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going to seattle for the first time

Leaving for Seattle this afternoon and would like some recs for really good, non tourist dining. Seafood, American, Steak house. Price not an issue just really great food and a nice atmosphere. Thanks for any help.

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  1. The restaurant voted #1 by local Chowhounds is Harvest Vine. I tend to agree with that vote. Since you're from New York, I also suggest the Szechuan crab at Seven Stars Pepper Szechuan restaurant. Its a Seattle classic. On the short list are the Mussels at Maximillien's at the Market, Matts at the Market and Kingfish Cafe. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leper

      Thanks very much. My wife and I will make every effort to try them all and will report back (if you like) after I return.

    2. If price is not an issue, then I'd suggest Canlis. It's about as fine dining as Seattle gets, plus the view is hard to beat.

      13 Replies
        1. re: zamjam

          sport coat and no jeans or shorts is all I think? you may want to check with them... but I don't think coat and tie is required. I will second that it is probably one of the most amazing views in Seattle. Plus amazing service.

            1. re: zamjam

              I don't consider Canlis a Chowhound destination. (It's just a very expensive version of Sizzler.) I second Tilth and Harvest Vine.

              1. re: Walters

                OUCH Walters...did you have a bad experience at Canlis? Sizzler??? I respectfully disagree...yes, it is expensive. However, that's a HUGE stretch to make that comparison.

                ZamJam, you will not be disappointed. You will need at least a sport coat at Canlis.

                Yes, Harvest Vine is excellent as well.

                1. re: falcon75

                  sport coat is not required there...although many diners there wear one

                  1. re: barleywino

                    Has that changed? I haven't been there in a year or so but a jacket was required last time I went.

                    They were even nice enough to provide one for my co-workers husband ;)

                    Oh, and the Sizzler comment is way off mark. Canlis may not be to everyone's liking but it can in no way be compared to Sizzler.

                    1. re: Lauren

                      hmmm...they must have run out of jackets to lend when we were there ;)

                      1. re: barleywino

                        Jackets are "suggested." And they tend to seat you in the main area by the window only if wearing a jacket.

                        1. re: hhlodesign

                          i guess we lucked out, in our party of 3, one person wearing shorts (just off the plane) and no jackets among us, they seated us at the window...

                          1. re: barleywino

                            I just made a reservation at Canlis and, as part of the reservation, they asked "are you aware of our dress code?". Perfect! I thought it was a perfect situation to hear the spiel. It's exactly what hhlo said, "Jackets are suggested for most of the dining room and required for the main area near the windows".

                          2. re: hhlodesign

                            That's so no one can tell you're not wearing pants? =)

                            1. re: jaydeflix

                              Bottom line...WEAR a jacket...Pants are preferred as well.

                              As far as being "lucky"...let's get a plane to Vegas and throw some dice...we'll win some $$$ and buy some new duds.

        2. Ray's Boathouse is a favorite with both locals and visitors. It's right on the water (they even have a dock for people who arrive by boat), has stunning views, does seafood flawlessly. The regular restaurant is downstairs, the more casual cafe is upstairs--the cafe doesn't take reservations. It's quintessential Seattle. Sunset is about 8 pm these days; if you can time your arrival a bit before, you'll have a memorable show, as the windows face west.

          1. You must go to Tilth in the Wallingford section of Seattle. It's not touristy at all and the food is excellent and organic or naturally sourced. We have been going there since it opened as it is in our neighborhood. It also recently got ranked #9 by Frank Bruni for the top ten restaurants in the U.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/din...
            Happy Eating.

            1. Canlis is a Seattle institution : very fine dining in an upscale, especially northwest environment. Old Seattle. Great stuff. A very special place.

              1. Think the question is where you're coming from and what you want -- Harvest Vine is fine, but if you're coming from NYC or some other cities, don't think they're all that special. Tilth is great and relatively Seattle, and I've heard brunch is a good alternative too (although I've only been for dinner). Canlis is also very "Seattle" for great view, long history, good food/service, etc. If money is truly no object, might ask if you could get a last minute cancellation to Herbfarm -- not in Seattle, but a spectatcular NW meal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gman100

                  have to agree, HV really isn't anything special. I've actually had awful experiences the three times I tried going there. The food is ok, but nothing to go out of your way for IMO.

                2. As a first timer to Seattle, you will most likely hit Pike Market. While there, I would go to Matt's In the Market or Place Pigalle for mussels. Have a great trip, the sun is out!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: amyh18

                    Canlis, snobbery served ala carte. I would recommend The Waterfront at Pier 70, ANYTIME over Canlis. Service is impeccable there. Expensive, yes, but I am frugal, and yet have never regretted one unforgettable evening there. Canlis is so old school, this is not a tradition, just passe. If you are going early evening, take a stroll through the Olympic Sculpture Park right next door before you dine and take in a beautiful Elliott Bay sunset.

                  2. Try Matt's in the Market -- it is fabulous seafood and local ingredients. I would also vote for Ray's. We take all of our out-of-town friends and family there. Not just the food but the vibe is pure Seattle.

                    I've only been to Tilth once and the food was good but it is way overpriced and the portions and the wine pour were downright stingy. I am a smallish sized middle age woman, I can't imagine what an active young man would have to spend to get full there.

                    1. Try The Brooklyn. Great oysters, steak and seafood in general. Desserts are terrific too.