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Nov 19, 2008 10:28 AM

First time in Seattle 11/20-11/23 - salumi, organic, wine, sushi, other good recs?

Hi all: I'll be in Seattle for work on the dates mentioned - I'm a native NYer, and am excited to try some new PNW food! I'd love to try some good sushi, some good locally grown cuisine (French, new American, etc.) and am also wondering about Salumi (worth the wait? how long is the wait?). I'll be staying at the W hotel on 4th Avenue - would be interested in any restaurants which are in a different (cab distance) part of the city so I could get a feel for something other than the area outside the hotel. Thinking of going to the market right when I get there on Thursday, and sushi Thursday night. Still need dinner Friday and lunch on Saturday.

Also - any good wine shops which sell local vintages / other specialty food stores for gifts, etc., would be appreciated. THANKS!

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  1. Welcome to Seattle. Pike Place Market will be an enjoyable visit for you and you'll be able to find a lot of little gift shops and a great wine shop there as well. Matt's in the Market gets high praise if you're dining in the market. For sushi, Maneki in the International District (ID) is very good. I'm a fan of Vietnamese food, and Greenleaf, very close to Maneki is also very good. Stop by the Wing Luke museum while you are there. The ID is not a touristy sort of place, but I love it as it feels "real," plus has great food and fun karaoke, if that is your sort of thing. You don't necessarily have to cab it to the ID if going during the daytime. The bus tunnel will drop you off at the ID bus tunnel. There are a few buses that will probably work too, although if it's raining hard or later at night, a cab is the way to go.

    I understand it's supposed to be rainy the next few days, so bring your rain clothes and shoes. Rain isn't bad here at all as long as you're dressed right. You'll feel very native dripping wet and walking on the wet floor at PP Market. Don't forget your bumbershoot. (-:

    Matt's In the Market
    94 Pike St Ste 32, Seattle, WA 98101

    Green Leaf Rstrnt Vietnamese
    418 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

    Maneki Restaurant
    304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

    2 Replies
    1. re: seagrace

      I second Green Leaf and Matt's (never been to Maneki). Union would be another good pick for "NW" food, and you can eat small plates in the bar if you're alone and that appeals to you.
      Go when Salumi opens (11 I think) and the line won't be bad.

      1. re: seagrace

        The Market will be fun and there are lots of good shops as seagrace mentioned. Matts has good food, but a very limited menu and the view's not great (also, the service can be a little surly). Maneki has history and some tasty Japanese food, but it's not the best, food-wise, so it depends on what you want. Make reservations or sit in the bar. I don't know why you'd want to go to Green Leaf - it's good Vietnamese food, but there's nothing particularly northwest-y about it that I've seen.

        Since you'll be here on the weekend, you might consider checking out a farmers market - I think the U district is Satrurday and Ballard is Sunday (the Fremont Sunday market is also fun, but more stuff than food). I'd choose Ballard and then walk around and look at the little shops, etc. If you have time, go see the Ballard locks and the gardens there. Also in Ballard (but a bit far out to walk) are NW standards Rays and Anthonys - not particularly chowish places (more like standard seafood restaurants), but they do have pretty Puget Sound sunset views.
        If you're really adventurous, I'd take a ferry over to Bainbridge Island (just walk on) and walk around the little town there. Lots of neat shops, plus a little tasting room for two of the Bainbridge wineries and Mora ice cream which is pretty tasty stuff.

      2. Hi! I also live in NYC now but I lived in Seattle for 6 years until 2006. It's a foodie heaven! I was just there in September and had a great meal at the Steelhead Diner. It's a good example of Northwest cuisine and it's in the Market. My husband and I had dinner at the bar and experienced one of the most gorgeous views of the sun setting over the Olympics. It's good for lunch or dinner. You should also definitely go to a Tom Douglas restaurant. His restaurants are all so good but I would recommend Etta's for the weekend brunch. Great Bloody Marys, crab benedict and french toast. His Palace Kitchen is also a classic. Matt's has great food but the last time I was there I tried to make a reservation and got the worst attitude from the host that I decided not to go. With all the great food in Seattle who needs it? Zig Zag is a very cool, cozy place to have cocktail. It's a little hard to find but well worth the adventure. It's down the steps on Western Ave on the water side of the Market. Do eat sushi in Seattle! My favorites are not downtown (Chiso and Nishino) but there are so many downtown (Shiro and Umi to name two) that you really can't go wrong. Chiso is in Fremont and it's a very cool neighborhood to check out, by the way. I never had a bad sushi experience in Seattle. Have a great time!

        3520 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

        Steelhead Diner
        95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101

        Etta's Seafood
        2020 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

        Zig Zag Cafe
        1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

        2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

        1. If you want to try some local wines and are able to get to the Eastside, several of the Woodinville wineries are having release parties this weekend. The Woodinville Wine country doesn't list much for this weekend, but I've heard from Guardian, Mark Ryan, Antonville and Chatter Creek. Probably more than a dozen others are also open for tasting, many of which in walking distance from each other

          1. Lot of good culinary suggestions here. If you eat meat AT ALL don't miss Salumi. If you can get in early enough it is great to eat at the communal table. Bunch of foodies sitting around looking and talking about what everyone else is eating while Armandino (Mario's pop) pours the wine. Very Euro. Da Pino in the Rainier Valley is also excellent, less crowded, less expensive. In the Market, Creminelli and Bavarian Meats are both excellent. While in the market search out The Tasting Room on Post Alley. It is good resource for discovering some of the smaller wineries in the state. Esquin is also a great source of local bottles.

            Haven't figured out the link mechanism yet. Ask your concierge.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dawsonct

              Im pretty sure Da pino is no longer on rainier. He moved to the ravena neighborhood.

              1. re: dagrassroots

                Thanks roots, Seems like I had heard about that. Just moved out of that part of the city last year. Good timing, eh?
                By Metro from West Seattle it probably works out to about the same time/distance for me. I'll have to get up there to make sure the transition went smoothly. (place ridiculous winking emoticon here).

            2. Salumi is well worth the wait at lunch (15-20 minutes; second the suggestion to go whe they open at 11 am). But please don't miss it. For a specialty food gift, get a roll of their salami or finocchiona --it will wow the recipient.

              Try Nishino on Madison (short cab ride) for sushi. For new American, try Union on First and Union -- it is spectacular and creative (walking distance from the W). French would be Rover's, also a short ride away on Madison.

              There are a lot of great suggestions here. I'd skip Etta's and Steelhead Diner, though. They are very good but you only have a few days. If you want to do a Tom Douglas restaurant, make it Palace Kitchen and order the trout.

              Try the Pike and Western wine shop for local wine selection -- they are near the Market.

              3 Replies
              1. re: bourbongal

                Matt's=don't miss it, the food is crazy good with local ingredients.It's not swanky, very northwesty in its unpretensious atmosphere. A NYer might feel overdresses even.

                Salumi=I've been going there since long before the food tv people found it. I go less because of the lines, but it's seriously good shit.

                Maneki=its reputations speaks for itself.

                For Vietnamese, either Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf in the ID--you really can't go wrong. FYI we don't do Chinese as well as you might think. Take a walk through the ID and enjoy the scenery.

                Welcome to my town, we eat well here.

                1. re: bourbongal

                  Steelhead's great for brunch too, and the area around the W is not great for that in general.

                  1. re: bourbongal

                    Updating my post from last night. I was wrong. Consider Etta's after all. I work near there and used to have lunch there often enough to take it for granted. I hadn't been for awhile but coincidentally ended up there for a work lunch today. I had a curried butternut squash soup and then wild salmon cakes on a bed of chantrelle mushrooms with a few bites of grilled sweet onion. It was brilliant, local, fresh, fresh, fresh.