The Hot Sheet

What's in, what's fresh, what's cooking.

ON THE PLATE Watertown Pushing the envelope of bar cuisine, the Seattle Center-side watering hole offers hearty pre- and postgame foods, including a grilled yellowfin tuna sandwich with wasabi mayo ($8.75), a rosemary chicken sandwich on focaccia bread with aﯬi dressing, and mild chili-sauced coconut prawns with a side of peanut slaw ($8 or $15). Don't overlook the besotes calientes—bacon-robed, cheese-stuffed jalape�with cilantro-lime dipping sauce ($9). 106 First N. (off Denny), 284-5003. Au Bouchon New name, new cuisine, same location, same chef: The formerly Spanish-accented La Bodega now features the French equivalent of comfort food: lunch specialties like versions of croque monsieur and madame sandwiches (the former $7; the latter, with egg, $8; vegetarian, with portobello mushrooms, $8), an onion tart ($6), a country p⴩ sandwich baguette with greens ($7), and dinner specials like wine-braised chicken in mushroom sauce ($14), pork loin with a tomato-cheese filling ($14), and veal cutlet stuffed with ham and Swiss ($15). Wallingford Center (1814 N. 45th) 547-5791. IN THE GLASS L'Ecole No. 41 new releases The winery named after a little Walla Walla schoolhouse presents its latest bottlings, among them the '00 editions of its justly famous Columbia Valley and Fries Vineyard semillons ($15 and $22, respectively), and (in limited quantities) their '99 cabernet sauvignon ($30) and "Apogee" red (around $38) made with grapes from the Papper Bridge vineyard. AT THE MARKET Fabulous ethnic flavors prevail at Pike Place during the holidays; it's not too late to pick up an Italian panettone at DeLaurenti's, or a German Stollen at Bavarian Meats, or a sweet braided kringele at Piroshky Piroshky. If you're up to making your own empanadas, El Mercado Latino's got the ingredients. And who can resist the attraction of lutefisk at Pike Place Fish? THIS WEEK Dec. 31 Two different New Year's Eve menus at the two Szmania's: At the Magnolia restaurant, main dishes include stuffed breast of pheasant and sablefish marinated in maple syrup and sake; on the Eastside, there's grilled swordfish and beef Wellington. Call restaurants for details. 3321 W. McGraw, 285-7305; 148 Lake Street S., Kirkland, 425-803-3310. Dec. 31 A Thai-style New Year celebration, featuring a special three-course menu with a choice of seasonal dishes, at Toi. 6 p.m. dinner-only seating, $40; 8 p.m. seating with live entertainment, $75. 1904 Fourth, 267-1017. COMING UP Jan. 10 For the first FareStart banquet of the new year (and FareStart's 10th season), chef Byron Schult of Salty's on Alki serves seared sea scallops in a port wine-chestnut pur饠and a vanilla-scented roulade of salmon and lobster. $16.95; seatings 5:30-7:45 p.m. 1902 Second, 443-1233 ext. 10. Jan. 19 Mark your calendar for the grand opening of La Tienda Cadiz, a Mediterranean delicatessen and specialty-foods market that is the latest inspiration of Danielle Philippa, proprietor of the restaurants Tango and Bandoleone. The shop will be at 350 15th Avenue E. (corner of Harrison). Hot, hot heat-type news? Write Hot Sheet @

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