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Apr 11, 2010 02:31 PM

Please Comment on Chicago Hounds' Potential Itinerary

Hi, all. My husband and I are coming into Seattle for a weekend getaway in two weeks and are staying at the Hotel 1000. We are from Chicago and are looking for Seattle's current tasty haunts. We were here in 2003 and had a great tasting menu at Union so will most likely not be returning there as we want cover new ground. Our desire is to find restaurants that feature the PNW's best seafood and produce. We are flexible on price point, but don't need to go super high-end (read: Rover's). We are in our mid-30's, appreciate all types of great food and love to imbibe (wine, beer, cocktails - we don't discriminate).

I've perused this board (then cross-referenced with Yelp) and culled down to the following potential itinerary. Will you please help with comments/alternate suggestions? Thank you!

Friday lunch: Matt's in the Market (we've been here before and love it, so have to go back)
Friday afternoon: perusing the Pike Market, grabbing a cocktail or two at Zig Zag and trying to pop into Elliott's on the waterfront to the raw bar for some oysters. (is there a different/better choice nearby for oysters on the half shell?)
Friday dinner: Thinking one of the following - please help! - Chez Shea, Crush, Anchovies & Olives, or Zoe

Saturday lunch/brunch: Cafe Campagne
Saturday dinner: Elemental - is it worth the trip from downtown to go here? Or should we go to one of the other spots above?

General question: Where are some good spots for post dinner drinks on Friday and Saturday night that are not far from Hotel 1000? We are open to anything as long as it is chill and does not pump techno music.

Final question: I'm thinking we don't need to rent a car and can just take cabs everywhere. Is that true or am I off-base? (We live in the city proper in Chicago so are used to being able to flag cabs with ease.)

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!

Cafe Campagne
1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

Zig Zag Cafe
1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

Chez Shea
94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

Anchovies & Olives
1550 15th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

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  1. Hi! So it sounds like Matt's is a good fit, the only recommendation I have in regard to the oysters is that Elliott's has great oysters and a nice view, however, if you are lured by their cheap oysters, you get no options. Best cheap oyster happy hour is a slightly less nice setting, but from 3-6 Shuckers in the Fairmont Olympic has $1 oysters and you can choose from about 9 different local options.

    For dinner, If you enjoyed Union, A and O is another Ethan Stowell restaurant, however, it is not as formal, though the food is terrific. Crush and Zoe will be more simliar in terms of sit down format and formality.

    I'm going to let the rest of the meals be answered with someone more familiar with the area.

    In terms of cabs, going anywhere from downtown you'll have no trouble finding a cab, from Crush or Elemental you'll just have to have someone call one for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dagoose

      I also recommend the HH at Shuckers (3 - 5 btw). I was there yesterday and they had 10 - 15 to choose from. I had some lovely kushi's and kumamoto's.

    2. Places for drinks: vessel, which is on Fifth downtown. Boka and Arctic Lounge are choices closer/in your hotel, and I think quite hip and trendy--I don't know them well (i.e. they may have Techno music). Short cab ride: Tavern Law.

      Crush: Fanciest in terms of food. Zoe innovative, but not as cutting edge. A&O small plates, while the first two have more proper apps and entrees. (And at Crush there is a nice (expensive) Chef's tasting menu). I don't love Chez Shea, nor do I think it's as creative.

      I haven't been to Elemental in a long time. SInce it has a different vibe, it is worth going to if you are feeling flexible (I have mixed experiences with the food, but I always enjoyed the experience as a whole.) but you can always make reservations at any of the others on your list (except A&O) as a back up plan.

      you don't need a car. at some places you will want the resto to call the cab, which is no big deal. there are always cabs trolling for fares in DT, Belltown and Cap Hill.

      Chez Shea
      94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

      1. You have clearly done your homework, and have built a very solid itijnerary.

        Regarding Elliott's and partaking the glories of Pacific Northwest oysters, I am getting weary of all the attention on this board paid to the Oyster Happy Hour at Elliott's. You would think that if you can't do the happy hour, it isn't worth going there for the oysters. Huh??? Sure, if you are able to get a spot in the lounge area right at 3:00 pm (this is no easy task!) you can get oysters at 50 cents each -- an incredible bargain. But, as dagoose points out, there's a significant downside in selection. Friday afternoon, at least after 3:00 pm, Elliott's will be a zoo, and it will be next to impossible to get one of the limited seats at the oyster bar where you can interact with Anthony or one of the other knowledgeble countermen. I understand that, in general, saving money is good, but I'm a local and rarely bother with the happy hour savings, because I'd rather have the oysters of my choice, not the house's choice. Purely for the wide selection (often 30 or more types of oysters) and freshness, Elliott's can't be beat. Since you will only have one shot at oysters during your stay, spend the bucks, go at a time where you can sit at the oyster bar (like Saturday) , and ask Anthony for his advice on the best of the current selection.

        I love Elemental, but the full Saturday night experience is expensive -- up there in Rover's territory,

        For drinks near Hotel 1000, other than Zig Zag, my personal fave is Taste in the Seattle Art Museum (on 1st Ave. between Union and University). Duncan Chase is the master mixologist there. Vessel (Keith Waldbaum) is another good choice, and a little bit further north, in Belltown, is Spur Gastropub and Rob Roy.

        If you are willing to travel outside the downtown area for food, I'd add Spring Hill in West Seattle, which features local ingredients, Joule in Wallingford, north of downtown and west of the University District, for delicious Korean-French preparations, and Nell's across from Greenlake for elegantly prepared local fare. West Seattle would be the most expensive cab ride. Both Wallingford and Greenlake will be reasonable.

        For your Friday dinner, among those on your list, Crush would be my choice.

        Hope this helps.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tom Armitage

          "West Seattle would be the most expensive cab ride."

          I'd add that the Junction (the West Seattle neighborhood where you'll find Spring Hill) is an easy bus ride - I do it every day to get to work. The 54 and the 55 take you right there from downtown, quickly and easily.

          Even better if you're doing it around commute hours would be to take the 5:20 or 6:10 water taxi (cheap - $3.50 - it's part of the bus system) to West Seattle from the downtown waterfront, and then take the shuttle to the Junction. (The shuttle waits for the boat, don't worry about the schedule). Takes a few more minutes than the bus ride, but it's very scenic. There are two shuttles, make sure you get on the right one. Just ask the drivers.

          Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
          4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

          1. re: banshee10

            Bravo, Banshee. Very Seattle.
            I rarely get to Alki, but when I do, I get halibut & chips at Sunfish

        2. I would go with Crush, Anchovies & Olives, or Spring Hill for your friday night dinner. Maybe Anchovies & Olives is you are wanting to stay closer to your hotel- I have done the uphill stroll to that part of the city and it takes about 20 minutes from your hotel if you are up for it...

          I think Elemental is a wonderful choice and really enjoyed my experience. Other option are...close to Elemental- Art of the Table and Joule- Both I recommend... OR one of the restaurants for Friday I recommended

          Sidenote- I love the hotel you picked... and all the drink suggestions the others have given are right on..

          Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
          4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

          Art of the Table
          1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103

          Anchovies & Olives
          1550 15th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

          1 Reply
          1. re: natalie.warner

            Of the Friday group, Definitely Crush. If you don't want to repeat your Union experience I wouldn't go to A&O, even though I appreciate the differences (and I like both). Instead, for seafood why not Blueacre? I am fan of Steelhead Diner and Kevin Davis and I think this place will not miss.

            If you are willing to go out of the downtown core, I agree with the suggestion of Spring Hill and Joule, or maybe Tilth, for really local organic and seasonal food. Sushi is seafood, and I think coming from CHI you may really like Kisaku or, in Belltown, Shiro's. Other belltown places that are a bit more overlooked--but perhaps less locally-driven--are Branzino, Brasa and Zoe--I like all of them.

            Drinks: Spur, Vessel, Rob Roy, or in Capitol hill, Sun Liquor and Liberty.

            Steelhead Diner
            95 Pine Street, Suite 17, Seattle, WA 98101

            2401 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA

            Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
            4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

            Sun Liquor
            607 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA

            2107 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121

            2429 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

          2. Thanks to all of you for your suggestions! We've decided on A&O for dinner Friday night and Crush on Saturday night. Tom, I couldn't agree with you more on the oyster point - we aren't bent on saving a few bucks so we're going to go to Elliot's when we can have the full oyster cornucopia and interaction with the bartenders/shuckers. Saturday afternoon it will be!

            Also, thanks for the bar recommendations. Since we're leaving our delightful two-year old son at home in Chicago, we are ready to visit some of your fine establishments for cold refreshments, adult conversation, and - perhaps best of all - no rushing home to relieve the babysitter by 11 pm!