Sexy Food: Celebrate 50 Years of the Space Needle with Iconic Eats

Five of Seattle’s hottest chefs honor the needle in the sky with era-themed entrees.

The Space Needle got a facelift to celebrate her five decades watching over our fair city. In addition to sprucing up her exterior, SkyCity restaurant’s menu got a little help from five Seattle icons. The 50th anniversary menu is available now through May 31st, and it includes five courses for only $62. Proceeds from the menu benefit the preferred charities of each of the five chefs who created it.

1962 Seattle Worlds Fair Space Needle by Douglas Coulter.

This is an unprecedented event in Seattle’s history, the ability to taste the dishes of Seattle’s most famous chefs all under one architecturally-significant roof. The menu starts in the 1960’s with SkyCity executive chef Jeff Maxfield manning the grill. He composed succulent Dungeness crab en brochette with house-cured bacon, micro chervil, and a tarragon emulsion. The salty bacon plays nicely against sweet, seasonal crab and acts as homage to both the 60’s and one of Washington State’s greatest exports, Dungeness crab.

The second course features sushi master Shiro Kashiba, with his ode to the 1970’s, Poke Belltown. Silken ahi tuna is dressed in creamy vinaigrette, and mixed with scallions and tobiko. It’s refreshing and lighthearted, much like both the man who created it and the decade it represents. Shiro can be found behind the sushi bar at Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant when he’s not honoring Seattle landmarks with Japanese cuisine.

Celebrity mixologist and Dish D’lish owner Kathy Casey embraces the 80’s for course number three. She presents a warm spinach salad with smoked duck, shiitake mushrooms, sesame dressing, and housemade sesame crackers with wasabi goat cheese. It features some of the most popular ingredients from the 80’s, like enoki and shiitake mushrooms, as well as duck.

The should-be mayor of Seattle, Tom Douglas, tackles Seattle’s heyday era, the 1990’s. Ever the overachiever, Douglas presents three small tastes: steamed wild salmon, kimchee fried rice topped with a gleaming quail egg, and grilled asparagus with star anise and hazelnuts. It’s a heady blend, just like the music of the 90’s, although there’s nothing grungy at all about this inspired course.

Jason Wilson skates us straight through to the 2000’s with a tender Painted Hills strip loin. He undoubtedly brings the modern techniques used at his popular Madison eatery, Crush, to the table in the preparation of the meat, which is slow-cooked in beef tallow and served with horseradish mignonette, roasted baby vegetables, and porcini bone marrow puree.

Perhaps SkyCity’s best-kept secret is their entirely capable and extremely charming sommelier, Mido Benjdya. He roams the revolving restaurant always at-the-ready to answer patron’s questions about his well-edited wine list that is a celebratory ode to Washingon wines. Mido is happy to suggest wine pairings for each of the five courses, and he does so with the ease and alacrity of a true pro. In addition to the main list, Mido holds in reserve a smaller menu of cellar selections that are on offer for surprisingly-reasonable prices. For example Ciacci Piccolomini Brunello di Montalcino is listed for only $75, which seems like a rollback to 1960’s prices, indeed.

Run, don’t walk, to SkyCity this May, and join the rest of the city in toasting our beloved Space Needle. For reservations, visit the SkyCity website or call (206) 905-2100.