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Seattle excells at the following....

howard 1st Apr 12, 2007 11:08 AM

growing weary of hearing how awful the deli and the bbq are in seattle and following the excellent lead a little way down the board, i suggest indicating those areas (and there are several) at which our overgrown lumber town offers world-class cuisine. my initial offerings:

vegan/vegetarian fare - unmatched anywhere i know - vegie bistro (6th/king), moonlight cafe (20th/jackson) - globe cafe (14th/pike) - cafe flora (madison valley) - even many resaturants not specializing in vegie fare can easily accomodate which rarely happens elsewhere

northwest seafood - seems like a no-brainer for mussels, geoduck, razor clams, black cod and did i mention salmon - ray's (shilsole bay) remains my top choice but i have been pleased with cutter's (pike palce market), oceanaire (a chain but excellent) and the local anthony's group.

vietnamese - some of the best in this country - than brothers (several) for pho; tamarind tree (hidden at 12th/jackson) for everything else

"alice waters" northwest regional - union (1st/union) remains the top of this list and steelhead diner (1st/pine) fresh out of the gate but there are many talented players

artisanal breads - sure, no rye bread (to match the no pastrami?) but some of the best chewy, crunchy loaves at tallgrass (ballard) and, wonder of wonders, superb delivered loaves at dilaurenti's and even (gasp!) qfc

coffee - no one does it like we do, eh? (double tall half-skinny unleaded no-foam, please)

local produce in season - no one can match us for plums, cherries, peaches, mushrooms, apples, hops, tulips (not food but gorgeous) and on and on...

comments and emendations gratefully sought....

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  1. t
    troutsteve RE: howard 1st Apr 12, 2007 12:14 PM


    1. e
      equinoise RE: howard 1st Apr 13, 2007 09:32 AM

      Eritrean and Ethiopian (e.g. Mesob, Meskel, Dahlak). According to some Ethiopian community boards there are more restaurants here than in NYC or DC. Perhaps only LA has more.

      Szechuan. The recent additions of Szechuan Chef and Bamboo Garden in Bellevue are making vibrant, amazing food with extensive menus. 7 stars remains a favorite.

      Sushi. Nishino, Shiro's, Saito's, Maneki, etc. I am sure there will be some detractors from bigger cities citing their favorites, but high quality sushi here is also relatively affordable.

      Wine. Local vinters continue to turn out quality bottlings, and seem to be learning more each year. The prices of some of these wines are much more reasoanble than comparable Napa wines, from the fun $15 blends to the high end Cabs (such as the Quilceda Creek, which R. Parker awarded perfect scores to in the last two vintages). There is a recent trend of established winemakers from Cali coming in to work with NW fruit, which is another exciting development.

      2 Replies
      1. re: equinoise
        dagoose RE: equinoise Apr 13, 2007 09:49 AM

        MMMM yes! I'm going to Dahlak tonite!
        And definetly on the sushi. You cannot get such good cheap sushi in many other places!

        1. re: equinoise
          ccbweb RE: equinoise Apr 24, 2007 12:18 AM

          Good selection of sushi places; Nishino is our favorite but all of htem are quite good. Fish for fish, Seattle sushi restaurants offer better than I've had anywhere else. The above cited restaurants have excellent chefs and they're worth trying.

        2. w
          Walters RE: howard 1st Apr 13, 2007 12:33 PM

          The Mussels at Maximillien's At The Market are excellent. Seattle's proximity to Whidbey ensures we enjoy the best Mussels in America. Traveling to the Midwest--regardless of how high end a seafood restaurant might be--you won't experience mussels like we do locally.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Walters
            clearskies0810 RE: Walters Apr 13, 2007 02:39 PM

            Ahh, the bounties of Penn Cove =)

          2. ballulah RE: howard 1st Apr 13, 2007 12:43 PM

            I had some of the best sushi I've ever had in Seattle, I'll definitely give you guys a resounding recommendation on that.

            How about American prosciutto and salumi? Apparently your climate is very similar to the climate in Parma, and you guys produce some really terrific artisinal hams from really excellent livestock. We buy it here in New York!

            And lately I've been favoring your gorgeous Pacific Northwest (specifically Washington over Oregon) red wines. Really beautiful stuff, so much more nuanced than a lot of the more common new world/California reds.

            1. j
              justagthing RE: howard 1st Apr 24, 2007 12:35 AM

              Dilettante chocolate

              3 Replies
              1. re: justagthing
                Sky RE: justagthing Apr 24, 2007 02:17 AM


                1. re: justagthing
                  de_soie RE: justagthing May 6, 2007 10:43 AM

                  Gotta disagree - Fran's blows Dilletante's out of the water.

                  1. re: de_soie
                    justagthing RE: de_soie May 6, 2007 05:04 PM

                    But does Fran's have dark chocolate hot cocoa? I loved the Dilettante cafes.

                2. k
                  kirkj RE: howard 1st Apr 24, 2007 09:54 AM

                  thank you for this thread. ch is more vital than eg these days because more positives are being talked about than having the superstars run down Seattle restaurants. here's what i think are 10's:
                  drunken chicken at monsoon.
                  szechuan crab at seven stars pepper.
                  midnight pork sandwich at paseo.
                  duck noodle at greenleaf.
                  claypot seafood congee and claypot rice at homestyle hong kong

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kirkj
                    Leper RE: kirkj May 6, 2007 06:56 PM

                    Kirk, Seven Stars Szechuan Crab is amazing. It should be on every local & visitor's short list.

                  2. enbell RE: howard 1st Apr 24, 2007 10:04 AM

                    This may be point of contention with some, but I believe the customer service to be top-notch. And yes, I agree the vegetarian fare is superb.

                    1. c
                      clearskies0810 RE: howard 1st Apr 24, 2007 01:34 PM

                      I think you'd have a hard time trying to beat any of these in any city: la carta de oaxaca, botega italiana, pike place clam chowder, pike place market

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: clearskies0810
                        Lauren RE: clearskies0810 Apr 26, 2007 08:21 AM

                        I just got back from a week in Washington DC and I can emphatically say that Seattle excels in cocktails. I'm so happy that we are at the forefront of the return to classical, well made cocktails.

                        1. re: Lauren
                          ccbweb RE: Lauren Apr 26, 2007 12:14 PM

                          Oh great point. They really do, don't they? So many good options for cocktails around Seattle. Dahlia Lounge, St. Cloud's for brunch drinks....ah, the memories. Thanks!

                          1. re: Lauren
                            tmentzer RE: Lauren Apr 27, 2007 12:40 PM

                            Departing DC for a week in Seattle shortly (we do have a FEW good cocktail slingers here...IndeBleu in DC, PX in Alexandria).

                            Question: Any other recs for downtown/Belltown drinks at nice places, especially weeknight friendly with dinner in or nearby? Staying at Pine and 7th, and up for walking a half-dozen blocks.

                            1. re: tmentzer
                              hhlodesign RE: tmentzer Apr 27, 2007 12:53 PM

                              Vessel and Zig Zag are consistently the best cocktails in the city. Both within a half dozen blocks.

                              1. re: hhlodesign
                                barleywino RE: hhlodesign May 10, 2007 08:15 PM

                                Crush currently has some good drinks such as the one with tarragon foam on top. (seating limited, best to call ahead)

                              2. re: tmentzer
                                barleywino RE: tmentzer Apr 27, 2007 12:59 PM

                                Union (Union and 2nd) also has some interesting house cocktails, plus a good bar menu (changes nightly); go there after wetting your whistle at Vessel (try saying that 5 times fast after a few drinks) with the Vessel 75 or (if they have it) the Marmalade Sour.

                                1. re: tmentzer
                                  terrier RE: tmentzer Apr 28, 2007 08:48 AM

                                  I'm a Zig Zag partisan for cocktails. Best in the city, for sure - and you won't find more knowledgable bartenders anywhere.

                                  The Palace Kitchen isn't quite as focused on creative cocktails, but has executed everything I've ever ordered perfectly - Pimm's cups to sidecars to juleps to martinis and manhattans - and my wife won't order a gin and tonic anywhere else (something about the tonic water they use and the right balance of ratio, glass size/shape, and ice). I believe well-executed cocktails are a hallmark of Tom Douglas' restaurants. (Better food than Zig Zag, too, though we love the Zag's panzanella)

                            2. malarkey RE: howard 1st Apr 27, 2007 01:08 PM

                              local produce.... huckleberries. *sigh* so good.... Our farmer's markets kick ass.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: malarkey
                                karen2006 RE: malarkey May 6, 2007 05:29 PM

                                Agreed on the beer, local produce, wines, seafood...but also I've noticed that Seattle has tons of great breakfast and brunch spots.

                                1. re: karen2006
                                  Mark Nobe RE: karen2006 May 10, 2007 05:27 PM

                                  I haven't lived here long but a friend took me to breakfast/brunch at Bing's in Madison Park which was great. What else would you suggest I try out?

                                  1. re: Mark Nobe
                                    mrnelso RE: Mark Nobe May 10, 2007 07:00 PM

                                    Weekend brunch at Cafe Campagne at the Pike Place Market

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