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We have one or two dinners in Seattle. Would you recommend Ray's? I would love a great view of the water but do not want to give up good food for a view. Coming from L A where (believe it or not) seafood is mediocre so would love someplace with good seafood

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  1. A lot of people bash the place but I like it a lot. They've recently completed a big remodel so it's even nicer and I've always thought the food was very good to excellent. It's one place I always take out of town guests to get a sense of what Seattle food really is. I highly recommend it, and make sure you go with the local recommended wines with each dish. The local wild salmon is unlike what you are probably used to down in LA -- at least it was compared to what I grew up on coming from there.

    1. I like both the more casual upstairs cafe/bar (note that they have a patio, but it's very difficult to get a spot outside on sunny days, especially weekends) and the more formal downstairs restaurant. The recent renovation has really updated the space. I took a friend to a birthday dinner there and both the service and the food were very good.

      1. I like Ray's very much, especially when you can time your reservation to see the sun setting on a nice summer evening. I think it would be a great pick for someone coming in from LA with only a couple of days to experience excellent Northwest seafood with a lovely water view.

        1. Consider also Ponti seafood grill, where you might start with cocktails on the intimate veranda overlooking the canal and Fremont bridge, or Chinook's, at Fishermen's Terminal for alder planked salmon (scrutinize the menu for surprising values there and get the seasonal Slump), Ivar's Salmon House does not get or maybe deserve a lot of love here, but is very Northwest and can meet the LA standard.

          1. My response to this is as such: Seattle has great seafood everywhere. You will find seafood on nearly every menu, and it will almost always be quite good. If you look for a "seafood restaurant" I think the quality falls somewhat, because it tends to be view/tourist/mass market focused (Ray's, Blueacre, etc. all being very good but not GREAT). Oyster joints (Walrus and Carpenter, Taylor shellfish) are the exception here.

            The real secret--and let's be honest, how locals do it (at least the ones I know)--is to think of the type of food you'd like to eat, then find the restaurant that will serve you that type of seafood. Italian? Anchovies and Olives. Chinese? Sea Garden. French? Marche, Le Pichet, etc.

            1. I love Ray's for being so much better than it has to be. Yes it's a tourist staple but the food is excellent and there's a long and well-selected list of local wines and beers and it's a favorite of lots of locals here too. There's always good options for wild caught salmon, halibut, and other fresh fish. I've never been but they have cool events with local farmers and foodmakers too. And finally, the setting is truly worth it. Years after you've forgotten the restaurants you ate in on your trip to Seattle you'll remember the view of the jagged skyline of the Olympic Mountains framed against a golden sunset with boats and paddle boarders (and sometimes a seal) gliding by. (That's assuming you come in summer of course). I've only ever been to the upstairs Cafe which feels upscale to me once you get away from the bar area. Downstairs is supposed to be great too and is quite pricey I think and you get great service and great food and the same view (or better) upstairs.

              1. We had a lovely lunch on the deck at Rays - we went there right from the airport. The food was fine but the setting was spectacular. Loved Seattle and had perfect weather.
                We had a delicious lunch at Five Point and a great dinner at Palace Kitchen. Tried to make it to Toulese Petit but ended up driving to Canada for an afternoon and evening.