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Seattle Recs for one night out

Hi, my brother is new to Seattle, and while he enjoys food, it is my career, so my folks and I are going to visit him in Seattle and have one meal out. We would love the utlimate Seattle dining experience, great seafood or a great place in general. I have a reservation at Lola, but the general gist I get is that it's a bit of a chain. I love all food, so do they. I cook in SF, so I tend to think of the more neighborhoody places (Blue Plate, Pizzaiolo, Zuni, and the like) as places we would really enjoy.

Thanks so much!

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  1. DB, LOLA is not part of a chain. It is one of Tom Douglas' restaurant incarnations and very, very good. However, LOLA would not be my Seattle recommendation because of its Greek theme which has nothing to do with a city founded by Native Americans, Asians, Danes and grumpy, mostly-gay Norwegians. My suggestions in order of preferance would be: Matt's at The Market, Seven Stars Szechuan (for their Szechuan Crab) and another Douglas option, the Palace Kitchen. Harvest Vine, a Spanish Tapas venue, is probably the best food in Seattle right now, but not traditional to the city of Belltown Zombie Night of the Living Dead servers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glassman

      if you want casual, i would probably reverse the order i.e. Harvest Vine, then Palace kitchen instead of Lola (go to Matt;s for lunch but not dinner, and skip Chinese food if you're coming from San Fran)

    2. I think Matt's in the Market would fit the bill for you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: christy319

        I tend to post this often, but consider Lark.

      2. Palace Kitchen is pretty damn tasty, and just like the other's have said: Lola is definitely not a chain. I recommend Crush for excellent food in the Madison Valley, a new spot called Betty on Queen Anne, and I really like BOKA in downtown Seattle.


        1. Stumbling Goat on Phinney Ridge.

          1. All of your requirements can be met at:
            Crow Restaurant & Bar
            823 5th Ave N
            Seattle, WA 98109
            (206) 283-8800
            Harvest Vine qualifies as the WORST meal I've ever eaten in Seattle.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MahiMahiFish

              Thank you! FInally someone who feels about Harvest Vine the way I do. I have went a few times (trying to give the benefit of an off night) and have not been more disappointed in a Seattle meal. (Service and food)

              1. re: nseattlefoodie

                My wife & I gave it two tries, both were awful. Since we are being honest, the wine was just as bad. We let them choose, at both visits, thinking we could always use some expertise, right? WHOA, tasted like the blending of many spit cups from a Napa tasting!
                I can't even describe how bad the food was, let alone how bad it tasted. Chef Boyardee finally opened a restaurant!!

                1. re: nseattlefoodie

                  Overpriced. Quinn's is my favorite new restaurant.

              2. A neighborhood-feeling restaurant with great food and Seattle-like ambiance is Tilth. It is in an old house, mostly organic, local, all the things that great new Seattle food is about. For hip neighborhood joints, I really like Sitka & Spruce, which has great food, very Seattle, super casual. It doesn't take reservations and has a small menu, but would also be at the top of the list for me for insider local food.

                Harvest Vine, is one of my favorites because I find the vibe very Seattle, although the food is true Spanish more than "Seattle." Matt's in the Market is a strong contender, but it is in a new space that I have not been to. Tom Douglas has several different restaurants in Seattle, and I don't consider them a chain at all. I think Tom's food at Dahlia Lounge really represents the essence of Seattle, but it is more fine dining, and there are often mixed reports about quality (as many highly lauded places have.)

                1. I'd second Lark, you can be as casual or formal as you would like there. The food is great and since you are in the biz you'll be able to taste a lot of different things .. I also love Zuni and Lark has that same vibe where it's as casual as you want it to be. I think that Johnathan's food comes from the same "place" as the food at Zuni, it's not quite as magnificently simple as Zuni but it's as close as we get up here.

                  1. Doodleboomer, where did you end up? if you haven't arrived yet, add Joule to your list (a neighborhoody place with neighborhoody prices and unusual/creative food http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458806 )