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Apr 16, 2008 09:35 AM

Swanky Seattle Fine Dining

Hi Northwestern Chowhounds, I need your expertise.

My boss wants to host a dinner for 10 in downtown Seattle and was hoping I oculd locate an amazing place for her.

Sinc I've never been to Seattle I was hoping I could get some advice on an impresive place for this meeting. I'm looking for:

1) Something upscale, high price will not be a concern for this, we want to impress our clients.

2) Something with a nice private room that will accomodate 10 (but isn't so huge that the diners will feel like they're in a cavern).

3) Something with a fun/new/sexy vibe. This is one of those times when "hip" will be better than stately.

I'd love to hear what places rank high on Seattle dining afficianados' lists.

Thanks in advance,


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  1. Interesting request. My first take is that you're not going to find too many places that one would consider "hip" that will also have a private dining space. Is that because to take the risk to set aside space for private events you want to have established a reputation and have had folks request such a space? Don't know, but that's my initial thought. Regardless, if you're having a meal here and money is not much of an object, what came to my mind are the following:

    1) Canlis, on Lake Union - As stately as you're going to get in Seattle (which isn't very, by the way), the food fine (and I do mean just fine for what you're paying), the view spectacular, the service stunning and the rooms... not the hippest but not embarassing either. Three or four private rooms of varying sizes.

    2) Cascadia, Belltown (hip area at least) - Have not been in their room but saw it from the dining room. Upstairs, looks nice. Food's quite good, a step down price-wise from Canlis.

    3) Campagne and/or Cafe Campagne, Pike Place Market - French food. Have not seen their rooms but food is reliable and you can't beat the Market.

    I wonder about trying to see about a private event at Matt's at the Market. They are a cool, intimate restaurant upstairs at the Market. Great, local food and I think they at least used to do private parties. The restaurant has to close for the evening, so I don't imagine it's cheap, but I would guess it would be pretty cool.

    This isn't an exhaustive list. Just the few things I know about.

    You can find all these places on the web. Good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: laurahutch

      As much as I like Matt's (especially for lunch), i probably wouldn't characterize either Matts or Campagne as swanky/hip/sexy, maybe rustic. Cascadia is a good suggestion along these lines. I would suggest Crush but it's a taxi ride, not right in downtown, and you would have to talk to them about how much privacy they can arrange. Barolo is swanky Italian and has a private room, or you might even be able to reserve the bar/lounge area, which is the best section.

    2. I don't know if they have a private room or not but you have me thinking of Restaurant Zoe in Belltown. El Gaucho which is a steakhouse has a really nice private room but I wouldn't call it a hip and sexy restaurant.

      2 Replies
      1. re: landguy

        Unlike in the other post, I think El Gaucho would be perfect for something like this. It's definitely got a cool, swaky, retro vibe.

        I think the harder part here is about the privacy.
        Matt's and Zoe don't do private rooms.

        Crush is an interesting option.
        I'll bet they could cordon off one of the areas in their place.

        1. re: GreenYoshi

          I agree about El Gaucho, I just thought the poster wants something like a trendy LA type restaurant. That's the vibe I got from his/her post at least. Come to think of it the Barolo suggestion from barley seems right too.

      2. Veil is perfect for what you are describing.

        1. Very upscale, and the food is unique and exciting.

        2. While the large communal table is not a "private room" per se, you might get it all to yourself depending on the night you go.

        3. There is no more hip/fun/sexy place in town.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hhlodesign

          hh: has veil replaced mistral on your "go to" list?

          i would concur, i am a convert of veil. the communal table is so very cool! the food is awesome, and i bet they would do a special menu for the event.

          Ibiza supper club has a really swanky private dining room. may be perfect for your event. The food is fine, but nothing remarkable. the atmosphere is what makes this a good choice.

          cremant has a private garden room, but it is more garden party elegant than swank. - good food!

          1. re: bluedog67

            I'd say that it has. Shannon is incredibly talented. Add to that team, Johnny and Dana and you have the best back of house in Seattle.

            1. re: hhlodesign

              Completely agree, Dana is a goddess.

          2. re: hhlodesign

            I too agree with Veil being a "swanky/hip" place to dine. There is a large dining table that will easily accommodate 10. And although it is not a private room, the use of "veils" around the table lend it a private feeling. I've eaten here several times and have always enjoyed the experience (as have my dates.)

          3. Dahlia Lounge or Palace Kitchen are possibilities. Palace is stylish, but maybe not totally upscale. Dahlia is upscale, but maybe not so hip.

            Flying Fish has a nice private room.

            I dislike Veil--have not had good food there.

            Crush has a private room and the food is great, but it's not downtown. It would top my list I think.

            1. I'd go to the Waterfront Seafood Grill. They have a nice private room where you are still close to the main dining room and can see the sound. Also, their food is excellent, although spendy. It may sound cheesy, but get the flaming dessert! It actually tastes really good! :)
              WSG isn't exactly hip, but I think it's fun and sexy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: akq

                Wow, lots of great ideas, thank you all... if anyone else has a fave location I should check out do let me know. I'll start checking on the availability of some of these. Veil looks especially promising as do a few others you have posted. Chowhounds are the best!

                1. re: ShadeOSG

                  Check out the Forest Room at the Edgewater Hotel - adjacent to their restaurant, Six-Seven. This place has the distinction of being Seattle's only waterfront hotel. You are literally on a pier over the water. You can take a virtual tour of their various dining venues here:


                2. re: akq

                  I like Waterfront Seafood Grill's private rooms too, akg. Glass enclosed and conversation privacy assured, these rooms look out to a drop dead gorgeous view. Shade if you choose the WSG and you're planning to order champagne, be sure to instruct the waitstaff to rinse the champagne glasses in plain white vinegar to kill the bubble killing soap. Last time I was there with business colleagues and clients, we had them open four bottles of expensive bubbly that immediately went flat when poured. They finally believed us when we told them to rinse the glasses in vinegar and then hot water. What a waste of good champagne!

                  1. re: akq

                    I absolutely agree with WSG. I have had out of town business colleagues there on a nice summer evening and it was spectacular. The food, the wine, and the view were all top notch. I've also recommended it to others for business functions and they were also thrilled with it.