Being a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher definitely has its perks. We get free food in the mail to try, we get to participate in 24, 24, 24 events, and we get the occasional free dinner with other food bloggers. One of my favorite things about Foodbuzz is it’s not just an advertising company, it’s truly a community. E-mailing back and forth with the Foodbuzz employees is a lot like emailing back and forth with friends. So it was really exciting to get picked to attend the Foodbuzz and Visa Signature dinner at Springhill in Seattle, knowing that Alexa and Ryan (the girl) from Foodbuzz would be there.
I met Ryan previously at the IFBC, and absolutely loved her. She’s one of those people who can get along with anybody, and who I wish lived closer so we could hang out! Since so much of her contact with people is through e-mail, and they’re so surprised when they meet her in person, she’s become known as Ryan the girl to clear up any confusion.
Before making her short but sweet speech, Ryan was worried that it might be too loud in the restaurant for us to hear her. But as we looked around, we realized that our three tables were the loud ones and the rest of the restaurant was rather quiet! Fortunately, Springhill was really excited to have us there, so I don’t think they minded, and we were in a section separated slightly from the rest of the restaurant. Ryan thanked Visa Signature for sponsoring the dinner, and Springhill for hosting us. The purpose of the evening was bring together people from both communities, food bloggers and Visa Signature cardholders. Funny thing is that several cardholders were food bloggers!
Naomi and Francis (or Frank) seemed to know each other well, though I can’t remember if they’d actually met in person before or just on Twitter. I met Naomi at the last Foodbuzz dinner I went to, so it was nice to see her again, and she is hopefully going to guide me to dim sum in the area. Frank was really sweet and walked me to my car to make sure I got there safely. Thanks Frank, my husband really appreciated that!
I was glad to see my dear friend Nurit there. Even though we didn’t get to sit together, we still made time to catch up a little.
Getting together with Jessie is always a treat, she’s both nice and talented, I’m still craving her painting of dueling slices of pie and cake.
At this table we had Eric (who lives super close to us and was so nice), Alexa from Foodbuzz (a really fun gal that I hope to see again soon), John and Patricia, Ron, and Cinde. I’d met Ron and Patricia before at an artisan burger tasting in their home, they’re a pretty neat couple who cook with local ingredients. Cinde and I got to talk a little that night, she cooks gluten free and vegetarian, no small feat day after day. Sadly, I didn’t really get to talk to Ron that night.
Sorry my pictures aren’t the best quality because my camera just couldn’t take pictures in such low light without the crazy bright flash. It was cool we got little special menus for our party. We all shared appetizers and had a choice for our main dish and dessert.
I think the mussels were my favorite appetizer, but I like mussels pretty much any way you cook them. I thought it was pretty cool how they were served on a bed of salt.
One of the appetizers was a lovely watercress salad with Asian pear. I think the pear was shaved rather than sliced or chopped, I just remember really liking the texture of the salad.
I ordered the steak, and it was AMAZING! It was perfectly cooked crisp and crunchy on the outside, seasoned divinely and juicy tender in the center. I never liked grits before, but after sampling Chef Mark Fuller’s cooking at the IFBC, I decided to trust him and try them. These were like no grits I’d ever tasted! They were creamy like whipped butter (rather than sticky like glue) and yet had an incredible texture. The salad was another highlight of the evening. Ryan and I couldn’t figure out what we tasted besides lemon and salt on it. The waiter said that the chef uses juice of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit to make the dressing! Mark, if you ever want to share that recipe I’d be forever grateful
Sarah was sitting across from me and ordered the cod. I’ll always choose steak over fish (unless it’s raw fish!) but I tried a bite of hers and it was quite tasty with a nice firm texture that flaked apart easily.
I had the huckleberry buttermilk panna cotta and LOVED the huckleberries. Poor Alexa had been scouring the farmer’s market that day for huckleberries and didn’t get any. She somehow missed them on the menu and ordered the other dessert, so I gave her a bite. I think she was still happy though because I saw her tweet later that she loved the popcorn ice cream.
I wish now that I had tried the popcorn ice cream, but I was so stuffed by then that I couldn’t imagine eating another bite! Springhill has a romantic yet casual atmosphere, incredibly gracious service (Marjorie was our hostess and is absolutely lovely!), and memorable, delicious food. I will definitely be taking Eric there in the near future, and highly recommend it. Thanks Foodbuzz, Visa, Springhill and fellow food bloggers for a fun evening.