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Sep 19, 2011 10:54 AM

Three unique seattle meals for NYers...

Hey Seattle Hounds,

never been to your fair city. My wife and I are coming out that way for a wedding in Olympic Park, and are going to have time for three or so meals: lunch friday and then lunch and dinner sunday (and maybe a snack or something).

1) my wife is primarily a vegetarian, but will eat fish with scales sometimes
2) I'm an omnivore, except the seafood I like is not fish with scales, but shrimp/crab/lobster variety
3) no ethiopian or indian food. also, unless it's truly outstanding, we have plenty of solid italian, greek, middle eastern, and latin american food here in nyc that we have on a fairly consistant basis.

I suppose what I'm really looking for is: uniquely seattle, great seafood, and vegetarian friendly (but not exclusively vegetarian as the whole wedding weekend will be and if I can't have some meat or crab i might go bonkers)

The lunches should be less than 20 pp for everything (including tax and tip, and we're not huge wine drinkers at lunch, so you don't have to consider that). The dinner probably shouldn't be more than 30 pp for eerything.

Lastly, if you've got something awesome that doesn't fit these parameters but is a must go, make the case for it here anyway.


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  1. 1. Dungenous Szechuan crab at Seven Stars Szechuan restaurant.
    2. Pochas Con Almejas clams at Harvest Vine
    3. Duo of rabbit at The Book Bindery (You will need reservations well in advance; be sure and get the Foie Gras appetizer.)

    Harvest Vine
    2701 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

    Book Bindery
    198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

    1. Due to your $pp limit, I'm going to suggest Vietnamese food at Tamarind Tree in the I.D./Little Saigon area. You might also try for a happy hour dinner at some of the nice places on Sunday - $5 happy Thali (you can request all veg) at Poppy on Capitol Hill will leave with money to try some of the other dishes as well. Ponti Seafood Grill, right on the canal across from Fremont, a little light for vegetarian offerings. You get the idea.

      Tamarind Tree
      1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

      Ponti Seafood Grill
      3014 3rd Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109

      2 Replies
      1. re: tsquare

        tsquare- how much further up do i need to go (pp) for more go-to seafood spots?

        1. re: voodootrane

          Just remembered that Blueacre Seafood runs a regular three course for $30 dinner that might be of interest - but with 10% tax and 18% tip, you are already at $39 pp without beverage. Hot spots like Sitka & Spruce, Staple and Fancy, Book Bindery - the main course alone is running $25-$40.

          Book Bindery
          198 Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98109

      2. Wow, that’s a tough assignment. Two lunches less than $20 per person, tax & tip included (which would mean a food and beverage cost of between $15 and $16), and one dinner for $30 per person (food and beverage cost around $23), that will provide both seafood and vegetarian dishes, and is uniquely Seattle and not available in New York. I’m not sure I can meet all those conditions, but here are some possibilities that meet at least some of them:

        On Friday, you could graze your way through the Pike Place Market, which is a little touristy (the original Starbuck’s, etc.) but a Seattle institution. For fish, there’s Jack’s Fish Spot (crab, steamed clams, cioppino, fish & chips), or a fish sandwich at The Market Grill, or good chowders and bisques and other seafood and salads at Pike Place Chowder, where your wife could get a vegan chowder (coconut milk and lime juice) and a salad. As you wind your way through the Market, your wife could get a vegetarian piroshky at Piroshky Piroshky, or a vegetarian feuilleté and/or crudités at Le Panier. Or you could eat at Matt’s in the Market. At Matt’s your wife could have a salad (e.g., roasted beet salad with baby arugula and hazlenuts for $13, or Ragda, which are potato-garbanzo bean cakes with roasted eggplant puree and cucumber yogurt, for $16) and you could have the very tasty catfish sandwich or another type of sandwich (fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, or lamb) for between $13 and $17. You can check out the menu at Matt’s on-line.

        On Sunday night, you could eat at The Walrus and the Carpenter. Its menu has a “garden” section with a number of vegetarian bites like zucchini salad, wilted turnip greens with brown butter and pecorino, harissa roasted carrots, haricot vert salad, and grilled baby eggplant. You could sample a selection of Pacific Northwest oysters, which are among the best in the world, and/or other seafood items. If you don’t overdo, you should be able to get out of there within your budget. I’m also a fan of Sitka & Spruce, which has vegetarian options (things like grilled fava beans, turnips and greens, beet, carrot & chickpea mezze), and usually a seafood dish. However, a recent menu entrée of steamed king salmon was priced at $26. Other seafood restaurants in Seattle (e..g., Ponti, Ray’s Boathouse, Blueacre, Etta’s, Waterfront Seafood Grill) either would be difficult on your budget or not have many vegetarian options, or both.

        Another Sunday night option is Chiang’s Gourmet where you would have a wide selection of seafood dishes, including Szechuan spicy hot fish with romaine lettuce (a gargantuan portion for $15) and your wife could have the enoki and black mushrooms wrapped with bean curd, or a choice of many dishes from the vegetarian menu with entrees that run between $10 and $12. I mention Chiang’s only for Sunday night because during lunchtime on Sunday, Chiang’s serves a Taiwanese-style dim sum (where, unlike Cantonese-style dim sum, you order off the menu). It has some vegetarian options (soy bean milk, crispy biscuit wrapped with shredded turnips), but I don’t think this is what you’re looking for. There are other Asian options that would fit within your budget with both seafood and vegetarian dishes, including tsquare’s suggestion of Tamarind Tree.

        Hope this gets you started. Good luck.

        1. Not exactly cutting edge, and pushing the budget a bit, but I still like Ray's for Traditional Seattle, either the Boathouse for dinner or the upstairs Cafe for Lunch:


          As Tom mentions above, it might be tight on your budget but the menu is worth a look at the link above. It was one of the first places we went when we first moved here 20 years ago and it still feels really "Seattle" to me, and the food never disappoints.

          Another thought for lunch: if you're at the Pike Place Market, check out Cutter's Bay House:


          Finally -- and I'm only mentioning this place because no one else will -- it's a little bit touristy but my East Coast relatives all really love it -- is Palisade:


          It's pricey although there are some entrees in your price range. Mostly it's more like NYC prices. But it is a lot of fun and the food is mostly terrific and it is uniquely Seattle. If you come here in the Spring you will see lots of kids in prom dresses.

          Ray's Boathouse Restaurant
          6049 Seaview Ave., Seattle, WA 98107