Note: First Looks give previews of new bars and restaurants we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
The Old Sage is the newest venture from Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, the chefs behind Seattle's acclaimed Spur, Tavern Law, and The Coterie Room. The restaurant's mission is smoking meats (and serving malts) with artistic sense and scents, like rosemary, lavender, mesquite, and pine. Along with a current selection of eight smoked meat dishes, there are eight accompanying salads, vegetables, and breads, along with seasonal ice creams and sorbets.
While Spur made its mark with a modernist approach, The Old Sage revisits older cooking techniques. In addition to smoked meats, expect sprouted grains, pickled vegetables, and even the use of some foraged foods. "We want to mix traditional techniques with our own modern style to stay progressive and move with the times." says Tough. They're out for innovation in smoking techniques, flavor combinations, and plating presentations.
According to Tough, "We want diners to enjoy their food without necessarily knowing that we've been sweating for three days in the kitchen to prepare it for them," but he's happy to wax poetic about their various techniques and processes if guests are interested. Check the slideshow above for a look inside The Old Sage, including a half-dozen of the dishes on the menu.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.