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Planning a year's worth of eating out

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lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 11:43 AM

Crazy, I know, but my sweetie and I are planning to eat out at least once a month for the next year. We figure this will allow us to visit all of the 'musts' in Seattle.

Here's the list of places we want to try, from first to last:
1. Chez Shez
2. Rover’s
3. Mistral Kitchen
4. Georgian Room
5. Kingfish Café
6. Matt’s in the Market
7. Copperleaf
8. Salty’s at Redondo
9. Serafina
10. Mama Melina’s
11. Café Campagne
12. Restaurant Zoe
14. Crow
13. Steelhead Diner
14. Crow
15. Lark
ADDED: Tilth, Olivar, Dinette

Any thoughts on the order we're going to be trying these in? Any place we left of the list that is a 'must'? (We don't consider Asian to be a 'fancy dinner out' meal. Not saying it isn't, just saying we don't think of that cuisisne when wanting a fancy meal.)

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Restaurant Zoe
2137 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

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

Campagne
86 Pine, Seattle, WA 98101

Mistral Kitchen
2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

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  1. p
    pairswellwithwine RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 12:16 PM

    I would add Tilth, Olivar and Sitka & Spruce. I am dying to try Dinette, All my friends rave about it but I have not been yet, so I can't assertively recommend it.

    I have only done the Georgian room for Xmas Eve. The service was excellent, I wasn't that impressed with the food though.

    This sounds like something I would do. This year I bought a mixed case of wine on my Birthday and each month on the 12th we drink a bottle.

    I hope all your meals are fabulous.

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    Sitka & Spruce
    2238 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

    Olivar
    806 E Roy St, Seattle, WA 98102

    1. p
      PaqpIn RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 01:15 PM

      Fun idea. I would add Poppy to your list. http://www.poppyseattle.com/
      Copperleaf is an excellent idea.

      I might suggest that if you are looking for a good basic Seattle seafood place then I would swap Ray's for Salty's - unless you are thinking brunch at Salty's. Just for the general overall experience I prefer Ray's. I also like Ray's upstairs better than downstairs, but it does depend what you are looking for.

      You might also want to consider Canlis. http://www.canlis.com/food/

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      Canlis Restaurant
      2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

      1 Reply
      1. re: PaqpIn
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        lmcsherr RE: PaqpIn Aug 2, 2010 02:25 PM

        I have heard some so so reviews for Poppy's, so they didn't make my list. I'll hold them in reserve though.
        We've eaten at Salty's in Alki and didn't enjoy it. We'd heard that the chef at Redondo is really passionate, so I'd put it on my list. May reconsider that choice.

      2. l
        Leper RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 01:36 PM

        I would substitute Harvest Vine for Salty's. (And make sure you budget properly for Rover's.)

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        Harvest Vine
        2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leper
          l
          lmcsherr RE: Leper Aug 2, 2010 02:27 PM

          Harvest Vine is now on the alternate list. And thank you for the reminder about Rover's.

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          Harvest Vine
          2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

        2. l
          Lauren RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 02:12 PM

          Salty's needs to come off for sure. And possibly Mama Melina's. There are so many I would add: Anchovies and Olives or How to Cook a Wolf, Corson Building, Boat Street Cafe, Bastille, Cantinetta and Joule are one's I can think of off the top of my head.

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          Boat Street Cafe
          909 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lauren
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            lmcsherr RE: Lauren Aug 2, 2010 02:48 PM

            No interest in How to Cook a Wolf or Anchovies and Olives (sorry, but the menus don't appeal).
            Corson Building sounds fascinating. I need to look into that more.
            I used to love the Boat Street Cafe, but haven't been there since they moved. Now added to my alternates list.
            Cantinetta looks good (added), but Joule doesn't appeal so much.
            Thanks!

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            Boat Street Cafe
            909 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA

          2. l
            lmcsherr RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 02:23 PM

            P.S. There are a number of places we've already been to, and enjoyed.
            Canlis
            El Gaucho
            Tilikum Place Cafe
            Waterfront Seafood Grill

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            Canlis Restaurant
            2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

            Waterfront Seafood Grill
            2801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

            1 Reply
            1. re: lmcsherr
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              lmcsherr RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 07:16 PM

              We've also been to Il Bistro and The Pink Door.

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              Pink Door
              1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

              Il Bistro
              93A Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

            2. g
              GreenYoshi RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 03:18 PM

              I haven't tried Mamma Melina's since they move down to 25th, but at their old spot on Roosevelt, they were mediocre at best.

              Cantinetta (which some people haven't liked, but I've enjoyed) and Tavolata would probably be my choice for better italian. Maybe Volterra.

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              Volterra
              5411 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107

              Tavolata
              2323 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

              3 Replies
              1. re: GreenYoshi
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                christy319 RE: GreenYoshi Aug 2, 2010 03:27 PM

                Or La Spiga. Yeah, Mamma Melina was bad 15 years ago, and I haven't heard anything to change my mind about them since.

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                La Spiga
                1429 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

                1. re: christy319
                  g
                  GreenYoshi RE: christy319 Aug 2, 2010 05:42 PM

                  I've actually been kind of disappointed with La Spiga the last couple of times I've gone (definitely left them off on purpose...). The pastas weren't as rich and well textured as I remember them being, and the meats weren't as well prepared as I had hoped. Used to love them, but now only kind of like them...

                  The cocktail bar is nice though.

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                  La Spiga
                  1429 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

                2. re: GreenYoshi
                  l
                  lmcsherr RE: GreenYoshi Aug 2, 2010 07:14 PM

                  thanks for this feedback -- Tavolata doesn't appeal, but Volterra does.

                  -----
                  Volterra
                  5411 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107

                  Tavolata
                  2323 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                3. g
                  GreenYoshi RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 03:20 PM

                  Dinette's nice, but I feel like it's more "casual meal" than it is the kind of fine dining the rest of list seems to be.

                  And if you're doing fancy, why not throw Canlis on there as the topper?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: GreenYoshi
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                    equinoise RE: GreenYoshi Aug 2, 2010 03:27 PM

                    I agree with both points re: mamma melina and dinette. Italian at Il Terrazo Carmine is very good. I also think the upstairs fine dining campagne suits you more so than the casual cafe. Kingfish is also casual and the food isn't very memorable, IMHO. Crush is must do for me, and I'd add Joule and Monsoon/East as knock-out asian-inspired options that are not especially fancy in ambiance.

                    1. re: equinoise
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                      lmcsherr RE: equinoise Aug 2, 2010 07:15 PM

                      I'd forgotten about Il Terrazo Carmine! Oh, and Il Bistro.

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                      Il Bistro
                      93A Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

                  2. landguy RE: lmcsherr Aug 2, 2010 10:10 PM

                    I can't believe you left off Spinasse, Bisato, and Cafe Juanita

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                    Cafe Juanita
                    Kirkland, WA, Kirkland, WA

                    Spinasse
                    Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: landguy
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                      lmcsherr RE: landguy Aug 4, 2010 02:27 PM

                      I didn't know about them!
                      Spinasse looks yummy, if complicated. I can't find a menu for Bisato, so we'll have to pass on it. Caef Juanita also looks yummy. thank you!

                      -----
                      Spinasse
                      Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                      1. re: lmcsherr
                        l
                        Lauren RE: lmcsherr Aug 5, 2010 01:06 PM

                        Here's Bisato's menu: http://www.bisato.com/

                        1. re: Lauren
                          l
                          lmcsherr RE: Lauren Aug 5, 2010 01:44 PM

                          THANK YOU!

                          ok, another to add to the list . . . .

                    2. l
                      lmcsherr RE: lmcsherr Aug 4, 2010 02:44 PM

                      as an update, based on suggestions and further research, our list looks like this:

                      1. Chez Shez
                      2. Rover’s
                      3. Mistral Kitchen
                      4. Georgian Room
                      5. Kingfish Café
                      6. Matt’s in the Market
                      7. Copperleaf
                      8. Harvest Vine
                      9. Serafina
                      10. Mama Melina’s
                      11. Café Campagne
                      12. Restaurant Zoe
                      14. Crow
                      13. Steelhead Diner
                      14. Crow
                      15. Lark
                      16. Tilth
                      17. Olivar
                      18. Dinette
                      19. Cantinetta
                      20. Il Terrazo Carmine
                      21. Andaluca
                      22. Spinasse
                      23. Cafe Juanita
                      24. Boat Street Cafe

                      Alternates:
                      Salty’s at Redondo
                      Volterra

                      We've been to:
                      Waterfront Seafood Grill
                      Canlis
                      Tilikum Place Café
                      Melrose Grill
                      Il Bistro
                      The Pink Door
                      Cutter's
                      Etta's
                      The Dahlia Lounge
                      Palace Kitchen
                      The Brooklyn

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lmcsherr
                        b
                        blue2000 RE: lmcsherr Aug 4, 2010 08:48 PM

                        This is fun! If you are trying to limit yourself, I'd take off:
                        Andaluca
                        Dinette
                        Steelhead (totally overrated, IMO)
                        Mama Melina
                        Serafina
                        Georgian Room

                        I'd add:
                        Crush

                        You have Crow on twice.

                        Have fun!!

                        -----
                        Andaluca Restaurant
                        407 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

                        1. re: lmcsherr
                          v
                          Victor Lieberman RE: lmcsherr Aug 9, 2010 06:12 PM

                          Don't be dissuaded from Steelhead Diner. Like a lot of restaurants that have been around a few years, there are heightened expectations which invariably lead to a let down. But Steelhead is exactly what it tries to be: Good food, honestly prepared and priced, delivered hot to the table and rarest of all: consistent. As I am sure you know, these places are very, very different and they don't do everything well. Like the Pink Door is mostly only ok but they used to have a pasta in brodo with brocoli which was incredible. At Etta's only eat the appetizers or the small plates and share. Il Terrazo Carmine has a terrific linquine and clams. Cafe Champagne is great to sit at the bar and drink and eat a little and hang out. Good luck.

                          -----
                          Pink Door
                          1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

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

                        2. thelastspike RE: lmcsherr Aug 8, 2010 07:08 PM

                          I can't recommend Buenos Aries Grill enough, that is, if you love good meat. Here's the website, but don't let the snobby look of it get you down. Trust me, it's not snobby at all.

                          http://www.buenosairescuisine.com/

                          Each and every time I find myself in Seattle, I invariably end up there, and am never disappointed with the Entrana skirt steak, the garlic mashed potatoes, and the braised spinach. Pair it with a nice bottle of wine, and you'll have the most wonderful Meat Sweats­™ you've ever had, I promise!

                          1. terrier RE: lmcsherr Aug 9, 2010 10:47 PM

                            A Saturday dinner at the Corson Building is a glaring omission from your original and updated lists, if it is your intention to visit all Seattle's "musts."

                            1. b
                              bighound RE: lmcsherr Aug 10, 2010 03:12 PM

                              fun topic. here is my list for 12 months of fantastic dinners.
                              LE GOURMAND
                              ROVERS
                              CAFE JUANITA
                              MATT'S IN THE MARKET
                              SITKA AND SPRUCE
                              HOW TO COOK A WOLF
                              VOLTERRA
                              IL TERRAZZO
                              CROW
                              MISTRAL KITCHEN
                              CORSON BUILDING
                              SPINASSE
                              now here is a list of great seattle meals, not necessarily dinner, that are well worth planning to visit over the course of a year. you will have great food and spend half as much money overall. all are "musts" of the non fine dining variety. you can thank me later.
                              PASEO
                              SALUMI
                              MARKET GRILL
                              MIKE'S CHILI PARLOR
                              PORTAGE BAY CAFE
                              TOLOUSE PETIT
                              LOCKSPOT
                              AGUA VERDE
                              PAIR
                              KINGFISH CAFE
                              MEDITERANEAN KITCHEN
                              TANGO

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: bighound
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                                lmcsherr RE: bighound Aug 17, 2010 02:55 PM

                                I'm really enjoying everyone's comments and revisions. :-)

                                Last week we hit a few 'old favorites': Melrose Grill and Waterfront Seafood Grill.

                                Tonight, it's Palisade.

                                I'll keep updating as we go.

                                -----
                                Waterfront Seafood Grill
                                2801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

                                1. re: lmcsherr
                                  p
                                  pusherman RE: lmcsherr Aug 20, 2010 01:18 PM

                                  In the same vein -- what about Elemental, Joule, Jax Grill, Spring Hill, or La Medusa?

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

                                  La Medusa
                                  4857 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

                                  1. re: pusherman
                                    l
                                    lmcsherr RE: pusherman Aug 31, 2010 12:28 PM

                                    Joule doesn't appeal, nor does Elemental, but La Medusa does. Jax Grill seems like a duplicate of our 'neighborhood' restaurant, Melrose Grill. Spring Hill also looks interestign.

                                    thanks!

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

                                    La Medusa
                                    4857 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

                                    Melrose Grill
                                    819 Houser Way Sd, Renton, WA 98055

                                    1. re: lmcsherr
                                      Tom Armitage RE: lmcsherr Aug 31, 2010 12:57 PM

                                      Conclusions are always more interesting when you understand the reasons behind them. So, if you don't mind my asking, what is that doesn't appeal about Joule but appeals about La Medusa? Is it the fusion thing at Joule, or the Korean inflections, or something else?

                                      1. re: Tom Armitage
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                                        lmcsherr RE: Tom Armitage Sep 15, 2010 10:11 AM

                                        Hi Tom,

                                        Good question (sorry for the delay -- I thougt this topic had died). The fusion thing is usually a turnoff for me -- fusion frequently equaling CONfusion. Also, the asian flavors have often been unpleasant. In general I prefer the European flavors/textures/combinations to Asian.

                                        1. re: lmcsherr
                                          Tom Armitage RE: lmcsherr Sep 15, 2010 11:41 AM

                                          Thanks. That's very helpful in understanding your post.

                              2. l
                                lmcsherr RE: lmcsherr Mar 28, 2011 01:32 PM

                                UPDATED List

                                We've crossed a few places off of our list, reviews posted to the board.

                                1. Chez Shez -- done
                                2. Rover’s
                                3. Mistral Kitchen
                                4. Georgian Room -- reservations coming
                                5. Kingfish Café
                                6. Matt’s in the Market -- done
                                7. Copperleaf -- done
                                8. Harvest Vine
                                9. Serafina -- done
                                10. Mama Melina’s -- removed from the list
                                11. Café Campagne
                                12. Restaurant Zoe
                                13. Steelhead Diner
                                14. Crow
                                15. Lark
                                16. Tilth
                                17. Olivar
                                18. Dinette
                                19. Cantinetta
                                20. Il Terrazo Carmine
                                21. Andaluca
                                22. Spinasse
                                23. Cafe Juanita
                                24. Boat Street Cafe

                                Alternates:
                                Salty’s at Redondo -- removed from list
                                Volterra

                                We've been to:
                                Waterfront Seafood Grill
                                Canlis
                                Tilikum Place Café
                                Melrose Grill
                                Il Bistro
                                The Pink Door
                                Cutter's
                                Etta's
                                The Dahlia Lounge
                                Palace Kitchen
                                The Brooklyn

                                The year is running out -- we might not get to everythign!

                                -----
                                Canlis Restaurant
                                2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                                Palace Kitchen
                                2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                                Harvest Vine
                                2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

                                Pink Door
                                1919 Post Aly, Seattle, WA 98101

                                Restaurant Zoe
                                2137 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

                                Cafe Juanita
                                9702 NE 120th Place, Kirkland, WA 98034-4206

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

                                Waterfront Seafood Grill
                                2801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

                                Spinasse
                                Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                                Olivar
                                806 E Roy St, Seattle, WA 98102

                                Il Bistro
                                93A Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101

                                Andaluca Restaurant
                                407 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

                                Boat Street Cafe
                                909 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA

                                Campagne
                                86 Pine, Seattle, WA 98101

                                Volterra
                                5411 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107

                                Dahlia Lounge
                                2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                                Melrose Grill
                                819 Houser Way Sd, Renton, WA 98055

                                Mistral Kitchen
                                2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

                                Copperleaf Restaurant
                                18525 36th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98188

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: lmcsherr
                                  t
                                  Thiebaud RE: lmcsherr Apr 8, 2011 09:12 PM

                                  How fun!

                                  I'd remove Crow -- just went there and it wasn't good at all.

                                  I'd add Art of the Table, Book Bindery, and maybe Sutra.

                                  About Matt's in the Market -- "Matt" has left and started Lecosho. I've heard that Matt's in the Market has since gone downhill, although I haven't checked it out myself.

                                  Cheers!

                                  1. re: Thiebaud
                                    m
                                    mrnelso RE: Thiebaud Apr 9, 2011 03:08 AM

                                    Art of the table is a treat. Try Happy Monday.
                                    Paseo is completely necessary, but do plan to take it home for re-plating (be ready to use lots of dishes). It's just a crime to present this wonder in Styrofoam in a fractious room with bad tables.
                                    Bizarro is worth a look, but varies. We've had perfectly wonderful experiences there, but see that your mileage may vary, as has ours.
                                    Perche No (why not?) is lovely. You'll see things on this menu you never knew existed.
                                    If a sandwichy thing works, see Baguette Box, in Fremont or downtown. Another great sandwich is the Reuben at George's deli, on pill hill - be ready for the full Bavarian experience.
                                    If divey works. have fish & chps at Pacific Inn, on Stone Way (or maybe Stone Avenue), and their grilled Reuben.

                                    The proprietors are ASIAN

                                    -----
                                    Baguette Box
                                    1203 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

                                    1. re: Thiebaud
                                      l
                                      lmcsherr RE: Thiebaud Apr 9, 2011 11:07 AM

                                      Yeah, we didn't much care for Matt's when we went -- Chez Shea was far better.

                                      I'm adding your recs to our 2011 considerations. :-)

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

                                      1. re: lmcsherr
                                        t
                                        Thiebaud RE: lmcsherr Apr 9, 2011 01:12 PM

                                        :-)

                                        Another thing: The chef that made Harvest Vine so great has left, and I have no idea what it's like now. Anyone been there lately?

                                        Lecosho was excellent when I went there, by the way. The best pork dish that I've had in Seattle (you can't go wrong when the name of the restaurant means "pig"). I had the pork chop because I didn't think I could handle the richness of the porchetta.

                                        1. re: Thiebaud
                                          Tom Armitage RE: Thiebaud Apr 10, 2011 02:36 PM

                                          Is the food still good at Harvest Vine? Yes. Is it as good as when Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez was there? For most dishes yes, for a few others, perhaps not quite. But the difference isn’t dramatic, probably because Jiménez de Jiménez’s right-hand man for many years, Joey Serquina, continues to supervise the kitchen, and he carried a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities even when Jiménez de Jiménez was around. On recent visits, some Harvest Vine classics weren’t available, like the fabulous Galican-style octopus (“pulpo a feira”). The explanation was they didn’t have the freezer space to handle the large volume of octopus required for a purchase from their supplier in Spain. However, I recently saw a picture on Fickr of octopus that appeared to have been served last February, and I verified with the restaurant today that the pulpo a fiera is back on the menu. Hooray! I also like the Saturday and Sunday brunch at Harvest Vine. It’s quite a wonderful and delicious departure from most brunches around Seattle.

                                          1. re: Tom Armitage
                                            t
                                            Thiebaud RE: Tom Armitage May 23, 2011 11:14 PM

                                            Thanks! (Sorry this reply is so belated.)

                                      2. re: Thiebaud
                                        c
                                        calmossimo RE: Thiebaud Apr 10, 2011 02:40 PM

                                        I really enjoyed the butter sage pasta at Spinasse. I was at Olivar for New Year's Eve this past December and had the special prix fixe menu -- everything was well done, except I should have balanced out the heavy/fatty and lighter fare because I ended up switching a few plates with my dining partner to counter the heaviness of all the foie gras and butter in my dishes.

                                        1. re: calmossimo
                                          Tom Armitage RE: calmossimo Apr 10, 2011 03:24 PM

                                          Ahhh, Spinasse. I had the great good fortune of eating there twice in one week recently. The butter-sage pasta (“tajarin al burro e salvia”) is a classic and always ethereally good. I have it on almost every visit. My last meal also included the wonderful “Pio Tosini” prosciutto di Parma, the poached egg with fonduta and black truffles, a wild watercress salad, chicken with “negroni” flavors, and exquisite baby turnips. It was an absolute home run from start to finish, with wonderful service to add to the great experience.

                                          1. re: Tom Armitage
                                            t
                                            Thiebaud RE: Tom Armitage Apr 10, 2011 04:15 PM

                                            Ooh, I love Spinasse, too. I always get the butter-sage pasta along with other pastas. It's great that they have appetizer-size portions so you can order more than one.

                                            Also, just went to Sitka & Spruce last night -- I think that this is a must for any list. The food was incredible and really blew me out of the water!

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