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Jul 19, 2006 07:00 PM

first time in seattle for 2 days -- please help

We are going to Vancouver for a week, and flying in and out of Seattle, so we'll be spending the saturday in the beginning and another saturday in the end of our trip in your fair city.

So, we have 2 lunches and 2 dinners. Yes, I know -- not enough time, so we need your help prioritizing.

We are from Boston, and I teach fish cooking classes. So we are not looking for touristy seafood experiences, but really great food that is unique to pasific northwest.

Here is what we are thinking:

Matt's in the market - the lunch menu looks a little sparce. do you think it would do the place justice or do we have to go for dinner?
Etta's - is it worth going if we try Palace Kitchen or Dahlia lounge for dinner?
any other good lunch places opened on a saturday?

Union -- does anyone know how much is the tasting menu? any recent opinions?
Flying Fish -- heard mixed reviews -- anyone been recently?
Palace Kitchen or Dahlia lounge -- which one would you choose and why?

That's already too many places. Which two would you choose for dinner? or would you choose something entirely different?

I am not putting any sushi places on our list intentionally -- we are going to Vancouver for a week and will have plenty of great sushi there, but if you think it's an oversight, let me know.

Thank you so much for your help :)

We are terribly excited about this trip!

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  1. Wanda, good to hear from another Bostonian! I'm a fan of Matt's (lunchtime-only) catfish sandwich, would do dinner elsewhere. Another good lunch spot is Maximiliens in the Market (Alsatian bistro; from 1st and Pike, head towards the water past the fish counter and bear left). Not a huge Tom Douglas fan (I'm probably in the minority) or Flying Fish fan. Union is a good choice, the tasting is not formally on the menu anymore, but you can request it and just tell them when you are full, or your target price. I agree, if you are going to eat plenty of sushi in Vancouver (Tojo's omakase) you won't need to spend one of your 2 meals in Seattle on that. Some other possibilities: Dungeness crab ravioli and Douglas fir sorbet martini at Cascadia (good bar to eat at), Kobe steak and lobster claw app at Canlis (great atmosphere and views), steamed black cod and crab spring rolls wrapped in lettuce at Monsoon (call to see whether they have it)...

    1 Reply
    1. re: barleywino

      Hi Barleywino!

      Great to hear from you :) Did you move to seattle? Thanks so much for the recommendations!



    2. I agree with Barleywino that Flying Fish should not be one of your top choices, but that comes with the caveat that I prefer small, quirky restaurants to large, high-volume establishments. I also agree that you should consider a dinner at Monsoon -- all of the fish preparations are excellent, the wine list is innovative, and the restaurant itself is nice and neighborhoody, while still doing really interesting and memorable things with food.

      I also am not a huge Tom Douglas fan but prefer both Etta's and Palace Kitchen to Dahlia Lounge.

      Let us know where you went, and what you liked.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ssusu

        Monsoon looks very tempting. They do a dim sum lunch on weekends. Has anyone tried it? Is it traditional dim sum or Vietnamese version?

        1. re: A Fish Called Wanda

          It's an odd combination of traditional dim sum, post-colonial (i.e., French-accented) Vietnamese, and brunchy things. It's a little spendy for dim sum, and not so fun, because everything's ordered off a menu. I say save your dim sum craving for Vancouver because it's phenomenal there. BTW, I'm not sure what your dining itinerary is in Van, but if at all possible you should try to eat at Lumiere (and get the seafood prix fixe menu).

        2. re: ssusu

          Calling Flying Fish a large. high volume establsihment is a disservice to that palce. Flying Fish remaisn teh #1 restaurant in Seattle to try innovative fis/seafood dishes. It si a restaurant that is hard to reproduce in other cities. I would not be so quick to dismiss it if it is your first time in Seattle.

          Other "non tranportable" spots' Harvest Vine, Lark, Earth and Ocean....

        3. PS. if for some reason you don't find good o-toro in Vancouver, the o-toro at Nishino (seattle) is better than any i've had in Boston...other items worth keeping your eyes (and mouth ;) open for out here are oysters (B&G Oysters notwithstanding) and Rainier cherries...while you are in Vancouver, make sure Tojo gives you some of his seared albacore/bluefin wrapped in banana leaf

          1. Hi,

            Went to flying fish last week. Not that impressed. Greasy calamari appetizer, though the crab cakes were good, and the raved about fried rockfish was pretty overcooked with a bland, though spicy, pineapple and anchovy salsa. Had much better and cheaper in Asian restaurants. Grappa brownie was OK, and my partners trio of cupcakes were....just cupcakes(albeit expensive ones). Spent $190 all up, and feel a little ripped off. No promised romantic table for our anniversary, not even a booth, and the serviceperson had an annoying habit of walking off after I ordered a drink, leaving my husband hanging, and requiring us to get his attention mid 'busy-walk' to ask again, this happened twice. Felt a little rushed.
            Wont be back. Not horrendous, just not lovely for us, which was a pity cos we dont get much of a chance to go out these days, and certainly not to blow $200!!

            1. Dinner-try the Waterfront Seafood Grill at pier 70. Blows Ruth's chris steakhouse out of the restaurant registry for taste and SERVICE. Fantastic seafood, good water views. A bit pricey. Can spend $150-200 without much effort. But will delight in every taste. Can order a split/half of side dishes (ala carte) so try more than 2. I remember locations by meals enjoyed. Thus, due to this restaurant, will never forget seattle.