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Jun 13, 2007 01:19 PM

Seattle visit june 20-26th. Looking for thumbs up or down on itinerary.

My husband and I will be in Seattle next week and I have lined up some dinner reservations. We are staying downtown at a rented condo and plan on walking to most of these but will have a car a few days. My criteria is darn good food no matter the price, either on the cheap or expensive. We live in the Midwest so PacNW cuisine really interests us but are open to other culinary expiriences as well. What we've got:

Herbfarm (Hence the need for the car)
Dahlia lounge
Oceanaire (I know it is a chain but hubby thought it would be good)

I would love to try
Lark (which doesn't take reservations)
Matt's in the Market-heard a rumor that they are closed...any confirmation?

I appriciate all the CH boards that have helped me narrow down this list some. Some of the posts are somewhat dated so recent feedback would be great!!


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  1. Herbfarm definitely belongs on your list, but make sure the head chef Jerry Traunfeld will be in the kitchen that night, before you finalize

    There are strong opinions on Canlis either way, personally i would highly recommend it if you're in the mood for a swanky night out at a Seattle institution with great ambiance /views, decent service and good (if not too adventurous) food

    I would put Crush ahead of either Dahlia or Rover's (and most of the others on your list, actually)

    if you don't mind another drive (not as far as Herbfarm), i would substitute Cafe Juanita (upscale N Italian) in Kirkland for Oceanaire

    Matt's is good for lunch (haven't been since the remodelling which should be done by 6/22 supposedly)

    1. I agree with barleywino on Crush - amazing chocolate truffles for dessert. Also, you'll probably need a car for Palasade and for Rover's (kind of long walks from downtown) but not too expensive in a cab. I've had excellent meals at Restaurant Zoe as well - no car required for that spot!!!

      1. a big fat NO to Palisade. It's a chain, and there are so many other great places to eat. I'd chose either Canlis, Rover's or the Herbfarm, but not all three. Similar price range, different atmosphere/attitude. In my opinion, Canlis doesn't come close to either Rover's or the Herbfarm...both use amazingly fresh, beautiful local produce & are a joy to visit in the summer. Canlis is good, but sort of old fashioned and stuffy. The food definitely isn't mind-blowing.
        Dahlia is solid, northwestern food. Again, not mind-blowing, but I've never had a bad meal there.
        I'd definitely hit Lark, go right at 5, and you'll get a table.
        Matt's in the Market is now set to open sometime in July????
        You might want to add Union for awesome seafood/fish. and Tavolata, Union's new little sister, fun italian...great late-night spot.
        also, if you have a car, La Medusa is another great Italian spot that incorporates local ingredients. They do a special menu on Wednesdays with ingredients from that day's farmers market.
        Harvest Vine is a very unique Basque/tapas restaurant.
        Have fun! Summer in Seattle is the best time to eat!

        2 Replies
        1. re: ccqueen

          I totally agree to the big fat NO to Palisade. It's got a nice view but the food is so bad that the view doesn't make up for it.

          And I also agree that it would be a shame to go to Canlis, Rovers AND the Herbfarm. They are all on the higher end and Rovers and Canlis can be quite formal and stuffy I just realized that I am pretty much mimicking what ccqueen said - okay, so do what the queen recommends!

          1. re: Lauren

            I will third the no on Palisade, and second the idea of Union, and if you have a car, the Wed. local dinner at La Medusa (make a reservation). Actually I too think I agree with all of what ccqueen said!

        2. Lark and Matt's definitely.
          Matt's will be open. Matt's has the view that you might be looking for at Oceanaire. Obviously a bit higher up, but you can see the water.
          Keep the Dahlia and Herbfarm.
          Do Salumi for a lunch in Pioneer Square.

          1. Don't waste time or money on Palisade. Go to Crush or Union or Lark instead.

            Consider dropping Canlis also for one of those three if your aim is indeed 'darn good food'--Canlis has darn good other stuff, but the food is simply better elsewhere if that's truly the goal. If you want to aim for some really upscale food, then also consider Mistral.

            Where is your ethnic meal? If you're from the Midwest, then you need some Asian-influenced meal while in Seattle, or you've done wrong by us. My choice would be Tamarind Tree. Otherwise, before the end of your trip you'll get tired of yet another little serving of something in a little pool of reduction sauce with a little pile of pretty stuff above and a design around the outside to make the big plate pretty. Not that I don't really like eating that way--it will just get boring all week.

            Make SURE to have lunch one of those days at Sitka and Spruce. Get there just before the doors open for a relaxed time. Don't go there for dinner--too much of a crush for space and hectic. Don't forget this one!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mmmFood

              I want to second Tamarind Tree. It's a great way to get an authentic Little Saigon taste, great fresh tastes + presentation, while also getting a nice, modern ambience. Plus, it'll give your pocketbook a break after the big-ticket places on your list.