Suggestions for Seattle?
My husband and I will be in Seattle for three nights this month.....We're trying to decide among the following...
Madoka, Mistral, Matt's in the Market, Harvest Vine, Lola, Lark, Earth and Ocean, La Carta de Oaxaca, and Cafe Juanita.
We're particularly curious to hear if any of you have been to Madoka.
You know, I seem to be the only one, but I think La Carta is just okay (the one time I went there we had five dishes between the two of us, and only the beef tacos were decent), and it's just a little bit expensive. It definitely has a nice ambiance and great margaritas, but other places can do the trick without the wait (like any Tacos Guaymas, or the Chile Pepper in Wallingford if you need a good mole).
You're not the only one that feels that way about La Carta. I thought they used quality ingredients but didn't extract enough flavor from them. I thought the much-praised mole was one-dimensional (way too sweet). And I like Chile Pepper in Wallingford, too.
I also am much more excited about El Quetzal in Beacon Hill than I am about La Carta. I had some chilaquiles and a huarache that were terrific, and there are some other tantalizing menu items:
El Cochinito Sabroso Quesadilla, "Mexican chicharon pork cracklings cooked in a chipotle salsa"
Pombazo's Portales, "Traditional sandwiches served in the street markets in Mexico. The torta sandwich bread is smothered in sabroso house salsa and stuffed with sausage, mashed potatoes, lettuce, and fresh Mexican cheese. Served hot!"
We just moved to Mobile, Alabama from Seattle. We're homesick already. Try Salumi's for lunch. His son is Mario Batali who is a great chef featured on the food channel, Iron Chef, great restaurant in New York. Have fun. Puget Sound is a great and beautiful area and the restaurants are wonderful. You have many, many choices.
Love la Carta de Oaxaca but it is very casual (AMAZING mole...haven't had any better outside of Hautulco). Matt's is very good and homey...It's like having a great dinner at a friend's house. Right next door is Chez Shea, that’s great too. Lark: Very tasty and pretty pricey. I haven't been to Madoka but the fact that it's on Bainbridge Island is a bonus. It's such a nice ferry ride (leave your car in Seattle).
You've made some great selections. Here are some quick thoughts on each.
Madoka - never been
Mistral - best dining experience in the city
Matt's - lots of good reviews, personally I'm not a huge fan
Harvest Vine - great Basque food
Lola - yuck
Lark - good food, noisy, great for a group
Earth and Ocean - don't go for the food, go for dessert and drinks in the W lounge
la Carta de Oaxaca - wonderful Oaxacan food, not in the same class as all the other places you've listed, but a good meal regardless
Cafe Juanita - right up there with Mistral as one of my favorite places to dine