This past Saturday the whole Wallyhood family trooped over to Sutra (1605 N 45th St, 206-547-1348) for a special meal. Not special because we were eating out with a 4 month old (though we caution you not to underestimate the specialness of that), but special because it gave us another opportunity to see what great chefs can do with our honey.
As you may remember, we keep two hives of bees in our backyard here in Wallingford, and we recently gave some to Molly Moon’s, whose chief ice cream maker Nick Coffey mixed it into their Honey Lavender. Well, on our same trip to drop off a gallon at MM’s, we stopped across the street and dropped off a gallon at Sutra, and they’ve been using it ever since.
Sutra, if you haven’t been, is a Wallingford original and a delight. Run with a loving touch by Colin, Amber, Aaron and Jan (two of whom live conveniently in the house just behind the restaurant), it’s as much an experience as a meal.
With only a single seating (6:30 pm ) on Wednesday and Thursday, and two seatings (6:30 pm and 9:30 pm) Fridays and Saturdays, reservations are strongly recommended. They regularly fill up.
The menu is prix-fixe: four courses, perhaps an option for the main, but usually the whole meal is set for you. All the food is “the good kind” of vegetarian: inventive, flavorful, filling and original, and there is a strong emphasis on locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients. The menu changes every week, depending on what’s in season, but, to give you a sense, our third course was: “Black Forbidden Rice Risotto Cakes with Spicy Jerusalem Artichoke Truffle Puree and Wild Foraged Nettle Tea Infused French Green Lentils, Grilled Watercress and Toasted Pecans”.
On this trip, though, our meal was spent in anticipation of the dessert: “Theo’s chocolate Avocado Torte with a Toasted Almond Fig Crust and a Raspberry Vanilla Bean Glaze”…sweetened with Hive Mind Honey. There’s really something transcendent about working for so long, tending our hives, extracting the honey, and then tasting it transformed into something so delicate, rich and smooth.
A word of warning for the woo-phobic: there’s a bit of it. The meal begins with a gong and something of an invocation, and the space is tight, so you may end up sharing your table. It’s part of the experience, though, to be savored with the rest of the meal. If you can’t take it, Dick’s Drive-In is gong-free and down the street.
In another delightful turn, the chef from Tom Douglas‘ restaurants (includes Dahlia Lounge) had come in the previous week and they had given him a taste of our 2007 and 2008 honeys. We got an e-mail from them last week, and now it looks like there’s another restaurant that will be serving it soon!