SEA - Familiar Quandry
This has been discussed on the boards ad nauseum, I know, but I still don't have a solution!
Guests coming into town for one night only and I need to take them out for a "Seattle" dinner.
Of course, I'd love to be able to offer them great seafood with a great view/seattle-y atmosphere. But, these are family members that I really like -- and who like good food. Rays, Anthony's, Chinook's just don't cut it for me. Beautiful views with OK food, but not "my-one-and-only-night-in-Seattle" good.
I've only been in Seattle for about 2 years, and there are still many good restaurants that I've not been to. Can anyone help??
Is there someplace that is a good compromise? "Better" food with an awesome view or great food with a decent view? A great restaurant with a "Seattle" atmosphere that doesn't rely on a view that I'm not thinking of? What about Flying Fish or Matt's (haven't yet been to either). Been to Etta's with out of town guests, and that might do, but any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Here are a few more specs to complicate things:
* I don't think they will want Asian
* My 4 1/2-year-old daughter will be coming along. She is generally well-behaved in restaurants, but can I bring her to Matt's? She's the main reason I haven't been yet, and I'd probably choose Matt's for this dinner in a heartbeat if it weren't for her.
* The family has offered to buy, but I'd like to be polite and not choose the *most* expensive spot in town.
Thanks for your help!
If they're really into food, take them to Lark. Most people I've sent to Lark loved it, but it helps if they enjoy contemplating the lengthy menu and figuring out what combination of flavors they're in the mood for. (The staff is always great about helping.) Your well-behaved daughter would be fine, especially assuming you bring sufficient diversions for her. (And you can absolutely bring her to Matt's.) One possible complication is that Lark doesn't take reservations except for parties of 6 or more (and they have just one table for those), so if you're fewer than 6 people, go early, especially on weekends.
I think Ray's is actually quite good, though I haven't been there for a few years. Ponti Seafood Grill is another option -- better food than Ray's though not as good a view (unless you're on the deck).
About having your daughter in Lark--Let me just say that one of the times I ate there, on a nice romantic evening with my boyfriend, the couple next to us had a child (3 or 4 I would say) and while the child was well behaved with the distractions he was given (toy trucks) It was very annoying to have that there. Given that it is a destination for adults on such evenings I would disagree and say that it is not very appropriate for children. The tables are very close together and thus by bringing a child in, you are creating a different atmosphere.
Matt's is a great one-night-in-Seattle type of place--only some tables have a view so ask about that when you reserve. I've never seen kids at Matt's, but I'd think your daughter will be fine as long as she can stay glued to her chair and has good restaurant manners (otherwise, I'd get a sitter)
Ponti's has never recovered from losing Alvin Binuya. If they're into food, I can't recommend it, even though it used to be my favorite restaurant many years ago.
To me, one of the most Seattle style food trends is small plates served family style. That's what I think of when I think of Seattle. In that vein, I'd suggest Lark or Tilth. How to Cook a Wolf is great, but probably too small. Sitka and Spruce is great, but probably not right for kids.
Pasta Freska is not so distinctly "Seattle," though you won't find anything like it elsewhere and it is lively enough that kids won't be an issue. Cost is moderate.