (that would be a grilled half chicken) and one of two classic French desserts. Also French: the optional $25 wine pairings. Reservations here.
Chef Philip Mihalski actually celebrates Child every year as part of his chef tribute dinner series, which honor the original recipes of historic chefs who have made a significant mark on our cultural landscape. The Julia dinner usually sells out fast; the August 1 dinner was fully booked, but Mihalski added a second date, Thursday, August 9. The meal starts with passed hors d'oeuvres and moves on to five seated courses; all this fanciness runs $80 a person (excluding tax and gratuity) and include French wine pairings and biographcial snippets between each course.
Michael Mina’s downtown restaurant shares Child’s devotion to French suisine, although here with seasonal Northwest inflections. During the entire month of August, RN74 will offer a Child-inspired tasting menu for $65 (with a wine pairing option). The four-course menu (plus an amuse bouche of cauliflower royale with black truffle vinaigrette) includes bouillabaisse, grilled lamb shops with ratatouille, and a raspberry and fig crostata. The restaurant will also be raffling off copies of Child’s books; order the Julia Child Tasting Menu and you’ll be entered automatically. Make reservations online or at 206-456-7474.
Skelly and the Bean
On Monday nights, Zephyr Paquette usually turns her restaurant over to up-and-coming chefs for her incubator series, but on August 20 she will be in the kitchen paying tribute to both Child and Paquette's mentor, Dandelion chef Carold Nockold, who passed away in 2006. This Dandy days of Summer dinner marries Child's beloved techniques with Nockold's devoion to seasonal, local produce. The result, according to Paquette's writeup, is "a souffle that will make you swoon, onion soup with a sense of place, and peach gingerbread upside-down cake that tastes like a warm summer evening." A $10 ticket holds your seat, and the ticket price is deducted from your bill at the end of the evening.
The guys behind the Hi-Life, Endolyne Joe's, and the special menu-loving 5 Spot atop Queen Anne, are planning one-day-only Juliacentric specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner on August 15. Think sole meuniere and split pea soup, but keep an eye on Facebook for more details.