june

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of full. There’s the “oh my god I feel terrible why on earth did I eat that fourth slice of mediocre pizza followed by two nondescript brownies?” full. And then there’s the “holy cow I feel pretty ill right now but it was completely and utterly worth it because the food I just consumed was out-of-this-world delicious.”

This past weekend, I experienced the latter.

We headed to Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood to try out June. It opened quietly last year, and has been on my list of places to try, but somehow Madrona rarely called for an evening out. New places in Cap Hill usually won out. But a few months back there was a Groupon for June, so that sealed the deal.

We had a reservation for 7pm but didn’t need it; we had our choice of tables. We opted for a booth in the back which was cozy and private but a bit monochromatic. We were right near the increasingly lively bar, but couldn’t see it due to the booth partition. The meal was tasty. Dessert was FANTASTIC. To start from the end, we had bioche bread-bitter chocolate bread pudding. It was, without a doubt, the best dessert I’ve had in Seattle to date. Heavenly. Just the right amount of chocolatey-ness, the perfect moistness and a generous dollop of crème fraîche on the side to compliment the caramel sauce. A few bites in I knew I was full but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t.

Clearly, the bread pudding was the most memorable, but other dishes were great as well. We started with a dish off the “bites” menu: tempura brussel sprouts and asparagus. It was a generous serving and served piping hot. We favored the appetizer part of the menu, trying lamb and chickpea chili, nettle soup with pickled mushrooms, and a beet salad with hazelnuts and blue cheese. The chili was amazing, the soup was beautiful and quite balanced, and the beet salad was enjoyable although pretty predictable.

The only let down of the night was our entrée. Goat cheese ravioli with fresh peas and spring onions. It was way too salty for my liking and I’m a chronic oversalter. (I salt pizza. Excessively. This could be what leads to the first type of fullness…) Not only were the flavors off, but there were multiple lemon seeds in the broth. Nitpicky I know, but come on. I watch Top Chef. I know those are two mistakes that will cost you a challenge.

Thankfully, dessert came and the disappointment of the entrée was forgotten entirely. It was a superb dining experience. Followed by a relaxing evening on the couch feeling wonderfully full.

If you now find yourself craving bread pudding, I’d highly recommend my friend Rachel’s recipe for Bourbon Chocolate Bread Pudding which was a winning dish over at food52. Another option, is my fall favorite pumpkin bread pudding (inspired by another restaurant dessert, this time from 1844 House).

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