Saturday, November 8, 2008

Best of Seattle Restaurants – 2008 – Rover’s Tops in 5 categories

Restaurant: Rovers
Location: Seattle Wa.

We have selected Rover’s as top’s in 5 categories – Top New French, Top Vegetarian, and Top Tasting Menu, Top Gourmet Lunch. Tied for Top Food
Thierry Rautureau – Master Chef, James Beard Award Winner, Mobil Travel Guide 4 start winner, Zagat 28 Food Rating, Open Table best in several categories… I could go on. This is a mature chef with a mature restaurant that never fails to deliver. The foodie Family eats here several times a year for Friday Lunch, Specially priced periodic 3 and 4 course dinners (a nice one going on in November for $45), Christmas Season Family gatherings, and to celebrate special events with friends. It is close as you are going to get to being at those great gourmet restaurants in France without leaving Seattle.
Top New French: Rover’s is literally a National Treasure in Seattle – People from around the country and around the world eat at Rover’s when they are in town. It has a reputation in the culinary world that insures a constant supply of eager, talented externs, and staff of all types. The ambiance, food, presentation, service, wine, and hospitality at this Madison landmark are consistently on a par with any 2 Michelin star restaurants in France – and that is a big compliment.
Top Tasting Menu: Rover’s offers several versions of their tasting menu – the 8 course Grand Menu Degustation for $130, the 5 course Menu for $95, or the 5 course Vegetarian menu Degustation for $80. Each of these also includes 3 additional mini courses of an Amuse-Bouche, a sorbet and Mignardises. You can also order ala carte or substitute items on the evenings tasting menus. The serving sizes are proportioned to offer just the right amount of food to truly savor each taste and flavor while not leaving stuffed. Wine parings for each menu are available, or you can order from a wonderful wine list with many very affordable choices by the glass, half bottle, or bottle given the high end nature of the menu. Runners up are Chez Shea, and Crush.
Top Vegetarian: Our vegetarian friends are always asking the Foodie Family where to find the best gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant. Look no further, Rovers vegetarian Menu is so good all of the carnivorous Foodie Family members have a hard time resisting it. If it wasn’t for my love of Foie Gras I might be a convert. Runner up Preets
Top Gourmet Lunch: On Fridays Only Rovers is open for Lunch. They have a 3 course menu for $35 and portion sizes that make it a very nice, satisfying gourmet experience. Consider also a nice glass of wine and perhaps a cheese course. One of the true pleasures of life that we learned in France is the leisurely high end, tasting menu Lunch. At a restaurant of Rover’s caliber in France this lunch would cost lot’s more than the $35 rover’s charges. Also you can order off the menu most of the items available in the evening and keep the price for 4 courses under $40 pretty easily. Of course with drink, taxes and tip this is a $50 lunch each at least. Runner up (nice but not gourmet) is Dahlia Lounge.
Top Food: Rovers tied with 3 other outstanding restaurants for Top Food. Why? Well, each of these restaurants meets the following criteria: consistent excellence in food, Top in a Fine Dining Category, and run by Chef/Owners who are in the Kitchen. We recently had the opportunity to eat at Thomas Keller’s per se in NYC, one of the top restaurants in the world, and the food was exquisite. While Rover’s range of offerings is smaller the food quality and presentation are just as good – that is about the highest compliment we can give a restaurant. Our other 3 winners in this category are Crush, CafĂ© Juanita, and Lark – all James Beard winners or finalists by the way.

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