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Special Request in Seattle - Queen Anne

I'm headed to Seattle for a 4-day weekend with my lovely wife. We'll be staying at the Inn at Queen Anne. You know how they say that all couple fight about the same things (money, kids, sex)? Well, we fight about food. (OK, and money, kids and sex too, but I only need your help with the food!) I care a lot about food, and I judge it on its taste. She cares a lot about food, and she judges it on its "healthfulness." So for this weekend, I'm hoping to find a few places that fit our rare crossover, which is places that give a serious nod to "healthfulness" but also taste terrific.

You all know what I'm looking for, because it's the same thing you're looking for, and I can probably sum it up in a two words: flavor and authenticity. So now let me try to explain what my wife is looking for.

An authentic shanghainese place, for example, would not suit her, because she'd ask the waiter what vegies are organic and where they source their fish etc.

She doesn't eat red meat, so that's easy, the place has to have a good selection of veggie dishes. She does eat chicken and fish, but only if it's not too "fishy," and god help me I can't seem to figure out what this means exactly, but I know she likes salmon teryaki, and salmon generally. But here's an example of "healthfulness," the salmon cannot be farmed. No exceptions.

She likes a vegetarian or vegan place. But she's not vegetarian or vegan. She likes these places because of their emphasis on healthfulness. So a place that also served meat, but it was all local, sustainable, and fed organic feed, would meet her requirements quite well.

A gourmet vegan place, the sort of place where you wouldn't necessarily even know it's vegan unless you really thought about it - that would be great. We're mostly looking for near lower queen anne, but we'll have a car, so a drive for a special place would work, too.

Thank you for any ideas!

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    1. re: barleywino

      I started reading the post and immediately thought of Tilth! Maria Hines is a master. Excellent restaurant.

    2. Tilth is a great choice, but if you want to try an upscale, gourmet vegetarian restaurant, consider going to Carmelita in Phinney Ridge. It'll be a short drive from LQA, but their healthy, fresh preparations and delicious food would fit your wife's requirements. You'll enjoy it, too.


      5 Replies
      1. re: dandelion

        Tilth is a great choice for both of you.

        Cafe Flora in Madison Park is vegetarian and was good many years ago, but I haven't been in a long time.

        On QA, Via Tribunali is a neopolitan pizza that imports all their ingredients from Milan, except produce. Probably not organic, but they care about their sources - a lot.

        Dandelion in Ballard is also market driven changing menu. Oh, and Impromptu in Madison park is Gluten Free. They are very ingredient focused.

        And PS - you will not find farmed salmon anywhere in Seattle, even at fish and chip shacks - this is the Pacific Northwest!

        1. re: bluedog67

          Dandelion closed this summer. The new restaurant in their place, Austin Cantina, is quite good and also tries to use a lot of fresh, Pacific Northwest sources including grass fed beef and free range chicken. However, as they are "Mexican" (well, Austin style food), they probably aren't quite as healthy as you are looking for.

          1. re: patriciajane

            I had heard one of the owners had health issues, but I didn't know they closed. Too bad, was a good spot.

            1. re: bluedog67

              Unfortunately, she passed away from ALS. They kept it going for a while without her, but closed in late June or July.

          2. re: bluedog67

            I was surprised and bummed when the Hilltop Alehouse group switched to farmed salmon. One would assume that you wouldn't find farmed salmon in a city like Seattle but if the issue is important to you, you have to ask to be sure.

        2. I would reccommend Sitka & Spruce on Eastlake--this place is all about local, wild, and organic food. It is prepared with a lot of care and the chef/owner has great relationships with his suppliers. Get there early to get a seat.

          1. Crave up on Capitol Hill is good for organic/natural takes on comfort food. http://www.cravefood.com/about.html

            I also like Cafe Flora though I haven't been there in quite a while.

            1. The Portage Bay Cafe just over the University bridge is one of my favorite locally grown, sustainable produce, vegan/vegetarian restaurants. Also in the University District is - Agua Verde. Mexican food with the same qualifications - fresh, vegetarian-friendly and,of course, sustainable produce. I live on Queen Anne, and it usually takes me 5-10 min to get there. Both also have their own parking lots. I've included links to both restaurants which should include maps and driving directions. Enjoy!


                1. Steelhead Diner in Pike's Place is my new favorite restaurant, they get all their ingrediants from the market, they have a very ecelctic menu and it is in walking distance of your hotel.

                  P.S. in Seattle order your salmon medium rare!!!


                  1. Tilth and Carmelita were my first ideas, too. For a great dinner in more elegant surroundings, try Rover's, a French / Pacific Northwest place on Madison (you'll need to drive). I've never had their 5-course vegetarian menu, but I'm sure it's as delicious as their other food.

                    In Lower Queen Anne, my best pick would be Moxie.

                    You will certainly see farmed salmon in Seattle. Many restaurants are price-sensitive -- their customers demand it. But better places will have the good stuff.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BruceB

                      Josh - was a plearusre to meet you Friday night, hope you enjoyed your meal.....still laughing about the coincidence!

                      Was wondering if you could tell me the name of the NYC sushi place you loved? We are leaving on Friday, and suddenly sushi is on the agenda!


                      1. re: bluedog67

                        Was great to meet you two also. I'm so sorry I'm only now getting back to this! The place is called Sushi of Gari, but of course it's too late. Darn! Go back to NY soon and make the out-of-the-way trip to the upper east side for Gari's crazy perfection. It's worth it.

                        1. re: joshua

                          Thanks Josh. Maybe when we are back east for xmas we can make time. There will certainly be other trips, and it really sounded great. Good luck with the chickens and Happy Halloween to the kids!

                    2. I LOVE Crave as listed above. YUM!

                      Also would really recommend Stumbling Goat bistro in Phinney Ridge, Bennet's Pure Food on Mercer -- same company as Pasta & Co which are great little stop in and pick up goodies type places. Both of these are well worth the short drive. If you go to Stumbling Goat on Sunday you can also go to the Ballard market which I always love.

                      If interested at all in Mexican-type fare, also check out Aqua Verde Paddle Club in the U-District. The sides are quite heavy IMO (but 'healthy') - I get the shrimp tacos without any of the extra sauces and then instead of the sides the salad. Makes great tacos. All sustainably harvested/raised meats.

                      1. Well since you are going to be right there - you should eat at the Space Needle restaurant. Great food, with a lot of selection and the views are unbeatable. If you didn't know, the restaurant seating rotates 360 degrees every hour.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: EastsideBusiness

                          With all that going for it, and logistical considerations, you might want to scale-back your culinary expectations a mite, but I have always enjoyed the experience, if not the tab. You could serve me a big mac there and I'd be happy enough.