Monday, July 23, 2012

TASTE IT: Flat Iron Grill

Now, I meant Thursday entries to be more about things I make or grow, as opposed to things I eat out. But I ate things so terrific yesterday, my tastebuds command me to tell you now about the Flat Iron Grill. It's in Issaquah. I know. Issy. But completely worth it.

Cory and I went there meaning to introduce Cory to whiskey, since he's more of a sake and vodka devotee, and it's time he got introduced to one of my favorite kinds of hard liquor. What I thought would be a casual little tasting bloomed into an out-and-out feast, however, starting after I snuck up on Cory, who was already talking to another patron (about thermodynamics, I believe.) The Flat Iron is that kind of place, casually classy, but informal enough to break into your neighbor's conversations. Plus, it has an entire WHISKEY LIBRARY!

We'd made reservations and were going to sit in the large main hall....but the small bar lounge, upholstered in faux cowhide, just looked too cozy. It took us a while to make up our minds, but we did it, ordering the World Flight of whiskeys (representing Scotland with Abelour 16 year, Ireland with Red Breast 12 year, and Japan with, I believe, Hibiki), plus one of our local distillery offerings, Woodinville Headlong.



Cody also hadn't tried carpaccio, so it was time to try that. It came out with a stack of bread, and it wasn't the usual raw, melting flesh of traditional carpaccio. Instead, it has been lightly brined, giving it a tingle on the tongue that paired well with the whiskeys.

Though I drink it myself, I won't venture to comment on the whiskeys in detail, save to notice that Headlong was a young pour, coming on well, but lacking the punch I savor in a good whiskey. Our bar-tender expects they'll be at the top of their game in another 2-4 years, when their whiskeys have had the proper time to age. No foul in our book though--I'll plan a Woodinville distillery tour soon to check out what else they offer.

The other whiskeys were what we wanted: varied, full-bodied, and complex enough to get us through the carpaccio and on to a side dish of cauliflower and white cheddar. This latter dish, it turns out, cannot be more highly recommended. Just the right amount of cheese. Just the right tenderness in the cauliflower. We made a whiskey-pact to order it again.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-P5R5Xmqa35k/TzMQhoanAiI/AAAAAAAABYo/PB6z9KVq7Z8/s1600/cheddar-cauliflower-mustard-web1.jpg  I didn't think to get my own shot, but this is close.


And then we ordered the 10-oz Flat Iron steak, which came riding on goat cheese polenta, enrobed in a taut, pungent chimichurri sauce. At this point, as we were closing in on the bottoms of our whiskey glasses, the bar-tender treated us to a us to a complimentary pour of Ballantine. 

You'd think we'd be done by now. We weren't. 

We finished by sharing a tumbler of Four Roses (rich, deep), and the olive oil creme brulee. THEN we were done. But you shouldn't be -- you should go there the very next time you want intimate, delicious dining with great service and all the whiskey you could ever want at your fingertips.

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