August 2nd, 2011

Sarah Goes To the Melrose Market.

The sun shone brightly as we headed out from downtown to the Melrose Market for lunch. After working up an appetite chugging up the hill lunch plans changed quickly. My idea was to grab a sandwich at Homegrown and pick up some sausages for Saturday’s bar-b-que at Rain Shadow Meats. A more curious member of the party delved deeply into the shadowy back corner of the building and ‘discovered’ Sitka and Spruce. “Can we have lunch here?”, they eagerly enquired. Why yes we could, a table for five plus a stroller being conveniently available by the entrance. Score- gorgeous sunny day and lunch at Sitka and Spruce.

I haven’t been here since they moved from their strip mall location in Eastlake. The new space is fabulous: deliberately rustic and coolly chic. It’s small, but airy with a kitchen that spills into the dining room. The plates come out as they are finished quickly filling the table and our bellies: a buttery tender heirloom salad, a pork rillette of sorts with pickled turnips and shallots, savory chickpea puree with braised swiss chard, smoky harissa, and pine nuts, and a plate of speck with a beefy scarlet tomato and barely fried egg. The perfect foil for the salty, sweet, savory meal was a 2010 Gaudry Pouilly Fume. Just the right balance of classic flinty notes with crisp refreshing acidity. This is the modern dining experience. Food prepared with finesse and a dining room void of pretension.