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May 8, 2010 11:20 AM

Seattle restaurant recommendations needed!

I'm visiting my younger sister in Seattle near the end of May, she's been there for nearly three years and this is my first time visiting her city. I wanted to take her out for dinner, and was looking for suggestions. Cost isn't really an issue, but I do think she would prefer a more casual atmosphere (and dress code). I live in NYC and work in the restaurant business, so I would love to experience not just great food, but something unique to the Seattle area. I'm also open to any ideas for breakfast or lunch! Thank you!

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  1. so i'll start with the usual suspects. alot depends on what part of town she lives in and what she likes. but here goes.
    Salumi for lunch-make sure you have some time
    Paseo for lunch-bet she has never been.
    Any Tom Douglas place for dinner or Lola for breakfast
    Portage Bay Cafe for breakfast
    Toulouse Petit for a southern inspired breakfast
    Rovers for a cost no object dinner
    Crush for a dinner from a James Beard award winning chef
    Union for dinner-excellent
    Mistral Kitchen for something unique
    most of these are downtown. just do a search here or in your favorite search engine to find out more. you can thank me later.

    Portage Bay Cafe
    4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

    309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

    Mistral Kitchen
    2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

    10 Replies
    1. re: bighound

      What a great start, I think I'll have to thank you now! I'm staying in the Queen Anne district, she lives in Fremont, but we're not restricted too much as far as distance (what's a few miles when one is flying cross country?). I'm seeing a lot of great restaurants in my searching, but really, it's always the locals who know best!

      Queen Anne Cafe
      2121 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

      1. re: bighound

        Good list Bighound. I have a couple of comments and extra suggestions. I would add Poppy for a very Pacific Northwesty meal, Chez Shea or Matt's in the Market for Seattle atmosphere, and I am a big fan of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland.

        I absolutely loved Mistral Kitchen when I went recently but I feel like it is one of the most NYC like restaurants that we have in Seattle so I would not recommend it to someone coming from NYC.

        Also, I have heard that the food is good at Toulouse Petit but I will never, ever, ever eat there because the owner is a total D-bag. I would suggest you all look up Toulouse Petit on Yelp and see the owner's responses to each and every one of the low star ratings. Not pretty, not pretty at all.

        Cafe Juanita
        Kirkland, WA, Kirkland, WA

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

        Mistral Kitchen
        2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

        1. re:

          We had a lovely dinner at Union last June, do the tasting menu there, everything we sampled was delicious. For a nice breakfast/brunch, check out Cafe Campagne by Pike Place Market. We will be back in Seattle in a couple of weeks and want to try Matt's @ the Market and maybe the Pink Door. Have fun! :)

          Pike Place Market
          1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

          Cafe Campagne
          1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

          Pink Door
          1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

          1. re: syrahgirl

            To add to this, check out le Compagne for dinner, it's amazing!

            1. re: SeattleHusky

              I did end up going to Cafe Campagne for a late Sunday brunch and found both the service and the food fantastic! I also ended up at Matt's in the Market (ok, but not out of this world- beautiful space though) and Toulouse Petit. I think my favorite meal was my breakfast of bread and fruit purchased in the market though, amazing peaches!

              Cafe Campagne
              1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

              1. re: foodftw

                Too many experiences (like, one, sometimes two) with Rouse Mall Food Courts often convince travelers that any remotely mall-like place with dozens of little shops is going to be just another copy of just another one of those. Commerce being what it is, they are mostly right, and there are surely lots of overlaps and commonalities, but go to Wikipedia and search for "pike place market pda" to see why this is not true here (yet, at least). The PDA is just the sort of bureaucratic, process-enthralled nightmare anyone alert to local politics would expect, or worse, but it has had the desired effect of truly preserving major aspects of the character of the place. See Starbuck's #1 as evidence that change comes slowly here, and only with lots of outreach, inclusion, blah, blah. But hey. It works. Time spent cruising the Market for tasty treats will pay off here as in few other malls, anywhere.

                1. re: mrnelso

                  The pike place market really was a pleasure. I had some great handmade pastas, fresh breads, and juicy-ripe fruit there. it's rare to have so much sampling encouraged in NYC, and was nice to taste a pear before i bought it. I had a great time being a tourist there!

                2. re: foodftw

                  I'm glad you liked Campagne, what did you order?

                  86 Pine, Seattle, WA 98101

                  1. re: SeattleHusky

                    We had the french toast, honey yogurt with berries and apples, and some amazing sinfully rich dish called oeufs en meurette that I would kill to have in NYC. They had a decent beer selection as well, and again, amazing staff.

          2. re: bighound

            Restaurant Zoe in Belltown. Very northwest. Great service.

            Restaurant Zoe
            2137 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

          3. Don't overlook Lola - Tom Douglas' new restaurant.