Friday, April 11, 2008


2207 2nd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98121

Michael at Herbivoracious had the great idea to propose a restaurant to Seattle food bloggers, then post a conglomeration of accounts after the visits were done. He chose Txori (pronounced CHO-ree), a Spanish tapas bar in Belltown.

A quick look at the menu on the Txori website ahead of time didn't leave me much hope for anything beyond olives and almonds, as the vegetarian items (and there were a handful) mostly included items my particular tastes don't tend to fancy: eggs, strong or non-cow cheeses, and mushrooms. The drink list looked delicious though- homemade sangria, all sorts of sparkling lemonade+alcoholic addition drinks, unusual cocktails.

I wasn't sure how to approach Txori, but given the menu perusal decided it best to go not-too-hungry but ready for a drink. I ended up taking the trip with an old friend visiting from out of town, and the slow pace of the food delivery (one plate at a time) was perfect for catching up with him.

I ordered a Cava Manzana Verde... a cocktail made absolutely alluring with the inclusion of arbequina olive oil. It also included cava (the Spanish sparkling wine, not kava, the west pacific intoxicant), and green apple puree. I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn't be sugar-y neon, and was happy to find it to be both opaque from puree, and quite tart with the flavor of real apples. The beads of olive oil floating on top smoothed onto my tongue and mellowed the acidity of the rest of the drink.
First to the table was Pera a la Plancha con ValdeĆ³n (~$3.00 pintxos size (about 2-3 bites)). It consisted of a slice of toast with a pool of melted blue cheese, grilled pear slices and a topping of a couple whole walnuts. It was described by my dining partner as a more delicate and delicious version of the same appetizer he makes at home.
I was really excited to see the presence of two additional vegetarian dishes that weren't listed on the website, and I ordered them both.

The first of these was Garbanzo Beans with Spinach, a regular menu addition. They fell into the "Raciones" category, which meant ~$6 and enough to share between a few people. They were absolutely delicious... coated in spices and oil and cooked a second time (pan fried? broiled?) such that they were nutty and browned. They were mixed in with bites of tender steamed spinach.
My other dish was a chalkboard special, cauliflower, also in Racione portion. It arrived a pretty pile of florettes charred at the peaks, one of my all time favorite preparations. Beneath it was a pool of olive oil so rich I wondered if perhaps it was part butter. The first bite was an exquisite mix of tenderness and flavour. The second bite melted in my mouth. By the third bite, my dining companion noted that the florettes seemed a bit like sponges soaked in fat, and thus it was I who finished the remainder of the plate.
The food was all delicious, but a bit on the rich and salty side. Makes me wonder if perhaps the dishes I ordered were meant to be eaten in smaller portions than I ate them in. I more or less ate the entire contents of both Racione dishes, and probably wouldn't have noticed the salt or the fat so much if I had shared more and eaten less. I'd be tempted to re-visit under the premise of drinking and hanging out accompanied by accents of luxurious food, rather than as a semi-attempt at dinner.

There was plenty for a vegetarian to nibble on, especially if you like sheep cheese and eggs.

Txori Bar in Seattle

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