Seattle: Need help prioritising (Asian, fish/chips and PNWesque restaurants)
Hi 'hounds -
Just posted a question re: Tacoma restaurants but would love input on a few Seattle opportunities, too.
We will be in Tacoma for around 10 days before Xmas, coming from Brussels with 18-month-old son in tow. I'm hoping to escape the suburbs for one or two day trips to Seattle, and to that end, am jonesing for (a) Asian, (b) fish and chips, and (c) a knock-me-flat FANTASTIC regionally inflected/utmost respect for ingredients/creativity in the kitchen/you get the picture meal.
The last one, realistically, would have to be sans enfant, but any insight into the kid-tolerance of the other places would be fantastic (high chair available? not likely to horrify with the occasional squawk?).
Oh, and Dungeness crab. I haven't had it in decades and I WANT SOME.
My list below is culled from reading through a bunch of recent posts, so thanks to all who inspired it (Tom Armitage, this means you.) :o) Any rankings, not-to-miss dishes or alternative suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
FISH AND CHIPS
Pike Street Fish Fry – fish and chips
Jack’s Fish Spot – Dungeness crab
How to Cook a Wolf
Spinasse (I know, it's Italian, but holy cr*p, the menu sounds good. On the other hand, we're closer to Florence and Rome than we are to Seattle...)
Sitka & Spruce
Matt’s in the Market
Thank you in advance!
1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
Pike Street Fish Fry
925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122
Sitka & Spruce
2238 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
2234 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA
Uptown China Restaurant
200 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Hey Kelly, congratulations on doing your homework and compiling a good list. For Vietnamese, Long Provincial and Tamarind Tree are under common ownership and share some, but not all, of the same dishes on their menus. Both are good, but I would steer you towards Long for many of the reasons set forth in Jonathan Kauffman’s Seattle Weekly review (http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-05-20/food/long-provincial-vietnamese-elevates-the-tamarind-tree-s-legacy/) If you want very traditional, non-Americanized Vietnamese cuisine, try Huong Binh. Monsoon has two locations, one in Seattle and one in Bellevue, and both serve a modern fusion-ish version of Vietnamese cuisine. Of the two, I’d suggest Monsoon East in Bellevue where Chef Zhu, who has worked in some pretty wonderful kitchens, including Alinea in Chicago, is producing some very good and interesting stuff. And, speaking of Asian fusion, the Korean-inflected cuisine at Joule is way up there on the current list of my top five favorite Seattle restaurants. For Sichuan, I’d suggest either Bamboo Garden in Bellevue or Szechwan 99 in Lynnwood over Seven Stars. Lots of folks like Uptown China – I’m sure that’s why it’s on your list – but I don’t have any personal knowledge to share, so I’ll leave that to others.
The opinions on fish & chips are as diverse and varied as are the opinions on burgers. Here’s a thread with 28 posts that you can consult. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/684115?tag=search_results;results_list Do you like your fish battered or breaded? I like mine lightly battered (think tempura), but it’s a matter of personal preference. One of the standard local faves is Pacific Inn (breaded), but I personally find the f&c there too heavily herbed and often too greasy. As you’ll see in the thread linked above, Nordstrom’s gets a fair amount of applause for its f&c. Both Pike Street Fish Fry and Sun Fish on Alki get mentioned a lot, although PSFF has been dinged for inconsistency. Another place that winds up on a lot of lists is Chinook’s, which has the advantage, along with Sun Fish, of a great location.
Lots of places serve Dungeness crab, but Jack’s is a perfectly good choice. If you want to combine Asian and Dungeness crab, Sea Garden does a nice job with crab in a black bean sauce, as equinoise has previously pointed out.
Regarding your list for “Regional/Gastro-Bistro,” I’m on record as thinking that Spinasse is in a class by itself, although, as you noted, it’s not “Northwest cusine,” if there is such a thing (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1140...) – but it’s so dang good, who cares. For more emphasis on local Northwest fare, Crush, Lark, Tilth, The Corson Building, and Spring Hill are all good bets. You can surf around on Chowhound and elsewhere to get opinions on these places. The Corson Building provides a unique experience with its Saturday evening dinners and twice-monthly Sunday dinners (a paired down version of the 9 to 12- course Saturday dinner) with shared communal tables and food served family style. On Thursday and Friday evenings, CB offers a la carte dining.
BTW, my son just married a wonderful woman from Belgium (Overpelt) and is interviewing for jobs in both Belgium and the Netherlands. I love Belgium and Belgian food. Maybe I’ll soon have an excuse to spend more time there.
re: Tom Armitage
Long was disappointing, IMO. I loved Green Leaf a thousand times more, and i didn't get the feeling i was sitting in some kitschy bar with a "fusion-y" happy hour menu (accompanied by lackluster service).
For instance, the escargot/pork rolls wrapped around sugarcane appetizers were better priced and of much higher quality at Green Leaf. I was kind of flabbergasted by how awful they were at Long.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/green-leaf-vi... I think this kind of gives you some insight into Green Leaf's reputation.