I love surprises. As in LOVE them. I love that feeling of sheer joy pre-empted by absolutely nothing when your brain switches from mundane to happiness in an instant. What can I say? A good surprise gets my juices flowing. So imagine my delight walking into a random restaurant our first night in Seattle over the weekend with zero expectations and walking out in absolute seafood bliss. We had decided to try Matt’s in the Market for dinner because it was conveniently located across where we were staying. We were tired and hangry from our long delay at the border because we had made that one mistake of choosing the wrong line and ended up watching cars next to us zoom past as we trailed at least 10 cars behind. It was excruciating. But that’s ok because going from frustrated to happy makes for an even better surprise.
Matt’s in the Market turned out to be an absolute gem serving up delicious seasonal, seafood-centric dishes while you dine overlooking that must-take-a-photo-by Pike Place Market sign. Everything we ordered was simple, fresh and so deeply satisfying that if I close my eyes and visualize what I ate, my taste buds literally try to draw from my palette’s memories to conjure up the all delicious flavours of the meal. I often find it hard to describe in words what umami is but have a meal here and you’ll know what I mean.
The steamed mussels and clams with chorizo, piquillo peppers, corona beans charmoula and cava was fantastic. I wasn’t crazy about the corona beans but I generally don’t like large beans. That broth, however, reminded me of a rich, seafood tom yum goong and it was incredible. A little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and a whole lot of flavour.
The grilled octopus with a green garbanzo hummus, tabbouleh, crispy chickpeas and pickled apricots was a clinic on how to play with your food and succeed. I loved all the contrasting textures and flavours from the buttery octopus to the little tabbouleh and chickpea bites, to the smooth yet slightly grainy hummus, and the sweet pickled apricots. I made a mental note to cook with with tabbouleh more because it has such a great texture and goes well with just about anything.
And then there was that gnocchi. Smothered in a deep and savoury ground prosciutto bolognese sauce with braised octopus slices. Everything from the carrots to the octopus literally melted in your mouth. The sauce was velvety and rich, flavourful yet delicate, and one of the best bolognese we’ve both ever had. After gushing about the dish to our server, the chef came out to thank us and explained step by step how he made the dish with pride. I’m definitely going to try making it in my instant pot and if that doesn’t work, I know we’d both drive down to Seattle (and brave the border) just to enjoy a plate of this EACH. Thank you, Matt’s in the Market, for the delicious surprise.
Right across (diagonally) in Pike Place Market is Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt, make sure you don’t miss it! Read about my discovery of my favourite stall in the market and why you need to take a tub of their Greek yoghurt home if you can.