Like a man whispering, “Lets take this slow,” the smells from Stateside’s kitchen are moan inducing.
I’ve always found tempering such anticipation is best done with a drink. Luckily, the cocktail menu doesn’t disappoint. Impressive in its presentation, The Coconut arrives packed with rum in a freshly cracked coconut and adorned with an umbrella ($13). However, why pay for all the flair? The more reasonable priced Mekong Mule takes a playful twist on a classic Moscow mule ($9).
Or opt instead for the alcohol free, creamy drink known as Vietnamese iced coffee. A multi-glass, engaging treat, this dark brew is more dessert than morning pick-me-up. The stainless steel filter arrives still dripping the coffee onto a thick layer of sweetened condensed milk and accompanied by a tall glass of ice.
While you linger over your cocktail and peruse the menu, you might be inclined to overlook all things chicken as pedestrian fare. You would be missing out. The Master Stock Crispy Chicken has a depth of flavor that’s like a plane ticket to a Chinese night market ($18). The chicken is poached in a master stock – a stock that chef and owner Eric Johnson has developed since he opened Stateside. It’s a Chinese invention in which the stock is boiled daily and liberally salted, the flavors deepening over time as a little bit of this and a little bit of that are added.
If you can find it in you to share, you might also order the Soy Glazed Beef Short Ribs ($24). The sweetness is tempered with an acidic green apple-ginger-sesame salad.
While I’d certainly say the dinner fare is worth the price, lunch is a more pocket-friendly and equally as flavorful affair. Served on a bed of rice noodles, the Turmeric Chicken Salad arrives topped with a healthy portion of moist shredded chicken, cucumbers, and peanuts ($12). The classic Banh Mi comes packed with pork and slathered with a smooth chicken liver pâté ($9).
If you’re looking for just a small afternoon bite, the Vegetable Fresh Roll is a sure bet. Filled with avocado, daikon, carrots, scallions and cucumbers, it comes with a tamarind dipping sauce ($6).
Though impressive in its inventiveness, I found dessert decidedly underwhelming. The crème fraiche cheesecake, which arrived topped with lychee snow, was unique. Was it something for which I’d return? No. Especially considering that Pie Bar is located just a few blocks away.
300 East Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98122