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Sep 1, 2012 08:45 PM

Visiting Seattle after 13 years away...where should we eat?

Hi all,

We will be in Seattle next weekend, the 8th through the 10th and I am so excited to reacquaint myself with your beautiful city.
I lived there for a year back in the late 90's, in Queen Anne, and I have always wanted to go back.
My husband turns 40 friday, so now we have the perfect excuse. This is the city he has decided to spend a weekend in, celebrating in style with good food and hopefully some nice cocktails, with a view when possible.
Where would you have us go? We are renting bikes on Sunday and touring the usual neighborhoods, starting in Capitol Hill/Pikes Market area, and working our way up to Queen Anne and above, eventually coming down along Fremont and into those other nabes I can never remember the names of.

So far, I know I want to look into Steelhead Diner at the market for lunch, and maybe Le Pichet for a late lunch or dinner. My husband is a fan of Macrina, so that's a given and I am excited to stop into Crumble and Flake and Victrole or Caffe Vita based on what I've read on this board so far.
We love to sit at the bar of most restaurants and enjoy intimate meals, with good people watching. A good local wine menu is a plus. We eat just about everything. I love spicy, my husband just tolerates my yearn for Asian, and we love to share courses, often making a three course meal from three shared dishes.

We are staying at The Edgewater, and will definitely be stopping for oysters at Elliot's for sentimental reasons. We basically get in Saturday morning, and leave late Monday afternoon, so there's the potential for some good meals, plus we'll work up a better appetite what with the biking.

Your thoughts? I am bummed to once again miss Salumi, but that's the breaks. Also, we'd hoped to spend a week on Orcas Island, but that's been postponed. Thanks to anyone who helped us on that thread.

Very excited for this trip, thanks for any help you may give!

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  1. If your hubby is a chocolate fan, make sure to schedule a tour at Theo in Fremont - good chocolate and lots of samples.

    6 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts

      Thanks for the suggestion. Based on this we picked up a Theo bar this weekend to taste.

      And now I am curious about How to Cook a Wolf in I believe, Queen Anne?

      Anyone have any thoughts on this place?
      Also, are the Tom Douglas places still good? I am thinking a drink at Etta's might be fun, since I recall it is near the water...or is it?

      Also, I remember when Flying Fish was the HOT place to go, is it still even there? I'll search on my own, it's just funny to me to think how long it has been since I've spent time in Seattle. Remember Brasa? I worked there soooo long ago!

      1. re: rabaja

        How to Cook a Wolf is upper Queen Anne, worth looking into. Flying Fish moved to South Lake Union (probably no area of town has changed so much as SLU, there is actually stuff there now!), Belltown kind of peaked a few years ago and now it is all bars and happy hour - the Fish moved, Brasa closed and is still empty AFAIK, Zoe moved to Capitol Hill, (that space is now the Coterie Room, mixed results for me), Lampreia down-scaled into Bisato, Cascadia closed, was replaced by a tapas bar, I think that space is still empty. I've never been a huge Tom Douglas fan, but others here have their favorites. I hope you are reading all the local suggestions and trip reports posted over the last few months, sometimes the general 'where to eat' questions get ignored if people feel like they've just answered them.

        Personally, my favorites at the moment are Walrus & Carpenter (ballard), Bar del Corso (beacon hill), and I do enjoy the new version of Restaurant Zoe. Spinasse is amazing if you like Italian, and Harvest Vine continues to be delicious. The Book Bindery (near Fremont Bridge) is a nice option for a special birthday if you want something more swanky. Altura and Madison Park Conservatory are on my list to try, have heard good things. I haven't loved le Pichet as much as usual on my two last visits, you might also look at Marche (formerly Campagne, same chef new concept. The cafe is unchanged). Tamara Murphy recently opened Terra Plata on Capitol Hill, in the Melrose Market which is a little bit of foodie heaven - cheese, oysters, wine, meat, more restaurants.

        1. re: rabaja

          Babette's post is a great summary and I concur with all she has had to say.

          I am not a huge Tom Douglas fan either, but I do enjoy Lola, and they do a very nice weekend breakfast service. Etta's is just slightly north of the Pike Place Market and it does not really have a water view.

          1. re: Gizmo56

            Thanks to both of you, I am getting great notes for this weekend.

            I remember Harvest Vine, it was new and very well thought of when I was getting ready to move back to the Bay Area,in the late nineties.

            I am definitely reading this particular board every day, as I know my request must be heard ad nauseum. Perhaps I should have given a specific itinerary and asked for comments/suggestions, but that's just not the way we are traveling this weekend. I imagine it will be very off the cuff, so I'm looking for good spots in a multitude of neighborhoods -which you are both giving me, so thank you!

            I will do some more investigating re; Melrose Market, sounds very appealing.

            1. re: rabaja

              Rabaja, definitely put Melrose Market on your list; you can get the freshest Oysters there too - next door to main Melrose area is Taylor Shellfish (who supplies most of the oysters at Elliott's, etc.). They can shuck a dozen for you right there out of their custom holding tanks filled with running salt-water. Glass of wine on the side.

              Another suggestion for Capitol Hill is Quinn's; a true gastropub. Super burger, Foie gras, marrow bones, game, etc. on the menu. Lot's of local brews on tap. Nice room and hip clientele.

              Do do the Theo tour, and visit Revel for French/Korean/NW fusion food. Sit at the bar and watch them cook your food. Great interactive, and would be a good lunch or brunch spot.

              I vote for Altura for a dinner spot. Check out reviews here. I have a very favorable one, and have been back recently for just as inspiring a meal. Another place where it's nice to sit at the bar in front of the open kitchen and watch the chef's at work. Very seasonal, local italian/NW inspired food.

              Let us know how it all goes, and where you eat. Weather should be just perfect for your visit!

              1. re: gingershelley

                Thank you, gs. Such great info. Taylor's sounds like a place we would love.

      2. If you want to revisit any of the Tom Douglas establishments, brunch at Lola's and the burger at Palace Kitchen are two of my favorites. We like to eat at the bar at the latter with a few beers. I think Ettas serves excellent seafood (recent confirmation from some visitor friends) but my last few fishing trips to Alaska have been somewhat successful so I rarely go out for it. 

        We've had a bit of a pizza scene emerge since you left Seattle. Delancey on 70th and 15th is my favorite. Bar del Corso (already mentioned) is also very good. 

        I moved here in 1999 and must have gone to Flying Fish about 50 times within those first few years. Every visitor got a trip there no question. Loved the fish tacos on the "late night" menu when all else was closed up. I ate at Steelhead Diner a few years ago and thought it was excellent. Enjoy your trip. Seattle's a great food town :)

        1. On the way home now, after a wonderful, celebratory weekend. We found some true gems (Taylor's! Rain Shadow Meats!) and absolutely warm and friendly people everywhere we went.
          Thanks all, will report soon!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rabaja

            Looking forward to details of your visit Rabaja!