In July 2013, my friend Aaron's wife, Maryam, got a few of his close friends together for a "surprise" birthday dinner at Aleks Dimitrijevic's restaurant La Bête in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Aaron is a pastry chef at nearby (as in around the corner from La Bête) Crumble & Flake, so it it seemed the natural choice.
Upon entering La Bête, the diner notices large stacks of cookbooks to the left of the open kitchen, with warm woods throughout the seating area and salvaged iron detailing in the windows. Our tables were constructed from heavily-burled old growth wood with found objects nestled in each twist and fold, topped with a classy glassy lacquer. So cool.
To start, I ordered the summer salad with charred onion aioli, blackened eggplant purée, baby carrots, crisp radishes, snap peas, greens and fresh herbs. Truly summer on a plate.
The summer salad was followed by calamari with Manila clams in a savory tomato broth with chorizo, corona beans, and fresh chickpeas (a first time for me!), with grilled bread to soak up the broth.
Because pastry chefs (and friends of pastry chefs) always order dessert, I finished off my meal with a rum and muscovado sugar glazed banana crepe with brown butter cinnamon ice cream and dense whipped cream on a dulce de leche blanket.
My reason for selecting La Bête for this week's NOSHology Throwback Thursday is that Eater Seattle recently announced that Dimitrijevic would be closing this delightful space on August 16th. Like so many spots in Capitol Hill...heck, all over Seattle...landlords are raising rents at a precipitous rate, forcing many cherished eateries to shutter their doors. Fortunately, Eater's interview with Dimitrijevic suggests that he plans to overhaul and re-open a new space at some point.
And when he does, I'll be there.
La Bête is located at 1802 Bellevue Ave in Seattle, Washington.