Last weekend, I had the chance to visit RN74 Seattle, the second location of the popular wine bar and restaurant in San Francisco. Nearly two years have passed since its Pacific Northwest debut, and the French-inspired cuisine was on par with the exceptional quality that I've come to expect from the Mina Group.
With Chef Seis Kamimura at the helm, we were in great hands. We chose the monthly tasting menu ($85) as well as a sampling of dishes from the regular menu. I started with the Chilled Shellfish Plateau, a gorgeous melange of crab, prawn, sea urchin, and geoduck. Dressed in bright lemon oil and watercress, it was a sumptuous start to a decadent meal. The prawn's flesh was especially plump and bouncy, attesting to its über freshness.
Sweet and deliciously meaty, the Pan Seared Scallops were paired with roasted cauliflower, smoked almonds, and a raisin and caper emulsion. The capers were a great contrast, adding a textured tanginess to the palate.
The Quinault River Steelhead Trout was seared to absolute perfection — crispy skin on top, buttery flesh underneath.
The Wild Alaskan Black Cod received the same expert treatment. Surrounded by mushrooms, shrimp dumplings, and baby bok choy, the delicate flesh was bathed in a umami-filled dashi broth.
Another favorite, the Pan-Seared Hare Rillettes with fried quail egg, pickled vegetables and pear compote, reminded me of idyllic picnics in France. The non-stop decadence continued with the wildly popular Hudson Valley Foie Gras Sliders. These alone were totally worth the price of admission.
Poached in duck fat, the Wild Boar Tenderloin arrived with black garlic, walnut purée, Brussels sprouts and baby potatoes. Like pulled pork, the tender meat fell apart nicely and was not gamey at all.
The Roasted Duck Breast with baby turnips, dates and Swiss chard was so moist and flavorful. As if that wasn't enough to stuff us, it came with a hearty serving of foie gras and duck confit spaetzle.
To finish, the artful Chèvre Cheesecake was a deconstructed version of an American classic. Mascarpone cheese was folded into the goat cheese, while apple cider sorbet served as a refreshing foil.
A proud nod to the local food community, the Deep Fried Apple Pie featured Washington apples. Accompanied by Beecher's Cheddar Ice Cream and Oola Bourbon caramel, it was a modern twist on another quintessential American dessert. The cheddar lent a slightly savory depth to the ice cream while the pie pastry comforted with a deep, satisfying crisp. Pastry Chef Kim Mahar has truly outdone herself with this creation.
The decor is quite similar to the SF location. They also have a second version of their Last Bottle Board, a train station-style board listing the last available wine bottles of the day. The warm and lively ambiance made me feel quite at home, so the next time I'm craving a touch of San Francisco, I know exactly where to go — back to RN74 Seattle.
All images copyright 2013 Giovanni Nakpil & feteafete.com.
For editorial consideration, a media visit was provided by the brand's PR representative.