365 Days – Bis on Main

A mere 365 days after the first dinner…another journey to a series of European dishes.

The starter. Potato Crusted Goat Cheese : Olive tapenade, red pepper relish, pickled onions, crostini.

The salad. Arugula Salad: Bleut de chevre, pecans & Champagne vinaigrette.

And for the entree round. 

Mine :: Potato Gnocchi : Oven dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and Grana Padana .

His :: Shellfish & Saffron Risotto : Arborio rice with saffron, prawns, scallops, mussels & clams.

Followed by dessert…not to be shared!

Mine :: Berry Lemon Tarte : Fresh berries, strawberry coulis and whipped cream.

His :: Pecan Pie : Tony’s secret recipe served with fresh whipped cream ((please substitute bourbon ice cream))

All accompanied by:

  • An amazing bottle of wine — Reynvaan * 2009 * The Untamed Syrah — an ode to Walla Walla Winemaker’s Dinner that didn’t happen. Redeemed tonight.
  • A box of roses arriving at the table.
  • Fabulous conversation and reminiscing of “best” and “favorites” and “must be repeated” and what else we want to share to find new “bests”, “favorites” and “repeats”.
The Untamed Syrah deserves a little more than a bullet point. A smokey taste from start to finish. And some chocolate hints. Long, long finish. Delicious with every course. The winemaker notes “The Unnamed Syrah is loaded with aromas of peach, tangerine, wild blackberry, smoke and hints of lavender and a trace of caramel. This elegant wine is created to be enjoyed in its youth but will evolve over the next 7-8 years.”

The location:

10213 Main St | Bellevue, WA 98004 | 425.455.2033 | Website

Salt-Roasted Branzino

This Michael Chiarello recipe has been on my list for months. Every time I think about making it, I can’t find the right fish! I just needed “the best white-fleshed fish in the market”. Sounds easy enough. A snapper, or sea bass. Maybe bream. Today we found a snapper.

The recipe is detailed. I will share the highlights here.


  • 1 whole fish, about 14 inches long, 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus 5 lemons halved
  • Sea salt, prefer gray
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 6 pounds kosher salt
  • 6 cups water, more as needed

Preheat oven to 500. Clean fish, run under cold water and pat dry. Layer sliced lemons inside the fish, overlapping them. Season inside and out with pepper, salt and olive oil.

Pour salt in a large bowl, add water one cup at a time. Mix (like you are prepping sand for a sand castle, fluff like snow). In 9×13 pan, layer the fluff salt. Place fish on top. Cover the fish with remaining salt, press in place with hands. Place the lemons in the pan, drizzle again with olive oil. Roast 20 minutes or until the thermometer reads 140. Break open the salt…enjoy! (Chef Chirarello’s suggests champagne).

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