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Insider's Seattle - best of the best for dinner a deux

Hello hounds:

I'm hoping for your best insight on the following hypothetical:

Imagine long-time Seattle resident and serious foodie (that would be me, but could be you) anticipating a single meal with a "friend" in town for a short visit (we'll call this person "European visitor"). Imagine that this sybarite dines out frequently and well in London, Paris, and New York. Imagine that you want to take EV out for a meal at a restaurant that is not necessarily romantic, but perhaps small and intimate, that measures up to some of the really great restaurants to which EV is accustomed (think Petrus, Spring, WD-50). Imagine, further, that money is no, or little object. A great wine list is a plus.

Mistral would have been the obvious choice, but with with Mistral closed I'm at a loss. Matt's in the Market is noisy and can be a little rushed, and lately I've found it inconsistent. I'm thinking perhaps Harvest Vine, perhaps Tilth, perhaps Crush, but I haven't hit upon the choice that feels right for the occasion.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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  1. I'd go with Crush. Save room for dessert.

      1. I don't know how soon this "hypothetical" dinner might be taking place, but as far as Mistral goes: I hear William Belickis is opening a new improved Mistral (MistralKitchen.) The main restaurant will be bigger and more casual, but there will still be a separate romantic dining room a la the original Mistral. Might be worth the wait!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bellisimo

          I think harvest vine is a good choice.
          I also think that if we are comparing fine dinning, Seattle will lose out to Paris, New York and London.
          I say go to Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf.
          Maybe La Carta Oaxaca for something Euro DIner cannot get in the aforementioned cities.
          If you want to keep it more "upscale" you could do the Corson Building or Art of Table or Elemental.

        2. I'm planning to take EV to Green Leaf, at least for lunch, but re fine dining, I don't think Europe vs. Seattle is a win-lose situation. Someone who takes pleasure in well-prepared food made with good, fresh ingredients will enjoy Seattle's great restaurants even if Michelin starred chefs are not cooking there.

          I've heard Crush has had staffing problems that have caused some inconsistencies in the food and service. Certainly, my last experience there was not my favorite...

          The "hypothetical" dinner will likely take place in early July. Soon enough for Mistral kitchen?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ssusu

            I second Elemental. Good wines, good ingredients, good pacing, no bum's-rush, good attention. Expect a good experience if you just walk in and give you evening over to the house. If you want to really show off, call a couple days ahead and let him know of this intention and of any special desires.etc...

          2. Ssusu, I suggest Two Bells Tavern. Tell the Sybarite: "Your in America now, so chill. Great burger, eh? You want another beer?"

            2 Replies
            1. re: Leper

              Sorry if I created the wrong impression. EV doesn't care, and will be happy to be here -- it is I who want to take EV for a Seattle fine dining experience. Elemental is a good suggestion, if the dates/timing work out.

              1. re: ssusu

                For Elemental, go early and plan to just hang out looking over the lake for an hour or two. I wonder if you could fly a kite from that perch?

            2. The Corson Building if the dates work out and you have the time.

              I love Harvest Vine but it isn't anything the visitor can't get elsewhere.

              1. I would say, in order:

                Rovers
                Lampreia ( not 100% sure its still open or hasn't moved yet)
                Harvest Vine (upstairs only, sit at the bar, far from fine dining)
                Cafe Juanita
                Corson Building (only if you are ok with communal dining for this occasion)
                Lark ( more casual as well)

                1 Reply
                1. re: rosesarefree

                  Good suggestions, Roses. I'm not enamored with Crush. I found it to be okay but hardly spectacular.