Musician, Author or Rocky?: No, she is Emily Crawford Dann

Musician, Author or Rocky?:  No, she is Emily Crawford Dann

Have you ever been disappointed in a second album of a particular musician who released a phenomenal 1st record?  I have many times.  How about writers?  His/her 1st book was so damn good and you can’t stand the second book?  Or the movie “Rocky,” which I don’t think I need to explain.

Emily Crawford Dann is not a musician or author who produces a disappointing 2nd creation or Rocky.  She is a law school graduate, bright, very sincere, calm, fun, knowledgeable, thoughtful and beautiful.  This is a story about her and her restaurant, The Corson Building.


One night in February 2012, somewhere around 9:30pm, he and I were driving through Georgetown on Corson Avenue in Seattle after checking out a couple of venues that we considered having a party with a small group of close friends and family.  We were looking for something quaint, classy, vintagie and yet fun.  We were not quite excited about both places and were tired, and so headed home.  We stopped at red light.  I looked out to the window and I saw this quaint, classy and vintagie place tucked away on Corson Ave, and I let him know.  As soon as he saw that place, he flipped a U-turn and got out of the car.   We hesitantly opened the gate and looked inside the building.  We could see someone in the back of the building so we approached the back door and poked our heads in.  It was a gorgeous, organized and stunning kitchen.  Pots and pans hanged from the ceiling. Utensils and kitchen tools were on one side and plates on the other.  And unmatched silverwares!  I fell in love with that kitchen with just a glance.  Then this soft-spoken, elegant looking women, with a gorgeous smile and apron said, “Do you want to take a look inside?  Come on in”. As soon as I heard her voice and encountered her graceful manner, I decided this place was it.  It must have been the same for him because I remember him saying, “We don’t need to look further.”

the back of The Corson Building

Last night, we went to a “Seafood Chowder” dinner at this place.  I repeat, she is not a musician, author who produces disappointing 2nd creation or Rocky.  We’ve been to her restaurant countless times and she and her creations never disappoint.

When we had a dinner party in October 2012, the only request I had for Emily was no carrots (because I do not like carrot so much).  I had so much trust in her and I didn’t request anything else because I wanted to have HER food, not our modified version.  Of course, she delivered beautifully.

Emily is Seattle’s treasure.  She loves ingredients and has a strong emotional connection to food and those who enjoy food.  In fact, every time I taste what she makes, my heart starts aching.  She uses a mix of many kinds of spices but it never loses its original flavor of ingredients.  Her food makes you want to use all of your feelings, emotions and senses.

If you ever have a chance to visit Seattle, this is the place that should be first on your list.

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Best Restaurant ever (?): Lovely little place in NYC

Best Restaurant ever (?): Lovely little place in NYC

I have one co-worker, and let’s call her Kathy.  Kathy is a very cheerful and fun person to work with.  She also is a foodie and has many recommendations where to dine and what to eat.  I love hearing what she has to offer.  When she gets excited about food and/or restaurants she likes, she uses this phrase “the best EVER” and “the greatest EVER.”  I was born and raised in Japan and immigrated to the States 14 years ago, and as English being as my second language, I find her expression is very interesting.  I did not think I had my “best EVER” place to eat until December 27th, 2014.

New York City is my favorite place to be, especially lower Manhattan.  There are so many places I traveled and I love, but NYC is always No.1 on my list.  Yes, it is busy, crowded, expensive, dirty, and crazy however, there is something very romantic about that place just to override those negative impressions.  Old brick buildings, basketball courts, small parks throughout the city, coffee shops, 100-year old delis, tourists walking, tiny alleys, unique characteristics on each borough.  Gorgeous bridges, small restaurants, bicycles, gigantic buildings, dressed up people, dressed down people, bookstores, theaters, music, cocktails, and food.  My list will go on about 5 pages if you let me.  Anyways, today I want to talk about this restaurant called Joseph Leonard in West Village.

I saw this photo on Tumblr about 6 months ago.  It is a photo taken outside of this place and the glass window is steamed up.  It must have taken one cold winter day.  I could read “Joseph Leonard” on the window and see a few people inside.  I did not know what the place was and I have not heard of the name before either but I had a hunch (or I wanted this place to be a restaurant in NYC so badly) so I Googled.  Of course, it was a restaurant in the City (smile).  6 months later, we were there at Joseph Leonard at 9am sharp on 12/27/2014.


The place was even better than I imagined.  When I reached out to the door, this friendly guy opened the door and said, “hey, come in!” We entered then my heart got filled with pure joy and expectations.  The place only has 8 tables and one small bar in the middle.  Old wooden floor and unmatched tables/chairs/benches.  We got seated where people were sitting in that photo.  Fast forward, my kale salad was arrived.  Oh my God, it was the best kale salad EVER!  Did I just use those words?  Best EVER?  And it was.  Right amount of kale, dressing, sourness, sweetness, pickled red onion, perfectly cooked boiled eggs, cheese…And care and love.  Plus, Stumptown Coffee roasts beans only for Joseph Leonard and it’s called “Happy Cooking Roast.” The coffee and our dish were perfectly complimenting each other.


After I talked to our wait staff, Michael B with much enthusiasm about this place and food, he serviced us a big slice of carrot cake (restaurant owner’s wedding cake) and another pot of Happy Cooking Roast, which we did not even ordered.  I told him, “You guys rock.  I don’t use this word too easily but your place and food are the best ever.”  Seeing his smile after my comment was priceless.  Combination of me being NYC, great food, perfect location, lovely atmosphere, and wonderful staff made this magic.  Oh, I cannot forget to mention.  When I came in “London Calling” was playing and Clash was being played whole time we were there.

This place is best restaurant EVER until I find another best EVER.