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Foodie spending 4 nights in Seattle- What do you think?

I will be spending 4 night sin Seattle this week. What do you think about these restaurants?
Etta's
Spinasse
Monsoon
Staple and Fancy? (don't have a reservation here yet thought I might try to sit at the bar)
Any other suggestions?
Thanks!

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Spinasse
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

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  1. I'm a Bostonian who gets out to Seattle a couple of times a year (in fact heading out next week), so my sample is still small. I went to Etta's last time out and had a delicious meal. Sampled Sturgeon for the first time and found it very flavorful with a great meaty but tender texture. Sorry I don't remember the other items. I shared with my DC a nice selection of Oysters to start. Overall a very good experience.

    1. These are all well-regarded places, especially Spinasse and the recent and very hot Staple & Fancy. For both, reservations are really highly recommended, though I'm not sure about the bar at S&F.

      I'm personally not a big seafood eater, so if I am choosing a Tom Douglas place, I'd go with the outstanding Serious Pie or Palace Kitchen, but that's really just personal taste.

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      Palace Kitchen
      2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

      Spinasse
      Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

      Serious Pie
      316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

      1 Reply
      1. re: pusherman

        I like Serious Pie too, but would highly recommend the happy hour where you get the greatest bang for your buck.

        Another Tom Douglas restaurant to try is Lola's for breakfast (get theTom's Big B'fast if you like octopus).

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        Serious Pie
        316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

      2. I owe this board a review of Staple and Fancy and I swear it's coming. I highly recommend it. Call them rather than booking on Open Table. Much more flexible than it seems. The "fancy menu" is great.

        1. Spinasse and Monsoon are standouts on that list. Etta's isn't quite in the same league IMO, and I personally have not been wowed by Staple the two times I've tried it (although I am apparently in the minority).

          Personally, I might ditch Etta's and Staple and go with Serious Pie and maybe Quinn's Pub (or Anchovies & Olives) instead... or maybe Cafe Juanita if you don't mind a trip out to the Eastside?!?

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          Quinn's Pub
          1001 E Pike St, Seattle, WA

          Cafe Juanita
          Kirkland, WA, Kirkland, WA

          Spinasse
          Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

          Serious Pie
          316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

          Anchovies & Olives
          1550 15th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

          1. We've been to Etta's twice and so far not impressed. Our fave Douglas spot is Dahlia Lounge, Serious Pie comes in a close second. Spinasse is wonderful.

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            Spinasse
            Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

            Serious Pie
            316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

            Dahlia Lounge
            2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

            1. I would suggest calling Staple and Fancy regardless of where you want to sit. Wait time for anything besides standing by the door with a glass of wine is usually about 1.5 hours on a Friday/Saturday night.

              Definitely keep Spinasse on your list, and I would agree that Etta's might be out if its league with your other choices. Quinn's Pub and Palace Kitchen are also in a lower league, but unlike Etta's they will provide a unique and memorable experience you won't get elsewhere.

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              Palace Kitchen
              2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

              Quinn's Pub
              1001 E Pike St, Seattle, WA

              Spinasse
              Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mike CP

                We had reservations at S&F (loved it!) which I'd made through Open Table. Had to change and was able to with only 24 hours notice. But, yes, I'd definitely call. It's a popular and fun and good food place.

              2. OMG Bisato (on 1st Avenue in Belltown) should be on any short list of a foodie visit to Seattle. Scott Carsberg is a genius. One of the very best chefs in America. I'd go there long before I'd go to one of Tom Douglas' chain of tourist-dining restaurants.

                1. Get a reservation for S&F! The bar is small and seats are often full. Ethan Stowell lives in Ballard and you are more likely to find him at S&F nowadays than his other restaurants. Same great cooking that made Union, How to Cook a Wolf and Anchovies and Olives great. Also a great space in the front of the renovated historic Kolstrand building at the bottom of Ballard Ave.

                  If you are willing to go to Ballard for S&F (Ballard is only about 6-7 miles from the heart of downtown; typically about a 15 minute drive) you may also want to consider The Walrus and the Carpenter, directly behind Staple and Fancy. GQ's Alan Richman has named W&tC as one of his top 10 restaurant openings. The chef is Renee Erickson of Boathouse Cafe. The restaurant is small and luminous -- a zinc oyster bar and handful of tables. I also love bartender Anna Wallace and her classic cocktails.

                  Absolutely you should check out Spinasse if you love beautiful Italian handmade pasta. Chef Jason Stratton is a Food and Wine Best New Chef of 2010.

                  Unless you really want to go to a Tom Douglas restaurant I would pass on Etta's. Nothing wrong with it specifically but I think there are more exciting places to try for a similar price tag.

                  Instead if you want to stay downtown and near the waterfront try Lecosho on the Harbor Steps by the original owner of Matt's in the Market.

                  I have also recently really enjoyed Le Bete just over Rt. 5 off of Denny. Top chefs with Spanish influenced cuisine.

                  In north Queen Anne/Fremont perhaps one of our most promising new chefs, Shaun McCrain, has been gettting great reviews for his nuanced and polished cuisine at the Bookbindery (attached to Almquist Family Vintners).

                  Hope that helps
                  -K

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                  Spinasse
                  Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

                  1. Take a look at The Book Bindery, Il Terazzo Carmine, and Le Gourmand.

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                    Book Bindery
                    198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Alot of this depends where you are coming from and the cuisine you want. Regardless, I recommend Sitka and Spruce or Corson Building, certainly over Etta's, which I would delete. I think it would be a shame not to spend 1 of 4 nights at one of Matt Dillon's places.

                      Spinasse is great, and so is Carmine, but they are very different takes on Italian, either of which may be widely available where you live. For a tasting menu, I am a big Crush promoter, and I think Mistral Kitchen has promise. I am not a fan of Le Gourmand. For French cuisine in that price range I much prefer Rover's.

                      Have not tried Book Bindery, Walrus and Carpenter or Staple and Fancy, but have heard very positive things. I loved Stowell's Union (now closed); Anchovies and Olives, I merely like.

                      For lunch, I think sampling Vietnamese (Huong Binh, Pho Bac), E. African (Meskel, Dahlak) and sandwiches at Paseo or Salumi is in order. Monsoon is evolved Vietnamese, and is quite good, esp. the Bellevue branch; I don't think you miss out on much at Lunch vs. dinner there. Check the board for other recs.

                    2. We were in Seattle last week for just 48 hours - so admittedly I'm no local expert. I fell in love with crab cakes at Etta's. Not only are the cakes tasty they are served on a beautiful bed on vegies. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to order crab cakes anywhere else for a long time. I'll just treasure my memories of these wondeful morsels. Would highly reccomend including stopping by Etta's while in Pike Place Market.

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                      Pike Place Market
                      1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101