Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sip Wine Bar Opens in Gig Harbor

I got invited to the friends & family try-out for one of the best restaurants in the entire Tacoma area--the new Sip Wine Bar & Restaurant located in the Uptown Gig Harbor shopping complex.
The first Sip opened a few years ago in Issaquah. It was a big hit and several Sips are planned--with two more to open in the Seattle area. Sip serves around 70 wines by-the-glass, and has a cellar of over 300 different wines.
My Pacific Grill sous-chef Cody Reaves was their first Executive Chef and developed their delicious menu.
Opening night for friends & family is an opportunity for the kitchen to practice the dishes. It is always a rocky start getting the choreography down. I expected lapses, faltering service, and the food to have some problems--it goes with the territory. I have opened many restaurants and it has always been a nightmare...

The Gig Harbor Sip is handsome with a stunning wall of wine surrounding a fireplace, and an oval shaped bar for great people-watching. The bathrooms are sexy with a shared vanity area.

And to make sure you don't miss any bar action while you are away from your table--2 large TV's are playing by the sinks spying on the bar!

Our waiter Ben Hollander was fantastic, talking us expertly through the interesting menu full of tantalizing sounding small plates like Black Truffle Popcorn with Hawaiian Black Sea Salt [$5]; Vietnamese Caramel Beef [$12]; Tapas [$11] and so on.

Ben chose a delicious red wine blend for us, and immediately a napkined bowl arrived with some of the intriguing truffled popcorn. (Unfortunately the popcorn had a little too much Hawaiian salt for us to really enjoy the snack, but the wine was delicious.)

Next we tried the Sip Caesar Salad [$10] that arrived looking like a giant squid. It was wrapped in a cold parmesan & chive crêpe, drizzled with dressing and miniature precisely diced croutons that were delicious. Apart from the tasteless crêpe that had no discernible flavor of parmesan, the salad was delicious.
I chose the Loch Duart Salmon [$27] as my main course. It is described as being all-natural Scottish salmon, with a red miso glaze, ginger scented sushi rice cake, and Szechwan pea vines. Although I ordered the salmon medium rare it arrived well-done. Salmon with its high fat content can stand being overcooked better than most fish, and with its miso glaze was still tasty. The pea greens were cooked a little too long for my taste and I couldn't taste the strangely numbing flavor of the Szechwan pepper.
My dining companion Kevin Still ordered the Meyers Angus Teras Major [$27] all-natural shoulder tenderloin with slow-cooked fingerlings & wilted spring greens. The steak arrived beautifully charred and perfectly medium-rare as ordered. The greens were cooked with smoky bacon, but could have benefited from a touch more vinegar to bring out their flavor. The fingerlings Kevin noted, seemed a tad overcooked and were served lukewarm.
The Dessert Trio came with a mini berry crème brûlée, a tiny brownie with Olympic Mt. ice cream, and a chocolate port truffle. The brownie was dry and off the mark, but the truffle was luxurious.

Lastly we sampled Warm Bread Pudding [$8] with Chardonnay Candied Pecans, rich with the flavor of cinnamon ice cream.

I was impressed with the great service from our waiter Ben. The four courses were well paced--no big wait times. That there were a couple of issues with the seasonings or an item overcooked--again is par for the course. As far as I'm concerned it was a miracle we got anything to eat from what I have seen during my long career!

So kudos to the staff of Sip, one of the best restaurants in the Tacoma area!

The Menu has so many wonderful things on it that I am looking forward to try on my next visit, and the visit after that. Also Sip has half-priced wine Wednesdays--which just happens to be my night off.
Sip Wine Bar & Restaurant
4793 Point Fosdick Dr. NW
Suite 400
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Phone (253) 853-3020

1 comment:

Gerry said...

A whole group of my lady friends got together a few weeks ago for the Ladies' Night Thursday. It was so much fun. I have talked to about 20 ladies that are VERY disappointed that this has been stopped. We are a small community and would greatly enjoy it if it was reinstated. The music was great and the place was packed!!