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First Time in Seattle

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joan doan Sep 14, 2008 04:06 PM

My husband and I will be in Seattle for three nights at the beginning of October. We are thinking about (1) Dahlia Lodge (2) Etta's (3) Canlis (4) Herbfarm. What would be the best 3 to have dinner in? Or is there somewhere else pretty great that we're missing. 'we're from Los Angeles and we love a great restaurant, but who doesn't?

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  1. frygirl RE: joan doan Sep 14, 2008 04:16 PM

    That's a very good selection of restaurants. If you're going to be here on a Sunday, I'd do Etta's for Sunday brunch, and save the others for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: frygirl
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      dagrassroots RE: frygirl Sep 14, 2008 04:45 PM

      I would sub out both etta's, good but nothing special, and Canlis which is a style that in my opinion LA does much better. Instead I would suggest harvest vine for spanish inspired food with exceptional ingredients or Union.

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      passionfoodie RE: joan doan Sep 14, 2008 05:30 PM

      If you must do a Tom Douglas restaurant, hit up the Palace Kitchen instead.

      1. j
        jc02cents RE: joan doan Sep 16, 2008 10:23 AM

        Joan, of the restaurants you mention, my personal favorite is the Dahlia Lounge. But I have another suggestion. If the weather's clear, and it frequently is in October, go to Maximilien in the Market and ask for a window table. If the main restaurant's full, try the bar upstairs. In any event, go early and watch the sunset. Maximilien is a longtime Seattle restaurant, French (how did you guess?) that is moderately expensive. I understand that its quality has been a bit variable over the years. But when I visited recently for lunch, the food and service were excellent, the window open with a nice summer breeze coming in, and--most importantly, to me--the view stunning. And to get there you go through the Market, which is one of Seattle's most popular tourist destinations, with good reason. More than all of those reasons, go to Maximilien to see a signature Seattle view--Elliott Bay, with the Bainbridge and Bremerton ferries right below you on the waterfront, and the Olympics in the background. Why go somewhere without a view when such a spectacular one is available? And don't go to the Space Needle for dinner...go just for the view. The Market has much more local color and personality. The space at Maximilien is so great that I'd go there if they had nothing but stale coffee and Cheetos on the menu! Fortunately, they don't. Enjoy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jc02cents
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          stevedgrossman RE: jc02cents Sep 17, 2008 12:24 PM

          Maximilien in the Market was my favorite place for over 10, but I saw a difference when they opened XO Bistro. They let the PPM place go down a bit.

          Was there last year for my Birthday, and the service was... NASTY, and the food, not up to par.

          When I emailed the restaurant, I got a nasty reply from the waiter..

          Since XO is sold/closed maybe they are putting their efforts back into the original place.

          I would do Canlis, Ray's Boathouse is ALWAYS great.

          Enjoy your vists.

        2. Salty Mouth RE: joan doan Sep 16, 2008 10:44 AM

          Skip Etta's and the Herbfarm. Etta's is just another knock-off of the the Tom Douglas chain with less than mediocre food at best. The Herbfarm recently lost their chef (Jerry Traunfeld) of 17 years, who just opened his own restaurant in Capitol Hill (called Poppy). I would try Poppy instead, followed by Lark, Sitka and Spruce, Le Gourmand, or the Harvest Vine. The latter 4 are all wonderful.

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            bourbongal RE: joan doan Sep 16, 2008 09:33 PM

            Agree with passionfoodie that you should substitute Palace Kitchen for Dahlia. Then substitute Rover's for Canlis (I do love Canlis but you only have 3 nights so we need to be unmerciful here -- the food at Rover's is better). Then substitute lunch at Matt's in the Market for lunch for Etta's (again I like Etta's but one Tom Douglas restaurant in 3 days is enough). I have not been to the Herbfarm so I can't comment except I know at least 2 women who are ULTRA food-loving gals who reported puking when they left there - it is just over the top in terms of the amount of food and wine. My impression is that most women just can't eat enough to get their money's worth there. And I've never been because it just seems too precious to me. But I admit to bias and defer to those who have actually been there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bourbongal
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              mrnelso RE: bourbongal Sep 16, 2008 11:33 PM

              Count a vigorous second to Bourbongal's post.
              And, Bourbongal, you are even right about the Herbfarm you never saw; I never saw that much preciousness in one place in my life (though I did enjoy the whole over-the-top-ness of it all, even at the price - good for once, for sure, even if just for the chance to see a proprietor so self-satisfied).

              1. re: bourbongal
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                nseattlefoodie RE: bourbongal Sep 17, 2008 06:37 AM

                A third yay! for bourbongal's post. Matt's in the Market is one of my all time favorites.

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