Restaurants for Seattle Opera's "Der Ring des Nibelungen"
- Jay Taylor
Hio - I subscribe to the OPERA-L mailing list. Friends and list members attending Seattle Opera's production of Wagner's Ring Cycle have inquired about restaurants within walking distance of the opera house. So far, only one person has chimed in with a "beer pub" recommendation. I'm sure there must be other quality restaurants nearby. Any recommendations? Thanks. -Jay
If you want to stay very close to the opera house, choices are limited to several good, but not fabulous restaurants.
I think a good find is the Mediterranean Kitchen (366 Roy). The food is wonderful, although many dishes can be overloaded with garlic, so order carefully. It's an unassuming restaurant, but the food is quite good.
Also, another low tech restaurant that's very close to the Opera House is Bahn Thai (409 Roy). I think the food is just ok, but the service is fast and efficient. Table turnover is very high on opera nights. Reservations are a must. You won't get in without one on opera nights.
Bamboo Garden (364 Roy) is unique, but does not appeal to many. It's a strictly Chinese vegetarian restaurant. You'll want to make reservations here too.
To elaborate on the Bamboo Garden comment--I got dragged there a couple times by vegetarians a couple of years ago--it's a place that would make meat-oriented dishes but replace the meat with TVP or tofu. So the menu actually said "Chicken [foo]" and whatnot, but the chicken was actually TVP. (I personally think this is a reprehensible practice--not the TVP, but the false advertising.) Plus, those fake-meat dishes frankly weren't very good. OTOH, the dishes that were honestly vegetarian, such as vegetable curry and the like, were pretty good.
The pub recommendation may have been McMenamin's. I've never been overly impressed with the food there, but I *love* the apple cider (the nonalcoholic kind).
Honestly, if I were looking for dinner along with the opera, I'd just go to some place downtown or in Belltown--it's not walking distance (well, not in dress shoes), but it's a very short drive.
Cascadia is offering a pre-show, 3-course tasting menu for $35. They offer excellent dishes like wiild salmon on cedar fronds, rigatoni pasta in a gouda sauce and beef tenderloin & bbq flatiron steak. For appetizers they offer a cured meats plate, a lettuce and arugula salad in a basil olive oil and black vinegar dressing and the classic Kerry Sear Soups served in those Kerry Sear-painted cans. For dessert they offer an indulgetn caramel mousse, puff pastry in a hazelnut creme, sorbets and ice cream.
Kaspar's and the Roy Street Bistro are other excellent restaurants that are closer to the Seattle Center.
I haven't been in a while, but Figaro Bistro at Roy and Queen Anne was good. Also, everyone is raving about 10 Mercer, but I haven't been there yet - it's just up the hill from Opera House. We also like Racha Noodles on QA and Mercer.
The "pub" could also be T.S. McHugh's rather than McMenemin's (sp?). The problem with those places is, here you are all dressed up for the opera, and you dine in a pub. 10 Mercer is certainly better for atmosphere. I have heard bad things about their food, but I went there after a concert for drinks and appetizers and had a good experience. Perche No is another alternative. It is a small italian place and they offer all evening valet parking when you go to an event. Has anyone tried The Melting Pot? I heard it was expensive. I can't remember if the Roy St. Bistro is still there, but it used to be good.
I recommend Kaspars www.kaspars.com. Very good food, nice atmosphere, you wont feel over dressed (as opposed to say a Thai restaurant or a pub), and it is very moderately priced. They understand about theater patrons needing to be out in time, and it is an easy walk to the opera house. I would make reservations early though they tend to fill up for the early opera seating.