Adobong pusit pancit at Musang
After four years of very popular pop-ups and a kick-ass Kickstarter that raised almost $100,000, chef Melissa Miranda found a home for her Filipinx-inspired food and hospitality in the welcoming first floor of a house on Seattle’s Beacon Hill. Musang has only just begun — it opened at the beginning of January — but Miranda says it’s been crazy-busy, and they don’t take reservations. If you can get a table, get the adobong pusit pancit, a dish of beautiful midnight-colored bihon — very thin, extra squiggly cornstarch noodles — with both fried and sauteed squid, made with a cuttlefish-ink fish stock, house-made adobo base and more. Extra-savory but nuanced, it’s inspired by a dish her squid-fishing father makes as well as a dish she ate in his hometown in the Philippines. It’s also limited-time-only, during squid season, which goes “If we’re lucky, ’til the end of February,” Miranda says.
Musang: 2524 Beacon Ave. S., (Beacon Hill), Seattle; 206-708-6871, musangseattle.com; adobong pusit pancit $18
The Olmstead burger at Olmstead
The Seahawks were losing the playoffs as an increasingly disappointed crowd — including, notably, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan — watched on multiple TVs at brand-new Olmstead on Capitol Hill, but at least the burger was winning. It seemed a cut above: the juicy patty neither unmanageably fat nor fast-food flimsy, cooked perfectly medium-rare despite the place being packed, served with pretty Bibb lettuce, red onion, bread-and-butter pickles, aioli and tomato jam (the last three all house-made, and the very last a touch sweet, so maybe order it on the side). The menu didn’t specify, but the beef is wagyu, and 8 ounces of it. Good fries, too. It’ll be interesting to see what else Olmstead — from the people of nearby Witness, finally filling in the Broadway Grill space that’s been like a knocked-out tooth since 2013 — can do.
Olmstead: 314 Broadway E., (Capitol Hill) Seattle; no phone, facebook.com/olmsteadseattle; Olmstead burger $17
The roasted mushrooms at Le Caviste
When I think of places I love, I think of Le Caviste. Open since 2014 on an otherwise anti-remarkable block facing the federal courthouse, it’s a little Seattle treasure that serves French wines in an unpretentious, affordable, fully fun fashion. Look up: The space is wittily lit with 102 light bulbs, 25 watts each. The blackboard food menu is brief — cheeses, charcuterie, a salad or two, lovely fish en papillote — but there are always a few more things on offer. In wintertime, you want the forest’s richness that are the champignons rôtis. That’s mushrooms — on a recent pouring-down-rain night, a mix of king oyster, shimeji, maitake and shiitake — roasted in France’s best Brittany butter with bread crumbs, thyme and salt, simple and warm and super-delicious, with a nice six-minute egg on top.
Le Caviste: 1919 Seventh Ave., (Denny Triangle) Seattle; 206-728-2657, lecavisteseattle.com; roasted mushrooms $12
The chicken liver pâté and/or the salami antipasti salad at Petite Soif
I’m a fool for chicken liver pâté, and even if the notion of chicken livers squicks you out, you might be, too. In the best versions, the gamey, liver-y flavor takes a back seat to a buttery richness that’s eyes-rolling-back-in-head good, and the version at anti-snooty new Beacon Hill wine bar Petite Soif is an excellent one. But then there’s also the antipasti salad, made with Fra’ Mani salami, Parmigiano-Reggiano and other things stolen off a very good snack platter, plus the smartest treatment of kale ever. For the vegetarians out there, this would still be really good without the meat (which does kind of qualify as a salad-cheat). Find out more in my review of Petite Soif.
Petite Soif: 3309A Beacon Ave. S., (Beacon Hill) Seattle; 206-420-7131, petitesoif.com; chicken liver pâté $10, salami antipasti salad $12