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Belltown Events

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As a chocolate lover, you might understand these terms: Dark, milk, white, infused, nutty. 70%, 80%, 90% cacao. Drinking chocolate versus cocoa. “Country of Origin”. And, a skinny mocha…hold the whip, please. The Northwest Chocolate Festival 2017 is the perfect opportunity to practice this lingo and discover even more about this sweet global obsession. This year, it takes place November 11th and 12th, at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91, near the southeast corner of Magnolia (close to both Belltown and Queen Anne). 

When attending the Northwest Chocolate Festival for the first time, one is struck by how immense the chocolate industry is, based sheerly on the number of exhibitors that are represented here. Over 100 chocolate industry vendors will be at this year’s event.  Artisan chocolate makers from around the world and USA, including a number of local crafters, offer samples of their products at each table you stop by. It truly is a chocolate lover’s dream: truffles, single-origin [world region] chocolate bars, liquid chocolate for drinking, syrups, and other incarnations.

But buying and tasting chocolate aren’t the only available activities at this event: 
What if you want to craft your own artisan chocolates or incorporate more into your own cooking?  There are cooking demonstrations and classes for that, led by professionals in the industry. And suppliers who sell chocolate-making equipment and supplies, to get you started.

What if you want to become a professional “taster” or turn your chocolate obsession into a career? Professionals in that field will lead you through what to savor to determine the quality in a piece of chocolate and other educational demos.

Chocolate begins life as pods hanging from a cacao tree.  Photo: CT Cooper

Are you’re interested in the process involved in a fruit pod hanging on a tree in the southern hemisphere ultimately becoming refined piece of chocolate? Or how carefully cultivated crops are yielding a better life for small farmers? Or how chocolate consumption can lead to better brain health?  Yes, yes, and yes.

The saying goes, Life is short; Eat chocolate. And, if you feel so inclined, celebrate this at The Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1257237424388358/?active_tab=about

Get your culture on this week! The neighborhood offers some fun events over the next few days, from poetry and wine tasting, to improv and showtunes.

 

The Poetry Brothel Masquerade Tour

Thursday, November 9th | 7pm – 1am | The Rendezvous

Dig deep and get into the heart of poetry in a unique way at The Poetry Brothel Masquerade Tour! A rotating cast of poets will share their work in public readings on beds and chaise lounges to impart a sensuous theme. The readings will be supplemented by a cabaret with burlesque, vaudeville, art, magic and more. Tickets are $30-65. Costumes/formal wear is encouraged.

 

Let’s All Drink and Do Broadway

Friday, November 10th & Saturday, November 11th | 9:30pm | The Rendezvous

Drink, sing, and improv this upcoming weekend for the Jewel Box Theatre’s second round of “Let’s All Drink and Do Broadway”. There will be showtunes for singing along as well as short-form improv for the laughs, plus a raffle for fancy prizes. Tickets are $15 if you buy in advance, or $20 cash at the door.

 

14th Annual Wine Tasting and Auction

Saturday, November 11th | 7 – 9:30pm | 1927 Events

Bid on exciting auction items at the 14th Annual Wine Tasting and Auction this Saturday, with light appetizers, desserts and wine to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to make a dent in your holiday shopping! Proceeds will support Education First, a college fund for low-income youth. Tickets are $40 per adult, or $70 per couple.

Tavolàta Belltown is looking forward to hosting a wine dinner with Banfi Vintners on Monday, November 13. The event, put on in coordination with McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants, will be held in the mezzanine, with seats for 28 guests.

In the spirit of Tavolàta, all courses will be served family-style at large communal tables. The meal begins at 6:30pm and is $99/person, including tax and service charge—call the restaurant at 206.838.8008 to save your spot.

Special guest Luciano Castiello from Banfi will be on hand at the dinner to present the wines and chat about them as the night goes on—and chef Joel DeBilzan has a hearty fall menu planned. It’s sure to be a lovely night full of great conversation and wonderful food and wine.

Here’s the plan:

Arrival:

nv Maschio Prosecco

Antipasto:

Banfi ‘San Angelo’ Pinot Grigio

Mixed salume: Proscuitto di Parma, porchetta, finocchiona, hot coppa, mortadella

Torta fritta

Marinated artichokes

Castelvetrano olives

Macerated figs

Buffalo mozzarella

Marinated piquillo peppers

Soft-cooked eggs, white anchovy, bread crumbs

Pasta:

Banfi ‘Centine’ Super Tuscan

Spaghetti, geoduck clam, chili, butter, celery leaf

Rigatoni, spicy sausage, tomato, marjoram, Parmesan

Entrée:

Banfi Brunello

Two-pound T-Bone, red wine marrow sauce

Soft polenta, Taleggio, roasted onion jus

Brussels sprout, smoked pork jowl, mint

Parsley root puree

Dessert

Banfi ‘Rosa Regale’ Brachetto d’Acqui

Warm olive oil cake, hazelnut gelato, smoked grape compote

 

Banfi Vintners was founded in 1919 by John Mariani Sr., and is now owned and operated by his grandchildren. Banfi is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s Italian wines—they also import wines from other producers in Italy as well as wines from Chile, Argentina, Spain, and England. For more information, visit www.banfiwines.com.

Opened in January of 2007 by chef Ethan Stowell, Tavolàta is an urban Italian eatery located at 2323 Second Avenue in Seattle’s bustling Belltown neighborhood. Sublime house made pastas, simple Italian cuisine, and a 30-foot communal table (tavolàta) that runs down the center of the narrow room keeps the crowds coming back. Tavolàta offers a full bar and a selection of Northwest and Italian wines. Tavolàta serves dinner seven nights a week from 5pm to 11pm. A happy hour bar menu is offered from 5pm – 7pm every evening. Tavolàta has a small patio for seasonal dining. For more information or reservations, call 206.838.8008 or visit www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com.

As Thanksgiving approaches, there are some fun and interesting things to do in Belltown this November:

November 2: “Thor: Ragnarok” Opens at Cinerama
7 pm | Cinerama
The sci-fi superhero saga of Thor continues this November, with the release of “Thor: Ragnarok”. The film opens for showings at Cinerama on November 2nd.

November 4: Free Tour of The Paramount Theatre
10am – 11:30am | The Paramount Theatre
On the first Saturday of each month, The Paramount Theatre offers free tours of its historic facilities. This month, the tour is from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. on November 4th. Meet in the main entrance of the theatre by 10 a.m. to participate.

November 9: Belltown Art Walk
6 – 9pm | Belltown Community Center
Belltown’s September Art Walk begins at the Belltown Community Center then sends walkers off to local businesses, galleries, dive bars and venues to enjoy works by local artists. Start at the neighborhood community center to pick up a gallery map and snacks between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 9th, and then wander throughout Belltown to check out the work of various artists and establishments participating in this monthly event.

November 11: Oyster New Year
5 – 8pm | Elliott’s Oyster House
Participate in the largest oyster party on the West Coast at Elliott’s Oyster House, for their 25th annual Oyster New Year celebration! There will be over 30 oyster varieties shucked to order, plus a seafood buffet, wines, microbrews, live music and more. Don’t miss the People’s Choice “Most Beautiful Oyster” contest! Tickets are $175/person.

November 18: TEDxSeattle
9:30am – 4:30pm | McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center
The Seattle event of TEDx is coming up on November 18th, with talks throughout the day that discuss the ways in which Seattle is changing and how we can shape our city for a more positive future. Some of the featured talks include “Cubicles don’t work. How architectural design affects your brain” from Scott Wyatt, “Autonomous fish robots and bio-inspired engineering” from Kristi Morgansen, and “Asteroids are closer than you think” from Chris Lewicki. Student tickets are $35 each and general admission is $80 per person.

Steamposium, like a sleek Jules Verne futuristic submarine, is gliding into harbor on October 27th – 29th. The Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the waterfront near Belltown is hosting this gathering for those who love Steampunk.

For those not familiar with it, a simplified explanation of “Steampunk” is wearing period costume, often from the Old American West or English Victorian era, accompanied with advanced, futuristic weapons and other gadgetry built from materials readily available in the 1800s. Pocket watches, gears, and goggles abound. There are also variations on this, such as post-apocalyptic themes. The word is derived from “steam-powered”, such as devices like the steam locomotive (train) from that era, and is based on early science fiction literature.  Jules Vernes’ “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, and HG Wells’ future-predicting work as well, are two examples. One of the earlier examples adapted for the screen was “The Wild Wild West”, a series which ran on television from 1965-1969. It was based in the American West and featured two government agents, outfitted with advanced gadgets, who travelled by an adapted steam locomotive with special features (like an escape tunnel built in a fireplace) to track down masterminds in crime.

 

Another example of British Victorian Steampunk is the movie “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, based upon a graphic novel, among many other examples.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Steamposium takes place a few days before Halloween, and is a good excuse to showcase your garb and gadgets, or just admire other people’s handcrafted cosplay while walking around the convention. You can take classes/workshops on various aspects of Steampunk, drink tea and watch a fashion show, attend a mad science fair, or shake your metallic gears at a live music concert. Actor Billie Piper, who was Doctor Who’s companion for a number of seasons, who also appeared in Penny Dreadful, will be there, as well as her Penny co-star, Reeve Carney. Billie also played the key role in a PBS adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park years ago. (Check out an upcoming celebration of Austen’s life & writing, called JaneFest at the University of Washington on November 4th, to admire clothing from the Regency era.)

So feel free to flash forward on the time-space continuum (using your 1800s ray gun to get there, of course), and enjoy yourself at Steamposium.  Your future self will thank you.