Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Friendly, Neighborhood Wine Bar: Swirl


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So, last Saturday night Tiffany and I wanted to go out. We did not go anywhere too pretentious because that would require us to put too much effort into our appearances. So, I suggested that we try a wine bar in Magnolia that I had discovered via the Urbanspoon application on my iPhone.

We ventured out over the Dravus Street hill and through the windy road of McMansions down into Magnolia Village. We found Swirl (3217 W McGraw, Seattle 98199) very easily (once again via the Maps iPhone application). Not only is Swirl easy to find, but we got a parking spot on the street directly in front of the bar, unlike the battle that would have been fought had we attempted to brave the Belltown scene.

We walked in the bar and it is quite small and intimate, but it is very obvious that the owners have paid close attention to ambiance and decor. The light fixtures are in the shape of glass grape clusters, the walls are a sultry shade of brown and the music is an eclectic mix of popular american and international music. The owners served us personally and were very personable and friendly.

We ordered a Viognier (a RARE wine find in Seattle) and the hummus and tapenade plate to start. The wine was excellent and the hummus and olive tapenade were lovely and definitely left me wanting more. Next we moved onto reds. I told the owner about the types of wine I like and asked him to make a recommendation. He made several recommendations and allowed me to taste the wines before I made my final selection. I ended up going with my old standby red selection, Pinot Noir, but it was a delicious Pinot Noir. We also decided to sample the desserts. I ordered the molten chocolate cake and Tiffany ordered the creme brulee. Both desserts were excellent. It turns out that the desserts are baked by the Upper Crust bakery across the street and sold to Swirl, but they were delicious none the less.

The owners were SO nice that they offered us fresh basil to take home and gave us both loaves of french bread to take home (on the house) as well.

Overall, I was very, very impressed with the wine selection, the quality of the food and the amazing attentiveness and generosity of the owners. I will most DEFINITELY be returning to my local, neighborhood, wine bar VERY soon!

Cheers!

CUPCAKES!!


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Wow! It has been a loooooong time since I have written in this thing! I started the blog, then got busy and haven't really been doing anything too interesting the past few months . . .

Anyway, I have been meaning to write a small review about the new cupcake shops that are popping up absolutely everywhere. I have to say, I L-O-V-E this new dessert trend. You have to love delicious, decadent creations that are also individually sized. My favorite cupcake place in Seattle is Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford (1815 N. 45th Street, Suite 209, Seattle 98103).

I really like the Wallingford neighborhood right now too, actually. They have put in all sorts of cutsie shops for everything from gourmet cupcakes to doggie bakeries.

Anyway, Trophy Cupcakes is in a large brick building, but has the CUTEST, striped balloon awning at its entrance. Inside they have all kinds of adorable party supplies and every kind of cupcake embellishment you can imagine: new babies, birthdays, pirates, circus animals, graduations, all holidays, the list goes on and on. The cupcakes are delicious, moist and made super fresh. They have different selections on different days, but my favorites are: Hummingbird, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Chip Mint and Triple Chocolate. They also have selections that are a bit off the beaten path like Chocolate Graham Cracker, Chai Cardamom and Snickerdoodle. Cupcakes are $2.99 each or $33 for a dozen . . . the dozen works out great if you promised to bring dessert to your boyfriend's family's Christmas party and you REALLY don't feel like baking (I speak from experience). The staff is super friendly and helpful.

Wallingford can be kind of a pain in the ass and, happily, I read in the PI a few weeks ago that they are adding a location in University Village. Now I can shop at Juicy Couture and have my cupcakes too (just not too many cupcakes or those cute dresses might not fit as well).