Sachia Tinsley and Scott Cory are the wife and husband co-owners of Peyrassol, Café at Southport.
Just finding Peyrassol, wedged beneath the Bristol apartments along an inlet road, seems like a secret, unexpected port near the shores of Lake Washington.
Every Rentonite with a little curiosity should absolutely make their way “off the beaten path” because the truth is Peyrassol, which opened in 2010, is at the epicenter of development in Renton, right next door to the new hotel on Lake Washington at Southport.
Offering “Rustic Western European cuisine that is refined yet country” in a quaint, down-to-earth space, the food is made with high quality ingredients and guided by Executive Chef Sachia’s palate and Sommelier Scott’s internal mood ring.
I asked Scott to explain a sommelier.
“Think of a sommelier as a table side wine and beer educator and also a food guide all wrapped in one. Peyrassol offers some Washington wines but mostly Italian and French to complement a menu that, brings the taste of the lifestyle of dining in Europe to our restaurant,” Scott said.
According to Scott, when he goes to a table it’s his job to understand the table’s mood. To suggest a wine pairing based on their menu, and it is absolutely critical for him to “read the table,” or understanding what the guest is looking for, what they are used to drinking and if they want to try something new.
In Renton, the proprietors of Peyrassol are what I would describe as the “whole enchilada.”
There’s a confidence and an attention to detail that I appreciate, backed up by years of hard work (Scott has been a sommelier for over 26 years and Sachia has been cooking since she was two and more recently as Executive Chef at Wild Ginger and Triple Door).
On a recent Monday I was able to cook and chat with Chef Sachia. When she suggested we make eggs Benedict, a popular item on their Sunday Brunch menu, I was a little disappointed.
I had anticipated learning the secret of a much talked about favorite beef bourguignon, slow simmered in red wine and homemade stock and served with a polenta cake. Or perhaps learning the secret ingredients to some of their other dishes perfected from their travels around Western Europe, like hand-cut pasta dishes such as a “spaghetting alla chitarra al zafferano,” featuring pasta tossed in a saffron cream sauce and Dungeness topped with garlic sautéed prawns.
So when she suggested eggs Benedict, I didn’t mention that I kinda have a thing against brunch. Not as a concept, but in my experience it’s rarely done well.
I’m just not a fan of tonging out ham or turkey swimming in a mystery liquid. Or weak coffee, frozen orange juice or stale pastry that you feel compelled to eat just to keep a pulse.
But that’s the joy of learning how to cook with the pros; it changes your perspective and pushes you out of your comfort zone.
I would soon realize that the eggs Benedict was the perfect choice in it’s simplicity and, when well executed, is divine just like all of the food coming out of the Peyrassol kitchen.
We started with the hollandaise sauce. She cracked out egg yolks, setting aside the whites for other recipes or to donate to a local boys shelter.
She whisked the yolks with lemon juice and sea salt and after a bit added melted butter. With a touch of elbow grease I was surprised how quickly the sauce came together. And it was a beautiful sauce, somehow at once thick and thin with a velvety sheen.
I watched her dress two small piles of rocket arugula with a little olive oil on the cutting board before placing the glimmering greens gently on the halved English Muffins.
Next came poaching the eggs. Using the same pot of boiling water with a little bit of lemon juice and salt, she cracked in a couple of eggs.
As we waited for the eggs to cook Sachia shared the origin of the name, Peyrassol.
Sachia waited tables during the day and cooked at night at La Spiga which is where she met Scott, who, as the Sommelier at the Broadway QFC frequented La Spiga. Peyrassol is the name of the French Rose they shared from Provence and became the namesake in homage to their favorite wine and food experiences from their travels, something they hope to replicate, adding their own flare.
I could see her perfectionism in her kitchen, the cooking timers were placed “just so,” the knives were a reach away, sparkling clean and very sharp. But it was her arsenal of squeeze bottles, meticulously labeled that really intrigued me, Like magical potions filled with Sachia’s house-made sauces.
I commented on the lithe cut of her Beechwood smoked ham and she said, “And that’s thick for me.”
I nodded as I watched her pour the brilliant, lemon-colored sauce over the poached eggs nested in ham like a mother gently draping a warm blanket over a baby.
Slicing through the light, fluffy, poached egg was satisfying as the yolk burst over, mixing with the lemony, rich sauce, the sweet smoked ham, acid and spice from the arugula
We toasted my brunch conversion over a Blood Orange champagne.
And this my friends is how they do everything at Peyrassol: Precise, measured, thoughtful.
In Sachia and Scott’s world of Peyrassol they want every detail to be as wonderful for the guest as possible, mimicking the adventures of their European travels.
There is nothing more satisfying than eating a really delicious, thoughtful meal with excellent service from people who are passionate about what they are doing.
Peyrasoll in Renton is a no-brainer, a must try for Valentine’s Day or any day.