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New 30 for $30 (use to be 25 for $25)

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For those of you that have been to many of the restaurants on the list (or maybe just one or two but that was all it took for an opinion)~ Which one would you recommend if you could only select one to try? What dish from the list of offerings would you suggest? Is there any can't miss selections or restaurants? I am someone who has never ate to any of them and is right out of college wanting to expand food experience wise. Thanks for the help!

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  1. What city? I believe that both Portland and Seattle have this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Nettie

      Seattle- I just found the website yesterday :)

      1. re: natalie.warner

        Update- My roommate when to the $30 dinner offer at Ponti and couldn't stop raving. She had charp, a cross between Salmon and Trout she was told, and proclaimed that it melted in her mouth. She hates pumpkin with a passion and was blown away by the pumpkin rissotto. She finished her meal with the Theo chocolate dish and was in love and felt satisfied after one bite. We have made plans to try both the Cascadia and Campange offering now that she is on board with the idea- Good choices?

        1. re: natalie.warner

          Both sound like good choices. At campagne we saw a prix fixe ($29) menu but not the usual 3-options per course line-up at other places. Not sure if they go about it differently. The Cascadia menu on the main site looks pretty fabulous. dinearoundseattle.org
          We went to Flying Fish earlier in the week. Marvelous as last year, though the argula salad had to be sent back (grit). Swordfish was sublime and even the non-dessert eater was in heaven.
          Anyone else doing this?

    2. My two cents: Cascadia served me one of the most disappointing meals I have had in Seattle. It was actually my first expensive fancy dinner (I think I ordered a $75 prix fix meal) and it was just kinda bleh. They tried too hard to create eccentric dishes, and the flavors just didn't meld together. Also: teeny tiny portions and the wait staff was stiff and too-formal.

      1. I highly recommend Restaurant Zoe. Fantastic all around, including desserts. And the waiters are very friendly and knowledgeable about the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: aloe24

          Second this - I did Zoe's last night and had a great menu. I loved the butterscotch pot de creme.

          I've had great experiences at Etta's, Market Street Grill, and Eva's. Not so good at cascadia or Nishino.

        2. Brasa exceeded all expectations. I have been wanting to try it for years, but with entree prices averaging $25, I've been waiting for a chance to go during the promo. The space is lovely and smells delicious from the moment you walk in the door. Hosts were very welcoming, took coats and got us settled.

          My dining companion and I both had the 3-course special. I had the pork belly to start, which probably tops the belly I've had at Tilth, Herbfarm, Union - it was divine. Next was the short ribs. They were fatty - in a good way, so I pulled the meat apart and left the fat (kind of wish this is the way it was served). Dessert was a profiteroles with chocolate sauce. Everything was delicious, beautifully presented and seasoned to perfection. Two parts of our evening stand out:

          Wine flight: Walla Walla wine flight for $20. Great selections and I think they offer a WW flight all the time. I was expecting 4-oz pours, but each glass was actually quite generous.

          Quiet: Wall-to-wall carpeting, padded banquettes, tables spaced out all = a quiet restaurant. My companion is a non-native English speaker and we would have been drowned out in any other restaurant in the city. The decor is a little dated, well mid-90s isn't that bad, but I have to say I wish more new restaurants were using carpets and chair padding. it would really help with the noise factor. I'm only in my mid-30s but still find noisy restaurants distracting.

          The service was great too - our server was formal but friendly and the support staff took care of us as well.