Our Food + Travel and Wine Aficionados take on the Snoqualmie Casino’s gourmet eatery.
To escape the confines of Seattle can be difficult. Luckily, there are carpool lanes. The next step is making sure the destination and company are worthwhile, and in this case both were on point. The location was Terra Vista, Snoqualmie Casino’s upscale restaurant, and my dining partner was Erin Thomas, Seattleite’s Wine Aficionado.
Our mission: to dine and drink in the finest fashion at the Homard Homage, Terra Vista’s annual lobster festival that was held this year on June 11. Rest assured – we accomplished our task. To demonstrate our affinity for teamwork, I’ll tackle the food and Erin will take on the wine. Maybe it’s a false hope, but we hope our readers feel as fulfilled at the end of this article as we did at the end of our meal.
Like a proper gentleman (and Food Aficionado), I did the ordering. We started off with a crab and lobster dumpling, served with tomato marmalade. Expecting a traditional, flour-wrapped concoction with a pinched top, we were both taken aback by the cake-like items brought to our table.
As we cut into the dumplings, each layer presented itself, yet the structure remained firm. Flavors of lobster, and even the salty side of sausage (“I don’t think there’s sausage in there…”), made their presence known, only to be quickly mellowed by the slightest touch of marmalade. A fine and surprising start to our meal.
I like sherry for breakfast, lunch and dinner just like any old, swashbuckling mustached Spaniard — especially with my seafood dumplings. On the sweet side of sherry, the Sandeman Amontillado Sherry made quite the dueling partner for the equally succulent and saccharine shellfish cakes.
Even in its harshest form, sherry is enhanced by complimentary food, and this was certainly true when pairing the wine’s almond and vanilla tones with the salty savor of the dumplings.
Anytime I can get my hands on ceviche, I do it. Dick’s could advertise a ceviche’ burger and I’d order it. Throw lobster in, and I’m a pathetic seventh grader begging at the knees of the girl who just broke up with him.
Terra Vista throws a fertile amount of fresh fruit in their ceviche’ to go along with large pieces of claw. Bruce Dillion took the form of my mother, plopping formative amounts of cantaloupe, making sure I got my share of one the season’s plumpest fruits. The dish was light and fresh, just like a ceviche’ should be.
With a dish that my counterpart would have chugged if I didn’t stop him, we were put to the test for a wine that could stand up to such high expectations. Cooper Hill Pinot Gris filled the bill and defined the term “value wine.”
Grapefruit and other citrus buddies were the initial aromas, with honeysuckle, orange blossom and some soft hints of melon in the back. These flavors complemented the fruit in the ceviche like a steady, synchronized beat. Like the dish itself, this wine was light and fresh — just like a Pinot Gris should be.
Choosing a main course was our toughest decision. Terra Vista’s summer menu is very impressive, and I couldn’t help but dabble away from the lobster specials on at least one occasion. With the word “steak” following the word “halibut,” I couldn’t help myself and ordered the white fish with a mandarin / lavender foam, substituting gnocchi for the fingerling potatoes (power move!). The foam shined brightly, with a surprising level of sweetness coming from such a fair substance — drawing eerie parallels with the young lady sitting next to me.
Next up was the lobster and foie grois burger with mango salad. The fruit slaw tended to dominate, even with such a large patty of goodness sitting beside it. In classic expensive burger fashion, a bucket of truffle fries came alongside, and were picked at until the final napkin was thrown.
Did you just call me a fair substance?
To go along with our entrees, we guzzled Sancerre from the Chateau Sancerre, a pristine and intricate French version of Sauvignon Blanc of the Sancerre region with the same name. This precious spin on the varietal focuses more heavily on the minerality at play in both the wine and the gamey tones of the foie gras. Not to mention there were truffle fries that almost brought me to tears alongside my luscious Sancerre.
Likewise, the halibut steak, coated in the aforementioned mandarin lavender foam, brought out the juicy citrus fruit notes to the Sancerre. Diverging from the richness of fish, the acidity and brightness to the wine allowed both to shine in their own right.
Glowing in our hedonism, we popped our top pant buttons and shoveled in some dessert. To show off their confectionary progressivism, Terra Vista brought us their version of “Thin Mint,” the popular Girl Scout cookie, along with the s’more, a campfire favorite. Eccentric and bold, yet all around delicious, the desserts were the perfect ending.
Gluttonous and damn proud of it, we left a bit of our money at a blackjack table and drove home in a partial food coma. For those hoping to maximize their local resources, the Terra Vista Restaurant at the Snoqualmie Casino is happy to take your reservations.
Terra Vista at Snoqualmie Casino| 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie| (425) 888-1234