It’s always nice to get a jump start to the weekend and head out for a nice dinner with some good friends on a Thursday night! The restaurant we decided to check out this time was called Hi-Life. It is located in the northwestern part of Seattle (Ballard), residing inside a historic Firehouse which was built in 1911. The menu offered a wide selection of dishes but I easily narrowed it down to the 3-course-special for $20 or one of their seasonal brick-oven pizzas. In the end, I decided on the butternut pizza, while my husband settled on the 3 for 20. I was delighted with the diversity, knowing full well that I’ll be able to sneak in a few bites from my neighbour!
The first dish that came out was the Hi-Life Onion Rings served with Mama Lil’s aioli sauce. It was the appetizer that came with the 3-course-special, and it certainly did not disappoint. After taking my first bite into the ginormous onion ring, I realized it was not the batter but the thick slice of onion inside that was giving it its size. The crispiness of the shell provided great contrast to the softness of the onion. I dipped the ring into the aioli sauce before taking my second bite and immediately felt the tangy kick of the sauce. I never took another bite without the sauce after that, it truly complemented the onion ring bringing out a bit of sweetness to the onion.
The main course came out just as we were finishing off the last bit of our appetizers. The crispy thin pizza was topped with butternut squash, goat cheese, pancetta and some Tutto Calabria peppers. The butternut squash was cut in large thin slices providing a hint of sweetness which was brought out even more by the small chunks of pancetta that was hidden throughout the pizza. The goat cheese was sprinkled sparingly giving you a pleasant surprise each time you hit that rich creamy texture. The Tutto Calabria peppers capped things off with a spicy kick which I thought was quite good, until my last slice, which had a larger than normal piece of pepper that lit my tongue on FIRE!
For dessert, we selected the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp which I have never heard of before. The appearance of the dish was not too appealing but nevertheless I dug my spoon and grabbed a bit of everything. Some of the strawberry jelly, a bit of the rhubarb crisp and some vanillaice cream. I guess strawberry was not in season or perhaps that was the intention of the dish but the sourness of the fruit was just too much to bear. The sweetness of the ice cream did not help at all, if anything it probably made me feel the sourness of the strawberry even more.
Can’t wait to head back on a Sunday to try out their Family Style Fried Chicken!
5425 Russell Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107