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Help me impress my husband with Seattle...

Hey there,

I'm coming out there for a few days next week with my foodie (.... did anyone say food snob?) husband. I'm desperately trying to impress him with Seattle - I very much want to move back there. We will only be n town for few days (Wednesday through Sunday afternoon). We live in Brooklyn and husband is very fond of the food choices of NYC but I feel like Seattle has quite a lot to offer. Anyway, anyone have suggestions? Here's what I'm thinking of doing:

happy hour at Sazerac (nice and delicious cheap cocktails and finger food)
dinner at La Medusa
lunch at Cafe Nola
lunch at Salish Lodge
happy hour at Elliot's (he's a big oyster fan)

We've really enjoyed Salumi in the past as well as Etta's.

What else should we think about doing? What should we avoid? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Make sure to hit Poppy- it's pretty extraordinary food, particularly for the price.


    1. Places to wow him with-
      Cafe Jaunita- Bothell area
      Art of the Table(serves dinner Thurs, Fri, Sat)- Wallingford- coursed theme dinners- change weekly
      Elemental- Wallingford- Food and wine pairings selected by hosts
      Union- Downtown
      Crush- Capital Hill/Madison- Chef got James Beard award
      How to Cook a Wolf- QA
      Springhill- West Seattle- Got Food & Wine best new chef award
      Quinn's- Capitol Hill

      1 Reply
      1. re: natalie.warner

        Spot on Natalie!

        I would consider Corson Blg or Sitka and Spruce. Style of dining really different from anything you'd find in NY.

        Maybe Monsoon. It's no Momofuku, (and actually quite different style) but it shows creativity in asian food, and is very good.

      2. wow..that's a tough one, IMO. NYC food is as good as it gets. Truthfully, I don't know how you'd convince a foodie to move back here. There are decent places out here but I'm hard pressed to find something to impress a NYC foodie. So I would stick to what's really stellar out here in the PNW....and harder to find in NYC.....so my picks would be:

        BRASA (really inspired Spanish/Meditteranean created by a chef who competed on the Iron Chef America FoodTV show and came up strong!)
        CANLIS (because it's a uniquely located-in-Seattle-with-a-magnificent-view elegant place) ..with impeccable, orchestrated service and very good food.
        McCormick & Schmick's HARBORSIDE for fresh OYSTERS and a great view of the marina on Lake Union (also a very lovely Seattle location) (get there way before the sunset)
        CAFE NOLA for lunch
        MIKE's CHILI PARLOR in Ballard...a REAL dive and very 'old Brooklyn'.....good, fun food and fun people
        CYCLOPS in belltown....edgy, East Village atmosphere....w. 'fringe-types' waitstaff menu:'creative riffs" on classic American standard dishes....all good and not expensive.
        "56" at the EDGEWATER HOTEL for happy hour.....'rustic-elegant-outdoorsy' PNW decor....you feel like you're on the water and the food is good happy hour fare and the cocktails interestings...the view, the view, the view,.....the decor, the decor, the decor.....

        4 Replies
        1. re: staffstuff

          Clarification regarding the EDGEWATER recommend:

          The name of the restaurant is "67" (or Six-Seven) because the hotel is located at pier 67. The restaurant, and the hotel proper, is literally located "on" the water at said pier. The food, decor and view I concur with staffstuff.

          1. re: staffstuff

            what do you guys think of lunch at the Salish Lodge? I am thinking of heading there after our plane lands. I'm thinking the view might melt his heart... but is the food worth the schlep and the price?

            1. re: nicholel

              I had a really fantastic brunch there a few months ago - very rich and decadent crab benedict and top notch service. The weather was so foggy we couldn't see anything though so can't speak for the view.

              1. re: nicholel

                I've found brunch there to be much better than lunch or dinner. Make sure you have ice cream at Mora after lunch at Cafe Nola.

            2. What are some places you/he likes in NYC? I used to live there as well - so before I make further suggestions I'm interested in what you already like!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Green Eggs and Ham

                An idea that's been missed- take him to a farmer's market- Ballard or U-district. My take on Seattle so far is that this city excells for some ethnic food, is decent at the high end, though stumbles in comparison to places like Le Bernadin, Per Se, Craft, Spago, Providence, etc; is very strong for the upper-mid range- places that aren't 'special occasion' but are a reasonable run to on an impulse (many fantastic options for great dinner without the bank being broken); and has produce unsurpassed by any place in the US. I don't think there's a better place to live if you like to cook.


                1. re: Green Eggs and Ham

                  There's many spots he is fond of - we live right off of Smith street so we go to Chestnut, Zaytoon's, Po when we can. He really likes macro spots like Angelica's in the East Village. He also likes Blue Ribbon (and Blue Ribbon Sushi). We aren't too rich so big splurges like Masa or Jean-Georges don't usually happen. What do I like - simple, down to earth (not into the current froth thing going on here in NYC) fare. My favorite spots in Seattle before I moved were Tulio, Asteroid Cafe, Cafe Nola, Cafe Flora, Szmania's and a few others. It's been 5 &1/2 years and I can see the landscape has really changed.

                  1. re: nicholel

                    I recommend Matt's in the Market for lunch and Spinasse for dinner based on you and your husband's preferences.

                    Are you open to Vietnamese food? Pho Bac and Green Leaf in the ID have no equal in NYC.

                    1. re: terrier

                      definitely open to Vietnamese - my husbands has never had pho!

                      1. re: nicholel

                        Then Monsoon should definately be on your list.

                2. pho bac is a hit, for sure, and if it rings the pho bell for him, a few blocks South gets you to Pho Cyclo, down on First Avenue, for a broth notably fragrant with Star Anise.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mrnelso

                    Pho cyclo is another great option, agreed. I prefer either Pho Bac or Pho Cyclo to the pho at Monsoon, though. The latter is too rich for my taste.

                    1. re: terrier

                      Heavy Heavy Heavy recommendation for Pho Bac in the ID. The broth is unbeatable.

                      Pho Bac
                      415 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

                  2. For Vietnamese I like Tamarind Tree- located in the International District just east of Greenleaf. I took my mom who had never has Vietnamese and she like it. The decor in nice and the service wonderful.

                    1. Brunch and/or dinner at Monsoon is outstanding. Hands down the best Pho I've ever had in Seattle. The crepe is also not to be missed. I also really enjoy the Tamarind Tree.

                      1. I am originally from NY and now base out of Seattle. My favorite is Restaurant Zoe in Belltown. It's local hip but with great food, and attention to detail. I also loved Sitka and Spruce and Corson Bldg. Matt can teach all of us a few things. But Zoe is a must. Canlis and lists below are great but could be anywhere. Have fun.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Rosette Jolis

                          Zoe was moving in when was moving out. We will have to check it out. I used to work in Belltown right as these restaurants began to spring up....

                          1. re: Rosette Jolis

                            I don't think "Canlis could be anywhere". That's really an overstatement. Their unique location, ambience/view, interior style & elegance, remarkable & excellent service and reliably very good food is a unique Seattle experience. I would think Zoe could be described more aptly as 'could be anywhere'. I've been to restaurants like Zoe in many cities around the USA.

                          2. Elliots is worth it for oysters, but they really fall down on their other food, so have dinner elsewhere. I'd skip Monsoon - I had a disappointing brunch there a month ago - the dim sum is limited and eh, they were out of a lot of things, prices are high and there is a lot of attitude. Monsoon's sister resto, the Baguette Box, is awesome for a quick lunch (try the tofu or the steak sandwiches - to die for). If you want brunch, you might try the Boat Street (I love their food).

                            For Vietnamese, you might try Tamarind Tree. They have an extensive menu, nice decor and low prices. Lots of people on CH like Green Leaf, but I think their menu is more limited, their food is just so-so and the decor is standard International District hole-in-the-wall.

                            Caution you to stay away from Mike's Chili Parlor (I don't get it). I am not a big fan of Matt's in the Market (a common suggestion on this board) and absolutely hate Steelhead Diner (another common suggestion here).

                            I second the suggestions of Brasa, Zoe (try the gnudi) and Mora for ice cream on Bainbridge Island (it's awesome), and the farmer's markets (Ballard on Sunday or U-District on Saturday). If you're in Bellevue for happy hour, try 08 seafood grill - they have fun wine flights and the most amazing sashimi scallops. Excellent.
                            Rovers is one of my favorites, although it's a bit pricey. They just started doing brunch and the menu looks good.

                            1. Any of Ethan Stowell's restaurants: How to Cook a Wolf, Union and I tasted a bit at Anchovy and Olive and it was great too.

                              Take him to Paseo for a drippy, delicious, cuban sammich.

                              I havent been - but people are freaking out about Spur.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: burritobelle

                                Thanks - those restaurants sound interesting - may be worth the splurge.

                                Paseo.... I used to have a boyfriend that lived on 47th and Fremont. We'd get a Cuban from Paseo and steaming, crispy jojos from Market Time Foods and eat on the stoop of his house.

                                Yeah - think I'm going to check out Spur for happy hour - seems to be a good way to save but still try it.

                                1. re: nicholel

                                  Just today, I (belatedly, as usual) learned that Elemental has opened Elemental Next Door, featuring a hundred 1/2 bottles at $15 and plenty of bites. This has a good chance of being fabulous, though we've not been (yet).

                                  1. re: mrnelso

                                    Maybe I will try it Thursday - I will probably need it as I am attending a teacher job fair down in Tacoma that morning.

                                    1. re: nicholel

                                      We went to END last night after chorus practice at about 10:00 (they're open til 11:00), and this is foodie heaven. In addition to over 100 $15 splits, they'll sell many/most/all wines by the glass, with good pairing by staff and have a menu that flexes to meet the season. Very nice evening stop, and very "foodie". It's not cheap, but we had a satisfying little meal for $70, flat, and plan to return. They've a website now, with menu.
                                      Tuesday late nights are a regular thing for us, as we have chorus practice til 9:30 in Wallingford. On other Tuesday nights, we've hit the Leary Traveler, which does very nice comfort food (steak frites, a grilled, Reuben-like "Irish Interloper," and a satisfying grilled French Onion sandwich. It's a cozy, convivial neighborhoodie sort of place and we're glad it's there. Other nights we hit the Pacific Inn Pub, for good Fish (Panko batter with herbs) or oysers & Chips - OK, taverns don't fit everybody's big idea, but have a Manny's and kick back for some good chow and a great jukebox.

                                      1. re: nicholel

                                        Did you get a chance to try END?

                                        Ouch! It is not a good year to be looking for teaching jobs in Washington!