The votes have been tallied in the 2016 KING5 Evening Magazine Best of Western Washington and Pacific Grill has been named BEST HAPPY HOUR! We would like to thank all of our guests for voting!
TACOMA, WASH. – Pacific Grill was selected BEST Happy Hour by the voters of 2016’s Best of Western Washington contest.
The Mix was selected BEST Gay Bar by the voters of 2016’s Best of Western Washington contest.
Steel Creek American Whiskey Company was selected BEST Dance Club by the voters of 2016’s Best of Western Washington. Tacoma Cabana was selected BEST Craft Cocktails by the voters of 2016’s Best of Western Washington.
First stop: Happy Hour at Pacific Grill! Everybody’s happy at The P-G, but certainly not just for one hour.
“Basically happy hour is all day,” says manager Franco D’Amico. “We have terrific deals on everything on the menu.”
Like great appetizers and Old fashioneds made with barrel aged whiskey..
Pacific Grill was also ranked #3 in Best Brunch & Pacific Grill Events & Catering #4 in Best Wedding Caterer!
Watch our spot on Evening Magazine below:
Pacific Grill was previously named Best Happy Hour in Western Washington in 2010.
Our very own Gordon Naccarato was named one of the Top 20 Most Talented People in Seattle by readers of Seattle Magazine!
Chef/owner and vice president of Tacoma-based Naccarato Restaurant Group, which owns the Pacific Grill Restaurant, Pacific Grill Events & Catering, and Classics by Pacific Grill at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum
What one reader had to say: Chef Gordon is a great chef and Tacoma kid. Named to Food and Wine‘s hot chefs list almost 20 years ago. He keeps innovating. His restaurants are perfect mix of upscale food in a relaxed atmosphere.
More about Seattle Magazine:
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Through award-winning photography and stories, Seattle magazine at once celebrates the city’s status as the birthplace of technology, innovation and trends; the surrounding natural beauty; and the pioneering spirit that draws and keeps us all here.
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Great News for Tacoma!
Tacoma leaders toast DaVita’s new lease
THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Tacoma and Pierce County political and business leaders raised a glass Monday night to celebrate DaVita’s decision to keep its business offices in Tacoma.
In a cocktail gathering at the Pacific Grill Events Center, DaVita Vice President Jim Hilger accepted on behalf of the company the thanks of Tacoma’s mayor – as well as a proclamation declaring Aug. 10, 2009, “DaVita Day” in Tacoma.
Mayor Bill Baarsma presented the framed proclamation, then surprised Hilger with a key to the city – a gift Baarsma asked Hilger to deliver to corporate headquarters in Denver.
DaVita, which operates a network of 1,400 kidney treatment centers nationwide, announced in May that it would sign a new lease on the former Schoenfeld Furniture Store at South 15th Street and Pacific Avenue, and lease three floors of the nearby Columbia Bank Building to house its accounting and billing staff.
The company now employs some 900 workers in Tacoma, and it expects to add more over the next decade. Its decision to stay in the city has been celebrated in downtown circles and almost always is mentioned in the same breath as the forthcoming headquarters decision for Russell Investments.
The gathering Monday was put on by the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma. Among those attending were U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, who Hilger has said called him on his cell phone while DaVita was making a decision.
When asked if he had Russell CEO Andrew Doman’s cell phone number handy, Dicks said with a smile, “I’m sure I have it in my files.”
Kathleen Cooper, The News Tribune
Genius: Pacific Grill’s tuna melt
CHAT WITH CHEF GORDON NACCARATO
Yeah, we already know he’s a culinary genius, but Tacoma’s award-winning chef Gordon Naccarato knocked me off his Pacific Grill chair with his tuna melt. The open faced grilled ahi tuna sandwich off his Pacific Grill’s lunch menu deserves to be bronzed. I know it’s one of his favorites, too. He tried to take it off his lunch menu once, but people cried in the streets. It’s back on, thank goodness.
I caught up with Naccarato for the scoop behind this dish.
WEEKLY VOLCANO: Who came up with this creation?
GORDON NACCARATO: Many years ago when I had my restaurant in Aspen, I was looking for a modern update on the classic tuna melt for my lunch menu. I think back then I used a New York white cheddar and served it without the bread (back before there was any decent bread in the U.S.) and used an opal basil butter … but I loved the white cheddar with the fish. When we were kicking ideas around for another sandwich for PG I remembered the dish from Aspen and how delicious it was. I wanted the sandwich served open-face on top of grilled La Brea Bakery bread. I love grilled bread. Everything tastes better with grilled bread — just like everything tastes better with bacon!
VOLCANO: Why do you think it works well?
NACCARATO: The combination of the vintage cheddar cheese with the soft, rare flesh of the tuna is very satisfying. The charred warm exterior of the flesh contrasts with the cool rare center. It all plays well against the contrasting texture of the grilled rustic bread. The charred rosemary mayonnaise is another layer of lusciousness. Charring the rosemary provides a slight natural smokiness. The grilled onions provide a sweet note against the rich cheese, and the tomatoes provide an acidic note of punctuation. I love watching people take a first bite of this dish; it always elicits a satisfying smile.
VOLCANO: What kind of beverage goes best with it?
NACCARATO: I would think either a refreshing wine, or beer. A Washington Pinot Gris would be good. It has medium body, and hints of apple and pear that would taste great with the cheddar, and it has enough acidity to cleanly cut through the rich dish — or a Belgian golden ale called Duvel, that we have right now, would be nice — as it is light bodied and has notes of citrus that would be refreshing against the rich fish.
VOLCANO: What sandwich did your mom always put in your lunch box for school?
NACCARATO: A tuna fish sandwich on Wonder Bread, made with mayo (never Miracle Whip — YUCK) and pickles and iceberg lettuce.
VOLCANO: Plain, super heroes, or sports figures — what was your favorite lunch box?
NACCARATO: My favorite Lunch Box was a brown bag … except for the time I set it on the ground and ran back inside my house to get a book I forgot, and when I came back outside the neighbor’s dog had peed all over my brown bag lunch!
VOLCANO: Nice. Do you have anything in the works to grace your lunch menu soon?
NACCARATO: I am planning our spring menus right now, and I am always thinking about new sandwiches — like when I put our version of a sloppy joe on the menu with roast pork shoulder in tomato sauce over grilled bread with shaved reggiano. I love tweaking classic sandwiches. Maybe I should do a patty melt on grilled rye, gruyère cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut — but a REALLY good version — or why bother?
Pacific Grill, lunch served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday
1502 Pacific Ave
Article Reprinted by permission
Had a wonderful meal in a charming little restaurant in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle the other night with my friends Kevin Mackay, Maria Semple and George Meyer. Maria & George recently moved to Seattle from Los Angeles where they both worked for many years writing for television—she for shows like The Ellen Show, and Mad About You; and George for David Letterman, and many years with The Simpsons.
I have known Maria since my restaurant days in Aspen, Colorado. Her parents Joyce and Lorenzo Semple Jr. were fixtures in Aspen’s social scene—Joyce always working on the Aspen Film Festival, and her husband himself an accomplished writer and screenwriter [Three Days of the Condor; one of my favorite thrillers The Parallax View; the King Kong that started Jessica Lange’s movie career–and the campy Batman series from the 60’s].
They were great customers and supporters of mine, and their son Lo worked in my kitchen as the “french fry guy”. Whenever we get together Maria and I pretty much talk non-stop reminiscing about Aspen and catching up on gossip. She just published her first novel, “This One Is Mine” to great acclaim. http://www.mariasemple.com/
She is currently working on her second novel set in Aspen.
We walked from their Belltown condo around the corner to Tillicum Place Café, and immediately Maria wanted to know what I, as a chef, consider when I come into a new restaurant?
Well of course it is important what the restaurant looks like—how does the décor inform the food? What expectations give rise? How is the lighting? Does the place feel authentic? The smells coming from the kitchen were wonderful.
I answered that I usually can tell if the meal is going to be good just by reading the menu. (At least you can see if there is thinking going-on in the kitchen). The Menu was simple and sparely written. I noticed white anchovies from Spain and Brandade. A Pork Rillette. Duck confit. The menu leans French bistro, uncomplicated. Not fussy.
Near the back by the bathrooms the owner/chef’s cookbooks are all on display, giving the place a warm and cozy feeling like you are visiting someone’s home. Someone confident enough to let you think she doesn’t yet know everything about cooking.
Maria & George are both Vegans. So we navigate the menu and decide on a few dishes we can share
…We started out with a pappardelle pasta to share– that came with a brown butter sauce, sage & hazelnuts that was simple and delicious.
…next we shared a savory butternut squash tart with caramelized onions & Gruyère cheese [$9]. It was served with a simple mixed green salad & walnut oil vinaigrette.
…my simple mixed bitter greens was dressed with a warm bacon vinaigrette, dates & oranges [$8]. It was a tad over-dressed but everything is better with bacon right?
…Kevin ordered Brandade ( a puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk-a specialty of the Languedoc and Provence regions of France.) It was served in a cast iron skillet with stuffed peppers [$7].
…I ordered Duck confit a dish I can never pass up. It was served fall-off-the-bone tender, and tasted like it had been rubbed with Chinese 5 Spice. On the side was toasted spaetzle with kumquat jus & a few brussels sprouts leaves. It tasted almost like bread salad, and played well against the rich duck–the kumquats a bittersweet foil.
…George ordered the side of Baked Beans [$4] that also had some shredded pork or meat of some kind inside. When I pointed this out to him [also a Vegan] he just smiled and kept eating.
I liked the warm spices in the beans with their hint of brown sugar, molasses and maybe a touch of bourbon.
Hmmm how about the House-cured Gravlax I asked? (I love home-made gravlax). Or the Lemony Rice Dolmades? What are Dolmades Kevin Asked? It means wrapped in grape leaves, I explained.
Ok– so we told Guillermo to order four dishes: Gravlax, the minty feta spread, and the Lamb & Squid Kebabs.
The Squid Kebab was the highlight of the Meal. After eating Squid grilled whole on skewers I asked Kevin— will we ever want to eat fried Calamari again ever?? Not me. This is sensational we both agreed –and the chermoula amazing. The sauce kept our lips tingling for more. The squid, both charred and tender, caramelized and burnished the flavors in ways that a fryer never could. Simple & Brilliant!
· breakfast Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM
· lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
· Dinners are served Sunday through Thursday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
· late night menu is available Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 PM to 12:00 AM The Bar remains open until 2:00 AM
· brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Rub some of the blended spice mixture lightly into the flesh of the salmon filet (left whole) pin bones removed taking care not to damage the flesh (salmon skin-side should be slightly scored barely through the skin, on the bias, to allow juices to escape).
Take remaining spices, blend with the dill and completely “bury” the salmon top and bottom with the dill spice mixture. Cover with plastic wrap. Set the whole half salmon filet in a pan large enough to accommodate it, and set another pan on top of it. Not set a couple of Gallon milk jugs on top of the pan and distribute the weights evenly on the pan to weight the pan unevenly on top of the salmon. Every day, unweight the salmon and flip the filet over, then re-weight it. You will see the salmon start “throwing” liquid as the salt/sugar brine starts extracting liquid from the salmon flesh.. Depending on the size of the salmon filet you may need to only cure the fish for a day or two, or up to 3 for a fairly large fish. When cured, remove and scrape away the mixture, from the flesh. You do not need to wash the flesh just brush it gently to get the majority of the salty sweet pepper dill mixture off the flesh.
Carefully slice the flesh with a thin slicing knife as thinly as possible taking care that you always see the knife through the flesh of the salmon transparently through the flesh (that will be the proper thinness, and transfer slices to plates. Refrigerate the filet whole and slice only what you need.
After settling in and bundling up and borrowing the extra pair of gloves from Dad, we set out to find something to eat. Should it be something good– along the lines of stir-fry or sushi I wondered…or maybe Ivar’s fish-n-chips (their French fries look seriously good)….What about some garlic fries my brother suggested? No way–I said– I hate those! I barely can stand the smell from 40 paces away!
No…I think for tradition’s sake I needed to have a huge hot dog with mustard and relish [$6], and a draft beer [$6]. Steve did the same. Dad went for a bowl of Ivar’s chowder (looked a little pasty to me, but Dad said it was dee-lish ). Jeanne went for a Salmon Caesar.
So with pageantry unfolding all around, fireworks and dignitaries, a young child cancer survivor ran the bases making us all tear up, to the introduction of this year’s line up, the golden glove presentation to Ichiro, and a beautiful opera singer’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and so on, it was an exciting and emotional opening day. Like it should be.
In the 6th inning everything turned around and we went ahead, and with the lead firmly in place we decided to leave after the 7th inning stretch. Mariners eventually winning 5-2.
Thanks Dad & Jeanne for the great time and for hanging in there!
Chandler’s Crabhouse at South Lake Union
|Had a wonderful evening in Seattle Sunday night.
Two of our Pacific Grill investors Dennis & Ida Ford invited me and my Executive Chef, Aaron Valimont, to dinner at Chandler’s Crabhouse on Lake Union. Dennis & Ida (two of the nicest people you will ever meet) just got back from two weeks in Cancun, and we laughed about Ida’s lack of tan, and my father’s insistence that that is the entire purpose of a trip to Cancun. (they stayed at my Dad’s timeshare with his wife Jeanne).
We met Dennis first at Schwartz Brothers Bakery, where he is the Bakery Manager. He gave Aaron & me a tour of the impressive facility. Schwartz Bros. provides the pastries to dozens of businesses in the greater Seattle area, including Trader Joe’s, and all the Starbucks from Everett to Vancouver WA. If you’ve had a pumpkin scone from Starbucks or the individual carrot cakes from Trader Joe’s –you’ve tasted something delicious from Schwartz Bros…
The size of the bread and dough- mixing machinery dwarfed us as we made our way through the cavernous facility. Palettes of butter stacked to the ceiling reminded me of Costco. Sacks of flour, sugar & spices, and exotic flavorings filled the air. The whole place smelled like ‘eau de cinnamon roll’, and I was starving!
After the tour we met Dennis’ wife Ida at Chandler’s. We had a great evening sampling the many crab options from their extensive menu as they are in the middle of their famous “crabfest”.
Main courses I tasted included my Ahi with sticky rice (served medium even though I ordered it rare). The fish could have been a bit hotter. Aaron also noticed his entrée of Monkfish could have been hotter. I noticed the “Poblano pepper jus” should have been thinner—as jus means juice. The sauce was an off-putting gray/green color– very emulsified and unappealingly thick. The chef should have thinned it out more. It tasted delicious however…
Ida had the Scallops & Prawns with goat cheese ravioli, broccolini, pine nuts, & sherry. The goat cheese ravioli were pleasantly hot. Dennis proclaimed his Surf & Turf delicious.
We ordered a side of Dungeness Crab Hash that was astounding in size and only $8.50!
We tried some excellent wines—including the Three Legged Red, from Dunham Cellars, but our favorite was the L’Ecole no. 41, Cabernet from Columbia Valley, WA Wine Spectator gave this wine a 91 rating. It had gorgeous fruit, and a polished finish.
Delicious wine, a spectacular setting on Lake Union, some great crab from around the country and fantastic friends made for a perfect evening.
He had never been to LARK or Licorous, the delicious small plates/bar next door also owned by Chef John Sundstrom.
I wanted him to have one of their delicious cocktail/food pairings. John is an extremely gifted chef, he even makes his own bitters for the bar! Now that is going “above & beyond” in my book!
Unfortunately Licorous is CLOSED SUNDAYS!
So we instead dropped in on one of my favorite spots in the Belltown section of Seattle, Black Bottle –the self-described “gastro tavern”.
We were both stuffed from our crabfest at Chandler’s but I insisted we had to “taste” the flatbread with béchamel and prosciutto. We grabbed 2 seats at the bar and ordered a glass of Lyeth Meritage $9.
The flatbread comes in a cool fluted rectangular tart pan. Ours could have been cooked just a little longer. The crust a little crisper—but it was buttery and delicious, almost between a savory tart crust and pizza dough–and the prosciutto also could have crisped a bit more.
We both agreed that the prosciutto tasted domestic.
It was very lean, no delicious ribbons of fat. There were also some green herb cut into chiffonade across the top of the béchamel but it had no taste—at first it appeared to be basil, but I am thinking it must have been spinach as it lacked flavor.
Even with these minor quibbles we inhaled the flatbread.
Black Bottle is definitely worth a trip. The menu is fun and inexpensive. The bar is cozy. Exposed old brick unadorned walls speak for themselves. A steel mobile slowly rotates in the breeze casting moody shadows on the wall. Interesting lamps and candles are everywhere (even in summer) and the crowd a nice mix of the urban chic that inhabit this stretch of some of Seattle’s best restaurants.
2600 1st AveSeattle, WA 98121