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Jan 8, 2009 01:48 PM

Need suggestions for birthday dinner

I was thinking of trying a new place for my husband's birthday. His favorite restaurant closed last spring, Mistral, which is where he normally likes to go. Lately we are in a rut and go to our favorites: Lola, Nishino, Nell's, and Jak's. Open to most cuisines. His favorites are Italian, Japanese, steak, seafood, and Mediterranean. He is a self described foody, but is not a big fan of the small plate trend or anything too eclectic. Examples of what he was disappointed with include Harvest Wine and Lark. Expensive is fine, so long as there is value. Priority is food, followed by service, then atmosphere.

Central Seattle is most convenient but we are willing to travel if the food warrants.

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  1. I'd give Spinasse a try. Have been a few times now and it's consistently excellent.

    Do be aware that unless you have a party of 4 and can reserve the table by the window, you'll be seated at a communal table. (Or the bar, which I actually find the most comfortable place to sit with my better half when we're just 2 - but that's first-come first-serve)

    I'd prefer a more traditional table arrangement, but the food - every dish we've had, every time we've been - has been simply perfect, so we deal with it. (The atmosphere is quite nice as well.)

    1. Cafe Juanita (high end Italian in Kirkland--no red sauces here!), Rover's (high end nouveau NW French in Madison Park), Le Gourmand, (high end NW French in Ballard--no, I'm not kidding), or Trellis (NW--in Kirkland). Each has a website except for Le Gourmand (or if it has one, I've never found it). I have had consistently excellent meals at the first three and an excellent meal at Trellis the one time we went. We're planning to go to Trellis again this month. The first three have been around a long time, which says something. Trellis is newish.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PAO

        I agree about Cafe Juanita and have been a few times. My only concern about French is a dairy allergy. How accomodating are they at Le Gourmand and Rover's? Usually when I tell a waiter at a French restaurant "no butter, milk or cheese" they usually turn pale and give me a deer in the headlights look.

        1. re: lisaf

          I don't know. Give them a call and find out.

      2. How about Il Terrazzo Carmine near Pioneer Square? I love the Italian there. Service is great and it is also quite romantic.

        1. Volterra, Restaurant Zoe, Matt's in the Market, Shiro's, Barolo

          1. Volterra for Italian and Union for seafood.