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Sunday, October 16, 2005

To put it gingerly, it was my birthday

It’s probably totally subjective of us to keep choosing familiar and safe restaurants in which to review. Places we know we’ll like. But, it was my birthday weekend, and I wanted Wild Ginger again (this was another one of the restaurants we ate at when we first visited here in 2003).

Wild Ginger is touted as an “Asian restaurant and satay bar.” Basically, it’s a trendy bistro with an upstairs lounge, downstairs bar, and intimate tables where one can dine on Asian-infused appetizers and entrees. They also boast a large wine menu, with prices ranging from $30 and onwards for a bottle. Much of the menu features Thai-influenced favors, which Roth and I particularly love. So, we decided to splurge again, seeing as it was my birthday and all.

As an aside, Roth called to make a reservation earlier in the afternoon, and experienced the following conversation:

Roth: Yeah, hi, can I make a reservation for tonight?
Wild Ginger: For what time?
Roth: How about 7?
WG: We have tables available before 5 or after 10.
Roth: Hmm. OK. I think we’ll just come in and wait.

I guess if we wanted breakfast or a midnight snack, we could get a reservation at Wild Ginger. And why didn’t the person on the other end of the phone just tell Roth straight away that there were not any reservations available between 5 and 10 and save Roth the embarrassment? Curious.

At any rate, we headed downtown around 6, figuring we’d end up waiting about an hour anyway. We put in our name and made our way to the bar, which was already packed. Luckily we snagged a small table just as another couple was leaving and settled in for the long haul.

We each ordered a glass of wine – riesling for me and merlot for Roth – and two different appetizers – chicken pot stickers with soy dipping sauce and fresh vegetable spring rolls with pineapple dipping sauce.
wild ginger red wine wild ginger white winewild ginger potstickers
We ripped through the tasty appetizers in a matter of minutes, all the while watching other groups of people clamoring for tables or space at the bar. As we waited for our table, we experimented with the low lighting in the bar, which produced some interesting photographic effects.
wild ginger trippy jen
Finally, our table for two was ready, and it took about an hour on the dot. We were positioned right in the corner of the main dining room, which overlooked the bustling corner of Third and Union.
wild ginger roth wild ginger jen
Even though we had decided before coming to the restaurant that we wouldn’t order a bottle of wine (to save a few bucks), we ended up with a bottle of pinot noir anyway (that’s what having one glass of wine at the bar will do to a girl!). In an attempt to broaden our horizons a bit, we usually opt for a non-California wine. This time we went with, appropriately, Broadley Vineyards, located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The pinot noir was quite delightfully mild, and ended up nicely complimenting our food choices.
wild ginger wine
I decided upon the Panang Beef Curry, or tender strips of steak with a spicy and basil-infused green curry sauce. Roth ordered the Sambal Prawns, or spicy lemongrass-coconut shrimp. After having seen several other parties with a plate of green beans, we also decided to order a side of the Mongolian Green Beans, which are served al dente with diced pork and soy.
wild ginger beef curry
The entrees are served up family style, with a large bowl of white and/or brown rice, and can be halved for a smaller (and cheaper) meal. We ordered the full entrees and shared with each other, ending up with plenty of food. This was fine, because we loved everything about the meal, especially the crispy green beans and beef curry. The prawns were good, too, but the beef was extremely tender and the green beans were perfectly spicy and al dente.

It’s easy to see why Wild Ginger is so popular. It’s definitely worth the wait, and worth the splurge, especially for a special occasion. Like my birthday.

Did I mention it was my birthday?

wild ginger signage
Wild Ginger
1401 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA


At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Mom G said...

Sounds totally yummy.....Mom G

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Kind Regards


At 10:20 AM, Blogger Victoria Winters said...

Um, yeah. I'm positive that Jen is interested in Olive Garden recipes. You betcha.

Happy Belated, by the way! :)


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