Dizzy Swallows

Bricco and Efeste

Bricco and Efeste

June 15th, 2011

On Sunday, Jacob and I embarked on a culinary and vinous adventure at one of Queen Anne’s neighborhood wine bars, Bricco. Accompanied by two of our dearest friends, Hannah and Will, we were feasted with appetizers and five courses of sinfully delicious food, all paired with wines from Washington winery, Efeste.


Appetizers included a selection of salami and prosciutto from Salumi, pride and joy of Seattle’s artisan cured meats community. I give them the high praise of making the best prosciutto I’ve had outside of Italy. We washed the cured meats and soft, fragrant cheese down with a bit of champagne. You know, to start things right.


The menu was certainly meant for carnivores, but was well moderated by in season, local produce.


The first course consisted of buttery-soft albacore. Seared with a grainy crust of exotic salt. Served on a billowy bed of cucumber, crème fraiche and agrumato. Amen.

This was paired with a surprisingly dry, acid-rich riesling.

us and them

A peek at our little foursome. And, no, I don’t really have Madonna arms.

pork belly

Second course was tender pork belly over aromatic black lentils and sweet corn. We decided this was just a bourgeois chili. A mind-bogglingly delicious bourgeois chili. The wine pairing was a scrumptious sauvignon blanc, which we “revisited” between courses. Yes, we were that table.

wine glasses

Wine glasses of all shapes and sizes sprouted before us like a delicate glass forest.

Photo by Hannah Wahl

I must find more dresses that show off my tattoo.

The third course was something new to all of us: a diminutive roast quail served with lemony, sweet red quinoa and caramelized peaches. I tried vainly not to imagine our four unfortunate birds tottering across the road in a line, plumes aquiver. As you can perhaps discern, there are times when I am less comfortable than others with my choice of giving up vegetarianism. This course was paired with a bold syrah, which though reportedly one of the most popular was not my personal favorite.


Before I was able to delve deeply into thoughts of vegetarianism-past, out came course number four: smoked beef cheek with farro risotto (more of a cake really), served with wild morels harvested by our hostess! I tried to coax her mushrooming spot out of her, but she had been sworn to secrecy, like any good mushroom hunter. The beef was paired with my favorite of the wines, a huge cabernet sauvignon appropriately dubbed Big Papa.

film strip

Between each course, Brennan from Efeste regaled us with the details of each new wine as it filled our glasses to replace the one before.


Some three hours after we’d begun, we managed to scoop the last bites of dessert into our slack mouths. I was very nearly bursting at this point and am afraid I had to pawn off my bittersweet chocolate panna cotta cake on the boys, olive oil caramel, vanilla sea salt and all. We washed down the last morsels with the final wine, a cabernet sauvignon/syrah/mourvedre blend, which, let’s face it, we were too deep into our food comas to really take much note of.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening, full of delicious food, good wine, and wonderful company. To cap it off, the entire extravagance was a modest $65 a head. If you live in or are planning a visit to Seattle, I would certainly recommend ringing up Bricco (ask for Karen, she’ll sort you out) to see when they’re next special dinner will be. Or just go for happy hour and stuff yourself on Salumi and cheese.

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