But we pushed forward, walking away from our hotel and downing two iced coffees. Seattle awaited, and we needed to summon enough energy from our reserve tanks to take the city on.
We wanted our initial Seattle dining experience to reflect the city’s modern dining scene. Bar Sajor, with its vaulted ceiling and playful middle eastern motif, by way of the Northwest, seemed to fit the bill.
Bar Sajor is the newest restaurant from James Beard award-winning Chef Matt Dillon. Located just off of Pioneer Square in a glorious old building, the restaurant is situated behind a Moorishly painted door and features a dining room that manages to be both open and homey – homey if you happen to live in an impeccably decorated gentleman’s farm with a wood-burning oven built right into the wall.
Before we looked at the food menu, we ordered local cider. Although the menu has lots of wine and cider options from France and Spain, we wanted to enjoy the apples grown locally in Washington. The Dragon’s Head Wild Fermented Cider is from nearby Vashon Island and is made with heirloom and traditional cider apples.
The description sounded perfect, plus the local cider was at a much lower price point compared to the European options. After one sip, we knew that we had made the right choice. Tart and earthy, it was exactly what we expected from a Washington cider.
Bar Sajor Lunch – Starters
The three tartine options, especially the chicken liver pate, immediately intrigued us. Generously slathered on a slice of sprouted rye bread, the chicken liver had a hearty richness that was cut by the tart apple slices. We were struck by the earthy smell of the pate as well as by the pretty garnish of edible flowers. We split the tartine diagonally, and it quickly disappeared.
We were compelled to order the marinated beet salad when we saw ‘house-made smoked yogurt’ in the menu description. The freshness of the beets, the intense flavor of the currants and the crunchiness of the pumpkin seeds made us envious of the superior produce that is so readily available on the west coast.
Bar Sajor Lunch – Main Course
The roasted rainbow trout was the only fish prepared in the wood-burning oven during our lunch visit. Served atop juicy Romano beans, the precisely cooked fish was both moist and crispy.
Bar Sajor Lunch – Dessert
We ordered dessert for a few reasons. We wanted to try the chef’s take on fresh sorbet. We wanted to enjoy locally grown fruit. Mostly though, we wanted an excuse to sit next to the sunlit window and enjoy the rest of our bottle of cider. After the hell month we had just survived, it seemed like the right thing to do.
We leisurely finished the rest of the cider and toasted the beginning of our seemingly crazy trip from Philadelphia to Seattle to Italy. We felt our bodies relax and our blood pressure levels decrease as we finished the utterly local meal while the sun streamed through the windows and into our souls. We were in Seattle, and all was right in our little world.
Bar Sajor was located at 323 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, United States. The restaurant is now permanently closed.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.