Staple and Fancy question -- and more
I'm going to be visiting Seattle from NY with my husband and 12-year-old son in a couple of weeks. (We've never been there before.) I've been reading the board here, and have booked a dinner at Staple and Fancy, which sounds like a blast. But a question: Is it possible to customize the chef's dinner at all? We are all food lovers, but I don't eat mammals and my son doesn't like much fish (though I am ever hopeful he will start liking it, and maybe this will be the trip!). It would be fine to get a little of both of those--we just wouldn't eat them--but it would be bad if everything were porky or fishy or whatever. Has anybody had experience with this kind of thing?
Also: our reservation is for 6 p.m. I am guessing that since the restaurant is in Ballard, it's near the Ballard Locks. Is that a fun trip? Would it make sense to get to the Ballard Locks at around 4:30, look around, then go to the restaurant?
Just tell the waiter what you'd like to avoid and they'll work with you. I did the same when I was there. May be a bit more difficult given that the two requests are protein. They may be able to work with you, though.
The locks are a good time. It is a ways down from Staple and Fancy, so maybe a full 2 hours so that you have a chance to take a bit more of a leisurely stroll down Ballard Ave (lots of shops/restaurants). Staple and Fancy is nearly all the way down Ballard Ave.
I would really ask the restaurant this question before you go. Although the tasting menu did included many vegetable plates the highlights of the meal defiantly included either mammals or fish.
Just perusing the online menu every pasta has one of the two. I think you would have a better and probably cheaper time ordering for yourselves.
That being said if they can satisfy your requests the tasting menu is well worth it.
They'll ask you if there's anything you won't eat when you order the fancy menu. I don't think the dueling objections will be a big deal - you'll probably get two secondi, so it's not the end of the world if somebody only wants to eat one of them. Overall, avoiding sea creatures at Staple & Fancy seems like it would be a lot tougher than avoiding land animals.
As for the locks, it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk there (or 5 minutes to drive) from the restaurant and you'll want to stay for at least half an hour to an hour. Add extra time if you want to get gelato at D'Ambrosio along the way.
When I went, my wife and I ordered with no seafood, and it was great, no problem at all. But, we split the pasta and secondi...ordering with no land or sea animal might be a problem, as you woudn't necessarily get to separate dishes for each course. Might be worth calling to ask, my suspicion is they wouldn't mind throwing together some kind of vegetarian option for you.
I think you would be wasing your time and money going to that place if you put such restrictions on your diets. it is a chef driven menu and I feel like you would be dissapointed with any dish that needs to be augmented.
Thanks for the encouragement, chowhounds. We ate at Staple and Fancy last week, and it was amazing. One of the best restaurant experiences of my life! At each course, they served a selection of items that satisfied (and thrilled) all of us. Our special requests weren't a problem (we were a little flexible too). Everything was wonderful, but what I'm craving this moment is the little cup of tomato soup that was part of the appetizer course.