February 2013

Indulge your creamiest, dreamiest, most decadent chocolate cravings with our guide to Seattle's dark side. Plus, plenty of candy for your grown-up sweet tooth.

From this Issue

Uptown girl, laidback-style: “I flip from carrying my black Celine Phantom bag from Barneys to a Navajo-print cotton tote that I got for free,” says Maria Christofilis, a scent-savvy Seattle native who has been on the advance guard of home fragrances for more than a decade (at—which she recently

As you read this, farmers Manuel and Leslie Recio are probably in Spain—sampling Tempranillo in Catalonia, learning traditional recipes in Andalucía, or deep in a conversation about growing techniques with a producer in a market in Madrid. This is how the owners of the Oregon-based Viridian Farms spend the darkest weeks of winter.

Lard used to be a dirty word. And its Italian cousin, lardo, would prompt puzzled looks followed by the inevitable “What’s that?” But now, lardo—cured pork fat—is cool, thanks to chefs such as Cafe Juanita’s Holly Smith.

Mobiles, when done as artfully as those created by Burien-based Sara Lawrence for her line Flutter and Twirl, are a delight to all who behold them, not just babes in their cribs. There’s something so soothing in the way they lazily rotate and bounce gently overhead.

You’re staring at the photo booth in the lobby of Urban Animal, Capitol Hill’s newest veterinary practice. What’s that doing here? It’s the for-real, film-based, wait-four-minutes-for-slightly-wet-prints kind. The last one you saw was, probably, in a bar. But you are sober. And here for your pup’s checkup, for heaven’s sake.

German brats that pop and burst with meaty juices, hoppy pilsners and citrusy wheat beers are what draw many of us to South Lake Union’s convivial German pub.

Intrigue Chocolates Co.

Seattle mag: What compelled you to write How Literature Saved My Life?

Somewhere along the road from childhood to adulthood, our conception of candy shifts from direct arrow to the brain’s pleasure center to guilt-tinged indulgence (and bribery tool used on our own kids).

Chocolate grows on trees, but after testing and tasting everything Theobroma cacao, we’ve learned one thing: Not all chocolate is created equal. It’s all made from seeds from a football-shaped fruit that grows in the globe’s equatorial regions. But everything from where it’s grown to how it’s made affects taste and quality—and some chocolate treats are just better than others.

After more than 20 years of making chocolates, teaching others and supplying local professionals with tools and products, chocolatier Bill Fredericks opened his own storefront and classroom last year.

When former Microsoftie Nathan Myhrvold’s six-volume, 2,438-page book, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, was released in 2011, it was deemed nothing short of a culinary revolution—and established Seattle’s reputation as a hotbed of molecular gastronomy.

WHY: For the Fish, Forage and Farm package at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. On this culinary island adventure, you’ll harvest food and forage for wild produce, before joining sous-chef Ben Spiegel to prepare the bounty (Tue.–Wed., year-round. $1,000/person or $1,500/double occupancy, includes two nights in the seaside guesthouse and meals.

You’ve seen them in thrift shops or at your mormor’s house: thin, oval slabs of birch painted with simple, bucolic scenes. But what are they, exactly? Fine art? Folk art? Kitschy tourist trinkets?

Housed in the teeny Madrona storefront formerly occupied by Driftwood consignment boutique, the new Studio Montagne is a pop-up shop that pops up around holidays.

With the historic passage of Referendum 74 in November and the flurry of same-sex weddings starting at midnight on December 9, we’ve been reveling in giddy expressions of marital joy nearly every day.

Friendly. Cheap. Efficient. No nonsense. Open all night. Decent food. All the usual “diner” associations apply when it comes to Georgetown’s Square Knot, opened by the owners of the 9lb Hammer next door (and connected via a hallway in the back; the Knot serves a full bar when the Hammer is open).

In Seattle’s Chinatown–International District, there is no shortage of hot pot, the Chinese fondue in which you cook presliced meats, seafood and/or veggies in a pot of boiling broth set in the middle of your table, customizing with hot sauce, or garlic or soy sauce as you choose.

Danielle Custer’s got food chops: She was chef at several area hotel restaurants before heading the culinary team at Taste at the Seattle Art Museum.

About a year ago, hereditary cholesterol issues started catching up with me and I gave up cheese, after my doctor told me, “It’s like pouring fat directly into your veins.” That pretty much took all the fun out of it (thanks, Marti!), though I still occasionally indulge in a few crackers full of my favorite Mt.

After years of thrift-shopping for personal wear and pleasure, vintage fans Sara Leonard and Cyrena Preszler, took the plunge into retail last October, opening Trove Vintage Boutique in Ballard.

No gift rings more cliché than a box of chocolate or candy for Valentine’s Day—except maybe in Seattle.

The buttery shape-shifting dough, somewhere between bread and cake, appears in local bakeries as rolls, buns and shells filled with a delicious array of the sweet and the savory.

She is nine months pregnant on this sunny fall day. But that doesn’t stop Katherine Bragdon from taking a walk (more like a waddle) from her picture-perfect, red-shingled Wallingford bungalow to the nerve center of the neighborhood where Stone Way rolls down to the north shore of Lake Union.

The beam of a scuba diver’s flashlight cuts through murky water, illuminating sediment that resembles an ash storm at night, until the glow catches on something white.

If three of a kind constitutes a trend, then bars that serve cured, smoked and sliced meats are the new black, at least on Capitol Hill. First came Cure, the wee bar in an alley behind Broadway, which opened two years back.

For years, Red Mountain has been known for its intense red wines, produced by wineries all over the state that gain high scores and fetch high prices. But as the 12-year-old American Viticultural Area (AVA) develops, people are also starting to talk about its growth, diversity of vineyards and uniqueness of terroir—right down to the smallest parts of the vineyards, called “blocks.”

Let’s be clear: Scientist Ranae Holland, who can be seen on the Animal Planet reality show Finding Bigfoot tromping around various woods, sporting night-vision gogs and listening carefully to weird sounds, absolutely does not believe Sasquatch exists.

A simple leather tote bag, reliably versatile and able to carry almost anything asked of it, can weather the winds of time.

Seattle has long been a hotbed of airplanes, coffee and technology, and now fragrance may be added to that illustrious list. Last summer, perfumer Christi Meshell created Seattle Sniffs, a community of more than 30 olfactory artisans who use oils in the pursuit of perfumery.

Imagine having a frank conversation with your elderly father about familial guilt, parental love and impending death. For some, that prospect is terrifying enough. Now imagine having that discussion in front of a couple of hundred people. Further imagine that at some point during this conversation, your septuagenarian father is stripped to his underwear.

I recently talked over coffee with Jim Vesely, the retired editor of The Seattle Times’ editorial page and a longtime Eastside observer. We met at the Tully’s on Mercer Island in “The Rock’s” dense new business district. Even affluent, single-family Mercer Island has done its share of taking on growth, building up, and becoming transit- and pedestrian-friendly.

Mia Fioravanti showed up on our radar thanks to a tip from Juniper boutique owner Lisa Clinton, whose Madrona shop was the first in town to carry this Beacon Hill designer. “Her designs are so simple and elegant. I was immediately drawn to them,” Clinton says.

San Francisco–based Peek came onto Seattle’s retail radar in 2011 when it partnered with Nordstrom—a minority shareholder in the company—for a Peek store-within-a-store. By late 2012, there were two stand-alone Peeks, one in University Village and another in Bellevue Square (with select styles still available at Nordstrom), filled with stylish kid clothes and gifts. Our faves?

Smack-dab in the middle of the main campus of South Seattle Community College (SSCC) is confectionary heaven, otherwise known as Bernie’s (6000 16th Ave. SW; 206.934.5828).

The first (and only) time Juneau native Katrina Heinz-Query remembers seeing the northern lights was on Halloween, when she was 10 years old.

Grunge: The word still has the power to make longtime Seattleites cringe, conjuring as it does images of grubby cardigans and long johns worn under shorts, the faddish, flannel-sporting caricature of a musical era that began as something raw and personal and real.