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Jul 17, 2008 01:58 PM

Best restaurants/vineyards for first time Seattle visitor?

My boyfriend and I are visiting the Seattle area for the first time at the end of August, and I could really use some advice as to where to eat and what vineyards to visit. I was looking on TripAdvisor, and they suggested a few food tours and some wine tours, but there weren't many reviews, so I'm sort of skeptical.

I'm willing to go out of my way to eat the best food and drink the best wine that the Seattle area has to offer (of which I'm sure there is a ton), so any/all suggestions are very welcome! Thanks!

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  1. We really don't have vineyards in the Seattle area, but there are over 40 wineries in the Woodinville area. Chateau St. Michelle has the vineyard feel, but the grapes are grown in eastern Washington (which is definitely a fun tour on its own). Check out the website for info on most of the wineries - most are just open on Saturdays. If you plan on doing a Saturday visit on your own, bringing a picnic lunch is a good idea since going anywhere to eat puts a serious dent in the limited time available for tasting. A couple of places like Northwest Totem are only open by appointment, but I wouldn't hesitate to call them - they regularly have people out to their house for tastings (that's where the winery is) and they are a great couple.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FoodDee

      I have been to Chateau Ste. Michelle twice and have thouroughly enjoyed myself. They are a great winery. Columbia Winery is also right across the street. FoodDee is right though, the grapes are grown in Eastern Washington so if you are looking for a real vineyard that is a seperate trip in itself, but well worth it.

      As far as restaurants in Seattle go, the sky is the limit. I reccomend Ray's Boathouse down on the water, The Fish Club in the Waterfront Marriott Hotel, any of the Tom Douglas restaurants would be a winner; Lola, Dahlia Lounge, Etta's...

      1. re: jpc8015

        This isn't necassarily true. Bainbridge Island Vineyards & Winery uses 100% estate grown fruit to produce their wines. Also Hollywood Hills Vineyards in Woodinville produces a very nice estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

        For a visit Bainbridge would probably be better as they give a tour of the vineyards every Sunday at 2.

    2. My wife and I just returned from 4 days in Seattle. I didn't want to believe the hype, but How To Cook A Wolf was outstanding. Give it a try, highly recommended:

      1. I would definitely recommend Sitka & Spruce - my favorite of the moment. They don't take reservations for smaller parties, so go when they open or just plan on heading across the street for a beer or two while waiting. Ditto for How to Cook a Wolf, which is great too, but the last two times I went the menu didn't have much in the way of game, poultry or beef - more just small plates and pastas. I am also a big fan of Monsoon for upscale, delicious Vietnamese. If you can make it to the eastside, check out Cafe Juanita (Holly just won the James Beard) for awesome, decadent Northern Italian. This is really only a twenty minute drive (with no traffic) from downtown, and perfect after an afternoon of visiting the Woodinville wineries. Make a reservation way in advance for weekends. Finally, I love the Boat Street Cafe, and visiting them for brunch on the weekends is a huge treat.
        Some labels to look for for Washington's best wines that you can find on wine lists, but not widely available outside of the state, would be Cayuse, Mark Ryan, Buty, Betz, Delille, Stevens, any of the Longshadows projects, Quilceda Creek.