The RN74 Seattle Loire Valley March Tasting Menu is not a menu – it’s a force of nature.
At $85 per person, and an additional $39 for a Washington wine pairing ($47 for Loire), most people are going to be seriously uncertain about purchasing this. And that’s reasonable. Honestly, I wish it was treated as a meal for two – the portions aren’t enormous, but I would have gladly shared it.
It’s the kind of meal where you want to spend 2-3 hours at a restaurant, relaxing between portions, because you want to have your appetite alert for each course. I had about an hour and a half, and thankfully got distracted between plates by Chefs Seis Kamimura and Kim Mahar telling me all the fantastic details in the menu. And they are so excited and proud of their newest creations; the feeling is infectious.
I can tell you what you expect to hear: there’s geoduck, boar, hare, crab. There’s perfectly cooked boar, wrapped with prosciutto and juicy to the touch, with an earthy black garlic and walnut puree. Cheesecake made with chevre imported from France, incredibly soft puffs on delicate almond joconde bases next to a scoop of bright green apple sherbet for that hint of acid. Sous-vide cooking makes an appearance to create a butter-poached prawn soft as velvet on the tongue.
That’s not what I want to tell you about. Instead, know that these dishes are painstaking labors of love, with respect to the season and available produce. Carrots and cauliflower are pickled, ver jus is applied, and the cheesecake has compressed granny smith apples, a nod to the end of our winter fruits. There are surprises, too – the potatoes that came with the boar were some of the best I’ve ever had, almost creamy in their skins. The pear compote, with both dried and fresh pears, has multiple layers of texture and sweetness. Three types of preparation of geoduck, showcasing subtle changes in flavor with each bite. And it is all plated with the exacting standards of a military drill sergeant with aspirations for high art.
This menu feels like a seriously controlled burst of energy, a culinary proposal for the beginning of spring. I’m definitely feeling the love, and sadly it’s only available until the end of March.
I’d highly suggest making reservations, so visit RN74′s website for more information.
Loire Valley March Tasting Menu
Chilled Shellfish Plateau
Crab, prawn, urchin, geoduck, lemon oil, watercress
Quinault River Steelhead Trout
Toasted hazelnuts, root vegetable purée, verjus
Pan-Seared Hare Rilletes
Fried quail egg, pickled vegetables, pear compote
Prosciutto Wrapped Wild Boar Tenderloin
Black garlic & walnut purée, brussels sprouts, potato
Pistachio streusel, green apple sherbet