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Oct 4, 2005 02:23 PM

[SEA Eastside Bellevue] Opinions on restaurants?

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I'm sort of a Chowhound-in-Training, living in Bellevue. I've always been curious that, with all the restaurants struggling to be quaint in the downtown Bellevue area, there hasn't been a lot of talk about them. Is it because they're not worth it, or just that no one here goes to them?

Before I venture forth, I'd love to find out if anyone has any suggestions or warnings!

Here's a list of some of the ones I'm curious about:

* Andiamo Italian Restaurant
* Sans Souci
* Seastar
* Salute of Bellevue
* Flo
* Cucina Cucina (okay, just kidding about that one)

I was going to mention the Melting Pot, which I assumed was related to the one on Lower Queen Anne. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was a franchise: (

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  1. ...and melting pots can be found all over america

    when i first moved into the pike place market, i was astounded at the variety of restaurants available nearby, from standups to the most posh. little by little, i am working my way thru them so as to form my opinion of each venue; most are not worth a second trip but some have been spectacular. obviously, i am primarily interested in my own taste as many chowhounds on this site persist in recommending restaurants that i either have tried and disliked (canlis, brooklyn, tom douglas' empire) or have little reason to check out (any "hip, hot, happenin'" spot where the decor of both the room and the guests ranks above food and service). be the best sort of chowhound and do your own research; then let us know where you've had both wonderful and terrible experiences.

    1 Reply
    1. re: howard

      Good point, Howard! I certainly intend to post my own experiences--I've lived here for a while and just don't know as much about dining in the area as I should. (Somehow, my time downtown seems to only allow for Fatburger and such--something I intend to change.)

      Thanks all--great information!

    2. i can vouch for 3 of your choices personally. i have never had anything but delicious experiences at both seastar and san souci. for that matter san souci may just be my #1 fave on the eastside. i like salute alot but they can be a little inconsistent.
      i will give you 2 recs. in bellevue. firenze in the crossroads mall(actually on the outside edge near the cinema) and my fave new undiscovered gem, ascada bistro on 110th and 10th across from the library. really,really good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bighound

        FYI - not impressed with Ascada Bistro. We made reservations, but were still seated at a table right next to the garage door and the kitchen with only a sheet between us and the chef staff. The Mac & cheese was wonderful, and the Seafood St. Jacques was flavorful, but the Asada Pasta was sub-par and needed a ton of salt. Their "signature award-winning" dish was the Gorgonzola Tenderloin which came out without any Gorgonzola or the herbed briochette that was in the description. When my friend pointed this out, she was brought a small dish of blue cheese that, of course, failed to melt into the tenderloin since the heat was gone. Apparently, there was no briochette since "The menu is old". It gets better; the server told her that he'd get her a warm steak with blue cheese (apparently there wasn't any gorgonzola to be had either. . .) and give her half off her meal. Since we were right next to the kitchen, the cook/chef rudely stuck his head out from behind the counter and said loudly "I'm not giving you another tenderloin at half off!!". So then we spoke with the manager who was very sympathetic and made his apologies. When we got the check, the very kind waiter said "I gave you off what I was told to". So upon having a lukewarm steak with blue cheese and being very polite about simply not getting what she ordered, she got $5 off a $28 dish. The service was great, but this experience was enough to turn us off from revisiting for dinner. Their happy hour specials were well priced and smelled great, though. Perhaps their lunch presentation is better. . .

      2. I love Seastar. Great food and wine and service -- even worth the trip for those Seattlites who want to broaden their horizons. Have been to Bis on Main once and had a delicious meal. Cafe Juanita in Kirkland qualifies as an Eastside restaurant and is also highly regarded (I am looking forward to dining there myself some day...)

        3 Replies
        1. re: ViewRidger

          absolutely cafe juanita qualifies as eastside!! how come i forgot to mention it since i live within walking distance and eat there 2-3 times a year. i too have eaten at bis on main just once,at lunch, and it was very good.

          1. re: bighound
            Seattle Todd

            I want to chime in on recommending Cafe Juanita as well. One of the best restaurants in Seattle, period. And it's only minutes from Bellevue.

            I pity my friends who live on the west side who won't cross the bridge for any reason to the 'awful Eastside'.


            1. re: Seattle Todd

              I've been to Cafe Juanita once, and had the best time. It's great food and wine. I loved it.

              I still have not yet been to Andiamo and would be interested in others' ratings.

        2. I'm surprised nobody has commented on Andiamo yet. I've enjoyed many visits there and always appreciated the hospitality of the owner and staff as well as consistently great food.

          1. The Melting Pot sends me into fits of rage, which I will spare you from having to sit through.

            I would recommend the Mediterranean Kitchen (they have one in Queen Anne and one in Bellevue), with the caveat that you had better like garlic.