There are hidden gems sprinkled throughout Seattle’s culinary scenery. Like the peanut butter and jelly bon bons at Local 360, or bacon jam at Skillet Diner. When I heard that The Four Season’s new restaurant, ART, was serving up Great Pumpkin beer ice cream, well, I had to find out if this was another Seattle secret. And lo and behold, this may be the gem of all gems.
To start, traditional French onion soup, escarole salad or a butter lettuce shrimp salad. For an entree, a pork belly BLT, Arctic char with couscous, or pumpkin ravioli. And of course, most importantly, to finish, the Great Pumpkin beer ice cream, bananas foster creme brulee or warm apple upside-down gingerbread cake. Impressive is that the Dine Around Seattle menu is at an incredible steal for $15 at lunch or $30 at dinner. Trust me, this is an incredible deal for such a light yet delectable meal.
While the first two courses were astounding and impressive, and I’m sure Jessica could talk more intimately about the flavors of each dish, but my mission was the ice cream. Having had on separate occasions the chance to try pumpkin ice cream (which is one of my favorites) and also having some amazing beer ice creams by local creameries such as Molly Moon and Bluebird, I was excited by the idea of both great tastes together at last. If you weren’t aware, beer ice cream is no easy task. Here’s a fairly simple recipe that was published in the L.A. Times a couple years back. Getting the the balance of cream and beer flavor is quite a bit more challenging than you’d think.
ART’s pastry chef Tara Sedor, who’s been perfecting the Great Pumpkin beer ice cream now for four years, has made what I can only describe as the most perfect scoop of frozen beer I’ve ever tasted. Choosing the Great Pumpkin Imperial Ale from local craft brewery Elysian Brewing Company is an inspired decision, as this beer has a rich pumpkin flavor and bold beer taste. The beer shines through tremendously, and is enriched by the cream and light spices added to create a perfect, sweet combination. As a beer lover herself, Tara is so pleased and proud of her creation. At lunch, she serves one large, beautiful scoop on top of graham cracker crumples, decorated artfully with chocolate sauce.
“For dinner service, I serve the ice cream with chocolate pecan pie,” says Chef Sedor. You can also have ART pack you a pint of their ice cream to go for $7. Personally, I’ll be picking up a pint after Thanksgiving to make gingerbread cookie ice cream sandwiches.
ART’s Dine Around Seattle menu will be available through the end of the month (November 29), including the Friday after Thanksgiving.