Chef + pescatarian = ?
My brother and sister-in-law are visiting in a couple weeks. He is a chef and she eats seafood but not meat. They live in a small Midwestern town with only chain restaurants and don't get to many restaurants in other cities; if they do, they are in Chicago. I would like to get them some very delicious food during their trip that is unavailable to them at home (either because of quality or genre) but that is not expensive.
Crabs and oysters we will do at home.
I will take them to one local-organic-seasonal place because that seems to be a category of its own here, especially something that serves family style, which is not a vibe they can get where they are—well, they can at home ... or at Olive Garden. Maybe some ramen in the ID because it's fun with our 2-year-old, and ... then I draw blanks. I just moved here and wonder if there is an entire ethnic cuisine I don't even know about that is worth hunting down (Hawaiian? etc). Or something that is just a totally different feel from a quality restaurant in Chicago.
What else can you think of?
How about Ethiopian? I don't know if there are many East African restaurants in Chicago but we have some fab Ehiopian food in Seattle. My husband and I usually get the vegetarian sampler. And we love the community eating aspect of the cuisine. Definitely fun for a group. We go to Habesha the most since its closest. However my Ethiopian friends recommend one on Cherry St (I think it's Meskel but I could be wrong and there are many in that area)
Also South Indian at Spice Route or Mayuri (both in Bellevue). Lots of vegetarian options. Malay Satay Hut for Malaysian cuisine is another possibility. They do have a few vegetarian and fish options. There's one location in ID and one in Bellevue.
Malay Satay Hut
212 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA
2241 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007
Poppy. You're not going to find this Indian-inspired PNW cuisine anywhere else, and they have lots of seafood and veg options (I'm not much of a meat eater besides seafood and there is always a lot for me). They do local/seasonal--I just had sturgeon for the first time there! Also, you can share, or not. The whole thali concept is really fun--lot of little dishes on one big plate. I am rarely wowed by desserts but their dessert thali is fantastic. The chef might be especially interested in Poppy because Jerry Traunfeld is the chef/owner here.
Olivar would be another good pick. Again, you can share plates, or not (most people do but I hate sharing so I do a small plate for an app and then an entree). I don't think they'll find this at home, either--A chef from the Loire Valley doing his take on Spanish food. There are always good seafood choices here.
806 E Roy St, Seattle, WA 98102
When I went to Poppy, I actually wished I'd ordered the vegetarian thali rather than the meat one. Tip: get the smaller thali and order more appetizers. Strategic ordering of 7-item thalis can lead to a bigger variety of dishes than just getting the large thalis for everyone.
Nettletown isn't terribly fancy, but they do good work with very local ingredients - "found and foraged" is the theme - and you could probably make it work as a family style meal even though it's geared toward traditional entrees.
Din Tai Fung in Bellevue for amazing dumplings. (Nothing like it in Chicago.) You might want to consider the happy hour at Toulouse Petit as there is something for everyone on the menu. Serious Pie offers a type of pizza generally not found in the Windy City; it might be nice for them to experience. Off the beaten path is White Center Pho--worth seeking out even with an abundance of Pho places. Fish & Chips at Emmet Watson's in the Pike Place Market offers a classic Seattle experience.
Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101
Flying FIsh for seafood done in particularly NW ways. In addition to S&F, Corson Building has great local, seasonal served family style. reservations required. other good local, seasonal type places--Tilth, Mistral Kitchen, Sitka&Spruce (have not been to new location). Pho at Pho Cyclo or Pho Bac. Vietnamese at Tamarind Tree or Green Leaf.
1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
2414 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121
Salumi for lunch will pop for them. Pay no attention, for this instance to (albeit excellent) advice for skipping the line. Instead, lead them, boldly, into conversation with other lunch-line-waiters. Meet Seattle. Paseo, in Fremont, bring some Caribbean. Go nuts and take them to Blake island...
309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104