For my four year anniversary, my boyfriend and I went to Staple and Fancy located in Ballard. It’s located near the popular Walrus and Carpenter, known for their juicy, fresh oysters (post coming soon!). Staple and Fancy is part of the Ethan Stowell Restaurants. This particular restaurant has more of a specialty in Italian food.
Atmosphere: It’s nestled next to two other restaurants in Ballard at the end of Ballard Ave. It has a very rustic, romantic vibe with some outdoor seating. They have some bar seating located in the front. There are 4 person tables along the wall with 2 person tables lined in the middle. We sat at one of the 2 person tables and I thought it was private despite being in the middle of the room. You can see right into Walrus!
Pricing: We had to go fancy for our anniversary so we did the chef’s menu. They also highly recommend this on their menu. It’s $50 per person and the whole table must choose to participate. This consists of 4 courses – antipasta, 2 entrees, and a dessert. There were 6 antipasta dishes to start!
Service: We had a main server who continually checked in on us, described each dish as it came out and had a pleasant smile on his face. I could tell the staff had good communication because they worked as a team and a different person would serve our dishes and clean up when we were done with a plate.
Started off the night with this chilled heirloom tomato soup. Out of all of the chilled soups I’ve tried, this is probably my favorite so far. It’s not too tomato-y, but had a nice fragrance to it.
Another tomato heirloom dish with their house made mozzarella and crackers. This combination actually worked really well together.
Fried oysters with chili aioli. Nice texture to the crisp outside and soft oyster inside.
Buttermilk eggs, blue cheese, and radish salad. I thought overall, this was my least favorite antipasta dish.
Spicy coppa! Cured meat with micro greens and olive oil. This was deliciousssss, especially with their bread.
Fried squid with fennel, olive, cucumbers, chile, and avocado lime juice! Tasty dish that was well balanced with the fresh, light greens from the heavy squid.
I know that was a lot of antipasta, onto the first entree – gnocchi! (I was feeling pretty good by the time this came around). This is the potato telefono gnocchi with basil, tomato, and mozzarella. You can see the trend of staple products they use throughout the meal.
Entree #2 – rib eye with summer veggies and onion puree. This was mighty tender with fatty parts at the edges of the piece. I really loved every single bite of this.
Finished the meal with chocolate terrine. When I first saw this, I thought, oh man this is going to be super rich. Surprisingly, it wasn’t! The cake was delicious right down to the very bottom. It had a thick layer of crunchies on the bottom that was kind of hard to separate with a spoon, but was sooo worth it. The combo of cake, ice cream, and toffee crumbles in one bite was the perfect combo and a great way to end the meal and night.
Overall: I couldn’t be happier with my experience! We had a filling meal and the last two dishes were certainly my favorite. They left a memorable marker in mind by ending the meal with a bang. The chef’s menu is a great way to get a taste of the restaurant. I recommend making reservations just in case. It was pretty busy when I went, which was around 6:30p on Sunday. Happy eating!