My friend Beth and I spent a day/night in Seattle (her first time) before hitting up a bachelorette party in Cle Elum so of course I took the opportunity to hit up a restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try. Jerry Traunfeld’s Capitol Hill restaurant Poppy was #1 on that list. Chef Traunfeld is known for his time & influence at The Herbfarm and opened this adorable, bright foodie heaven a few years ago. I walked in and was immediately attracted to the decor and bright colors. The kitchen isn’t “open” but there are glass windows so you can peep inside at all of the happenings. We got there a few minutes late for our reservation, but they were incredibly welcoming and greeted us with a “no problem” attitude (don’t get that much in L.A.) so as we waited just a few moments I saw Jerry in the kitchen right away. Yes – my first thought was, “he’s little!” but my second thought was that I definitely wanted to meet him. Our waiter Jeffrey was incredibly nice. He explained the menu without that “I say this 100 times a day” under his breath. Basically the theme of the restaurant is based on the Thali – a round try on which a variety of small dishes are served, all at once, to each guest. This is very common in India.
I started off with “the Michi” (cava, passion fruit & lavendar) which later we learned was named after the dog of someone who works in the kitchen. It was DELICIOUS!! So yummy in fact that Beth downed her glass of wine so she could rush to get one. They have a bunch of different cocktails that looked equally as delish, but since I do have a love for cava I had to go with that one. We started with batata wada (potato fritters with cilantro lime sauce. They were good, the sauce was amazing and they were little, but bursting with a ton of flavor. Since a lot of their dishes are based on fresh ingredients and herbs (from their own herb garden right in the back that you can go look at, just try to refrain from attacking it with your fork and some balsamic!) the menu changes, but basically they have 5 options with 7 items and 2 with 10 items. I got one of their 7 item vegetarian thalis (spring cascade porcini & asparagus risotto, chilled fennel & garlic soup, radish, grilled spring onion & purslane salad, cauliflower with sesame & dill, snap peas with creamed leeks & lemon thyme, cucumber & shiso pickle and nigella-poppy naan.) I liked everything! The soup was OK, but better when I dipped my naan in it. The great thing is that they create all these mini dishes so that all of the flavors compliment each other. I was scared that I couldn’t ask for substitutions, but you should trust the mastermind of Chef Traunfeld and just order one as is. Beth went with another 7 item thali, grilled wagyu denver steak with pho flavors, chilled fennel and garlic soup, tomato, leek & taggia olive salad, carrots with black cardamom, zucchini basil gratin, apricot lavendar pickle and nigella-poppy naan. She said she liked it all, but that her steak had a lot of fat on it… she said it was good, but she’s not into eating that much fat – neither am I!
Jerry came over to our table to meet us (well, because we wanted to mee him) and he was SO nice! I got nervous for some reason and started asking him all these questions as though I was interviewing him! But he was a great sport and made the whole experience that much better. We opted out of dessert because the Michi was a great substitute. Overall – an amazing experience for your mouth! (Oh & he even autographed a menu for me!)
I know – I look like a giant!
Poppy | 622 Broadway East, Seattle WA | 206.324.1108