Like all great stories, Cakes by Crème de la Crème's was written through persistence. Pastry chefs Michael Jones and Bart Utz first met when they were taking baking courses together. They formed a partnership, worked at several establishments, then pooled their resources and struck out on their own, starting Cakes by Crème de la Crème. The duo, who have chalked up experience working at venues such as the Washington Athletic Club and the Sunset Club, combine their expertise to craft delicious and visually intricate cakes for all occasions. This expertise has garnered press attention from The Knot, who recently included them in their "Best of Weddings 2013" feature.
Their tiered wedding cakes roll out a spectacle for the eye and the tongue, with romantically elegant designs finished in buttercream icing and fondant. They customize cakes to each client’s specifications by creating a unique border or design, and by giving customers a choice of unique flavors, such as banana cake with strawberry preserves and cream-cheese filling. Jones and Utz also specialize in affordable dessert cakes, tortes, and tarts and custom party cakes, which they can mold into inspired designs such as stacks of favorite books, a college’s logo, or a turntable with vinyl records on top—an homage to the days when every cake was also a record player.
Like any German pub worth its pretzel salt, Berliner Pub has an outdoor beer garden with communal tables inspired by German beer halls, 18 German beers on draft, and a menu of housemade brats and schnitzels. Waitresses clad in Bavarian-beer-maid ensembles bustle about holding liters of Munich's popular Hofbräu lager or Mai-Ur-Bock from Einbecker, which is considered to be the first brewery to brew a bock.
On Saturday nights, a band set up in front of a shelf of steins plays traditional German music, which consists of accordion sounds, guitar riffs, and then some more accordion sounds. During every Seattle Sounders home match, a bus transports fans to the soccer game and back to the pub for a quick drink around the indoor or outdoor fire pits.
At Casa Durango, chefs whip up a smorgasbord of Mexican eats, with a spread of tortas, tacos, salads, and burritos paired with frosty tropical cocktails and margaritas. Like a computer manual written by Stephen King, the menu is as lengthy as it is appetizing. It presents dozens of different steaks, enchiladas, seafood, and chicken dishes ladled with zesty sauces and complemented by sides of savory rice and beans. The dishes run the gamut from traditional, homey plates of marinated lamb shank and slow-simmered pork to group-pleasing dishes of nachos and taquitos. And when it comes to entertaining groups, the restaurant also hosts karaoke performances that lighten the mood on weekends.
Rumbar Plaza Cafe's ample menu augments the selections of a classic American deli with Filipino flavors. Breakfast burritos, normally the territory of eggs, cheese, bacon, and hungry bachelors, get a dose of tapsilog and tocilog—Filipino blends of marinated beef or pork with garlic-fried rice and fried eggs. The kitchen team also whips up combo plates with menudo, pork, chicken adobo, beef caldereta, or dinuguan, as well as traditional caesar salads, reubens, and tuscan turkey sandwiches, the sandwiches most likely to be leaning at a seemingly impossible angle. In addition to wraps, chicken wings, palabok, and sisig, Rumbar also serves beer and wine, hosts Friday-night karaoke, takes pick-up orders, and provides catering for 100 guests or more.
When Marianna Ristorante opened, the restaurant’s trademark was a dish perfect by the owner’s mom. The Renton Reporter wrote that the farfalle alle Marianna— bowtie pasta tossed with yellow peppers, prosciutto, and cream—came from co-owner Salvatore Lembo’s mother, for whom the restaurant is named. These days, Salvatore lets Executive Chef Jackson Cavanaugh put his own stamp on a seasonal selection of Northern Italian specialties. Those range from homemade gnocchi to fettuccini tossed with salmon and boneless chicken breast smothered in gorgonzola cream sauce. Dinner is served inside Marianna Ristorante’s candlelit dining room, which evokes the atmosphere of an Old World eatery with earthy tones .
It's rare for a restaurant's signature dish to be a soup. But at Pho Good, the chefs aren't just stirring a few ingredients into hot water. They spend all day making their flavorful soup stocks, extracting every last bit of flavor from chicken or beef, which forms the base of their pho soup. To add a brightness to the finished dish, they throw in a range of aromatic spices, a squeeze of lime, and a handful of basil, all of which work to create flavors as complex as the cereal-box puzzle at a MENSA brunch. But pho isn't the restaurant'd only star recipe. While their soups simmer, the chefs also put together Vietnamese fried rice, noodle dishes, and sweet Vietnamese coffee.