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Nov 24, 2006 06:55 PM

Houston Chowhound coming to Seattle

Hi hounds!

I'll be making a trek to Seattle next week (Sun-Wed, Dec 3-6) and was looking for some recommendations. I've hit some of the high end stuff over the last decade or so, but feel a bit lost on where the really good food is located these days. I figure maybe two high end meals and three really good lunches, if possible.

Off the top of my head, I've been to Wild Ginger, Campagne, and Dahlia Lounge, all of which felt a tad dated even when I went a year or so back.

A side question is drinking: any bars that ya'll would rave about, consider world class, whatever? My favorites include Shorty's (I collect pinball machines) and I'm headed to the Zig Zag for cocktails. I'm sure I'll be going out every night, staying out late, so any recommendations would be appreciated...


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  1. since you ask about bars, you should try Vessel (5th betw. Union & University; try the Vessel 75 cocktail with maple syrup foam, and the Marmalade Sour with egg white) and Licorous (12th and Marion; try the Renaissance cocktail and the hazelnut brown butter financier dessert). Although Zigzag is great, both of these newer places are a step up in swankiness and creativity imo. If you're looking for a loungier vibe, Licorous; if you're more interested in mixology, Vessel. PS. Vessel might be closed on Sundays, don't know about Licorous.

    1. Mike, I am a Moonie for Harvest Vine. Their Spanish Tapas offer intense flavor options that you'll long remember. (Go early to get a seat at the bar; if you're traveling with companions, make reservations for wine cellar seating.) Lunch should include Matt's At The Market, Salumi and the mussels at Maximillien's at the Market. (The upstairs bar is more casual and has a great view.) The dungenous crab at Seven Stars Szechuan should be on every visitor's short list. (Wear an old shirt you're not fond of.) Nell's at Greenlake offers some exceptional dinner fare as well. Write back and let us know what you discovered and liked.

      1. In addition to Barleywino's bar suggestions, I'd add Sambar. It's my favorite place for amazing cocktails, and it has terrific French food (mostly appetizers, though they often have a dinner like Steak Frites as a special). I just had the most delicious cardoon soup there, and a romenesco gratin was very good too. The frites are the best, But you need a car, and it's VERY small and frequently full, so weekends it is hard to get a seat (you can call first and see how full they are).
        For high end search here (and egullet) for info on Mistral, Veil and Union.
        For the anti-high end I second the rec for crab at 7 Stars Pepper (see the many threads about it). Their lunch menu is limited so go for dinner.

        1. For lunch, Salumi is mandatory and I also strongly recommend you get some Vietnamese food while you're in town. Pho Bac on 7th and Jackson has the best pho, Tamarind Tree and Green Leaf for everything else. Houston's got pretty decent pho with their Viet community, but I think Seattle surpasses.

          Consider Dinette for dinner on Tuesday.

          1. I'd suggest for the high end that these places are still
            delivering the goods: Union, Lark and Harvest Vine. For lunch, try Pecos Bit BBQ, Mon-Fri on So. 1st near Starbucks HQ---dress warmly to eat outside or in your car. Order the pork sandwich--medium. The mesquite chili burn is tops. Also Boat Street Cafe has good ambience and style.

            4 Replies
            1. re: itsonlyfood

              To send a Texan to a BBQ joint in Seattle would be cruel and unusual punishment.

              1. re: terrier

                It would only be cruel of Pecos was crummy. It's not. It's run by Texans and is better than any bbq I've had in Texas. Geography is not destiny.

                1. re: itsonlyfood

                  I'm a native Texan. Pecos is not bad by Seattle standards. It is not on par with a decent 'cue shack in Houston, which means it's miles below the best BBQ in Texas (for which I maintain one must travel further inland towards the Hill Country.)

                2. re: terrier

                  Haha. So true. BBQ is terrible out here.