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Trip recs such as best "NW cuisine" in Seattle?

rlm Oct 14, 2011 08:24 PM

A couple of frequent and adventurous diners/winos staying at the W soon and already have reservations for RN74 (love the SF original and figure we can get great Burgundy here) and Spinasse. Specifically looking for (1) place where we could drop in on a Wednesday for light lunch (Salumi or something else?), (2) Saturday for dinner (esp. great place to dine at the bar) and (3) Sunday for breakfast/brunch (Cafe Besalu sounds intriguing, but perhaps there is something closer to the hotel). Better half is requesting great "NW cuisine"-type place at some point (probably fits on Sat. night). After doing some reading on this board it sounds like Walrus and the Carpenter might be our best bet for oysters (and seafood in general?). What does everyone think about eater.com's list of essential Seattle restaurants? What about newbies like Bako and Momiji? Also looking for best places for cocktails and good wine bars (maybe with Andrew Will on the list?). Best place near the W to get our espresso on would be appreciated (anything like Blue Bottle?).

Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

  1. o
    oliveoyl Nov 19, 2011 10:12 AM

    You don’t say when you’ll be here or where you are visiting from ... there are great places mentioned here. I think both Lark and Sitka & Spruce are great. Lark has much better service and the quality of the food is on par with Sitka. Lark isn’t always as inventive but Matt Dillon seems to be on a Middle Eastern flavor kick right now ... worth checking out for lunch ..I’d have dinner at Lark and cocktails not at Canon but at Tavern Law. The music at Canon is horrible, and horribly loud ...
    I’d avoid Bako, really avoid it .. great idea but it needs some time to figure out if it’s a bar or a restaurant and get a few more seasoned wait people working.
    You should pop into Purple, a wine bar near the W, they are probably the best bet for Andrew Will wines and the like. Places like Sitka and Lark tend to have more European wines on their lists. Walrus & the Carpenter is awesome ... as is Staple & Fancy it’s neighbor.
    Have a great trip!

    Sitka & Spruce
    2238 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

    1. l
      Lunabianca Oct 21, 2011 12:33 PM

      Don't know if I'm too late, yet I want to HIGHLY recommend Portage Bay Cafe for breakfast/brunch. Great ethics/values, delicious food and several locations. (Get pancakes or waffles so you can go to the breakfast bar where they have giant bowls of fruit, whipped cream, nuts and a pitcher of real maple syrup!)

      Depending upon when you'll be here, you could go to the Ballard location, grab pastries at Besalu (after a LONG wait in line) and then go to the Ballard Farmer's Market--which is smaller in winter, but still happening.

      Cocktails? Absolutely Zig Zag (just below Pike Place Market) is the place to go. Cocktails are a religion there--even with Murray gone. Tini Bigs for a more casual experience. Also, consider a cocktail "crawl" on Capitol Hill. Tavern Law, Still Liquor, Barrio (for tequila), the list goes on & on up there.

      Zig Zag Cafe
      1501 Western Ave Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98101

      Portage Bay Cafe
      4130 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

      1. l
        Lauren Oct 17, 2011 10:31 AM

        The best place for cocktails right now is Canon on Capitol Hill. You could have drinks there and then have dinner at Sitka and Spruce - which, even though I'm not a fan, fits the NW cuisine bill and others here really like it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lauren
          tsquare Oct 17, 2011 05:36 PM

          Or go next door to Lark.

          1. re: tsquare
            equinoise Oct 18, 2011 09:32 AM

            Agree heartily with Canon. The cocktail menu is very brief but solid, but perhaps better is to just ask for a concept drink and see what they produce (e.g. "a rye drink with fortified wine," "spicy rum drink"). You could also drop in at Ba Bar just down the street where Evan Martin makes some fine drinks, and get a Viet-style snack to go with it.

            Re: "NW/Seafood": I am one of those Sitka and Spruce fans that will direct you there, certainly over Lark. It is surprisingly difficult to name just one platonic ideal "seafood place" in SEA. For me, the closest answer is Blueacre, though there is no one dish there that blows me away. It is somewhat easier to say what style of food you want, as most any great place locally will incorporate seafood and make great work of it (e.g. sushi, cantonese, NW, etc.)

            For a light lunch, Salumi, sure. You could also do Elliot's and get your oysters and lunch in one fell swoop.

            IIRC I did agree mostly with the Eater list. I just saw the Seattle Met top 25 list and also found that pretty solid. Much better than the Seattle Weekly lists, which tend to have more dated picks and sentimental favorites.

            309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

        2. knowspicker Oct 16, 2011 09:18 PM

          Ponti Seafood Grill would be a great choice for NW cuisine/Seafood. Since Alvin Binuya came back they have really upped the game. It's not the trendy place but it's brings the classic NW Fusion style and does it very well right now. Service is very good and it's the kind of place where they make you feel comfortable whether you are casual and or a bit more dressed up. It's also not too far from downtown and a nice setting. They specials are always a good bet and the Thai curry penne with crab and scallops is pretty nice option.

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

          1. t
            tsquare Oct 16, 2011 02:54 PM

            I hope you will try one of the new places - so many are opening and some of us aren't getting out enough lately.

            I'm not sure there is really a Blue Bottle experience in downtown Seattle, but close might be the place at 1625 2nd Ave, Caffe D'arte near Macy's - it has an interesting history in the coffee world, but is not my favorite spot to hand out. Close to the W, on 4th, is a place at the base of one of the towers - Caffe Migliore. Very good coffee, nice cups, independent owner, used to be part of the independent Torrefazione group (pre-Starbucks). I believe they roast their own coffee, but buy high quality pastries etc locally.

            Caffe Migliore
            1215 4th Ave Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98161

            1 Reply
            1. re: tsquare
              rlm Oct 25, 2011 05:16 AM

              Thanks for all the recs, particularly Caffe Migliore, which was perfect for coffee during the week. I will write more later, but we were very happy with our experiences in Seattle (with the tajarin at Spinasse and seafood at Walrus & the Carpenter being highlights) and wish we would have had more time to explore.

              Seattle, WA, Seattle, WA

              Caffe Migliore
              1215 4th Ave Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98161

            2. r
              rlm Oct 16, 2011 10:59 AM

              Did I choose the wrong title or post on a slow day? Was really hoping to get some recs close to the W (cab or transit ride away is fine).

              1 Reply
              1. re: rlm
                Brunhilde Oct 16, 2011 11:31 AM

                I think most of us just read the board when we're supposed to be working :)

                Wednesday light lunch I would suggest grazing your way through the Pike Place Market. There are a ton of little places to get good food. Sunday brunch downtown there's Lola, they have a gravlax dish on their breakfast menu that I love, and my partner likes to get the fried to order doughnuts with mascarpone and fruit compote.

                Pike Place Market
                1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

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