I can’t imagine a more impressive beginning of my first trip to the stunning city of Seattle. I think I could live here. Of course, when the first night means staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, how could I not love it? After being picked up at the airport, my daughter Kristina and I stepped out of the car to be greeted by the lovely, smiling face of Alana Jackson, who beamed with obvious pride for her hotel. She couldn’t wait to get us checked in and within minutes, off to our first adventure.
We only had time to drop off our bags, but had to stay a few minutes to take in the room and the view.
Waiting on the table for “Ms. Vanni and Ms. Vanni,” was a beautiful fruit bowl and a chocolate work of art, from the aptly named hotel restaurant “Art.” Chef Jelle Vandenbroucke welcomed us to Seattle and the restaurant. The little fish you see are chocolate, as are the little “rocks” which sit upon a blonde brownie, all encased in a chocolate basket. After taking a couple bites of chocolate, we proceeded downstairs to meet Chef Jelle. This very sweet man and amazing chef (as you will see) walked us a few short steps to the Pike Place Public Market.
I felt like a kid in a candy store. What a place!! Add having a chef as a tour guide and you can imagine the excitement.
Kristina shopping with the chef
One of the chef’s favorite ingredients was sea beans. I have never seen or had them before. In the photo they look like regular green beans, but they are actually very small. The beans are named because they grow in sea water. Since they are naturally salty, they don’t need any added salt when cooked, and they taste wonderful. I wish I could find them in the Chicago area, but they are not readily available.
Chef Jelle showed us around for awhile showing us some of his favorite items and a little history about the market. We had a fabulous time with him, but had no idea of what was to come for our dinner that evening at “Art,” the restaurant in the Four Seasons.
The elegant restaurant comes with a stunning view of Puget Sound and the newest Seattle attraction, “The Seattle Great Wheel,” a Ferris wheel right near the market. The debut of the wheel would not happen for several days, but we could see the workers testing it as curious onlookers passed by.
We were lucky to be part of “Organic Wednesday,” where all the offerings are local and organic, many coming from the Public Market.
We munched on some beautiful bread and homemade butters while watching the wheel take practice spins.
The first course arrived: a plate of oysters with two kinds of vinegar: apple fennel and grapefruit tarragon.
Next was the cool and refreshing Dungeness Crab Cucumber Roll.
A warm and comforting risotto with peas and porcini mushrooms followed.
We anxiously awaited the next course because we knew it would be Copper River salmon served with the sea beans we saw at the market. The salmon was served with spiced-up mashed potatoes from a special mix made in the restaurant kitchen.
I forgot to mention that with each course, we were served incredible specialty wines from Washington and Oregon, paired perfectly with the food. (Sorry to my friend, Madonna who writes a wine blog. I know she would love to know the specifics!)
After this incredible feast, you would think nothing could top it. Think again. Remember the “Big Wheel” outside of our window? To commemorate the opening, the restaurant offered a “Ferris Cool Spin” dessert. The “cool spin” was a block of ice to resemble the wheel, and a carnival theme came alongside, with mini elephant ears, deep-fried peanut butter cup ice cream, and to top it all, two airy bunches of homemade strawberry cotton candy! I can tell you, it was a sight to behold. When the waiter carried it in and walked to our table, every head in the restaurant turned to look. I have never seen anything like it. It was a work of art.
The photo cannot capture how huge this dessert was, or even its delightful whimsical nature. Not only that, it all tasted divine.
Mini Elephant Ears
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Kristina’s favorite was the strawberry cotton candy!
Chef Jelle came out from the kitchen to see how we liked the dinner and dessert. We told him we couldn’t wait to return someday. And we will.
If you can believe it, the dessert offering was not over yet. Next came a Lemon Meyer Cheesecake Pavlova with Fresh Ginger Granite.
We thought that was it, but then came the last of the sweets. A ceramic cupcake with a few little treats to take to our room – fruit and cookies. Yeah, like we could even move!
Our first day and night in Seattle proved to be more than we could have hoped for. Now it was time to relax in our gorgeous and comfortable room, take a shower in what looked like a small room all its own with multiple shower heads, and wrap up in the warm robes and slippers. Ah, but then we got a little distracted by what was on the 4th floor. How could we not sit down and enjoy the view one more time.
The warm fire pit beckoned us. It was a chilly night.
The Infinity Pool looked very inviting. See the wheel out near the water?
Kristina and I sat in some comfy chairs, just gazing out onto the water for a long time, and appreciating the warmth of the fire pit. In fact, someone came and told us it was closing time. We went from one marvelous place to another, and settled down for the night in our room, which was really like an apartment. Four Seasons – you really know how to make your guests feel special and welcome. We feel asleep happy and dreaming about the next day – exploring more of Pike Place. Wait until you see those photos!! See you tomorrow.