My wife discovered a wonderful new Seattle restaurant, Casuelita’s, which features Caribbean cuisine. She introduced me to it for our fifth wedding anniversary and it couldn’t have been a more wonderful anniversary present.
Who’d have thought a Seattle restaurant could get this type of cuisine right? Seattle does have some good ethnic food, but compared to bigger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, etc. selection and quality is somewhat limited. But not in the case of Casuelita’s!
It is in Belltown, Seattle’s trendy and rapidly gentrifying neighborhood featuring hot nightlife, cool coffee houses and bars, etc. The decor is soft, elegant &…well, island cool (the walls are painted a tropical peach). The food is just great. I’ve had oxtail stew and goat curry…all hm-hm good. You must order the St. Croix prawns battered with coconut and doused in a wonderful sweet/sour sauce. I can just taste the crunchiness now! We had a praline ice cream dessert which was oh so good.
While I’ve never visited the Caribbean I’m certain that the food at Casuelita’s does the islands proud. The meal began with meltingly good coconut corn muffins. We had gazpacho, St. Croix shrimp in a spicy mango sauce, oxtail stew with basmati rice and praline ice cream for desert. My oxtail was melting off the bone, not at all dry, and the sauce was rich and wonderful. We also ordered mango iced tea and mango-passion fruit drink which were delightfully refreshing.
My only small quibble is that on a bracing Seattle night (not hot at all) the 2nd floor dining room was nearly sweltering. We asked them to turn the fan on and this helped. But this place must boil on a really hot day.
Casuelita’s is another new jewel in the Seattle restaurant scene–a real find!
81 Vine Street
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: (206) 770-0155
And their new restaurant as of July, 2005:
Casuelita’s Island Soul
2608 S Judkins Street. Seattle, WA 98144
Tele: (206) 329-1202