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Dinner and the theater, COVID-safe | Arts & Appetite

Edmonds Center for the Arts and Fire & the Feast

Series: Coronavirus | Story 323

Last updated 12/17/2020 at 9:58am

Maria A. Montalvo

Maria Montalvo and her husband, Stom Peterson, enjoyed a COVID-safe evening in Edmonds.

Dinner and theater tickets? Possible during a pandemic?

Yes, thanks to our very own Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) and a new restaurant in town, Fire & the Feast.

I was nearly overwhelmed by the prospect of a "date night" Dec. 3 when the ECA announced it was taking its poetry and spoken word performance, WE SPEAK Festival, to an online platform.

The WE SPEAK artists did far more than deliver a wonderful evening, though – they created an inspiring and thought-provoking evening for the more than 100 patrons who "attended" this event via livestream.

Just a few weeks earlier, Edmonds-owned Feedme Hospitality & Restaurant Group expanded its repertoire and opened Fire & the Feast, their take on Pacific Northwest Italian comfort food. Since I cannot get enough of pasta or pizza, and the Feedme team is always focused on quality and flavor, this is certainly a welcome addition to the Edmonds' food scene.

A half hour before the "show" was about to start, I walked up to the convenient pickup window on Main Street, just above Fifth Avenue, to pick up our dinner order. Fire & the Feast will be a lovely, welcoming interior once it is open for in-room dining, but for now, the outdoor seating tent provided a respite from the rain.

We ordered enough for leftovers since we were so excited to try this new menu – homemade pastas and pizzas, with antipasti that celebrate our northwest produce and producers, not to mention a great kid's menu.

The burrata antipasti ($14) offered a particularly pleasing combination of flavors and textures, with the fresh burrata paired with pickled fennel and apples. Although we thought we might save some of it, we started and ended the meal with wonderful bites of the cheese and fennel on tasty focaccia bread.

We had to get at least one pizza, as they prepare at last five specialty pizzas in their wood-fired oven each night. Always a pizza purist, we ordered the Margherita ($15) but their other creative options are must-trys, as well.

(Word on the street is they are perfecting their gluten-free crust, so stay tuned for that.)

Above all, though, we reveled in our two pasta dishes as the ECA performance began. The lamb pappardelle ($18) featured a generous portion of the braised lamb sugo in perfectly al dente pappardelle and balanced by the sweetness of the tomatoes with the saltiness of the ricotta salata.

On the other side of the spectrum, the swiss chard cacio e pepe ($20) featured a black pepper mafaldine noodle and a healthy grating of grana padano on top. Somehow the chard maintained the perfect texture and flavor, as did the pasta.

I could eat that dish weekly.

Switching to We Speak, artists were asked to explore the themes of the year 2020.

Masters of the spoken-word poetry and storytelling genres included Jericho Brown, Andrea Gibson, Kealoha, Shane Koyczan and Robin Sanders, as well as the winners of the festival's Youth Poetry Slam Competition.

Robin Sanders started the evening with a beautiful multimedia video performance called "Let's Love," and Shane Koyczan reminded us we are "relearning the definition of essential."

Through their words and performances, we were taken on a journey from the racial justice movement to the experiences of disabled, indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities to the global health crisis and the environment, and ending with a beautiful consideration of our challenge to discover more about those around us, with Kealoha stating, "I never pass up the opportunity to look someone in the eyes, to understand someone else's culture."

So be sure to schedule your own dinner and theater night with the family. In just a few days, ECA is livestreaming "A Celtic Family Christmas" with Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

Maria A. Montalvo

Pizza to go, from Edmonds' newest restaurant, Fire & the Feast.

MacMaster is a Canadian fiddler from the rural community of Troy in Inverness County, Nova Scotia, who plays Cape Breton fiddle music. MacMaster has toured with the Chieftains, Faith Hill, Carlos Santana and Alison Krauss, and has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8:30 p.m., but you can buy your tickets and watch when is most convenient for your family through the end of the month.

Our Edmonds Center for the Arts is still in downtown Edmonds, but learn about all of their livestreamed events by going to http://www.edmondscenterforthearts.org/ and be sure to make a donation, if you can, so we maintain this remarkable asset in Snohomish County.

Fire & the Feast is at 526 Main St. in Edmonds and is open 4=8:30 p.m. daily, with special holiday brunch hours on Saturdays. For more information, to read the full menu, or to order online, go to http://www.fireandthefeast.com/.


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