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Matt's in the Market (SEA)

Hello! I'm considering Matt's for an upcoming special occasion. We've never been there before and it's been highly recommended on this board. Ever since it reopened, however, it seems like there have been more negative reviews, not just on this board but I also read something about it being inconsistent in Seattle magazine. So... I'm wondering.... in your opinion has it gone downhill and is it still worth it to go there for a special occasion?

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  1. I believe the rennovation has improved Matt's in many ways. It's still a great Chowhound destination. However, I have never considered Matt's a "special occasion" restaurant. (It started out as an upscale diner and has raised the bar year after year.) For a special occasion I would recommend Harvest Vine or Il Terrazo Carmine.

    1. I think it's just a function of more people going.
      It's definitely not as exclusive and hard to get into any more (which is nice, I guess)
      But that just means more people with higher expectations going in and being disappointed.

      I still think it's a uniquely Seattle experience (with the lights of the Market at night coming through the windows and what not) that's still a place I want to take people.

      That said, yeah, maybe it's a little expensive for what it is and some of it is about reputation than actual output... but it's still a favorite for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GreenYoshi

        Though not my choice for Special Occasions dinners (maybe Chez Shea, next door), we enjoy Lunch at Matt's. It's a relative bargain and gives you some good local color along with a place to rest your legs and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

        1. re: mrnelso

          I agree about Chez Shea. It's a lovely room and the food quality and service is usually top notch!

      2. I haven't had a bad meal there but I would agree, "special occasion" isn't what I think of when I think of Matt's. I love the ambiance but it's not "fancy."

        1. I used to go to the old Matt's in the Market all the time. Now I stay away from the new one. I don't like their new menu as much, miss the small restaurant feel, and hate waiting the now typical 45 minutes for a seat for 1 at the counter (on the weekend). I wish I could go back in time - I used to look forward to my weekend meal at Matt's.

          1. We ended up going to Matt's in the Market for lunch as all of you recommended & it was perfect for that. It still felt small to me, the service was very friendly, and the food was good. We made a reservation so we didn't have to wait at all and we got a table by the window, which allowed us to watch the goings on in the street below.
            We went to Lola for our special dinner out, which a lot of people on this board probably feel isn't the best for a night out, but for us it's just the kind of place we like...

            1. I'm visiting Seattle and had lunch at Matt's yesterday. I was by myself and all seats at bar were taken and there were no tables available (it was noon). Host person said had a jump seat in the back - he retrieved it and sat me up on the corner of the bar. It was wonderful place to sit. Place was busy, busy. I was immediately worried about service - that was quickly put to rest. Bar person waited on me and was excellent. I had soup (salmon halibut chowder) and fresh salad - both great. It was very noisy - I'm glad I was by myself and didn't have the need to have a conversation. And yes, lunch is way, way less expensive than dinner (my check was $12).

              3 Replies
              1. re: wintersummer

                Glad you enjoyed Matt's, wintersummer! I have always enjoyed the food (especially the catfish), but the prices have gotten hellacious for dinner. Lunch is apparently the time to visit now without breaking the bank!

                1. re: wintersummer

                  I couldn't agree more about the service - I took some out of towner's there for lunch last week and even though it was packed, service was right on and the food was as awesome as always! I had the spicy ahi sandwhich and one of my cousins had the Lamb burger and then we each split it. Both were wonderful! We also had the apple-raspberry mimosas which I have been trying to re-create ever since. Yummy!

                  1. re: wawinelover

                    I visited Seattle this past weekend, and had dinner there Sat night. I was definitely underwhelmed. Although I thought the service was great, I think they had great ideas for dishes, but didn't execute them well. My whole snapper, for example, was standing upright as if it were still swimming on my plate, but was overcooked and its sauce was bland.