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Lovely, neighborhood birthday dinner

Dear Seattle-lovers and Seattleites,

I just moved to Seattle from Chicago with my partner, whose birthday is tomorrow. In Chicago, we were fortunate to live right around the corner from Lula--a lovely and charming neighborhood restaurant that accommodated everything from impromptu lunches to the most extravagant and celebratory evenings. Lula has a $10 pasta dish that will blow your mind, a farm dinner that will leave you beautifully stuffed, gorgeous entrees, and a wine list that's nearly perfect. It's mostly local, entirely seasonal, splurgey if you want it, and not if you don't. The interior manages to strike a balance between minimal and warm, and the servers do the same.

Basically, we were in love with the place. And now that we're here, I'm looking for somewhere similar to take S. for his birthday. We live in Greenlake, and I'm buckling down to the idea that our Seattle Lula will probably not be in the neighborhood. But I would very much welcome your ideas for a birthday dinner spot that can, over time, become our place. Is it Tilth? Elemental? Sitka and Spruce?

The kicker is: I'd love to find a place within biking distance from Greenlake. That is to say, close enough to still make it home after splitting a bottle of wine. But I'll take any and all suggestions. Many thanks!

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  1. What first came to my mind for your area was Joule.

    1. You might want to look at Nell's. It would appear to fit your description in many respects.

      1. I looked at Lula's menu online (looks quite good) and it appears to be somewhere between Tilth and Crush, with more complexity than the former but without the precious ingredients and fancy techniques of the latter. Zoe's menu also seems similar but it is a long bike ride. The ambiance you describe is very much like Tilth, IMO. I'd give it a go.

        1. I haven't been there in a while but Eva might fit the bill of what you're describing. If it doesn't have to be biking distance, Boat Street immediately came to mind as I read your description of Lula.

          1. Cafe Bizarro at the south end of Greenlake would be my pick to match Lula. It's a fun place w. interesting food and pastas..the chef has an offbeat and creative way of preparing and flavoring popular dishes.

              1. re: christy319

                I would second Eva for your neighborhood, good food and very 'neighborhood bistro' kind of place. Tilth isn't too far to bike, so keep that on the list. Art of the Table is great, and not tooooo far.

                There are some new places in Roosevelt neighborhood if you are on the north side of Greenlake, they could be bikeable. Hudson Public and Frank's Oyster house. Haven't tried either.

                1. re: christy319

                  Another thought--Stumbing Goat. I haven't been since the chef change, but there was a good report here about it. Also it's all downhill to Greenlake from Phinney Ridge so biking home will be easy. :)

                  I think Eva is good though not great, but if you live nearby you should definitely check it out. And try Tilth, too.

                2. Perche No, at 49th and Greenlake way deserves a visit, as does Brad's Swingside Cafe, at 42nd and Fremont, Cantinetta on Wallingford Ave, Art of the Table, and Elemental Next Door. Agree that Bizarro is worth a look, too, along with Nell's, Joule, and Tilth.

                  1. Thank you all for your quick responses! We went to Tilth, and had a wonderful evening through and through. Atmospherically, it was absolutely on target. Perhaps a bit expensive to become a regular place, but just wonderful for a birthday dinner. I'm looking forward to trying out the other suggestions. Thank you, all.