The Saturday night dining event at the IFBC 2013 was a mystery. We were told that urbanspoon was sponsoring the entire event and would be transporting small groups of bloggers to various fine restaurants throughout the Seattle area. As instructed, I checked the back of my conference badge and read that my group was departing at 6:45 for a 7:30 reservation somewhere. I telephoned She Who Must Be Obeyed and advised her that if I didn’t check in with her in a day or two I had been abducted.
Anyway, I boarded the tour bus along with about 30 others and we were off to undisclosed locations. I can tell you we went through a harbor area in which we had to stop for a raised drawbridge but that’s about it. Each group on the various buses were assigned a host to attend the dinner and answer any questions. I met two of the urbanspoon hosts and they both were great company.
The bus stopped at one location to drop off two groups and then moved on with only my group left. I was a little disappointed in the dinner prospect when the bus turned into a convenience store parking lot, but was pleased when it became apparent the bus was just using the parking lot to turn around.
We traveled a few more blocks, the bus stopped, and our host advised us that we had arrived at our secret dining spot, the Golden Beetle. We were led into a charming, not over the top, Mediterranean themed restaurant and past a line of people waiting for seating. Our table near the kitchen was waiting for us. After being seated the dinner began to unfold.
We started with baba ganoush, muhammara, and hummus, with flat bread. Each dip was a unique and wonderful taste experience. And with the addition of a special cocktail called “The Bloggers Dilemma” the group began to get comfortable.
The second course was Romaine and Pickled Cherry Salad. The salad was marvelously fresh tasting. I enjoyed mix of the feta, hazelnuts and sumac vinaigrette.
Next we were presented with a Kibbeh Bulgar-Lamb Meatball which along with pine nut and allspice was wrapped in a pasty sort of covering and accented with green harissa. The lamb meatball course was very good, although perhaps a little salty for my tastes.
Moving on with the full dinner the ever attentive service staff brought out Red Lentil Soup with featured yogurt, pickled turmeric, carrot and parsley. Just spicy enough to be perfect.
The Golden Beetle chef rounded out the full dinner array with a wonderful Chickpea and Lemon Stew which included walnut, yogurt, and croutons.
Over port and Chocolate Torte or Baklava the Manager and Chef spent time with us explaining the origins of the restaurant and their use all certified organic foods for their Mediterranean Cuisine.
Later I spoke with other groups about their secret restaurant experience and all I can say is well done urbanspoon, and thanks for giving me the chance to experience the food and wonderful serving staff at the Golden Beetle.
I can’t wait to find out what surprises foodista has in store for us at next year’s IFBC in Seattle.
Good Eating and Table Talk,
Follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EasyRecipesAndStuff and on Twitter @easyrecipesrog