Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >
Feb 25, 2011 10:10 AM

LA visitor in Seattle for Birthday dinner and more

Hi! I am not familiar with Seattle (i've only been to Pikes Mkt) but I do know you guys have great restaurants. Living in LA, I am set with Mexican & Korean food, even Japanese food, so I am not looking for those those suggestions unless there is a must try Japanese restaurant. I will be in Seattle for my birthday so I would love a special restaurant, something along the lines of AOC or the like in LA. We eat fish only, so fish & vegetarian options are good. We love Sardinian food, which we can't get here so if you have a Sardinian restaurant, please let me know. Also, while i do love great italian food, gluten free pasta options are a plus although not necessary. Also, I'm planning a day trip to Whidbey Island. Can you help me find a place there to have lunch or dinner? doesn't have to be fancy, just delicious! Also, I have no idea where we are staying, but we'll have a car.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The closest to Sardinian would probably be La Medusa - Sicilian - in Columbia City.

    As far as 'something like AOC'- if you're committed to the small plate format, then Lark has a similar format to AOC and is excellent food.

    I would also recommend Poppy- Indian-inflected northwestern done beautifully, and a fairly unique restaraunt.


    La Medusa
    4857 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

    1 Reply
    1. re: AndrewS

      i am not committed to AOC small plates but that was the most recent birthday dinner I remember having! Just booked a hotel downtown, but will have a car. I will put Lark & Poppy on my list!

    2. Since you eat fish only and mentioned AOC, I would look at Anchovies and Olives.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lauren

        thanks! i wrote that down from another thread and will investigate. another thing, i guess i am looking for something 'totally seattle' if that makes sense.

        1. re: Clyde

          Sitka and Spruce is my kind of "totally seattle," and it can well accomodate vegetable/fish eaters. I also think that Sitka's liberal use of meditterranean/middle east flavors coupled with seasonal farm-to-table ingredients reminds me of alot of Suzanne Goin's stuff, although not as complex and French in preperation/construction (never been to AOC but once to Lucques and we cook from her book alot).

          Anchovies and Olives I find is more Italian at heart, and although I am not as high on it as others, it is just fine--something about just doesn't strike me as a "special" occasion place. The late night oyster deal is great fun.

          I was also recently impressed with La Bete, which is more complex than Sitka and Anchovies, and the plates are small or moderate in size. Crush is one of my overall favorites. La Medusa is very good as well.

          La Medusa
          4857 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118

          1. re: equinoise

            thanks! farm to table is excellent!

      2. Bisato is downtown, small plate format, excellent food, and has a lot of pescetarian options. The night I dined there (it was a Saturday) they had 5 or six off menu specials, in addition to the menu they have online.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Brunhilde

          that looks PERFECT! is it bad that i love that the site says, 'no minors'? :)

          1. re: Clyde

            OK i cross referenced with yelp (bad habit of mine) and turns out many people are leaving still hungry! i'll keep it under consideration though.

            1. re: Clyde

              Re: Yelp and the "still hungry" thing. I feel as though a lot of Seattle Yelpers think that more money should mean more food, not necessarily higher quality. Bisato doesn't pretend to be anything but a small plates place. The lamb chops at $5 a piece are, well, as big as lamb chops! Lamb chops are not big pieces of meat. But, I can say that it was the best damn lamb chop I've ever had. My partner and I shared (and I'm referencing an earlier post of mine)

              *crudo of hamachi, escolar, and yellowfin tuna
              *blini of red beet with gravlax salmon and crème fraîche
              *(2) seared lamb chops with whipped potato
              *truffled pasta sheet with truffle butter and cheese sauce (blanking on the name of the cheese, it was one of the specials so it's not on their web site)
              *foie gras stuffed fig with duck bacon and cranberry gelée
              *lemon tart with strawberry sauce

              We also started out with a cocktail, shared a bottle of wine, and finished with a glass of prosecco each. There was no way I could have eaten another bite.

              If you're a "big appetite" type of person, I can see how it might not be the best place, but the food was so rich and so delicious, I found myself eating much more than I normally would have. Plus, we would order two dishes at a time and then discuss what we felt like eating next, then order more.

              In contrast, I took him to Spinasse last night and we ordered four dishes, and we came home with leftovers, for a little over half of what we spent at Bisato. Spinasse was phenomenal, and my partner being a big fan of regional Italian cuisine, he was in heaven. Between the two of them, I would rather go back to Bisato. He would pick Spinasse. Good thing we already have Mistral Kitchen picked as our next month's fancy night dinner :)

              In the farm to table vein, we both enjoyed our meal at Tilth, but would rank it slightly lower than the above two that I mentioned.

              Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

              Mistral Kitchen
              2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121