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Dec 7, 2008 09:50 AM

Third Annual Ultimate Seattle Restaurant Poll (2008)

I was debating If had enough time to do this poll this year but the holiday spirit brought me back. Last year was the second year doing this poll we had 44 responses and 84 restaurants were voted for. Here is a link to last years results So here’s the deal, rate your top five, and only five restaurants in the Seattle area (eastside in included) that you would recommend to a friend, looking for a memorable dining experience. The scoring will go 5 points for a first place vote, 4 for a second place vote, 3 for a third place vote, 2 for a fourth place vote and one for a fifth place vote. Please rate five and put number designations next to each restaurant. For the moderators, this is not a chowhound sanctioned poll. Also this poll is by no means scientific is is a fun way to create a list of the best restaurants in seattle that will hopefully be more accurate than Zagat. I will set the deadline for voting to be christmas day. and will hopefully have it tallied by new years. Here is my five:
1. Harvest Vine
2. Cafe Juanita
3. Lark
4. La medusa
5. Malay Satay Hut

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  1. As I get older and as the economy gets worse, I find myself turning to old favorites, places where we go again and again, with or without friends and family:

    1. Cafe Juanita--for that special occasion! no more need be said
    2. Green Leaf-good Vietnamese (the green mango salad is incredible) and the family that runs it is incredibly sweet
    3. Tango--a small plate for everyone, no matter how picky, and the El Diablo dessert is to die for
    4. Tsukushinbo--solid Japanese home cooking and sushi bar at a reasonable price. Great noodles and tempura. Non-chic cafe run by a friendly family
    5. Fondi's--best reasonably priced pizza I know with great salad sides . Good-by Pagliacci.

    Honorable mention (OK, so it's against the rules)

    6. Cafe Soleil (Ethiopian in style)
    7. Panos (a small plate for everyone, Greek-style)
    8. Mayuri Chaat--Indian street food and sweets
    9. Banh Thai (old reliable for pre-concert Thai meals--not the best Thai in town by any stretch, but hey, what other restaurant has made it in that location for so long?)
    10. Malay Satay Hut (the closest thing to Singapore/Malaysia in these parts; love the roti canai and char kway teow)
    11. Shun--another reasonably priced Japanese neighborhood restaurant, with good seafood and vegetarian choices

    And finally, since I'm breaking the rules anyway, places I really miss:

    1. Labuznik (I still crave the roast duck, dumpling and red cabbage)
    2. Takohachi (the best black cod kazusake in town and most reasonably priced)
    3. Le Tastevin (salmon kulibiac and floating islands)
    4. Chocolate Dan's (chocolate truffles better than Fran's, no joke)
    5. The original Huong Binh (used to be north of the old Uwajimaya--Cambodian noodle soup par excellence)
    6. Burrito Loco in U Village (not renewing their lease was one of Stuart Sloan's bigger mistakes)
    7. Gerard's Relais de Lyon (classic French in a lovely house setting)
    8. Le Pavillon (OK, so this really dates me--this was the first high end restaurant in Occidental Square, owned by the Kissel family of Brasserie Pittsbourg fame, the only place where I ever ordered calf's liver and many times too)
    9. The Other Place (This one shows my age too--used to be next to the main post office, if you can believe it--Roberto Rosellini served high end game--loved the quail and pheasant)
    10. Crepe de Paris--not the kind of depressing place in the Rainier Bank Tower, but the original one downtown one near the old movie palace (was it the Coliseum or the Orpheus??) and then moved to Madison Park. French Onion Soup and crisp Breton-style crepes made with the best ingredients.
    11. Surrogate Hostess--the yummy scrambled eggs with the croissants with the lemon curd cream cheese!

    5 Replies
    1. re: PAO

      1. Springhill
      2. Crow
      3. Le Pichet
      4. Cafe Campagne
      5. Palace Kitchen

      1. re: PAO

        How funny. I was thinking about the old 'Crepe de Paris' downtown a few days ago...I'm with ya on that....those crepes were really magnificent. I loved the spinach with the most delicate bechamel I've ever tasted and those crisp edges on the edges were unforgettable.
        The wonderful Surrogate Hostess. How can anyone forget walking off the street into the room where those tables and that line in front of the food was.
        The combination of the scent of coffee and baked goods and those scrambled brings back memories on Capitol HIll.

        1. re: latindancer

          I'm glad that brought back good memories for you too! Back then the imported gruyere and ham that Crepe de Paris used seemed very exotic in Seattle! And I think croissants were considered new and unusual!

          1. re: PAO

            I agree. That little part in my brain, where certain smells are filed, has been tapped and I'm really remembering some places now.
            Kingfish Cafe on Capital Hill was one of my favorites. The two sisters (can't remember their names now) made some of the best crabcake sandwiches and red beans and rice I've had anywhere in my travels. They really loved their food and made sure all their customers did too.
            Seattle and the coffee and the rain and the cold and the grey skies somehow is a haven for some of the greatest comfort food in the country.
            Those will never find one that comes close to them....the sweet and the savory were/are unbeatable.
            And, of course, that wonderful and memorable Surrogate Hostess. Not only will I never forget breakfast on a blustery, winter day with the homemade rolls and wonderful egg dishes, but their place next door (do you remember it?) with wonderful gifts from around the world....I still have some of the handmade plates and tablecloths and a variety of other quality kitchenware from Italy and France and S America I purchased from them...the owners of the Surrogate Hostess
            had impeccable taste.

            1. re: latindancer

              Yes, I don't know where to find Breton style crepes. Or mayte they were Normandy. At any rate, the more common ones seem so flabby in comparison.

      2. 1. Spinasse
        2. Pho Bac
        3. Dinette
        4. Palace Kitchen
        5. Harvest Vine

        2 Replies
        1. 1. Quinn's
          2. Vieng Thong
          3. Tamarind Tree
          4. Meskel
          5. Seven Stars Pepper

          1. 1. Olivar
            2. Bamboo Gardens (Bellevue)
            3. Green Leaf
            4. Cafe Presse
            5. Corson Building

            This very much reflects my dining favorites this year--there are some great-sounding places on other lists I haven't tried, and I don't want to vote for places I haven't been in over a year.

            1. 1. Cafe Campagne
              2. Green Leaf
              3. Matt's in the Market
              4. Salumi
              5. Jade Garden (I know there's better dim sum to be had, but I still love it!)