Mossback. It’s a slang term for anyone who prefers the gray drizzle of the Pacific Northwest to its elusive, sunny days. And we all know what happens sans sunlight — moss grows.
Except in Kingston. There, Mossback is a restaurant with an ever-changing farm-to-table menu, a supportive community of local family farmers and producers whose organic handiwork inspires the kitchen, and a trio of hardworking owners who don’t mind pulling on a pair of overalls and boots to weed and prune in the rain.
Check it out here.
To row single-handedly from Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State to Seattle in a small rowboat requires propelling some 16 nautical miles through a major transportation waterway teeming with ferries, Alaskan- bound cruise ships, container vessels and recreational boaters. It also demands navigation of the Ballard Locks, two gates that connect fresh and salt water and even out the 20- foot difference in elevation between them.
It had long been the goal of Dave Lambert, Poulsbo’s kilt-wearing brewmaster and owner of the Slippery Pig Brewery, to deliver a keg of beer “the old-fashioned way.” His Norwegian ancestors had settled in the Poulsbo area in 1882, five generations before when the family’s human-powered boats plied the waterway between the frontier of the forested peninsula and growing city of Seattle to sell eggs. Inspired by their perseverance, it took Lambert seven hours to make the solo trip in a fiberglass rowboat named the Watery Tart and, of course, he rowed clad in his kilt. To read more click here.
Bremerton’s La Fermata Restaurant is more than a dining locale. In existence for eighteen years, it’s now an institution in the Manette neighborhood keeping an eye on the area’s evolving and newly upscale business community while serving classic and nouveau Italian cuisine. Read about it here.
You may have noticed a gap in my posts??? Blame it on 2.5 months of travel in India and Spain which I cover over here at my other travel blog Peregrine Woman. Since my return a week ago, I’ve been trying to recapture the essence of Spain with food and have found it surprisingly easy to to eat comida espanola in my hometown of Poulsbo, a community known for its Norwegian roots.
Central Market has a large selection of made in Spain items including chorizo and Iberian ham, Spanish cheeses, quince paste and wines. In Valencia, Spain I took a class on making paella with a fellow blogger who specializes in food. His blog posts about paella (how to make it, information about paella pans and rice) can be found here. Central Market has all the ingredients for making Valencia’s specialized paella including Bomba rice shipped from Valencia, Spain to the pasta section of Central Market.
You can always count on World Market in the Silverdale Mall for a global selection of groceries, but I was pleased to find an entire section of wine from Spain and Portugal at prices comparable to what I could buy them for in Spain. Why can’t its neighbor to the north (….France, that’s you I’m talking about) do the same thing?
If I don’t feel like cooking Spanish, I can walk 10 minutes to Poulsbo’s popular downtown Spanish restaurant, Paella Bar for tapas, sangria and paella. I loved this addition to Poulsbo’s growing restaurant scene before I traveled to Spain the first time three years ago. I appreciate it even more now. On a warm, sunny evening sitting at it’s tiny outdoor patio, a glass of sangria before me, I can close my eyes and and imagine I’m in a village on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
I’m not a foodie but nearly everyone in my eclectic circle of local friends had asked if I’d eaten at Kingston’s relatively new Mossback Cafe. “No,” I’d reply but then never made a point of going. This week I met one of the owners while we were both hanging out in the waiting room of our mutual esthetician. We talked about my upcoming trip to India. I decided to try out her restaurant.
Mossback is a small place. Housed in a 100 year old farmhouse, it’s been part of Kingston’s food scene since 2014. The restaurant features locally sourced food made from scratch and a regularly changing menu. Limiting hours and days of operation (its only open Wednesday – Friday from 4-9pm) allows the staff to focus on quality, experimenting with wild edibles and building relationships with local providers.
We showed up on a Wednesday when Happy Hour runs from opening to closing. The restaurant’s cozy bar, Rabbit Hole, is reached by exiting the back door of the restaurant. And because I’m not a foodie I’m going to describe the far more interesting food and drink ordered by my surprisingly food experimental son who joined me for dinner.
He ordered their special cocktail of the night; a drink so newly designed it didn’t yet have an official name. Made of beet juice and balsamic with vodka, the drink was surprisingly refreshing and worthy of a second round.
His main course choice was a savory piroshki; beef, cabbage and radicchio kraut in a pastry with a side of horseradish creme fraiche for dipping. And desert was a rich rosemary cream brulee. My salmon cakes followed a cheese and chutney plate all sourced from local farms.
On Sunday Mossback offers an economic three course dinner for $25.