Last night, Kevin and I unexpectedly stumbled upon the best night ever. We were thinking about going to Ken's for more pizza, when we got a phone call from one of Kevin's employees. This employee has another job cooking at Simpatica, and so he was invited to the soft opening for their new venture, The Laurelhurst Market. He kindly extended the invitation to us! The new place is both a butcher shop and restaurant- naturally heavy on the meat. The space is beautiful and includes black and sliver wallpaper in the bathroom (wallpaper being my favorite thing ever). It was too cold to be outside last night, but the bar has windows that open to an outside bar. So you can be sitting outside, looking into the restaurant and also at the people sitting at the inside version of where you are. Whhhaaaaat? The cocktail list is very rad and includes a smoky whisky drink that is made with smoked ice.
We sat down with some friends and were served a million perfect plates: grilled romaine with romanesco sauce, steak au poivre, steak frites (one of the best hanger steaks I have tried), sweet sweet mussels and frites with the thickest and most luscious aioli you can imagine, pate with pistachios, stinky macaroni and cheese, ribs... It was a frenzy. Our friend Eric who also didn't expect to be there kept yelling as dishes arrived "I'm gonna FREAK OUT." I shared his sentiment- I really was freaking out. And being a soft opening, the night was free. We left a tip of course, but whoa. I am SO LUCKY.
We realized that we were a few of the only non-Simpatica employees there- that was a little awkward, but we worked through it and maybe even made some friends. I can't wait to go back when it is officially open, which by the way happens on Friday. You should go, and bring your friends.