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NY-PDX hounds looking for Seattle's best for NYE

  • t

Big-time foodie family looking for the best Seattle has to offer. very familiar with the dining scene in New York and Portland, not so much in Seattle.

Looking for a memorable New Year's Eve at a fun, new restaurant featuring northwest cuisine. price not an issue. good wine, whiskey, and raw bar a plus.

restaurants we like:

in Portland:
clarklewis
Gino's
Higgin's
Wildwood

in New York:
Wallse
Babbo
Balthazar
Blue Ribbon

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  1. The following is an answer to the generic question, "Where can I eat well in Seattle?" I’ve lived here for about six years, and really like good food. Here are my choices. Other than Canlis, which requests that men wear jackets and ties (but doesn't necessarily enforce the request), they are all "business casual":

    Expensive:

    - Canlis – New American/Pacific Northwest. Formal, gracious, great food, great ambiance.
    - Campagne – French country. New chef has revived it.

    Moderate:

    - Szmania’s – Nouvelle German.
    - Harvest Vine - Spanish, small plates. Business casual. Great Spanish wine list.
    - Place Pigalle - New American bistro. Charming, intimate, modern
    - Ray’s Boathouse - Seattle institution for seafood
    - Hunt Club - Continental. Gracious, cozy, very good food.
    - Chinook’s at Salmon Bay - Best seafood in town, great brunches.
    - Tulio - Italian. Excellent food
    - Maximillian's At The Market - American. Great lunch spot in Pike Place Market.

    Disappointments:

    - Rover’s – French. Seattle’s large contingent of reverse snobs has forced this place to pull in its horns and dumb it all down. ‘Tis a pity that this town can’t support a world-class haute cuisine restaurant, because Rover’s is capable of it if people were willing to pay for it.
    - Lampreia – New American. Much ado about nothing in particular.
    - Mistral – New American. Great meal the first time around, but I was stunned to be served exactly the same thing a year later.

    Atmospherics:

    - Canlis. Elegant, romatic. A fair-weather favorite at sunset.
    - Hunt Club. Cozy and romantic. A rainy night favorite.
    - Ray’s Boathouse. A summer evening favorite.
    - Maximillian's At The Market. Great views if you get a window table.

    Most misunderstood:

    - Canlis. The reverse snobs channel their considerable class envy at this place, accusing it of all manner of imaginary sins. Don’t listen! This place is probably the city’s best restaurant.

    Downtown/nearby:

    - Campagne
    - Tulio
    - Place Pigalle
    - Maximillian's At The Market

    2 Replies
    1. re: Willy3000

      The chef at Campagne is hardly new. Daisley Gordon has been chef for at least six years, ever since Jim Drohman left to open le Pichet, and was Jim's sous chef for at least a few years before that.

      1. re: babette feasts

        I'm realizing that my list has gathered dust.

    2. Tron, Closest I can think of to your faves in NYC:

      Wallse --> can't think of any (Veil, maybe)
      Babbo --> Tulio or Cafe Juanita (although nobody comes close to Babbo's range of pastas)
      Balthazar --> Cremant
      Blue Ribbon --> Nishino (closer to Nobu, actually)

      1. You're going to have to move fast to get reservations for New Year's. I second Cremant, Nishino and Harvest Vine. Canlis is the perfect restaurant if the Senior Prom was the highlight of your life. If not, there are better options. Check if Le Gourmand still has any seats available if you strike out above.

        1. For the ultimate NYE blowout, try Herbfarm in Woodinville. Only one seating, one price, tasting menu with wine pairings. Creative, fun and very Northwest. They even have an inn next door (have not stayed there).

          2 Replies
          1. re: barleywino

            NYE at Herbfarm actually sounds pretty good though the price is definitely up there - $295/pp includes at least 9 courses and wine pairings but not tax/tip. If money weren't an object and my wife and I didn't already have a tradition of travelling for NYE, that's where I'd go.

            1. re: terrier

              yes, their NYE menu is super expensive even by Herbfarm standards...

          2. The original comment has been removed