Notes from the Road

October 14, 2015


I’m living in a whirlwind, different city every day, endless airports…. It’s the modern media experience known as booktour. This one had been both exhilarating and exhausting, and I apologize for not posting more frequently.

At the moment I’m in Portland – and about to dash off to do a reading at Powell’s. But I’ve finally got five spare minutes, so I thought I’d try to note a few of the highlights of the past few weeks.  Best moment?  No contest, it’s the tattoo above, on the leg of a fan who came to see me at Book Larder.



Other Seattle highlights:  The geoduck, above, at Taylor’s seafood.  Both neck and belly – and always a treat.



The spectacularly delicious roasted tomato soup with crisped bread and poached eggs at Stoneburner.  I don’t understand why this understated, market-driven restaurant, beloved in Seattle, does not have more of a national profile. When I ran into members of the James Beard restaurant committee, which happened to be meeting in Seattle and staying in my hotel (The Alexis), not one of them mentioned Stoneburner as a must-go-to place.  And in my opinion, it is.

And then, the truly wonderful dinner Renee Erickson made to celebrate my book at The Walrus and the Carpenter. I was too busy chatting up the guests to take a single picture, but it’s one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.

Portland highlights?  Dinner at Coquine – where we had one of the most fragrant and subtle soups I’ve ever experienced.  Really. Its haunting flavor drifted through my dreams last night. IMG_6712

The main theme was matsutake (they’re everywhere in the Northwest at the moment), with pear – a brilliant combination.  Just the right note of sweet crunch.  But what made this memorable were little pearls of finger lime, adding tiny, tantalizing citric pops with each spoonful of soup. Music in the mouth.

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