My Seattle Restaurant Recommendations

December 27, 2011

A couple of months ago, Rhonda May, an esteemed editor friend of mine from Vancouver, British Columbia, told me she was planning a trip to Seattle and asked if we could meet up for a drink.

Rhonda publishes CityFood Magazine and website, and I’ve written articles on the Seattle dining scene for her in the past and regard her highly.

Unfortunately, we were already slated to be outta town that weekend, so I had to take a pass.

But when she asked for a few pointers, I composed a quick list, which I share with you today in case you’re in search of reliable places to take family and friends for holiday outings, or just places you might want to try yourself for a drink or a meal.

1. Be sure to wander around the Melrose Market and the Taylor Shellfish facility up on Capitol Hill. Lots of people like the resto Sitka & Spruce there–I’m not so much of a fan so you can decide for yourself.

2. In the same ‘hood are many of Seattle’s new, trendy restos. A particular fave is Cascina Spinasse for its Tajarin (thin, handcut noodles with sage and butter or meat ragu).

Skillet Diner is also always packed but we haven’t tried it yet.

Anchovies and Olives is one of Ethan Stowell’s four restos. I’d opt for Staple & Fancy (his Ballard neighborhood resto) cuz you can also have a look at Walrus & Carpenter which is right next door.

3. Ballard is also a “hot” resto neighborhood. Maria Hines (Tilth) has her new Golden Beetle there. We also enjoy Joule and Revel (newer than Joule–upscale street food) in the Wallingford and Fremont ‘hoods (same two owners), respectively.

4. Still like Steelhead Diner in the Pike Place Market or chef Kevin Davis’s newer resto Blueacre Seafood more uptown near Pacific Place shopping mall–reminds me of Vancouver restos because it’s big and cool.

5. Lecosho on the Harbor Steps has one of my all-time fave dishes, Grilled Octopus with Garbanzo Beans. Salads are excellent, too. Good happy-hour values (and HH is VERY hot right now).

6. Lots happening in the new South Lake Union area–you can take the South Lake Union Transit (SLUT!)–street car–to get there and walk all around. Tom Douglas has five restos there (!) and Chris Keff relocated her long-running Flying Fish there from Belltown, which is more of a bar than resto scene lately (and more dangerous as a result, sadly). Seastar is also known for its good seafood and excellent wine list. The Whole Foods Market there is huge and an anchor of the ‘hood.

7. The Eastside has lots of clones of downtown Sea restos and has really grown up A LOT in the past few years. At The Bravern you’ll find John Howie Steaks (Howie owns Seastar and there’s one of those on the Eastside as well) and the gorgeous second location of Wild Ginger, always reliable. Nearby is a location of El Gaucho (steakhouse), Joey’s, Palomino, Cheesecake Factory, ‘Z Tejas, etc.

Happy Holiday Eating and Drinking to one and all!