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Special dinner for two

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My father is in town next week and we'll be going out to celebrate my late-twenties birthday. Here are the possible locations I've come up with:

Crush
Book Bindery
Canlis
Mistral Kitchen
Anchovies & Olives

Ideal menu: some oysters, maybe a hamachi crudo, and then finish with either a pasta or rabbit/lamb/quail. Perhaps a cheese plate or meat appetizer. Don't care too much about dessert and father cares even less. I'd love to wear something nice and not look overdressed, but I also have a nose piercing and a fairly big tattoo on my arm and am worried that I'd be out of place at Canlis.

Ideas? Thanks in advance!

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Canlis Restaurant
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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

Mistral Kitchen
2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

Book Bindery
198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

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  1. Haven't been to Crush, Book Bindery, or Canlis, but I can comment on the other two. First, I would not recommend Mistral Kitchen. I went there a couple of weeks ago, and it doesn't look at all like it seems on the Web site, Worse, the service was terrible and the food merely okay. Not a celebratory place in any way. Anchovies and Olives is a fairly casual setting, too, but the food is far better. The menu definitely features the oysters, crudo, and pasta you want, but you should be aware that the menu is completely focused on seafood; I noticed that there wasn't a single meat entree listed.

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    Canlis Restaurant
    2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

    Mistral Kitchen
    2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

    Book Bindery
    198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

    3 Replies
    1. re: amydeastbay

      I have been to Crush, Book Bindery and Canlis. Canlis is probably the most conservative and most of the people are usually there for special occasions. You might get some second looks from the other diners. That said, they probably have everything (or close to it) you want on the menu, but it is also the priciest. Book bindery doesn't seem too have as many of the food choices that you want. Crush's current online menu does seem to meet most of your needs and would probably be more comfortable than Canlis if you are concerned about being stared at. I've seen everything from dressy to super casual dress there.

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      Canlis Restaurant
      2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

      Book Bindery
      198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

      1. re: FoodDee

        Thanks! In general, do you feel like Canlis has the same quality of food as the other places? I know you are paying extra for the fancy & formal experience, but I had a friend tell me that they thought the food was just average.

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        Canlis Restaurant
        2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

      2. re: amydeastbay

        Thank you! I have heard those exact things about Mistral Kitchen from several others as well so will stay away.

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        Mistral Kitchen
        2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

      3. I don't think anyone cares about your piercing and tattoo. This is Seattle. Lots of people have piercings and tattoos.

        1. I've been to all of the places on your list, although it's been a while for a couple of them. Here are my thoughts:
          I feel the food at Crush is not as simple as I like it. There are always one or two ingredients I would have preferred left off the dish. I also think of them for more hearty fare as opposed to crudos and the like.
          Book Bindery is fabulous and you should be able to achieve everything there.
          I like the tasting menu at Canlis but the regular menu seems a bit dated to me. Since you're not looking for a tasting menu experience - I'd skip it this time. Your piercing and tattoo won't cause you any problems at Canlis or any place else in Seattle.
          I enjoyed my meals at Mistral Kitchen but I've been hearing that they've gone downhill so ymmv.
          Anchovies & Olives is definitely seafood oriented. You'll have the best oysters and crudo here but you might not find the mains you are looking for.

          -----
          Canlis Restaurant
          2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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

          Mistral Kitchen
          2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

          Book Bindery
          198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lauren

            Thank you! I am leaning now towards Book Bindery. How long ago were you at MK? It was originally my first choice but I am hearing lots of negative reviews of it lately.

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            Book Bindery
            198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

            1. re: fudzivara

              It's been over a year since I was there for dinner. I think you'll enjoy Book Bindery.

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              Book Bindery
              198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

          2. Hello fudzivara,

            This may be too late. Given your list of restaurants and desired menu, I would recommend Mistral Kitchen. I have eaten there twice in the past 8 months and always thought the food was good, not outstanding but good. The service has always been very good when I have been there. Please report back!

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            Mistral Kitchen
            2020 Westlake Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121