Tilth Restaurant

Wines and Cocktails
November 7, 2008, 2:55 pm
Filed under: Cocktails, What's New, Wine

Dear Tilth Guests,

Fall is in full swing and our menu has turned toward the heartier, warming dishes that you have become accustomed to during the cold, wet months in Seattle. As a result I have flipped the wine list over to better complement the menu. I have bulked up on some Italian reds which I find pair nicely with some of our earthy dishes. One in particular that I am fond of is the Burlotto Nebbiolo from Langhe. It displays a rustic Old World minerality balanced by some subtle dried-fruit notes — an excellent food wine with great value as well. From our friends here in Washington I have started to carry the Northwest Vine Projects Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite red varietals and I think that this wine is quite true to what one would expect for Cab Franc. It also exhibits a bit of Washington terroir. It pairs well with most of our autumn menu because of its high acid and silky tannins.

The wine list isn’t the only thing changing with the seasons. Our cocktail program has shifted more toward warm brown liquors and autumnal fruits. We switched up a classic Tilth cocktail that some of you may be familiar with (The Back Porch) and developed The Back Porch As Well. This cocktail incorporates some of our Asian pears that grow just off our back porch with a sumac simple syrup, a little bit of pear brandy and some lemon juice to balance the sweetness. We float the cocktail with some sparkling rose which makes for a beautiful color and a stinger of a bone warming cocktail. I’ve also whipped up another batch of my housemade falernum. This is a rum infusion that incorporates ginger, clove, lime and toasted almonds. Falernum finds its way into our Salty Poodle which drinks much like a margarita (but way better).

One final note about Tilth that Maria may have mentioned to you already: Our front porch should be enclosed any day now. This will provide a comfortable place for all of you to get a drink while you wait for your table. We also hope that everyone might stop in a bit more frequently to grab a quick glass of wine or cocktail and some of our renowned hors d’oeuvres or maybe some of our new flat bread.

Hope to see you soon!


Adam Chumas
General Manager


Family Dining
October 24, 2008, 9:51 am
Filed under: Events, Family Dining

I recently agreed to participate in a family dining series through Red Tricycle and Future Foodies. The response from diners was so great, that we decided to add another date: Dec. 2. Please read about the details here and if you’d like to join us for dinner, give us a call!

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Vote and Bubbly
October 10, 2008, 11:49 am
Filed under: Events

VOTE! It’s so important to exercise your right. To celebrate democracy, Tilth will offer a complimentary glass of bubbly to all who vote on Election Day. Our dinner service starts at 5 p.m. Join us!

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Jars of Tilth
September 22, 2008, 11:32 am
Filed under: House-made products, What's New

Happy Fall Equinox!
This summer we’ve been busy in the kitchen putting up some local goods.

While there’s plenty of foods to be excited about this fall, it’s always nice to enjoy the flavor of the sun. So in celebration of the sun, we have house-made heirloom tomato ketchup, strawberry rhubarb preserves, and raspberry preserves for you to purchase in pint sized mason jars here at Tilth. The cost is $10 per jar.

Look forward to seeing you all!

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Special Dinner for Salmon-Safe
September 16, 2008, 9:20 am
Filed under: Events, Monday Night, What's New

We will be featuring Salmon-Safe for our September 29 menu. Please see the menu below.

Homage to Salmon-Safe
September 29, 2008
$45 prix fixe; $20 wine pairings

Parsnip-Apple Soup

smoked salmon mousse, beets, fennel

Oxbow Farms Lettuce
pickled carrots, white cucumbers, goat cheese vinaigrette

Pan-Seared Sockeye Salmon
red quinoa, edamame, carrot puree

Ricotta-Orange Honey Semifreddo
candied orange zest, pistachio, short bread cookie

About Salmon-Safe:
Salmon-Safe is a non-profit organization that restores agricultural and urban watersheds to preserve the spawning grounds for salmon. It certifies farms that are deemed environmentally sound and therefore safe for fish. Tilth is happy to support Salmon-Safe and Salmon-Safe-certified farms, including Oxbow Farms, Full Circle Farms, Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy and Growing Things Farm.

Sous chef
Larkin Young

Maria Hines

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New Vegan Menu
September 9, 2008, 9:54 pm
Filed under: From Maria, What's New

To All My Vegan Friends!

Starting now, I’ll be putting together a vegan tasting menu that will change every month.

I recently had lunch with one of my best friends, Eric, who has been vegan for over a year. Eating together at the table has always been a big part of our social time. Since then, I’ve been introduced to some delicious and some not so delicious vegan meals. From my omnivore perspective, I feel kind of bad about the limited full service restaurant options that are out there for those who commit to this honorable, animal friendly, carbon footprint-reducing, vegan diet. So in honor of all vegans, I’ll be putting something special together, just for you every month!

The menu will be inspired by the seasons and will be delicious enough for an omnivore to devour.  We’ll start with whole organic foods from local sources and cook them simply to let their flavors shine through!

I’ll be posting them on the blog the first of every month, so you can see what’s new!


Tilth Vegan Menu
September 2008

Smoked Date Tatin 3/7
Crostini, sherry gastrique, chive

Oxbow Farm Lettuces 7/13
mustard vinaigrette, french breakfast radish, hazelnut

King’s Garden French Melon 7/12
anise hyssop, black pepper, olive oil

Spelt Berry Risotto 12/23
Corn milk, romano bean, heirloom tomato

Bluebird Grain Farms Farro 12/23
sorrel, sweet pepper, baby artichoke

Billy Allstot Farm Peaches 6
fresh fig, peach coulis, mint

Maria Hines

Sous Chef
Larkin Young

* Consuming raw or undercooked foods may increase your risk of food-borne illness. Please note there is no organic certification for “wild” foods. Food items that are underlined may contain an ingredient that is not certified organic.

Tilth’s Second Anniversary
September 5, 2008, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Events, From Maria, What's New

Tilth turned two years old on September 2.

The thought of this causes me to reflect emotionally on the past year of challenges, accomplishments, stressful moments and happy moments that have been shared in this little restaurant that sits inside a 1910 craftsman home in a tucked-away neighborhood in Seattle.

Our second year started out a little shaky. I thought maybe the honeymoon period was over and we were not the hot, new restaurant anymore. Kids had gone back to school that month. The fall weather change and the opening of a bunch of other new restaurants had affected business. I started to panic a little. Is this what the normal business level is going to look like? How can I earn a living by losing money or barely covering our bills every month? Why in the hell did I decide to open a certified-organic restaurant with food that costs 40% more, making the bulk of it from scratch, and keeping the check average down below the competition’s (who aren’t even organic)?! Why in the hell did I choose go green and spend so much more money on toilet paper, hand soap, and detergent? I just opened a year ago, I’m still in debt up to my ears, and I have a lien on my house for this place! I put it all on the line, man, and for what?!

My future started to flash before my eyes. I’m going to be one of those old, bitter restaurant owners, using broken-down equipment, bitching about never making any money, shouting, “Do you know how much that cost me?!” every time the staff breaks something, grumbling about how I’m too old to be chasing twenty-year olds around the restaurant doing my best to manage them, spending my dying days just trying to get by, with no retirement in sight. What a kill joy!!

I thought owning a restaurant was supposed to be glamorous, exhilarating, sexy, fun. I thought every night was supposed to be packed, with that buzz in the room of lots of people enjoying themselves, having a great time, and me walkin’ around with a smile on my face saying “Yeah, that’s right! You know it! This is my restaurant! It’s the place to be! I’m livin’ a dream! And you’re all here sharing it with me!”

But that September, October, November of last year was a little quiet in the dining room and money was tight. My cooks who worked during that time called it “the great depression.” Due to the fact that every night around 9 p.m. I’d say, “Okay, who’s going home early? Sorry guys, it won’t be like this all the time.” And the unlucky cook of the night would bow his head down at the thought of money loss to pay their own bills, would loyally say “Okay, chef” and he’d come back the next day ready to work hard, still believing in the food we we’re cooking, trusting in me that “It won’t be like this all the time.” The knot in my stomach got just a little tighter each night I had to say that phrase.

Than December came and the holidays were here! People were spending money and coming in to Tilth to celebrate! Lots of them. The cooks got their hours on the clock, servers got their tips, I was payin’ the bills with no problem! Things were turning around! A reminder of the joys of restaurant ownership was back!

And then, we had that spell of torrential downpour weather and the main sewer line backed up. During brunch service on a Saturday, of course. A few short hours later, it was apparent that we would not be opening on time for Saturday night dinner service. The busiest night of the week! The plumber said that if he couldn’t clear the sewer line that was backed up to the street (due to a crack in the original pipe of the ever so charming 1910 house), we may need to close for six weeks to fix the pipe. And also get city permits to close down 45th street, break through the asphalt, to do the work on the pipe. This would cost about 50K, not including loss of business. While I had three plumbing companies come out to try and fix the problem over the next three days, I was simultaneously having to prepare to put down my 22-and-a-half-year old cat that I’ve had since I was 17 years old! If I had to close for six weeks, the restaurant would possibly have to fold. I had hardly any business savings, no personal collateral for a business loan, and minimal money stashed in retirement. My only shot would be to ask my silent investors to bail us out this mess. Then on Monday, one hour before service, the massive jetter the plumbers brought in, cleared the sewer line and we were back in business! Ahhhhh, a sigh of relief.

Back to great holiday business all the way through January! Little did we know, Frank Bruni, restaurant critic from the New York Times, came in to dinner to review us for his ten best new restaurants outside of New York City list. We made the list! The article came out at the end of February and Tilth has been packed every night since. Me and my staff felt on top of the world! We were challenged with how to keep up with this staggering new pace. The old equipment was getting pummeled from so much use, we were scrambling around trying to keep up with prep, we just couldn’t seem to have enough servers on the floor, and the expectation from the guest was through the roof. It’s every restaurant owner’s dream to have this happen! On top of it all, I was able to provide my guests and my staff with things that were needed. Like oh say, a beautiful patio to sit on that doesn’t have rotten deck boards, a women’s restroom toilet that doesn’t slightly back up every Saturday night, a stereo system that has more than two speakers for the entire dining room, and a piece of mind sitting in the bank for that rainy day when the plumbing goes out.

Currently, we’re packed every night, with that buzz in the room of people enjoying themselves, having a great time, with me walkin’ around with a smile on my face saying “Yeah that’s right! You know it! This is my restaurant! This is the place to be! I’m livin’ a dream! And you’re all here sharing it with me!”

I thank all of you for coming in to Tilth and dining with us. If it weren’t for your continued support and wonderful energy, we wouldn’t be able to continue to do what we love to do. Which is to feed you delicious organic food, make you feel comfortable and cared for, and generating a feeling of shared happiness at Tilth.