The Hot Sheet

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

ON THE PLATE The Barking Frog Looking for fine dining in Woodinville without making reservations three months in advance? Drop in at Willows Lodge, where chef Tom Black puts a sophisticated Northwest spin on favorite ingredients like seared ahi in soy emulsion with Yukon Gold r� (Swiss for hash browns, $15), saut饤 prawns with a dash of Grand Marnier in a lemon grass vinaigrette ($15), or buttermilk-fried quail ($14). And that's just for appetizers. 14300 N.E. 145th, Woodinville (at Columbia Winery), 425-424-2999. Cassis A round of unusual main dishes on the March menu: mustard-glazed slow-roasted pork shank with a side of white spring asparagus ($24); ravioli stuffed with ground veal and chard in gremolata dressing ($18); and, for a real down-home bistro touch, pan-fried calf brains in brown butter ($18). And have you checked out that house-made chocolate marquise with white chocolate ice cream and pistachios ($8)? 2359 10th E., 329-0580. 25 FOR $25 The Painted Table Three courses featuring Washington-grown and house-generated components: chopped endive and Fuji apple salad with Oregon blue cheese and walnuts; pan-roasted Washington-grown chicken with butternut squash and braised Savoy cabbage; and the restaurant's transfiguration of the humble campfire s'more: warm chocolate cake in graham-flour crust topped with a vanilla bean-flavored meringue. $25 per person during the 25 for $25 promotion, that is, March. 1007 First (in the Alexis Hotel), 624-3646. IN THE GLASS Claar Cellars Rieslings Double gold medal winners in Wine Press Northwest's survey of Northwest prize-winners in competitive tastings round the world, the winery's '00 Johannisberg riesling and late-harvest riesling sell for an amazing $8 or so a bottle—if you can find them: Check your nearest specialty store. If they're out, be patient: The '01 Claar rieslings should be available by mid-April. AT THE MARKET The brief Washington state razor clam season is under way; get your gorgeous slender bivalves now before the beaches close again for another year. Pure Food Fish in Pike Place has 'em. And take note that the Alaska halibut season opens Monday; you should be seeing the first opalescent slabs in the Market by Wednesday. Thick juicy asparagus from California's Victoria Island Farms (now at Frank's Produce) will do just fine for a side dish until local spears start pushing up. CELEBRATING WASHINGTON WINE MONTH March 23 Drink or dine on Seattle's waterfront and chat with legendary winemaker Bob Betz, available for counsel, conversation, and offerings of selections from his family winery's latest releases. Waterfront Seafood Grill, Pier 70, 6-9 p.m. 956-9171. March 26 Taste some of Washington's finest recent premium wine releases (from L'Ecole no. 41, Chinook, McCrea, DeLille, and others) and meet the makers while savoring complementary appetizers devised by chef Kris Jones. $45. 6-8 p.m. in the Bayshore Room, Yarrow Bay Grill, 1270 Carillon Point, Kirkland, 425-889-7497, ext. 5. THIS WEEK March 19 Jimenez v. Jimenez: Seattle tapas king Joseph J. of Harvest Vine squares off with Ramiro J. of the legendary N.Y.C. ceviche bar Chicama in an all-Spanish 10-course tasting menu featuring Spanish wines for the Northwest Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. $100 (AIWF members $75). 6 p.m. at the Art Institute of Seattle, 2323 Elliott (off Alaskan Way, foot of Vine), 935-5471. THIS JUST IN . . . Tim Kelley, chef for seven years at the Alexis Hotel's Painted Table, is outta here as of April 5, off to New York City on "personal grounds" (romantic in nature, we hear). Tim's is "a big toque to fill," says Painted Table operations manager Greg LaMothe, but the company is hoping to have a new chef in 60 days or so. In the meantime, LaMothe says, the P.T. is looking into celebrating Kelley's last days by persuading him to bring some of his greatest culinary hits back to the menu. Food and/or beverage scoop? E-mail the Hot Sheet at

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