Set in a home built decades before my mother was born, my friend and I ventured into a restaurant called Tilth. The word “tilth” refers to the condition of healthy soil which will allow for sustainable plant growth. Using what is available here in the present seems to be the philosophy behind Maria Hine’s menu.
I feel like her food encompasses what the American Northwest is all about. Adventure, exploration, and consciously choosing to make use of the abundant life that is available everywhere you look in this area. Best of all it is good food at “home.” By no means am I a foodie but I do have a voracious love for life and I know good food when I eat it. It is unmistakable.
Halfway through dinner I turned to my friend and said, “That is the best waitress I have ever had.” Nikki was cool, relaxed and obviously loves her job. It was her enthusiasm that ignited an interest in the special: Salmon Sausage over arugula salad and a fava bean/corn mix. She paired it with a Gruner Veltliner from Gobelsburger. It’s a white wine with a hint of sweet, a hint of bite. It was a perfect blend .. and I’m so finicky about my white wines.
Our appetizer was another bean, a little white bean, served in a spoon with lemon juice and freshly chopped parsley. It’s possible there was something else. I never thought I’d say these practically naked beans were the best appetizer I have ever had. But it was! It was so simple and refreshing! I never thought beans would be refreshing.
Easily this menu lends itself to being group friendly. There is a “tasting” menu where you can choose either the 5 or 8 course. This month’s tasting menu includes dishes like Watermelon Carpaccio, Grilled Eel River Ranch Sirloin, House-made Pappardelle, Wild Sockeye Salmon, and Strawberry Rhubarb cake. I don’t even know what half of this stuff is but I know it will be amazing. There is also a vegetarian friendly tasting menu too.
The wine list consisted of bottles I’ve never heard of (not that I know a lot about wine but I am certainly not foreign to it 😉 ). It felt like anything was possible with this menu. I wrote on the comment card that it made me want to alter the way I thought about food. It would require me to change everything and flip my perspective about food completely. I felt I learned something this evening just by eating.
Now thats the kind of education I am always ready for!
Maria Hines will be on Iron Chef this coming Sunday. Don’t miss it! Go eat at Tilth! Commence! Celebrate food and life! Just celebrate 🙂
Also, here is the website for further information about the menu, the staff, their certifications and what not. I’m just too sleepy, folks. Time for bed.