About eight years ago, I shared a bus ride with the little sister of my dear friend Erika Lease between the University District and downtown Seattle. Some of you may agree that taking the 70 bus lines (70 to 74) into downtown is better than fighting for parking.
Lease’s sister, Cortney Lease, was an undergraduate at the University of Washington and on her way to interview for a hostess job at Wild Ginger. I wished her good luck as I exited the bus at the Westlake tunnel stop.
Lease was hired for the job and in short order was promoted to server. She would leave Wild Ginger but, she returned 2007 to be its cellar master. The promotions ensued. Earlier this year she was promoted to company wine director in charge of the wine programs at , Wild Ginger Seattle and The Triple Door in Seattle. Lease takes over company wine director duties from Jake Kosseff, who will focus on his role as Director of Operations for the Seattle-based company.
Mat Hayward was also promoted to general manager of Wild Ginger Bellevue. April Pogue was promoted to Manager and Wine Director at Wild Ginger Bellevue.
Lease was previously Wine Director for Wild Ginger Seattle and The Triple Door. She was part of the wine team that earned Wild Ginger Seattle the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award three years straight (2009 through 2011), the highest recognition for restaurant wine programs. Wild Ginger also earned the Wine Enthusiast’s Award of Ultimate Distinction and the Washington Wine Commission’s Grand Award for all three restaurants during Lease’s tenure. She began her wine career in 2005 in Cambridge, England, in 2005 as a wine advisor at Odd Bins.
Taphouse Grill taps guests for Hopelink food bank donations
Taphouse Grill will be collecting canned and non-perishable food at its downtown Bellevue and downtown Seattle on behalf of the Redmond-based nonprofit .
Hopelink will distribute the food donations through its network of food banks in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Shoreline and Carnation. Hopelink delivers food, adult education, housing, family development and emergency financial assistance to families in need living in the Eastside.
Stone comes to John Howie Steaks for special event
Former Four Seasons Olympic (now The Fairmont Olympic) Wine Director Larry Stone returns to the Seattle area for an Evening Land winemaker dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at at in Downtown Bellevue.
For $150 per person, non-inclusive, guests can feast on tempura king crab, sous vide lamb loin and Kobe-style Wagyu beef cap of rib, among other dishes. Stone will pair each dish with Evening Land Chardonnay, Pinot Noirs and Gamay Noir.
Stone was most recently general manager of Rubicon Estate and a two-time recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service. He is the only American to earn the title of Maître Sommelier from the Union de la Sommelerie Française. An English-certified Master Sommelier, Stone passed the examination on his first attempt.
He was elected to the board of directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2004 and became a trustee of the James Beard Foundation in 2005.
Evening Land, owned by movie producer Mark Tarlov, produces Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with fruit from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Sonoma Coast and Santa Rita Hills in California.
For reservations to the dinner, call Wilma Machester at John Howie Steak at 425-440-0878.
Monsoon gets crabby
in Old Bellevue and Monsoon Capitol Hill will be serving its Saigon Pepper Crab every day through the end of the month on special. The two-pound Dungeness crab is served with a papaya salad for $30. The 2008 Trust Cellars Riesling for $39 a bottle at Monsoon East makes for the perfect pairing for this spicy and sweet crab.