(Ed Note: Wallyhood welcome Tara Richards to the writing crew. Tara is a native Seattleite (by way of the Eastside), a UW grad, and mom to Theo. She and her husband, Donovan, love to explore the city through its best restaurants and are constantly striving to try new things together. Tara works for a major retailer by day and as a freelance writer/copy editor by night.)
After the birth of our first child three months ago, my wannabe foodie husband and I don’t get out much anymore. We had a long list of restaurants we wanted to visit, but could only choose one for our first night out sans baby. Ethan Stowell’s Mkt. (pronounced “Market”) in Tangletown’s historic Keystone Building was at the top of our list and close to home, so it didn’t take long for us to make our reservation.
The setting is tiny and intimate, at 600 square feet with only 28 seats, and a small open kitchen. My husband and I were seated at the Chef’s Counter, which allowed us to watch the action in the kitchen and chit-chat with one of the friendly chefs. We were struck by how smoothly and quietly the kitchen ran in such a busy establishment; it was almost like a dance. You could tell the staff were experienced and knew what they were doing.
We started with drinks: sparkling wine for me and a bourbon cocktail for my husband. Mkt. stays consistent with Stowell’s “family-style” approach to serving, so we knew we’d be sharing our food. It was hard to choose with so many enticing options, but we finally agreed upon a few items. We landed on squash and zucchini fritters, fried quail with rhubarb sauce, seared sea scallops atop white beans and smoked ham, and sweet potato gnocchi with smoked mushrooms.
Each dish was absolutely delicious, but the presentation was equally impressive.
And it wouldn’t be date night without dessert. We chose a chocolate budino and a raspberry sorbet with salted vanilla shortbread cookies. Both were to-die-for, but I could have eaten twenty of those cookies.
The host and waitstaff were excellent and attentive, checking in consistently to refill water and make sure we were satisfied, which we always were.
My husband and I would probably consider ourselves to be Ethan Stowell superfans, and Mkt. lived up to his name. It was a perfect night out with the best meal we’ve had in a long time.
You can also find Ethan Stowell restaurants represented at the Wallingford Farmer’s Market at Meridian Park (4649 Sunnyside Ave N) from 3:30pm to 7:00pm every Wednesday through the end of September. Check their Facebook and Twitter feeds for more details.