The concept of slowing down and focusing on connecting to the Earth through seasonally available food has become more and more appealing to me. Focusing on the sustainability of our food, and supporting local growers is something we’ve been trying to do more often, because buying local is not only fresher, more flavorful, and more sustainable, but it also helps to support people who live in the same community as us. The concept of honoring the Earth and one another, as well as becoming attuned to the unique flavors, textures, colors, and fragrances of each season through food is precisely what Aerlume (pronounced like heirloom) is all about. Located between Bell Harbor Marina and the famous Pike Place Market, overlooking beautiful Puget Sound, Aerulume had some of the most flavorful, inspired food we’ve ever encountered.
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Address: 2003 Western Ave Ste. C
Seattle, WA 98121
Food Type: Fresh Seafood
Dining Experience: Indoor or Al Fresco
Price: $135+ per Person
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Gluten Free (not GF dedicated)
The décor and atmosphere of Aerlume reminded me of being underwater, swimming peacefully in silent solitude. The subtle nod to Puget Sound and the ocean from whence the beautiful seafood they serve comes, in the form of shades of blue, deep browns and greens like the pine trees that gave Washington its nickname “The Evergreen State”, and lighting that is at once both organic and inorganic in form and intensity made the entire restaurant seem as though we were simultaneously submerged underwater while also walking through a beautiful pine forest.
I also noticed that they paid homage to all four elements in nature. The warm glow of the warming fires burning invitingly to keep the outdoor diners warm against the cool airy winds off of Elliott Bay and the fires they used in the kitchen for cooking shone brightly in the dimly lit restaurant. The color palette and underwater atmosphere given by the lighting reminds us of our connection to the water, and the deep drowns of the dark wood filling the restaurant, and plates made of clay were reminiscent of earth. Overall, I thought this was the most beautifully designed restaurant we had been to in ages.
We ordered a few appetizers, assuming they would be more like tapas, perfect for sampling, but we were shocked when they brought full plates piled high with food. If you’re going with a few friends or family members, you will all leave positively stuffed, because their portion sizes are very large for the price. To sample the textures and flavor combinations of Aerlume, we ordered Crispy Cauliflower with red curry yogurt, Dungeness Crab Lettuce Wraps topped with edible flowers and Fresno chiles in a Thai red curry citrus vinaigrette, Grilled Spanish Octopus with green hummus and citrus-chili chimichurri, as well as oysters that were served on chilled river rocks, cypress greens, and a mango reduction. We also tried the Sweet Corn Soup with Dungeness crab, avocado, and peppers.
Everything was positively fantastic, and the flavors were very impactful without being overwhelming or lingering too long, so it was easy to move from dish to dish, savoring the variety of textures, flavors, and levels of heat without having to worry about flavors mixing inappropriately. Although I couldn’t eat the cauliflower as it was not gluten free, everything else was so fresh and phenomenal that we already can’t wait to visit again soon.
At this point, we were both well on our way to being full, so we decided to share an entrée rather than ordering one for each of us. We opted for the Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with summer squash and sweet corn relish, wild mushrooms, and truffled corn pudding. They were seared to absolute perfection, with a golden brown crust to the bottom of the scallops. The squash, sweet corn, mushrooms, and truffled corn pudding were the perfect sweet companion to the smooth flavor of the scallops, and everything was plated with care.
To finish off our meal, we shared a Goat’s Milk Cheesecake with gluten-free granola, marcona almonds, strawberry sorbet, basil and edible flowers. The presentation was almost as delicious as it tasted – it was almost too pretty to eat.
The staff of Aerlume were so friendly and helpful with recommendations about what I could eat and what I should stay away from for my dietary needs. I appreciated their attentiveness, their gracious hospitality, and how prompt the service was. Aerlume is the perfect spot for a date night out, anniversary celebrations, celebrating a special moment or achievement, or just to treat one’s self to a lovely meal. We absolutely loved our time at Aerlume, and I can’t recommend this wonderful restaurant highly enough!
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