Thierry Rautureau, affectionately known as the “Chef in the Hat” in the Seattle area, has been the chef/owner of Rover’s in Seattle since he bought it back in 1987.
The story of how the nickname came about is this: his wife bought him a fedora one year for Christmas, and he ended up wearing it constantly. One night in the restaurant, he went into the dining room to chat with one of his guests, and forgot to remove his hat. A patron exclaimed “Look, it’s the Chef in the Hat!” Word quickly spread and the nickname stuck!
Chef Rautureau is from the Muscadet region of France, and hence the food at Rover’s has been described as “Cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. Refined by a French accent.” Rover’s has for years been known in the Seattle area as not only one of the most expensive restaurants in town, but by far the best restaurant as well.
I’ve always heard great things about Chef Rautureau and his food, so my good friends and I decided to bite the bullet and we went there this past Thursday. This was the last night of Seattle Restaurant Week, a bi-annual event which involves many wonderful Seattle restaurants in the area providing a special three course dinner option for a limited time.
Let me just say that it was simply the most magnificent dining experience I have ever had. From the moment we stepped in the front door, to the last moment when we were getting our coats at the door; everything was immaculately done and absolutely perfect.
For Restaurant Week, there are three different options for both the first and second courses, as well as different dessert options. In addition, there were wine pairings to go with everything. Since there were three of us, we thought it would be perfect to play musical plates and wine glasses and try one of everything!
Before we started with sharing the three courses, we decided to try a few other things that we knew would be delicious: The Scrambled Egg with Lime Crème Fraiche and White Sturgeon Caviar, and the Seared Foie Gras in a Savory Profiterole with Cognac.
Oh. My. LORD. They were both absolutely delicious (with the egg being particularly lovely in its presentation), but the Foie Gras was exceptional. Perfectly cooked and perfectly paired with the profiterole and cognac. I have had very good Foie Gras before, but Chef is able to take it to the next level: into the stratosphere of taste.
After we wiped the drool from our mouths and quit rolling our eyes and carrying on, we proceeded with the sharing of the three course options. All of the food in the different courses was amazing. My particular favorites were the guinea fowl and the potato and leek soup. And the brown butter buerre blanc sauce with the halibut: sooooo good. This is not the kind of restaurant where you soak up sauce with your bread, but J and I didn’t care. We damn near licked the bowl clean! So yummy!
In addition to the great food, the wait staff was just impeccable with their service, timing, and friendliness. Just a wonderful, wonderful experience all the way around, and I look forward to returning there in the very near future.