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Apr 4, 2007 11:37 AM

Do-not-miss in Seattle

I will be visiting Seattle from New York City in early May for a conference and am looking for your do-not-miss recommendations for dinner and lunch. We'll be at Hotel Max but are willing to travel as long as the food is absolutely delectable! We're looking for a range of prices and cuisines so please don't censure your thoughts.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. There are so many and diverse places to try in Seattle. I loved Wild Ginger so much I went there twice in one week! Also Sea Star in Bellevue (great crab bisque), Campagne down near Pike's Market, and do not miss Armandino Batali's Salumeria! only open for lunch... it's fab.

    We went to Ray's Boathouse for Sunday brunch. The food is as good as the view, which is spectacular. If you want a great splurge place, Lampreia is impressive..

    Seems to me there's more, but I'm drawing a blank right now.

    1. It's interesting to think about it from the perspective of a NYC native coming here. Having recently moved back here from that area, I would suggest checking out cuisines and places that are unavailable in NYC or of lesser quality, such as Vietnamese (e.g. pho bac, green leaf, tamarind tree, lemongrass), Ethiopian or Eritrean (meskel, dahlak, etc), seafood in general (various), Szechuan (szechuan chef, 7 stars, sichuanese cuisine, etc), Taiwanese (rocking wok, facing east). While seattle is no LA, I think the Mexican food here is better as well (e.g. el quetzal, la carta de oaxaca, muy macho).

      Of course the emerging "northwest" style is here as well, focusing on fresh local and organic ingredients (e.g. Titlh, Lark). There are also the old standbys like Tom Douglas' restaurants, Harvest Vine, Rover's, Canlis, etc. which are generally more high-end options.

      So many places, so little time.

      2 Replies
      1. re: equinoise

        Another NYC expat here. Equinoise is right on the money.

        Pho, sure. Even though in absolute numbers the Viet community is larger in New York, the Viet food is miles better here. Ditto Mexican - even El Porco Lloron on the hillclimb behind the market tops any Mexican food I've had in NYC. If you don't get down to California or the southwest often, I recommend it - and I strongly recommend La Carta de Oaxaca even if you do.

        The Palace Kitchen isn't too far from Hotel Max and is a great place for group dinners for a conference.

        1. re: equinoise

          I agree, equinoise. I'll add, for Pacific NW style, Zoe and Mistral.
          Nix the Palace Kitchen, however.... that one seems more like a NYC wannabe.

        2. Definately second the Harvest Vine, incredible place. Other top spots are Sitka & Spruce and Elemental@Gasworks which provides an uncommon, but not to be missed, dining experience. Crush and Union are another two places that never seem to disappoint.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bergeo

            Just be aware that Sitka & Spruce and Elemental do not take reservations and, being very small places, can be hard to get into unless you are willing to endure long waits (or get lucky). Felt ripped off at Harvest Vine the last time i went, but ymmv. For tasting menus, search under Herbfarm, Mistral, Lampreia, Chez Shea, Coupage, Nishino (a Nobu spinoff), Veil (by advance request only). For more casual Northwest fare, try Steelhead Diner.

          2. Suggest some choices from this list: Union, Lark (no res, go before 6), Harvest Vine, Tilth, La Carta de Oxaca. For lunch on a sunny day, Agua Verde near UW (avoid peak times) and sit on the balcony.

            1. Some favorites from our visit were Matt's in the Market, Salumi, and Harvest Vine.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DebbieJ

                don't miss the beer! the nw brews some of the finest beer on the planet and it'd be a shame not to experience one of the defining tastes of the region. for great beer and great food, check out the jolly rodger (maritime brewing). Amazing/inventive pub food and excellent beer