Bearded in Seattle
Two Seattle chefs are among the five nominees for James Beard awards—the winners of the prestigious annual competition will be announced May 11. One is Scott Carsberg, known for his exquisitely crafted gastronomic creations at Lampreia. Carsberg's competition this year (chefs are frequently nominated several times before winning) is Eric Tanaka, the kitchen honcho at Tom Douglas' flagship Dahlia Lounge. In addition, Leslie Mackie, founder of Macrina Bakeries, is one of five pastry nominees for an award this year. Seattle can claim a little reflected glory, too—Seattle-born Mario Batali's Babbo is one of three New York City restaurants nominated for outstanding wine service. Reaching even farther, Batali's longtime partner, Joseph Bastianich, is one of five nominees for "Ecolab Outstanding Wines & Spirits Professional."
Apolo Ohno, step aside. Seattle has another Olympic competitor, but this one's headed to the Olympics of baking. William Leaman, pastry chef and chocolatier at the Essential Baking Company, has won a position on the Bread Bakers Guild of America's 2005 Team USA. The three-person national all-star team will compete in Paris in 2005's prestigious Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (World Cup of Baking). The U.S. team brought home the gold in 1999 and the silver in 2002, so Leaman has a big hat to fill. If his Essential Baking Company delectables are any indication, he should be up to the challenge.
Your personal wine guy
Since shuttering his restaurant Avenue One, Arnie Millan has put his wine expertise to work planning banquets and teaching classes, but you can draw upon his broad experience gratis and in person. Millan is counseling customers at Lower Queen Anne wine shop Champion Cellars on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at SoDo's Esquin Thursday evenings and all day Fridays and Saturdays.
Aiming to take some of the sting out of April 15 for last-minute filers, the five Chow Foods restaurants—Atlas, Coastal Kitchen, Endolyne Joe's, 5 Spot, and Jitterbug—are posting a top price of $10.40 on all dinner entrées served that day: That's up to 50 percent savings on some dishes. We're talking items like buttermilk fried chicken (5 Spot), Tabasco-hoisin grilled pork chop (Joe's), and steak and fries (the J-bug). Even better: Everyone gets a chance to win a $104.00 gift card.
Euphemism of the month
Caribbean-theme restaurant chain Bahama Breeze is tooting its horn about a "new call-ahead seating system and innovative lobby-wait plan." Wait a minute; is that just a windy way of saying "We take reservations"? Not exactly. What it means is, you call the restaurant (the Seattle branch is on Southcenter Boulevard in Tukwila), and they'll estimate the current wait time for a table and put you on the waiting list, so you can allow for the wait and arrive just about when your table will be free. And what's the difference between that and just reserving a table for a particular time? "We make no promises," says a Bahama Breezie. Oh.
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