Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
Los Angeles, California
October 12, 2006
From journal Salivating in Seattle
New York, New York
October 8, 2003
Forget, too, the pared-down aesthetic of even the "nice" vegetarian destination restaurants, like Greens and Millennium in San Francisco or Zen Palate and Hangawi in New York. Those restaurants make it seem as if baby turnips and micro greens and seitan couldn’t possibly be taken seriously in a traditional (read: continental) fine-dining atmosphere.
Enter Rover’s. Although not a vegetarian restaurant by any means, this Madison Park retreat dispels any long-held notions that an herbivore in a French restaurant will get the all-too-familiar vegetable plate indecorously dropped in front of her. I’ve had that vegetable plate--usually discrete little piles of sautéed mushrooms, sliced carrots, and so on-—far too often, usually to the utter dismay of my hosts, who were entirely too trusting when the staff assured them that "of course we can accommodate vegetarians!" Never mind that this plate o’ rabbit food usually costs as much as a meal of bunny rabbit itself.
But I digress: back to Rover’s, arguably the finest vegetarian option in Seattle. Vegetarians get their own five-course tasting menu, and even vegans are eagerly accommodated with advance notice. Chef Thierry Rautureau mentioned this feat himself when he stopped by our table, as did our waitress--it’s as if the staff considers special dietary requests a personal challenge.
On the night we visited, the vegetarian menu ($80) featured baby beet salad with tomato confit; baby turnip, carrot, and spinach tartlet with aged goat-cheese sauce; flan of shiitake, oyster mushroom, and peas; artichoke and red-onion compote with fava beans and onion jus; and a "symphony of desserts." I won’t bother going into detail since the menu changes dramatically from season to season, but suffice it to say that everything was intricately assembled, delicately flavored, and aesthetically delightful.
Incidentally, meat-eaters will be ecstatic here, too. The grand menu degustation, which costs a whopping $125, featured such dishes as scrambled egg with lime crème fraiche and white sturgeon caviar; seared Hudson Valley foie gras with apricot confit; and Bainbridge Island lamb. A cheaper tasting menu is available for $90.
Although the atmosphere at Rover’s is definitely more formal than what you’ll find in most Seattle restaurants, it’s still a comfortable special occasion setting for all types--every party I saw seemed at ease, from the two guys in pleated Dockers and polos to the impeccably dressed older couple in three-piece suit and evening gown to the tacky family outfitted in sequined tube tops, hot-pink pashmina, and the like. At the end of the evening, "The Chef in the Hat," as Rautureau likes to call himself, circulated the room to personally introduce himself to diners, shaking hands and lifting babies like a politician running for office.
From journal Veg-Friendly Seattle