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Small plates in Seattle?

broksonic Mar 27, 2007 04:27 PM

I am a big fan of places like Sitka and Spruce and Tilth. Good, fresh, NW food, with a variety of small plates to share around. Any other similar places to recommend?

  1. b
    bergeo Mar 27, 2007 06:08 PM

    It's not NW in theme, but my favorite small place restaurant (and a favorite in general) is The Harvest Vine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bergeo
      Leper Mar 27, 2007 07:53 PM

      Bergeo, I second that. Harvest Vine continues to impress me with their innovation. (ie: few things taste like your pre-conceived notions.) Harvest Vine is truly fun with food and a Chowhound destination.

    2. l
      Lauren Mar 28, 2007 09:09 AM

      Lark is my favorite small bites place. A lot of non small bites restaurants are starting to offer small plates in addition to regular entree's. I really like that trend.

      1. ssusu Mar 28, 2007 09:11 AM

        You can't miss elemental@gasworks. The menu changes weekly with an emphasis on what's fresh and seasonal. Small plates, designed for sharing.

        1. c
          ccqueen Mar 28, 2007 09:32 AM

          lark and its little sister, licorous are both great for small plates. dinette offers a selection of "toasts" and some of their entrees in small or large portions. tavolata has great starters to share. and i, too, love, love, love the harvest vine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ccqueen
            fooddawg Mar 28, 2007 10:01 AM

            My current favorite places for small plates:

            1. Harvest VIne (Spanish tapas)
            2. Lark
            3. Elemental@gasworks (though this is a long meal with the owner bringing out many wines).
            4. Bricco (Italian inspired wine bar)
            5. The bar at Union

          2. ericlutzker Mar 28, 2007 10:24 AM

            i was impressed with oliver's twist up here in phinney the time i went. good specialty cocktails too. garlic truffle oil popcorn. it was really good. and i'm not much of a popcorn fan.

            1. dagoose Mar 28, 2007 11:10 AM

              If you are interested in a slightly more casual version of all of these, the Hi-Life in Ballard does a rotating menu of small plates based on seasonal/available ingredients. Recently they had some great oysters, but there are lots of cool little plates, and they have this special wine pouring system so that you can get like a jillion different wines by the glass. I had a great experience there, my waitress was able to suggest an awesome wine to go with each one of my small plates....

              this, I might add, was a total turn around from when I first went there and had some sort of giant overdone steak...I guess they overhauled the menu and have a new chef...

              1 Reply
              1. re: dagoose
                Gourdo Mar 28, 2007 11:19 AM

                Another nod for both Harvest Vine and Lark.

                They aren't cheap, but the food is consistently good, much more so than at Tilth (which ranges from its extraordinary pork belly to its disappointing desserts), and the service is a big leap up. Terrific evening out at either place.

              2. k
                kkbriggs Mar 28, 2007 01:20 PM

                Pair is also really good. If they have the gnocci with smoked trout on the menu, order it - you won't be disappointed. The gougeres are another one not to miss. I haven't had anything that wasn't good and the wine list is decent. It's not a good place to go with more than four or five people, though.

                1. sophie. Mar 28, 2007 03:30 PM

                  I vote Lark as well.

                  1. h
                    huruta Mar 28, 2007 04:09 PM

                    Oh Seattle, how I miss thee small plates. I'm a Seattlite and Washingtonian by birth and have recently been displaced to NYC. Yeah, there's some great food here, but I haven't had anything at all that compares to the likes of Harvest Vine or Lark.

                    Casa Mono, Tia Pol, Degustation, Xunta and more are simply not up to snuff with HV and Lark in Seattle. Don't miss either. They are both simply wonderful. They'll be my first stops when I am home.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: huruta
                      sophie. Mar 29, 2007 12:47 AM

                      I have never had the pleasure of exploring the New York restaurant scene. But I know enough about it to really appreciate your praise. I am so proud to dine in Seattle.

                      I went to Ovio tonight. Anyone been? You can do small plates there, but it's not designed for it particularly. The selection of appetizers is large and several of the entrees come as sides. So it is quite simple. We hardly had room for the main course.
                      Everything delicious. I'll post something detailed tomorrow in a separate thread.

                      1. re: sophie.
                        dgs1300 Mar 30, 2007 02:04 PM

                        Ovio rocks, and I'm quite pleased that it's walking distance from home :-) I don't think of it as a small-plates kinda place, but there's no reason why you couldn't assemble a pretty good selection there.

                        Up the street at the former Ovio/O2 location is Beàto, and it could feasibly serve as a small-plates venue.

                        I will heartily recommend Elemental@Gasworks and Harvest Vine, and after finally getting to check out Sitka & Spruce, I think that works well as a small plates/sharing venue too.

                        1. re: dgs1300
                          fooddawg Mar 30, 2007 05:19 PM

                          Definitely add Sitka & Spruce to the list. I nearly forgot about them. Wonderful food in a strip mall of all places. Get there early as it fills up fast. There's usually a neighborly line that's formed outside the door just before opening.

                          I think Beato is small plates, though unintentionally so...

                          1. re: fooddawg
                            barleywino Mar 30, 2007 11:16 PM

                            Some questions about Sitka & Spruce: Why don't they take reservations? Why do they refuse to say anything about the day's menu, or to describe the food at all, over the phone? Why don't they buy some stools so people don't have to stand while they're eating at the bar? This seems to be a restaurant with an attitude, like, we're so good, why bother to meet the customer halfway.

                            1. re: barleywino
                              bergeo Mar 31, 2007 09:53 AM

                              From my experience there it seems like they wouldn't take reservations because they'd have an angry mob of people clamoring for the few empty seats in that tiny place if you were late. I also think space is the issue concerning bar stools. Personally, I didn't even feel comfortable standing at the "bar" and felt it was more of a counter instead of a place to relax, given the proximity to the tables. No clue why they wouldn't share the menu though.

                              1. re: bergeo
                                fooddawg Mar 31, 2007 11:29 AM

                                Do they still take reservations for one table per night, first person to call? Did they ever do that? I seem to recall someone saying that they did...

                                1. re: bergeo
                                  barleywino Mar 31, 2007 04:50 PM

                                  i don't know, virtually every great restaurant i can think of takes reservations, and people accept that if they want to eat at a very popular place, they either make reservations, or try their luck getting seats in some designated nonreserved area (like the bar). what about the "other" angry mob of people who, being denied reservations, go out of their way to get to the restaurant, find parking, and then find there are no seats? this policy favors those who live in the immediate neighborhood and can easily get there early, or easily drop by. or those who have nothing better to do than wait an hour or more. Seems also if there is room for people to stand, there is room to put some bar stools. refusing to describe the menu over the phone is just rude imo.

                        2. re: huruta
                          Simon Apr 1, 2007 04:51 PM

                          i agree completely...i live in NYC but visit my best friend in Seattle often...while i love the variety of options in NYC, there is nothing here tapas-wise that compares to Harvest Vine...and i can't think of a mellow American bistro here that's as charming and constistently delicious as Matt's in the Market...

                          1. re: Simon
                            sophie. Apr 1, 2007 07:35 PM

                            If Matt's is open for my birthday this month I will be there.
                            Charming is the word.

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