Edmonds is home to a lot of my current favorite restaurants. The pandemic helped me discover some terrific food because 1) I was forced to find take-out from places that were closer to my house and 2) I committed to spending stimulus money at local restaurants to help keep them going while times were tough. Fire & the Feast is part of a restaurant group that has truly wowed me. Now that my wife and I are fully vaccinated we went out to a nice dinner with just the two of us to finally eat at this restaurant in person.
We’ve ordered takeout from here several times but mostly focused on their pizzas. One of my favorites had spicy sausage, jalapeno, buffalo mozzarella and poached quince. Their house-made pastas have also been delicious. One of the few places you could actually find bucatini during the pandemic in this area (there was a national shortage). For this visit I didn’t order a pizza, but I felt duty bound to order the polenta fries.
I’ll be blunt in admitting that I’m reviewing what I would guess is the least interesting item on their entire menu. Polenta is traditionally a porridge of finely ground cornmeal. Fire & the Feast thicken it a bit (probably with some cheese) and then fry it in thick sticks. It’s not an exciting ingredient, but it can be a great compliment to strongly flavored braised meats and vibrant sauces. The marina served on the side was delicious, but the polenta fries themselves were pretty boring.
I have great news. You don’t need to order the polenta fries. You can order literally anything else and have a great experience! Or maybe you like pretty boring crispy sticks of ground corn. If that’s your thing, then you won’t regret the $11. I liked the crispy texture, I liked the dipping sauce, I liked the garnish, but I would have loved to bite into the fries and find a melty core of mozzarella, but it’s polenta through and through. The description claims that they’re cheesey, but the parmesan or whatever else is included feels lost in the thick sticks of polenta.
So………skip the polenta fries. The stone fruit salad was awesome (fresh grilled peaches with burrata, prosciutto, cherries, and arugula). The bucatini bolognese with meatballs satisfied my craving for red sauce comfort food like nothing else could. The bucatini noodles were the absolute perfect texture, the burrata was creamy, the sauce had the perfect balance of savory and tart notes. So good. My wife ordered a halibut dish with crispy speck, fingerling potatoes, and an veloute sauce with asparagus and leeks. It was a great meal, and I’m so glad that we went.
Thanks for being in the neighborhood, Fire & the Feast. We’ll be back. Let me know if you end up stuffing the polenta fries with mozzarella (and don’t skimp on the sauce).