Cold Stone Creamery's ice cream, which is made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as irish cream and butter pecan. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola, black licorice, and pieces from magnetic poetry sets. Sufferers of premature brain freeze who are unable to invent a creamy concoction can try a Cold Stone Signature creation ($3–$5), such as the almond-studded and caramel-slathered Coffee Lovers Only or the Peanut Butter Cup Perfection with Reese's peanut-butter cups and fudge. The Frankencream you desire will be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Ice-cream creations are priced from $3.50 to $4.50, depending on size.
Stan Barrett already had a winery and a passion for French cuisine when, in 2002, he found himself in need of a winemaker. He found Sean Boyd, who had worked at wineries in France, New Zealand, and around the world. As of today, Boyd's favorite part of the wine-making process is the final blending stage, when he gets to tap into his creative side and combine fermented juices into their final state. He still learns new techniques and oversees every step of production at Woodinville Wine Cellars, where the staff specializes in crafting small-batch, additive-free wines using only grapes sourced from Washington vineyards. They let the wines age for up to 18 months in French oak barrels, which allows them plenty of time to take on complex flavors and read Madame Bovary.
It's this dedication to detail that has earned Boyd various accolades for more than a dozen wines, including the deep cabernet sauvignon, peppery rose, and rich Last Man Standing malbec. Over time, the selection has included more than 45 styles, some of which are produced only rarely. Most of the small batches that are currently available, though, are uncorked during tastings at the winery's creek-side tasting room. Barrett also owns Art Culinaire, the North American importer of Lacanche ranges.
Before Darren and Melissa Des Voigne started Des Voigne Cellars, they honeymooned in Italy, staying for a week at a winery in Castellina in Chianti. Their stay coincided with the release of the historic 1997 Chiantis, and drinking the excellent vintage hooked the couple on the wine industry. When they returned to the States, Darren decided to turn his wine-making skills?which up until then had been limited to making wine in his garage?into a full-blown career.
He succeeded. Today, Des Voignes Cellars is a full decade old, and Darren is the house wine-maker. He crafts traditional and creative varietals with equal aplomb, and as an extra flourish, shows his love of vintage jazz records through his wine labels. The labels of his "Untitled" wines boast lines of sheet music, whereas his 2009 Montreux's label depicts a thoughtful drummer, probably contemplating what terrible drumsticks wine bottles would make.
It's not every day that an aroma can pose a question. Upon stepping into Plaza Garcia Family Mexican Restaurant, the smell of baking tortillas instantly compels diners to ask themselves: do I want to fill those steamy flour blankets with char-grilled beef, marinated chicken, or lime-infused shrimp? Wood-carved booths and colorful murals of adobe villages create an ideal backdrop for mulling over this important decision as diners snack on homemade chips and chunky pico de gallo. Once their gaze tapers off the lively décor and settles onto the menu, an overwhelming choice of enchiladas, fajitas, and other traditional entrees springs forth to lend a choice of beef, chicken, or seafood centerpieces. Meanwhile, margaritas splashed with racy tequilas mingle with other libations to give customers the courage to croon tortilla-themed love ballads during karaoke, which occurs every Saturday night at the Woodinville location.
When Andrés Cárdenas Guitrón emigrated to the United States from Mexico, he landed his first job as a dishwasher. He worked his way up the ranks to a food preparer, a cook’s assistant, and a chef before finally opening up his own restaurant. At Mazatlan, he dishes out family recipes that include grilled chimichangas, crab enchiladas, and steak picado christened in a Spanish sauce.