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[sea] help plan 40th bday - w.sea/belltown/cap hill drink/food recs

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Planning a friend's 40th birthday and need some help. Here's the riddle:

Where do you go with a group of 10 people for drinks--then dinner -- then drinks all within walking distance on a Saturday night in early December??

We're thought about locating in the following areas:

West Seattle
Belltown
Capitol Hill

The problem is finding places that take reservations for that size party or who have bars that are large enough where we'd have a chance of even standing together. And we'd like some fancy-ish, swanky-ish places so we can dress up a bit.

Here are the pros/cons and possible places i've thought of so far:

West Seattle: Pros are parking and less crowded than btown/cap hill. Cons are less choices. Options: Ama-ama, west 5, matador (no reservations), possibly jak's for dinner but we have a couple vegetarians in the group.

Belltown: I love Zoe but have been there for lots of special nights - i don't know anything about the bar scene anymore...help??

Cap Hill - saw the recent write ups on Quinns and sounded good - is it fancy? Once again, don't know any bars that fit the bill.

Obviously i need some help :)
All suggestions welcome!

Thanks!

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  1. quinn's is good but casual...not at all what i would call swanky...for swanky consider Waterfront Grill (onsite parking, water views, live piano, very large bar w/ banquettes, not-too-adventurous but good food at prices high enough to qualify as "special occasion only", a bit of razzle dazzle with the tableside warm salad prep and baked Alaska flambe). Canlis and El Gaucho would be other options in the same category but the food isn't nearly as good at those places. Another option is Barolo but portions tend to be on the small side and the bar is usually crowded. I would suggest Vessel for drinks but there aren't too many good dinner places within walking distance (Tulio maybe, they might have an upstairs room for parties?) IF you're willing to drive, Cafe Juanita in Kirkland is swanky and has interesting drinks (and a private function room)

    1. If it were me, I'd start with drinks a Vessel (5th and University), go to dinner at Union (1st and Union) and finish with drinks at either Zig Zag (Pike Place Hillclimb) or the Alibi Room (Pike Place Market). I've done that route many, many, many times.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lauren

        Sounds like a delightful itinerary to me!

        1. re: bbqer

          going through the same ordeal myself!

          consider the pampas room for drinks after (under el gaucho) if you end up in belltown for dinner. it is very swank and has live music on the weekends.