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Traveling to Seattle on business - would appreciate some recs

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I'm traveling to Seattle next week for business. I am a 50-ish woman and will be traveling and dining alone. My schedule is such that once I start working, there's really no break, so I will have only one free night - Sunday. I've done some research already on the board, so I just need a little help here.

I'm flying from the east coast and arrive on Sunday around 1:30 Seattle time. This is my only free time. I'd like to get at least a little touristy, so I do plan to go to the Space Needle to see the view, so at least while I'm working all week I can feel like I did see a little of Seattle. I'll be jetlagged and I have to be on my toes for work Monday morning, so I don't want to do a lot of walking around. I need to settle in and prepare myself. I also need to eat!

I'm looking for a relaxing, slightly indulgent meal - no sandwiches, pub food, etc. I expect to have to take a cab to/from the hotel/needle/restaurant. I'm from a town that has rather unadventurous choices culinarily speaking but is overflowing with Italian, so I do not want Italian. Quite a few places which the Seattle hounds have recommended to others are closed on Sundays, such as Sitka and Spruce, and Book Bindery. After reading up on a bunch of places, I'm honing in on Crush or Tango. How do you think I would fare at such a place, as a solo female diner on a Sunday night? Will I be able to get a cab back to my hotel?

My second issue is, I'm staying at the Courtyard at 2nd & Cherry. Truly, I will not have time to go out to a sit-down meal and eat - work starts at 9:00 a.m. and is done when it's done, usually around 10 p.m. But I will need dinner every night. Any suggestions of where I can pick up dinner between the office I will be working at (5th and Columbia) and my hotel? Room service is always most efficient for me, but it does get boring (and expensive for what it is, or should I say isn't).

Any and all thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. Late night dinner pick-up: I don't think there will be anything between your office and the hotel, except maybe O'Asian (chinese food) which is up on 5th and Columbia or McCormicks & Schmicks (4th and Columbia) - they have a late night happy hour with a really good deal cheeseburger that got me through grad school, but they also have seafood. Also consider the Collins Pub for good food (and beer, if you are in to that).

    http://oasiankitchen.com/
    http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com/L...
    http://www.thecollinspub.com/menu.html

    Generally, Sunday nights are pretty chill, so you'll be fine as a solo in most restaurants in the City. You'll probably have to call for a cab to get back to your hotel.

    Maybe consider Altura for your splurge dinner? It's a small restaurant, and they have a counter where you can sit and watch the cooking and plating (fun!) without feeling like you're in a sea of groups. Altura says it's Italian, but other than having pastas as options, it didn't strike me as particularly Italian, so don't let that turn you off. I haven't been very happy with Tango the few times I've been there.

    1. Lisa, I travel for business too and I no longer worry about dining alone on the road. As a woman, we're much more accepted now - thank heavens!

      I don't like Crush on any night. I personally think it is over rated and over priced. Have you looked into The Coterie Room, The Brooklyn or Chez Shea. Sunday may be the rub for this, but I would keep looking. Perhaps Poppy or Lark on Capital Hill. How to Cook a Wolf on Queen Anne. There are good restos out there - keep looking!

      1 Reply
      1. re: firecracker

        Plus 1 on Chez Shea (a lovely room, and food), Coterie Room, and Altura.

        +1 also on the ixnay for Crush; it tends to be overcrowded these days.

      2. Thank you, all, for the input and advice. As expected, I only had the one free night, so I decided to take your collective advice and head to Chez Shea. I had a wonderful meal, and my server, Dylan, made me, a solo, middle-aged female diner, feel very special and well-cared for. He steered me to great food and made appropriate wine choices for me. The view was amazing, as the sun was setting over Puget Sound. It was my one taste of Seattle, and it did not disappoint. Thanks again!

        3 Replies
        1. re: lisavf

          Glad you enjoyed Chez Shea, Lisa. While not trendy and noisy, the food and service never disappoint. Hope you make it to our fair city again when you can spend a little more time exploring and enjoying.

          1. re: lisavf

            Plus 1 on pleased you so enjoyed Chez Shea; they really do have a nice room and service, in addition to good food. Glad that worked well for you.

            What did you do about take-out, etc. for the rest of your trip?

            1. re: gingershelley

              Ugh, the food for the rest of the trip was pretty dreadful. My work was at the Columbia Center, so lunches were in the food court. Dinners were ordered from the cafe in the hotel and eaten in my room. One day I brought a sandwich home from the food court to have as my dinner. Basically I just had enough time to eat in order to get some food into me, not to enjoy a meal (more time eating means less time sleeping, and I was on a really tight schedule). So I was especially grateful for the recommendation of Chez Shea, because it was my one and only "special" meal.

              I do hope to get back to Seattle one day to enjoy more of what the city has to offer. It was a beautiful, clean city with friendly people. Traveling for work isn't always fun, but I do always try to make an effort to enjoy at least a little bit of what a city has to offer, and thanks to Chowhound, I usually find good eats. So thanks, Seattle CH!