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seattle area affordable nice restaurants for high schoolers

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I work with high school kids and would like to be able to recommend some restaurants in the north Seattle area where they can have a relatively formal dining experience and practice some of the traditional dining etiquette we will be teaching them prior to their high school prom. These kids have, in the past, resorted to restaurants like Red Robin and The Olive Garden for their dinner dates prior to school dances, and I am hoping to come up with some options that rise above mass chain dining while remaining in a similar budget range. Every restaurant I'm in love with is either too spendy or too esoteric for the teenage palette. I'm hoping the Chowhound community can help with some suggestions.

Thanks!

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  1. Ooh, nice challenge! Not 100% sure what you mean by "north Seattle area" but I thought of Perche No, by Kidd Valley at Green Lake. It's pasta plus some other great stuff on the menu. So, I think you can have a meal without breaking the bank. I think their pasta is GREAT, most if not all homemade. And while it's a little more "family" than their old location on Queen Anne, it's definitely more upscale seeming than Red Robin or Olive Garden. All that said, they had a fire at the end of February and are currently closed while under repair. But if it's truly prom-ish time you're looking at, keep an eye on them.

    My only other suggestion would be maybe Duke's. There's on on Green Lake, I think. Not haute cuisine but steaks and what-not and usually fairly nice ambience. Maybe a little bar-y but a possibility.

    Oh! And this isn't north Seattle and may be a little odd-seeming but the Fireside Room at the Sorrento on First Hill is a great, very grown-up space and they serve their bar menu which includes both pizza and a burger. It's not ungodly expensive (unless you're drinking which they won't be) and while it's not formal seated dining, it definitely feels like a sophsticated experience.

    (And if you don't mind my asking, at what school do they offer instruction in dining etiquette where the kids can't afford to eat better than Red Robin and Olive Garden?!?)

    5 Replies
    1. re: laurahutch

      Thanks for the ideas. It's been several years since we've been to Duke's on Green Lake, but while we enjoyed the food and beer, I'm not sure it's really the prom sit-down type of ambience I'm looking for. The kids' prom is at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club, which makes Anthony's an obvious choice but I'm fairly biased against that chain... although it might be our easiest choice as far as location goes.

      1. re: akiyamacomma

        Bick's might fit here. 10555 Greenwood Ave N
        Moderate prices, decent food, scaled quite a bit above pub-grub, even if service and execution can be spotty.

        Georgia's Greek Restaurant
        323 NW 85th S
        Cute, a bit exotic, crowd-friendly.

        Gorgeous George's 7719 Greenwood Ave N
        Even cuter, if even smaller.

        1. re: mrnelso

          Dicks.

          http://www.ddir.com/Dicks_Drive_In_Re...

          1. re: Shiggy

            Is that where you took your prom date?

      2. re: laurahutch

        Every school that has Family and Consumer Sciences (which is all of them)- it is part of vocational education department... most students are required to take credits to graduate in this department... food sciences classes, personal growth classes, etc-

      3. Ray's Cafe? It is Ray's boathouse- but upstairs and cheaper. Brad's Swingside Cafe (Italian), Bizarro (Itailian), May (Thai)- all Wallingford/Fremont... Bluewater Bistro(Greenlake) & Wild Mountain Cafe(Ballard)

        I will keep thinking*

        1 Reply
        1. re: natalie.warner

          Natalie, I was going to suggest exactly those reatuarants. Good call all the way around. We always see prom-bound kids outside of Bucca di Beppo - Rays (upstairs) would be WAY better, about the same price, and right next door to the prom! I would add Asteroid Cafe to the list (Fremont). You can get 50% off coupons on those new radio web site links.

        2. Saltoro's, assuming it's still open? http://www.yelp.com/biz/saltoro-seattle