Restaurant News: Prepare for Pi and St. Patrick’s Days, plus dining at new, nearby Amata Thai

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A sweet combo: Molly Moon ice cream and pie from Snohomish Pie Co. in Mountlake Terrace.

Readers take note: PI-DAY is less than a week away.

Take your pick: sweet or savory, but on March 14 (3.14… get it?) Restaurant News will take the opportunity to indulge in pie(s). Here are my picks. (Readers, please feel free to share your favorite Pi-Day meals.)

Pesto Primo pizza pie at Pagliacci.

Pagliacci: Pesto Primo is featured on their slice bars on Wednesdays (A happy co-incidence — March 14 is a Wednesday). This pizza is topped with thyme-roasted artichoke hearts, imported peppers, ricotta, Fontina and mozzarella over a pesto base. March dessert special is a creamy gelato that is a rich blend of pure pistachio. One can score a double play here too: Get your green on a bit early or stash the pisatachio gelato in the freezer for a “green dessert” on Saturday, March 17. Locations in Edmonds and also on Ballinger Way in Shoreline, close to both Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace.

Snohomish Pie Co. announced their collaboration with Molly Moons Homemade Ice Cream. Get ready to drool…introducing Pi Sundaes: Mouth-watering Sweet Cream Ice Cream paired with their famous Apple Berry Crumb Minis!

Molly Moon’s will be carrying Snohomish Pie Co. pies at their Capitol Hill location only. But Snohomish Pie Co. will have delicious Molly Moon ice cream at both shops on Pi Day!

Follow along on social media — Snohomish Pie Co. will be doing some fun trivia giveaways.

Amata Thai opened at last in the Westgate location, 22805 100th Ave. W.

Our server greeted us promptly with menus. Shortly after our request, pots of very hot tea arrived at the table. Initially I was disappointed by hot water and tea bags. However, proper infusion and patience provided a delightful pot of tea. I chose the jasmine tea; they also offer a green and other varieties.

We’d also requested our fresh rolls with prawns to come to the table immediately so we could enjoy while perusing the menu. The peanut sauce was still warm, nicely spiced and the roll’s circumference was easy to eat. Filing was fresh tasting and crunchy.

We were there for the lunch specials, and we were delighted to find about the items that came with each order. The menu isn’t totally clear — sides, etc. — so when in doubt, ask your server.

I ordered the Green Curry with Pork and my dish arrived with a side of Pad Thai noodles in addition to the white jasmine rice. My companion ordered the Cashew Nuts with Chicken and her order also arrived with a side of Pad Thai.

A chef with excellent knife skills sends out plates embellished with crisp, fresh vegetables — thinly sliced cabbages, lettuces and artfully-crafted carrots.

Dessert was a must. Anyone who knows me realizes I have to try the desserts at any new place I visit. My choices were limited on this day so I chose the Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango Compote. I was initially disappointed to hear that fresh mango was not available (not in season) but the warmed compote was fresh-tasting not overly sweetened, and paired nicely with the sticky rice dessert.

Lunch is definitely a fun time to visit Amata Thai, and for those who want to try even more choices, there is a happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. That menu is limited to food right now because the liquor license has yet to be approved, but don’t let that stop you. I can get way happy on food in small portions to share with friends. I’m sure you can too.

At “Happy Hour,” I tasted Chicken Satay dipped into fragrant peanut sauce. Crispy spring rolls were accompanied by spicy-sweet plum sauce. Even after being cautioned by my server about the traditional Thai items — i.e., tiny crab claws in the green Thai salad — I still ordered and found it fresh and flavorful.

My hubby is a Thai aficionado — 20-plus years of dining in downtown Seattle — and he knows his soup. He gave high praise to the Tom Kah: Super creamy, nice citrusy-lime, still-crisp veggies in the delicious broth.

We both loved the Pineapple Fried Rice- presented in half of a pineapple. The best part was scooping out spoonfuls of fresh pineapple with every bite. None of this dish made it home. We left behind a well-scraped shell on the plate.

As for the Crying Tiger, the beef is the star of this dish! Traditionally served with minimal vegetables, Amata Thai serves the hot and well -piced thin sliced beef over greens and dresses the whole dish with a spicy sauce.

I love dishes with interesting names. Some say the dish is called such because, in the old days, it was made out of a cheap cut of beef so tough that even a tiger can’t chew it (then, apparently, it gets all sad and weepy). Some say that it’s the opposite: The steak comes from the tender, most- marbled part of the cow, leaving a tiger nothing but the tough parts.

Another caution: If the owner happens to attend your table, and he tells you that he usually has 4-5 stard on all of his dishes, do not — repeat DO NOT — take this as a personal challenge. Two stars on this dish invoked tears for Restaurant News and I suspect it is a reason for the dish’s name.

Amata Thai opened amid snow flurries and yet hit their stride quickly. They are able to accommodate intimate dinners or groups celebrating birthdays, and more.

One more reason to visit Amata Thai: The amazing art on the walls and the sparkling gold décor create the ambiance of a Thai temple.

Where to celebrate the “wearin’ of the green” this year

Close to home:

190 Sunset owners say, “On St. Patrick’s Day we’ll be serving up some corned beef and cabbage and Guinness beer.”  A classic for sure… but if not, here’s another option for the undecided, and it’s good any day of the week. The 190 Sunsets’ Prix Fixe Menu is offered from  3:30-5:30. Here’s a link to that menu: www.190sunset.com/new-gallery/

Close by:

McMenamin’s Anderson School location – 18607 Bothell Way, Bothell has a whole weekend of St. Patrick’s Day happenings planned, including a menu with specials like Irish Stout, Irish Coffee, Irish Reuben, Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as exclusive holiday releases like 2018 Devils Bit Whiskey and Foggy Dew Irish Lager for sale. There’ll also be Irish dancers, bagpipers, and a “balloon guy.”

Shamrocks and Surfboards at Darrell’s Tavern, 18041 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline. Join them and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with some of the best local surf bands in the Northwest at Darrell’s Tavern. The Viking Surfers, Via Combusta and Banzai Surf will entertain the huddled masses. Doors open at 9, $7 a head.

Come celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, at the Irishman- Authentic Irish Pub located at 2923 Colby Ave, Everett. Doors open at 11 a.m. Special Paddy’s Day menu served all day till midnight! $10 cover charge. Menu features Traditional Irish Pasties (Ordering tip — the “a” is pronounced as “ah” — otherwise you might get cracks from your server indicating they don’t have “THAT” kind of entertainment at their establishment!). Homemade seasonal pasties served with your choice of champ potatoes or fries and seasonal vegetables. Guinness Gravy Poutine Fries covered in Guinness gravy and topped with shredded cheese.

— By Kathy Passage

A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the local food and restaurant scene.

 

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