I HAD a rule that I would not write about a restaurant until I had visited at least twice and I’ve broken my writing rule twice. First for Muselet and now for Taylor Railworks. Oh well. Rules were made to be broken!
I’ve been wanting to dine at TRW for a little while now and after finding myself at sixes and sevens, I decided to make a reservation tonight for dinner. I arrived and decided to sit at the bar facing the kitchen. It’s the best and most interesting seat in the house.
Watching Erik Van Kley in the kitchen is like watching a dance. He is quiet, controlled and aware of everything around him. At one point in the service, he reminded me of Russell Wilson, who when he couldn’t find someone to catch his pass, ran toward the goal for a touchdown. The one time there was no runner, he ran the food out. I think that speaks volumes for his care for the customer and of the food.
This might be the biggest fish I’ve seen in a while. He handled it like the boss he is.
While I was perusing the menu, I was served spicy popcorn, which was no joke. I almost asked if I could take a bag to go, but was distracted by all of the goings-on around me.
I started with “The Boxer”, yellow-tail, pluot, trout roe, serrano chilies and ponzu. I smiled the entire time I was eating this dish. The yellow-tail was fresh and I loved the combination, especially the serrano chilies and ponzu. The roe was really fun; I love it when it bursts on my tongue. So much fun this dish.
I then had the gioia burrata with grilled peaches and spiced macadamia nuts. I think they should sell the nuts on the side; they are fantastic little bites of spicy numminess. I need to find out where the burrata came from; it was silky, smooth and creamy. I think that when fruit is grilled, it adds depth to a dish and it did with this. Such a wonderful combination.
Did I mention I loved my seat?
For my third option, I asked for a recommendation and although I didn’t know it at the time, Gabriella, Erik’s partner in crime suggested that I have the miso-cured black cod. I love putting my meal into the hands of a chef because I can never go wrong. Please try it; you will not regret it! The fish was buttery soft and the poblano puree and blistered padron peppers provided a nice contrast. I never tire of spicy, smooth combinations. This one was absolutely lovely.
Because I couldn’t decide, I ordered (and ate) two desserts. Chef was kind and reduced the size of the blackberry sorbet with cream and fresh blackberries. The pistachio cookies were so flipping good; I need to have the recipe. The blackberries were fresh, summery and sweet. There is a significant difference between local and not-local ingredients. We are so lucky to live here in the Pacific Northwest!
Did I mention that I loved my seat? I had so much fun watching the chefs. They worked very well together and were attentive and responsive to everything. It was impressive to see great teamwork in action.
When I see “fritters” or “beignets” on the menu, chances are pretty high that I’ll order them, especially if they are an unusual combination AND don’t have chocolate. The green apple and ricotta fritters were deep fried nuggets of “hello, I might be in heaven.” I ate every bite. Yes, ate all of them and I don’t regret it at all. The ricotta was such a fun surprise; the fritters were moist and absolutely delicious.
I’ve eaten at several restaurants in the city and it’s not often that everything comes together. At Taylor Railworks, the service from the beginning to the end was on point and the food was fantastic. Being proactive and observant are essential skills for managing the front of the house and kitchen. Chef Erik and Gabriella successfully demonstrated these skills.
Thank you for a beautiful dining experience!