ginger and salt

sneak peek: miller’s guild.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend of the lovely Jason and Nicole Wilson to the ‘Fire Up the Grill Party’ in celebration of the soon-to-be-open Miller’s Guild, located downtown inside Hotel Max.  Sixty or so of us gathered to taste Chef Wilson’s delicious creations, see the new space, and ogle the incredible one two-of-a-kind wood-fire oven. Okay, I lied.  There are actually seven of these ovens in the U.S. (one being at Husk in Charleston), but only one that’s identical to Jason’s and it is owned by a Mr. Tom Colicchio and resides in Sin City. This oven, the Michigan-made Grillworks Infierno, is pretty damn special.

photo 2

{The Flotilla Admiral: Noah’s Mill Bourbon, Nux Alpina, Lemon Juice, Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters, and Hibiscus Grenadine}
photo 1

{The location of the the much-awaited Miller’s Guild}

As the massive oven has not been installed in the official restaurant space yet, this event was originally set to take place on the third floor of the hotel (in an area that is largely open-air) because the Infierno is currently stationed there.  However, a couple of visits by the fire marshal and his team of brawny firemen due to smoke from the oven resulted in moving the party downstairs to the Hotel Max lounge area.  I personally adore the smell of eau de wood-fire and happily kept getting whiffs of my smoky hair late into the night, but that was not enough to convince the Seattle Fire Department to let us party on.

Without skipping a beat, large, gorgeous plates of food kept arriving downstairs without pause, hot off the grill. As you can see below, the possibilities are endless with the Infierno.  We ate everything from focaccia to lamb and short ribs, to cauliflower and octopus. The grill has a magical way of putting it’s signature char on everything in the best way. The crispy, smoky skin of the delicata squash was delicious as was the caramelization on each bite of the rich pork belly.

photo 5

{Painted Hills Beef Short Ribs with Pomegranate Salad}

photo 2

{Indian Spiced Delicata Squash with Dates}

photo 3

{Applewood Grilled Anderson Valley Lamb with Pickled Mustard Seeds}

It should also be noted that both my bourbon cocktail and Connor’s spin on a gin gimlet were great, but what really blew our minds were the non-alcoholic shrubs we drank as our pre-cocktail. Shrubs are definitely having a moment right now, and as someone who actually enjoys drinking apple cider vinegar with water, this was wonderfully acidic.  This one was made with a mango and papaya infused vinegar, garam masala simple syrup (!!!), and soda water over ice. For those unfamiliar, garam masala is the wonderful spice used in many Indian dishes, curry to name one. Needless to say there were straw-slurping noises coming from my general vicinity.

photo 4{Foccacia from the Grill with Whipped Lardo and Charred Caponata}

photo 2 (1){Stilettos felt appropriate for a hard-hat tour.}

photo 5

{The INFIERNO!}

photo 1

{Pork Belly with Apple}

photo 3

{Gorgeous Giant Pacific Octopus with Pickled Chile Mint Sauce and Onions}

photo 4

{Kurt giving us a sneak peek of some of the bells and whistles.}

photo 1 (1){The channels on the grill collect the fats and allow them to pour into the ‘gutter’ at the end of the grill, so the fat can then be used to cook other wonderful things.}

The name Miller’s Guild pays homage to the craftsmen who used to live and work in the area in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. Look for dinner service starting some time in December, followed by grab and go breakfast and lunch options (we’re talking sausage breakfast sandwiches here, people) in 2014.  Add to the list of things to get excited about: wine on tap poured into bottles brought in from France along with in-house barrel-aged spirits.  If you’re smart, you’ll grab one of the front row bar seats so you can watch The Infierno in all its glory. It’s a rustic departure from Chef Wilson’s adored and sophisticated Crush, but one that is guaranteed to light a fire underneath the lackluster downtown food scene. Literally.

Miller’s Guild, Opening December 2013, Hotel Max,  620 Stewart St, Seattle, WA

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7 comments

  1. porser@comcast.net

    great post T! I can’t wait to see the Inferno and thank you for keeping us in touch with the Seattle food scene. xoxxo L

  2. Con

    Love at 700 degrees! Great post T. Like you mentioned, so wonderful how the inferno gave its signature char on the dishes, but without overwhelming the flavor with that grill smokey taste. Ya know? And how cool was the ingenious pulley system to raise and lower the grill pan?? Can’t wait to eat b, l, d, and hh here with you! Also great job chronicling everything we learned.

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