There are many reasons for my wanting to dine at June Baby. But foremost is I'm a Southerner, born, raised, religiously indoctrinated, then educated and now expatriated.
I first gained an appreciation for southern cooking from Frank Stitt at his flagship restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill, while I worked as a waiter there shortly before graduation from law school in 1987. I continued working for Frank in that capacity until taking and passing the bar in the early 90's.
Frank is also, in large measure, responsible for my love of cooking and the joy of providing a great dining experience for family and friends. Frank was at the time I worked at Highlands still the working executive chef at Highlands. Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club was sous chef for a time before leaving to work with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse.
For a person who had little knowledge of food preparation, the culinary education was amazing. There were "family meals" for the staff before every shift where wait staff ate, caught up with each other and where we reviewed the menu for the evening with Frank or Chris.
After Melanie and I were married, I often traveled with her when she had work obligations in different cities around the country and became our travel concierge. Because of this we've had the privilege of dining in some of the country's great restaurants tasting the local Cusine, something we continue to present as we travel.
Our reservation at June Baby was a bit of a continuation of our tradition, but this time not just for us, but for 9 other people who were attending a board meeting and continuing legal education in Seattle for the nonprofit for which Melanie is executive director, Global Collaborative Law Council.
June Baby didn't disappoint. From the cornbread, more aptly described as corncake because of the velvety texture, to my first chitlins experience, the meal was very fine.
Maybe it was because we had southerners sprinkled among us, but to a person everyone enjoyed the items they ordered. Vegetarians in our group also found the menu accessible. Service was impeccable.
Highly recommended even if you lack southern DNA.
Melanie and Steven