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Anniversary Weekend - Thoughts and Advice on Itinerary

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We are traveling to Seattle for our 5th Anniversary (sans kids). I have reviewed all of the pearls of advice on the Greater Seattle Board - and appreciate the insights and dialogue to date. The below is a tentative itinerary for the three day weekend (Anniversary is Thursday Night in late Sep). The decisions were reached after reading forum and seeking online menus.

I thought I might solicit some advice for the two dinner comparisons (it was not so easy to narrow to two - and pick one!) - and I am open to any additional thoughts or recommendations!

Thursday (Anniversary) Dinner: Canlis vs. Chez Shea

Friday Breakfast (bakery): Café Besalu
Friday Espresso: Vivace

Friday Lunch: Rovers vs. Café Campagne

Friday Dinner: Spinasse vs. Corson Building

Saturday Lunch: Serious Pie

Thanks!

Christopher.

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Canlis Restaurant
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Chez Shea
94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

Spinasse
Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

Serious Pie
316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101

Campagne
86 Pine, Seattle, WA 98101

The Corson Building
5609 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

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  1. OK. Insomnia turned to deeper exploration and now I am second guessing myself... Too many gastronomical choices!

    1. Book Bindery vs. Canlis vs. Chez Shea? Still leaning Canlis (Anniversary Dinner)
    2. Staple and Fancy vs. Corson Building vs. Spinasse? Now leaning S & F.
    3. Lunch: Rovers vs. Campagne. Still leaning Rovers.

    Any thoughts? Advice? Alternatives?

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    Canlis Restaurant
    2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

    Chez Shea
    94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

    Spinasse
    Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

    Campagne
    86 Pine, Seattle, WA 98101

    Book Bindery
    198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

    The Corson Building
    5609 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

    2 Replies
    1. re: hrthelr

      My girlfriend and I went to Book Bindery back in July. We LOVED it. Definitely somewhere worthy of an anniversary dinner. Go for a walk along the lake afterward.

      S&F was very good too. Definitely get the "fancy" menu rather than ordering a la carte.

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      Book Bindery
      198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

      1. re: Rich D.

        Thanks Rich! Great suggestion for a post-dinner stroll. Definitely planning on Fancy menu!

    2. I would do
      1) book bindery, because I haven't been, Canlis is nice but very old school atmosphere and super $$$$, Chez Shea IMO is overhyped here

      2) probably S&F, Corson building is communal, you may or may not be into that - I love Matt Dillon's food but would only do Corson on a non-communal night myself, Spinasse is amazing pasta but still just pasta

      3) if you haven't had enough fancy, then Rover's. Rovers and Campagne are very different, both will have good food but CC will be more rustic & bustling. Rovers will be more of a dining experience.

      Definitly go to Besalu, eat as much as you can, then walk it off so you have room for a late lunch.

      4 Replies
      1. re: babette feasts

        Thanks for your insight, Babette. I have seen +/- reviews on Canlis - and only excellent reviews on BB - so you helped me push me in the right direction! After viewing the lunch menu, I am really looking forward to Rovers - and now I have more confidence in making the best decision. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the day to come!

        1. re: hrthelr

          I have not been to the Book Bindery but have only heard great things. I love Canlis but completely agree that it is old school and astronomically expensive. If I am ever old and rich I intend to eat there once a week. Staple and Fancy is excellent - creative, unbelievably fresh and local so I would definitely do that. Also think you are very wise to go with Rover's - I like Campagne but do not think it is even in the same league with Rover's. You really did your homework well!

          1. re: bourbongal

            Thanks bourbongal! Very excited about Rovers. Don't mind a splurge on Anniversary - just want best bet for a memorable evening! Intrigued by Canlis. Maybe next time. Thanks again!

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            Canlis Restaurant
            2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

            1. re: bourbongal

              Spinasse is way more than pasta. They do a fine jjob with meat, and verdure.(Check out the menu) I wouldn't miss it!
              I have not been to Canlis in 10 years...but intend to go soon based on what very smart foodies in town say recently. "Every dish is just perfect...with the freshest raw ingredients possible. It is expensive.

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              Canlis Restaurant
              2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

              Spinasse
              Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

        2. If money is at all an issue, I would agree with Book Bindery over Canlis. If not, I would look at the tasting menu for Canlis at the time of your visit and judge. The a la carte menu at Canlis will seem dated by comparison to BB, though I think you can trust that every item will be well-done. Have never been to Chez Shea.

          I don't know about the lunch menu at Rover's but I can say my last brunch at Cafe Campagne was pedestrian and my last dinner at Rover's was very good.

          Spinasse vs. Corson is a tough call. Personally, I have been high on Dillon's food lately, and I consider it my best answer to the common "quintessential Seattle" question. I think it is, on balance, more intesting than Stowell's food (he of S&F which I have not visited yet to be fair). If you don't like the communal dinner thing, just go to Sitka and Spruce and order generously. I often tell vistors from areas where regional Italian food is exceptional that Spinasse has a limited menu and that it may not a revelation from that perspective. But it is one of Seattle's best restaurants now, and, as others noted here, the non-pasta items are more than worthwhile.

          Serious Pie--Maybe if you can't get really good pizza at home. I'd rather go for raw oysters, or crab, simply steamed, or prepared in an asian style. (Eliott's, Sea Garden, Malay Satay Hut, Walrus and Carpenter and Blueacre come to mind).

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          Canlis Restaurant
          2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

          Malay Satay Hut
          212 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA

          Cafe Campagne
          1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101

          Chez Shea
          94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

          Spinasse
          Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

          Sea Garden
          509 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

          Book Bindery
          198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109