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Nov 10, 2008 12:43 PM

Birthday dinner for 2: If not Poppy then where?

So i was all set to try Poppy for my birthday as was intrigued by the concept and the location (central Seattle means more time for eating and less for driving). But now i've read some really lackluster reviews and i'm reconsidering. We don't get to go out often (have a toddler) so you want to pick right.

Last celebratory meal was at Licorous and Lark (which was fabulous as always but i'd rather not do a repeat). We also have had many great meals at Zoe but are ready for something new. Monsoon is always a standby.

Some places we have considered are Harvest Vine (have been there many times in the old prekid days but not in a couple years), Crush (b/c so many good reviews though something holds me back), Sitka and Spruce (never been), the Corson Building (it's close to home, but not sure about the communal thing)...

Looking for more suggestions.

Where would you go for your birthday dinner? I am actually willing to drive a bit if we have a great destination.

Thanks in advance! Also I'm always a sucker for pre-dinner drinks so having another location for those nearby would be great, but a good bar or at least a great wine list would be OK.


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  1. Although I *adore* Poppy, it's a pretty quick meal. All the food comes out at once (by design) and if you don't order appetizer or dessert, you could be in and out in under an hour. It sounds like you're looking for an evening to savor your meal. I discourage you from Sitka & Spruce as the atmosphere isn't the greatest for a special night out.

    A few suggestions:

    cocktails at Txori, dinner at Tavolata

    cocktails at Spur, dinner at Zoe

    cocktails at Opal, dinner at How to Cook a Wolf

    cocktails at Zig Zag, dinner at Matt's in the Market

    cocktails at Oliver's Twist, dinner at Stumbling Goat

    Be sure to report back on where you go. When is your birthday dinner?

    3 Replies
    1. re: frygirl

      great's one more (if you're in the mood for swanky): cocktails at Four Seasons (1st and Union, valet parking available), dinner at Waterfront Seafood grill (not really nearby but since you're not in a huge rush? also valet available)

      1. re: barleywino

        That's a good one. If doing cocktails at Four Seasons, another alternate for dinner is Union (can you tell I'm an Ethan Stowell fan?)

      2. re: frygirl

        these are all great suggestions. I have my reservation for Poppy next week, so I can't comment yet on lackluster reviews. I do often disagree with reviews from others, and the people I know personally who went to Poppy loved it. They had cocktails and apapetizers first, and it was for an anniversary meal.

        Of the suggestions from frygirl, I love the cocktails at ZigZag. Txori I really like the small plates--I could easily fill up there. I have not been to Tavolata, but I love Wolf--also small plates mostly. (See a trend?). I think Matt's is the best of the above for atmosphere (skipping Zoe since you have been there frequently).

        Have fun!

      3. I would wait a bit before going to Poppy. And I don't think I would do the Corson Building for a birthday celebration with 2. Maybe a group of 4 or 6. Same with Sitka and Spruce.

        Another option would be Olivar.

        1. I would go to How to Cook a Wolf with Opal beforehand, Art of the Table, Elemental, 35th Street Bistro, or Cremant for my birthday. I also like- Moxie, Travolta, & Matt's in the Market.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions. My dinner is tomorrow night and we are going to wing it based on traffic. Will end up at Tavolata or How to Cook a Wolf (given that they don't take reservations i don't have to decide until the last minute) and cocktails before or after depending on the time. Am also interested in Stumbling Goat so maybe there if traffic seems really light (coming from south of downtown).

            BTW, do any of the bars suggested have good dessert?

            Will report back!

            4 Replies
            1. re: BorntoEat

              Stumbling Goat always gets a huge thumbs up IMO, and it's a block or so away from Oliver's Twist where you could get an after-dinner drink and dessert. The service at Oliver's Twist is hit or miss in my book (used to be much better), however I do love their chocolate marshmellow panini dessert (not sure the real name).
              My vote though would be How to Cook a Wolf, put your name in, and do drinks at Opal while you are waiting.
              Have fun!

              1. re: nseattlefoodie

                Having been a long time Stumbling Goat fan, I caution you... The chef recently left. It went from an OK restaurant to a really great restaurant when Seth was there. Haven't been back since, but he definitely was a big force in that menu and the character of the food. Would be interested in hearing how it's holding up with a new kitchen, though!

                1. re: Chardo

                  I was there recently, and thought the food was really mediocre.

              2. re: BorntoEat

                I think of Tavolata as more "comfort" Italian food than birthday-celebration food but ymmv (I would go with your original idea of Crush)