The Corson Building

Written by on February 14, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Georgetown
How I heard of this place: Noted as the best brunch in Seattle in the January 2010 issue of Seattle Magazine.
Type of cuisine: The Corson Building runs on a system of organic processes. Built on a foundation of relationships with our community of friends and teachers, hunters and farmers, importers and foragers, wine makers, fishermen, builders, artists, and activists, we work to celebrate food and the daily nourishment it provides.
Ambiance: Very earthy. Very relaxed. Obvious that you are in a recycled building – with exposed brick – using what was in existence to tell a story and to create a space where we are invited into the history of a home. “An open, relaxed, charming place.” – Richard
What I ordered: Brunch is prepared with few options outside of what is already prepared for you fresh that day. Today, we were welcomed with a sweetened Moroccan mint tea. My dining companion enjoyed a cherry liqueur – prepared as a cocktail, garnished with a string of lemon zest in soda water. “Refreshing, dry cherry soda quality. Certainly not sweet and not over-alcoholed but refreshing.” – Richard
We dined on a buffet with a plethora of fresh, vibrant and colorful with beautiful textures and surprising flavors! Sliced sweet oranges topped with a tapenade quality olive garnish. Sliced rustic artisan bread with a spread of pate-like chicken fat. Chickpea salad with chicken garnished with tarragon and dill. The beet salad comprised of both yellow and red beets in a light vinaigrette. A turnip-tasting squash-like dish (we forgot to ask what it was) with roasted nuts and raisins, roasted to perfection. A sweet slice of cornbread found its way onto our plates, which could be slathered in butter, but was moist enough not to be. The end of the buffet table had a bowl of fresh, home-made yogurt. You had the option of adding a variety of roasted nuts (including pistachios, soy nuts, almonds and pecans) and an orange-marmalade style topping made with sweetened orange rind, similar to an orange compote. Flavorful dried dates accompanied our meals. There was also a mildly sweet honey and butter which could be added to any number of buffet items.
We were also offered one of two options for our “meal”. Richard enjoyed a salad of striped sea bass, apple, dill and white onion pickled with beets (possibly), topped with a light creme fraiche dressing. It was a very fresh, light and perfect dish for a summer salad. Slightly strange to enjoy at ten o’clock in the morning, but flavorful and delightful all the same. My choice was the hedgehog mushroom quiche which was its aesthetic presentation. It looked more like a quiche tart, rather than the traditional formidable sized quiche we often see. It was significantly mushroom flavored. The richness that came off of the egg mixture was the savory quality of the mushrooms and the light and fluffy flavors of the butter crust rather than the egg itself. There was a meaty, earth-like subtleness that went with it. The quiche was accompanied by sweet pickled onions and raddicco in a vinaigrette.
What I loved: I loved that the special gift of mini donut holes from the kitchen which were deep fried and sugared with rose petals. Any gift from the kitchen is a welcome one, especially when it’s such perfect combination of flavors – hints of rose with a sweetened, fried dough. I also loved that there were so many options of foods to enjoy, savor and eat. I loved that the portions were small, light, full of flavor and variety, completely aesthetically pleasing.
My dining companion’s favorite part of the meal was the cocktail, a refreshing cherry soda. Sounding simple and child-like but surprisingly a perfect complement to the meal. Food-wise he enjoyed the house-made yogurt with orange compote, closely followed by the striped seabass salad. My favorite was the raddiccio salad, closely followed by the surprisingly sweet and savory orange slices. The third of our favorites was the beet salad. But honestly, everything was smashingly beautiful, both in presentation and in flavor!
Why I loved it: It was very nice to build the comraderie with other guests in the restaurant – when people were in the mood to chat with you – as you are seated with others at tables of ten. The space holds 30 people, 20 seats for reservations and 10 saved for walk-ins. I loved everything from the fresh grown vegetables in the raised beds outside, to the pizza oven, the ambiance of the building and quaint homey-ness of the inside of the building. I loved that they brought you the bill in a booklet, first printed in 1919 and reprinted in 1942 originally used for addresses, weights and measures and other facts about the railroad (from Wabash). Everything was in its place and well thought out. It was perfect and felt like home.
Cost: High for brunch, but for such a unique offering of food and atmosphere it was easily done. $32 per person (including tax and drinks). (Thank you, Richard!)

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