Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Croquer: Lark

With a glaze of contentment still lingering from pre-dinner drinks, we entered Chef John Sundstrom's Lark already with love in our hearts. And from its accolades, a bubbling anticipation for what was to come.
The interior has an intimate, homey ambiance. One part dated Northwest contemporary and one part dinner party at the neighbors'. The service was warm and quick to arrive. I felt the precedence of care.
We selected a 2009 Zolo Malbec (Argentina, Mendoza), vibrant black fruit and velvety texture making this a lovely versatile wine for our smorgasbord of menu selections.
The pork rillettes with ficelle toast and spiced watermelon pickle was a perfect starter. Melt in your mouth pig beauty! But not an easy act to follow.
The simple sounding corn soup with truffle butter and Summer chantrelles was bright and clean, the nuance from its accoutrement creating a memorable balance.
While burrata is always a welcomed delight on the table, Lark's burrata with Billy's tomatoes, shiso, pickled eggplant and olive oil croutons was slightly eclipsed by the other dishes. That said every juicy tomato slice and morsel of creamy burrata was devoured within minutes.
The manila clams with guanciale, oregano, garlic and pickled habanero was so tasty I obviously couldn't be bothered to make sure I got a focused photograph. The lush, soft tones do however express the sapid and gorgeous notes in this dish. The fragrant meaty broth at the bottom of the cast iron pot could have been served alone with clam shells as spoons and I'd have been overjoyed.
We split two mains, one of which was a special - a lamb sugo ravioli with goat cheese, olives and petronne peppers. I enjoyed the pasta, substantial and supple, however the lamb sugo was light on flavor, saved by torn bits of piquant green olives.
The crispy Liberty Farm duck leg with piperade and duck cracklings on the other hand was toothsome tender goodness through and through. A fine way to finish the meal!
Though I think we all could have done without dessert, we shared a black fig tarte tatin with grappa caramel and goat cheese sorbet and an appropos Theo dark chocolate pave with salted toffee ice cream and cashews. Both had clout, but the latter was something special. As we finished our wine, a certain chef in a hat was seated in the booth beside us, another mark that we were definitely in the right place. And boy were we.

926 12th Ave. Seattle, WA 98122; 206.323.5275
Lark on Urbanspoon

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