Life according to Anthony Bourdain (writer, chef, traveler, and Travel Channel personality), we should not eat at a self-titled restaurant named after it’s owner/chef. He also fanatically says do not eat at restaurants if the restroom is not clean and maintained. These are indications of neglect and it reflects a terrible omen on the establishment.
What does this have to do with LloydMartin Restaurant? Absolutely nothing.
Sam Crannell, former chef of Capitol Hill’s Oddfellows and Quinn’s restaurants just opened his first restaurant a few months ago in Seattle’s upper Queen Anne. To verify Mr. Bourdain’s restaurant criteria, I asked the waitress what’s behind the name. The Wisconsin native explained that Sam named his restaurant after his two Grandfathers. Okay, perhaps his restaurant was a tribute to significant men in his life. I find that rather inspiring.
His menu certainly has some inspiration from Sam’s previous restaurant experience. How did I make this connection? Well, the only place that I have had oxtail in Seattle was at Quinn’s. This insatiable two-syllable word of absolute goodness made my night. This oxtail has the same rich and boldness from the pork belly from How to Cook a Wolf. Sam created this oxtail dish with cavatelli pasta, chanterelles, and oxtail au jus.
But what grabbed my attention was the elk ragu fettuccine and pickled huckleberry sauce. Sam’s creative and novelty idea to compose elk and huckleberry together was clever and brilliantly executed. Sam is either an evil genius or is someone who holds a grudge against elk. To add insult to injury (or death in this case), Sam made the poor bastard’s favorite thing to nosh on – huckleberries – as part of the dish’s accent garnish. Maybe this was his sentimental gesture as a farewell to the sacrificial elk.
The menu was dark, witty, daring, and outside of the box – why can’t I find this more often in Seattle? I will tell you why; everyone in Seattle copies each other’s menus. Note to NW chefs, lose your inhibitions and be daring! Thank you Sam for sticking to your guns.