Here in Ballard, we are always minutes away from Ethan Stowell's fine Italian eatery Staple & Fancy (also next to the almost incognito coffee shop Dutch Bike Co. - get the salted chocolate chip cookie). Stowell definitely knows his way around an Italian kitchen so it was with great expectation and salavation that my significant other and I visited his Queen Anne location, How To Cook A Wolf.

The food was as good as the name. Simple pasta dishes, hearty starters, and creative seafood dishes are served consecutively with the aim that each be shared. First up was the squash soup with chives, cayenne, and Merula olive oil. Flavorful as it was filling, the combination of flavors were really a standout. For drinks the lady had a glass of the 2007 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva while I opted for a bottle of crisp, ever-refreshing Rainier. Next up was the Branzino fish with corona beans and steamed kale. Light in texture yet rich (as it was prepared in butter), the fish was decadent and delicious. Last was the pappardelle (which practically melted in my mouth) with a beef bolognese that had a distinctive oregano texture, creating a classic Italian medley of flavors that were scarfed forthwith by me.

We skipped on desert as there is a new Molly Moon's Ice Cream location a few blocks away wherein we secured some scoops of the seasonal flavor "Pumpkin Clove". These two places pack a wallop for dinner date destinations. Next time you're in Queen Anne, check them out.