Lunching at Madison Park Conservatory

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A fellow foodie friend recently introduced me to the Seattle Foodies First Friday Lunch Group.  I signed up recently and got to experience my first lunch at the wonderful Madison Park Conservatory.  MPC is a cuisine and design highlight tucked in the Madison Park neighborhood just off Lake Washington in Seattle.

I’ve been to the restaurant once before, for dinner, and have fond memories of my first experience with beef tongue and the delightfully prepared fried brussel sprouts with meyer lemon and parmigiano.  The flavors in both dishes won me over!

Today, there was nothing overly “adventurous” like beef tongue on the menu but there was definitely a “first”, and hopefully not a last, on the menu…

The star of the show…CRAB!  And, not just ANY crab…

Before we get to that, let’s start with our starters, of course.

 

Homemade potato chips and popcorn with fantastically flavorful spices got the taste buds started and ready to roll through the lunch.

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Sharing the table with our starters were 2 bowls of sauces; a harissa aioli…

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There we go again with my joy for harissa.  Pair it with the equally fun to say “aioli”, and happiness abounds!

Not to mention is warm, glowing color…which here in Seattle we’ll take in any form we can get it!

I taste tested the harissa aioli with the potato chips…

Nope.

Followed with the popcorn…

YES!  A fun flavor and texture combination.  I could drizzle his sauce over my bowl of popcorn and have a super popcorn and movie experience.

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The “sister sauce”, a bowl of colorful and texture excitement cucumber sauce was packed with light, fresh flavors.

 

As I enjoyed the starters and got to know my new foodie friends sitting around me, the soup arrived.

A lovely and creamy bowl of beauty, bejeweled with an oyster.

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And THIS is what was left of that…

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Obviously I didn’t enjoy it (with a table food of foodies, licking the bowl is NOT unacceptable behavior…although I let me spoon clean the bowl today).

 

Next came the salad.  Some gorgeous greens…and purples…continued the fresh flavors of the afternoon.

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I was almost finished with my salad when I decided to try the crouton.  I usually leave my croutons, opting for the healthy part of the salad.  But, I was at MPC so I should try the crouton…

Facebook post moments later…”I have a crush on a crouton.”

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This was not your “normal” crouton; crunchy toasted outside with a soft chewy center.  I think the bread might have been baked THAT morning.  It was THAT fresh.

Crouton CRUSH!!!

 

Potato salad came with the star of the show (I know…you’re still waiting…we’re almost there).

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I don’t eat potato salad.  It’s a mayonaise thing.

But, again, I was at MPC so I should try the potato salad.  I was waiting in anticipation of having a potato salad “moment”.  The meal that potato salad and I finally discovered each other.  When the crouton crush met it’s match and my fickle foodie moved on.

Nope.  Not today.

Several of my new foodie friends really enjoyed this dish.  My problem, strong flavors of pickle and mustard, neither of which my tastebuds see as a match.

No worries….the COLORS and textures were visually and lens pleasing…and it meant more room for…

 

CRAB!!!

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Now hold on…this was not just any ‘ol crab!  This was crab accessorized with flavorful and herbal jewels.

AND…finished in MPC’s wood fired oven for THE most incredible smoky flavor I’ve ever imagined.  A crab FIRST for me!

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Crab..smoked…herbs…bowls of artful and downright sexy and colorful legs…

food{ie} coloring and flavor unite!

Move OVER crouton…

This ain’t no crush.

This is TRUE, hands on, down and dirty love!

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There were no crackers or utensils used at this table.

And after several heaping bowls were placed family style before us…

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This was all that remained.  And actually, this was the last bowl and only had crab morsels because we were out of garlic bread that was previously used to mop up every bit of crab meat and seasoning left!

 

Of course no lunch is complete with out dessert.

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MPC finished off our meal with a pistachio ice cream.  It looked wonderful but I had to pass because of a nut allergy.

Never fear!  COLOR to the rescue!

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My dessert substitute was a “pretty in pink” pomegranate and grapefruit sorbet.  A perfect blend of cold, icy soft, bitter fruit treat.

And, pink is the color of unconditional love and nurturing.

What better way to describe this lunch?

Unconditional LOVE for the flavors in those crab legs.

Nurturing environment provided by Chef Cormac Mahoney and team every time you stop in for a treat.

 

Be sure to stop in and enjoy the delightful flavors at MPC soon!  Order the fried brussel sprouts for me, please!

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