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Aug 20, 2007 09:41 AM

Short Seattle trip advice

My wife and I are going to Seattle and need a little help. We've been there before but this will be a short trip. Even though we're not going for Bumbershoot I imagine the city will be "a-poppin" as the kids say.

We're staying downtown near the market and I know the first morning will be spent at Lowell's for some oysters and eggs. For lunch I want to try Salumi but I know the lines can be impossibly long. Coming from New York I know that when someone does one thing great (In NYC it's DiFara's pizza, the Shake Shack, the Cake Man) you can expect to wait. I'd read that you can call your order in and then pick it up. Is this true? It seems like a cheat but I'd rather get my food to go and enjoy more of the city. Any suggestions for what to order? I've read good things about the beef cheeks...

For a romantic dinner we're going to 35th Street Bistro. Good idea?

We are also trying to find a place downtown to go for a large family dinner (12 people including four children). We are not having much luck finding reservations as many places won't take that many people at a time we like. We might do Iver's by the ferry terminals but we'd rather try something less touristy, even though I love their chowder. We want something reasonable and close to our hotel (the Hotel Monaco on 4th). We're thinking the Frontier Room as a possibilty (quick and kid-friendly). Any other ideas? Also, in that same Belltown neighborhood are there any good pubs for after dinner drinks where I can sample Seattle's amazing microbrews?

We still have a whole day open for a lunch and dinner (just me and the little lady). We went to Etta's last time and enjoyed it a lot. We're looking for something similar in taste and price.

Of course, we'll fit in some Dick's burgers at some point too.

I wish we were staying longer than three days. It's such a beautiful city. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. Re: Salumi. I know they take phone-in orders but I also know, if they are really busy, they don't have time to answer the phone. Yes the lines are long but it doesn't take that that much time to get through. I recommend any of the hot sandwiches: meatball, porchetta, oxtail etc.

    35th Street Bistro is not my idea of a romantic restaurant, ymmv. They also recently had a change in chefs and I haven't been since then.

    Frontier Room is a good idea for a group. Also Tia Lou's in the same neighborhood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lauren

      As far as waits go, it's a hit or miss. When we got there Thu 08/16/07, the line was just to the door. It'd be worth taking a chance as it moves fairly quickly. What to order? I'd highly recommend their porchutto(?). It was my favourite of the 5 sandwiches we tried...and perhaps their salumi sampler platter which comes w/about 5 different salumi & 3-4 different cheeses & slices of bread.

      My other favourite Seattle spots are Palace Kitchen (another of Tom Douglas' restaurants) and Matt's on the Market.

      Good luck! & I hope you have a great time as we did.

    2. in the HOtel MOnaco where you are staying there is a pretty decent Italian restaurant, Tulio's. They might be able to accomodate a party of 12 upstairs. a few blocks north of there (on 6th just north of Pike) is Taphouse grill where you can find ~160 beers on tap.

      5 Replies
        1. re: barleywino

          Whoa...that Chez Shea looks nice. Would you recommend the Lounge or the restaurant? That prix fixe in the Lounge is ridiculously cheap. What's the catch?

          1. re: pastoralia

            Chez Shea restaurant has slightly comfier chairs than the lounge iirc, otherwise basically the same. Good value for the price either way.

            1. re: pastoralia

              Chez Shea is romantic..great space....but I have to say I was quite disappointed with mediocre food on a visit last month. Everything missed the mark. Won't be going back.

            2. re: barleywino

              Actually the restaurant in the Monaco is Sazerac, which serves excellent New Orleans / Southern - inspired food. It's not especially a family place, but would be fine for well-behaved kids. Tulio is great too but is unrelated to the hotel and a block away.

            3. I love 35th Street Bistro, but I'm not sure I'd call it romantic, it's more of a nice/casual place to meet a friend or stop in for a sandwich and a glass of wine.

              Palace Kitchen is nice for drinks and desserts. They have some some good microbrews, although not a huge selection. Belltown Bistro also has a good beers list and a cozy atmosphere.

              1. We just returned; we enjoyed Matt's in the Market.
                Reservations recommended.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Babette

                  I find the 35th Street Bistro romantic ... but I guess it depends on what one considers romantic. It is an attractive space with good light on a tree lined streeet and has wonderful food and wine. I did not know that there has been a recent change in the chef however.

                  Re: Salumi, I have called in orders many times. I would agree that if you call them after they are open all bets are off. The best thing to do is to call in the AM well before lunch and tell them when you think you will be by. It is ok to ask them what specials they will have going for the day.

                  Keep in mind that calling ahead will allow you to bypass the line to get to the front to pay but it is no guarantee of a seat. They have one communal table just past the counter with maybe 10-12 seats and maybe 2-3 2-tops (including the front window, which is not available when they are making gnocci in the front on Tuesdays). There is another table in the back room that seats maybe another 8 but they have private lunches there some days. I like the special hot sandwiches. Oxtail is a special and is not always available. Porchetta is usually available and meatball is always available. I like the meatball but it is not to everyone's liking as it has chunkier bits of meat. It is a pork meatball to the best of my knowledge. I also like the fennel sausage and polppetone when available. I would recommend the salumi sandwhiches as this is what makes them famous. As for take home orders of sliced salumi you must call ahead sliced meat orders.

                  Best of luck

                  1. re: klsalas

                    We will be going on a Friday...If they open at 11 when would a line start forming outside. My wife says she doesn't mind the wait- especially if it moves as quick as I've read.

                    1. re: pastoralia

                      Be there by 10:45 for the best chance of being towards the front of the line. Sometimes you can walk right up at 11:00 and there is little line but other times there could be 15 people or more waiting. The line does not move especially quickly IMO but it helps that they now require pre-orders for sliced meat to go. It was slower when people would order combinations of sliced meat and sandwiches.

                2. Downtown romantic = Chez Shea, and maybe Matt's, though I have not yet seen the new place.
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