I’ve been dying to dine at Sawyer and this weekend that dream finally came true! The brainchild of Chef Mitch Mayers, Sawyer is Ballard’s new hot spot that sits in the old Kickin’ Boot; a space that’s been renovated into something beautifully rustic and sleek at the same time. Once a saw mill in what was the hub of the Seattle lumber industry, the name Sawyer pays homage to Ballard’s past. Let’s take a peek at the spectacular things happening on the menu here:
(left to right) The Ballard Locks (rye whiskey, montenegro, dry vermouth, cucumber) + the Trinity (Sawyer rum blend, lime, simple syrup)
Let’s start with the bar. A thoughtful menu of original cocktails (that are very reasonably priced I might add) make drinks here a must. And for you non-drinkers out there Sawyer has fantastic non-alcoholic options, too! We ordered their watermelon mocktail and cantaloupe soda and both were outstanding. I don’t even like cantaloupe and I adored the house made cantaloupe soda (though the watermelon concoction was my favorite, get here before summer’s gone and it disappears from the menu).
Wood Grilled Artichokes with Anchovy Hazelnut Remoulade and Parmesan Cheese
Artichokes and Parmesan cheese? This is my version of heaven. The presentation of this dish was beyond impressive with the beautifully scorched artichokes and lovely flecks of Parmesan sprinkled on top (it’s also delicious).
Rotisserie Porchetta with House Flat Bread and Assorted Sauces and Pickles
Rotisserie Porchetta; be still my heart. It’s hard to play favorites here (because everything is seriously amazing) but this was definitely one of them. This porchetta just warms your soul when you eat it. We ripped the flat breads in half and stuffed them with porchetta and pickles and slathered the sauce on top; it was a truly magical experience, y’all.
(from top) Ahi Tuna with Crushed Avocado, Kaffir Lime, Chive and Spicy Mayo + Rock Candy Spot Prawns with Watermelon, Wasabi Dijon, Togarashi and Shiso + Cheesy Bread with ‘Nduja and Pimento Cheese
This photo is so beautiful to me because it captures three very different dishes, each that I absolutely loved. The ahi and delicately crushed avocado were divine as were the rock candy prawns over watermelon, a combination I was unsure I’d like at first but it quickly won me over. The real star of these three, though, is the cheesy bread. House pimento cheese and ‘Nduja (a spicy, spreadable, pork salumi) sandwiched between flatbread make up something so simple yet so perfect.
Oxtail Nachos with Salsa Roja, Pickled Onions, Cotija Cheese, Radish
My dining companion stepped away from the table for maybe three minutes and I had devoured over half of these by the time she returned. I just could not stop eating them. Y’all, I can confidently say that these are my favorite nachos anywhere.
S’More Choco Taco with Graham Waffle Cone, Peanut Butter, Ice Cream and Meringue
The desserts to end all desserts, or so I am told. I didn’t realize that this came with a peanut butter ice cream in the tacos (sadly, I detest peanut butter). However it was clear by the reaction of my friend and other diners that this little dish is killer. A deliciously whimsical dessert menu awaits you here which also includes Dilly Bars and a Quatros Leches cake.
Chef Mayers and team have succeeded in creating a truly craveable menu here made up of creative, shareable comfort dishes that are elegant yet approachable. Something as simple as cheesy bread can be one of the best things you’ve eaten this year.