It happens that today is the 26th anniversary of Mike’s and my first date. It’s always a bigger deal than our wedding anniversary, which was three days ago (17 years). Because he’s the kind of guy he is, Mike knew that I’d prefer to go to a place we haven’t yet been to. It’s all about helping our guests make informed dinner choices (the sacrifices he makes in the name of 9 Cranes Inn).
Turns out it was absolutely no sacrifice. But I get ahead of myself. It’s January, so I’m not going to pretend that we took a lovely stroll down Phinney Avenue, turned left on 50th, then right on Fremont Avenue until we found the restaurant called Rock Creek. It is certainly walking distance if you like a little exercise before eating. You’ll definitely want some after dinner, so just walk it. We didn’t this time, but still….
The atmosphere is rustic chic. The theme is totally seafood, although a vegetarian could make a meal of it here. The menu changes daily. I recommend reservations.
The suggested cocktail list is short but intriguing. I went with a “Road to the Moon,” a lovely concoction boasting citrus flavors, vodka, Aperol, and other stuff. Mike went with a “Tweed Jacket” (he’s always wanted to be a professor), which was bourbon-based. I guess it was good, seeing as he ordered a second one.
I don’t know if I was in an anniversary daze or what, but it took me more than a few minutes to focus on the menu and its myriad of choices: starters, small plates, fish dishes – how much to order and what to share? We settled on two starters, one small plate, and two entrees. Quite a bit of food, all said. Two starters were necessary because I could tell that Mike really wanted the sardine salad, which I was having none of. True love prevailed, as I tried to ignore the wafting of his reportedly delicious dish while I enjoyed a fresh and fabulous cauliflower salad.
We shared a barbecued octopus small plate – quite possibly one of the best five dishes of my life. It had potatoes, olives, cannellini beans, arugula, and lots of flavor! Not that we needed any more food, but then came our fish. My Neah Bay Black Cod was swimming in some complex stew of sherry, lime, caramelized onions, and lip-smacking goodness. Mike proclaimed his Tombo Tuna au Poivre “pretty darned fabulous.” Desserts looked fun, but seriously, we were way too full for anything but coffee. I always love to drink the local roast, which in this case, really is my favorite and travels a mere three blocks away from its Lighthouse Coffee Roasters home.
Walk, don’t run, to Rock Creek. And don’t wait for a special occasion to do so. We won’t next time.