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Jul 26, 2013 03:21 PM

Need recommendations for two nights downtown or close by

We will be in Seattle next week for two nights. I'm looking for real good seafood one night and the other night just a real god meal.

Looking at Elliott's, Rays and Brooklyn for seafood night and Toulouse Petite and Altura for the other.

Opinions appreciated

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  1. Expand your seafood night options to include Blueacre. I wood do Blueacre for the food or Ray's for the view (although I think there food is also very good). I'd consider both Brooklyn and Elliot's to be in a much lower tier. If you like shellfish, definitely also consider Walrus & The Carpenter in Ballard, but prepare to arrive early or else to have a wait.

    I love both TP and Altura but they are so different, you'll really have to narrow down based on your reaction to the Louisiana vs. Italian-based menus. I think TP is most fun (and value) for the happy hour, and Altura would be a more "fine dining" experience.

    1. The Brooklyn for HH would be good, beeja. Blueacre is the old Oceanaire that didn't make it in Seattle. The Brooklyn's oyster flight and wine and beer flights are pretty decent.

      Toulouse is a hoot and a half and a good value for the money spent.

      1 Reply
      1. re: firecracker

        "Blueacre is the old Oceanaire that didn't make it in Seattle."

        Umm...ancient history...Oceanaire departed Seattle seven years ago. George W. Bush was President then. That sentence doesn't tell us much about the restaurant that is now in that space all these years later.

        Yes, Blueacre occupies the space that once was Oceanaire, and the chef-owner of Blueacre had been executive chef for Oceanaire before deciding to start his own restaurant when Oceanaire went away. Blueacre is a much different and better operation under the control of Chef Davis and his wife and business partner Terresa, and (IMO) is consistently the best overall seafood-focused restaurant in the city these days. The sister operation, Steelhead Diner ( ) in Pike Place Market, is likewise great, especially if you can grab an Elliot Bay view table in the corner.

        More info on Blueacre here:

      2. Elliott's is worth it only for the view and the oysters on the half shell. The rest of the food there is mediocre.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PAO

          I concur with PAO and Gizmo: Blueacre is probably the best expressly "seafood" restaurant these days (although the new Flying Fish isn't bad either).

          dagoose had a comment elsewhere that addressed the common visitor's fallacy (perfectly understandable), which supposes that, owing to Seattle's geographic position, nautically-themed seafood houses, fry shops and clam shacks should be legion, and should be worthy of visting and discussing on this board. Unfortunately, with few noteworthy exceptions, most in-your-face "seafood restaurants" are forgettable eateries catering to landlubbers seeking to realize their visions of Pacific Northwest salmon, crab, halibut and oysters, all in one sitting.

          The truth is that Seattle is awash with seafood, but it is often not presented within the traditional formats and themes you might find in coastal New England. Today, I see Discovery Bay oysters on the menu at Little Uncle, served raw with lime leaf sauce. A couple weeks ago, I indulged in live Alaskan spot prawns at Sushi Kappo Tamura, the tails still twitching in nigiri form, the heads fried tempura style. I just now enjoyed a plate of handmade cresti di gallo pasta with squid at Il Corvo. I browsed Spinasse's site and found Quileute spring salmon with gooseberries, dill and purslane. More obviously seafood focused, Anchovies and Olives combines Italianate fish dishes with fresh oysters and handmade pastas.

          Note that none of these laudable ports of call have "seafood", "crow's nest" or "foghorn" in their monikers (and you won't be able to dine underneath fish nets suspended from the ceiling in any of them*). But wouldn't you rather eat what they have on offer today instead of a "captain's plate" of fried sea critters that registers maybe a tick better than the Red Lobster?

          The best port of entry to great Seattle *seafood* is just to locate a great Seattle *restaurant* that is otherwise inticing, and see what they have that day.

          *You can if you go to Crawfish King in the ID, which you maybe should during crawfish season.

          1. re: equinoise

            Thank you for weighing-in here.
            A native, I've lived 60-plus years in Seattle and have eaten seafood just about everywhere here and I agree that the "Seafood" places are primed to help literal boatloads of tourists check things off their lists and are often not culinarily memorable, while local chefs can amaze. The best serving of fish in my life, and by a mile, came out of deep left field one visit to Salvatore, on Roosevelt. The daily special halibut was tender and flaky and shone with subtle flavors. The key may be to eat the dish as near the chef as you can. At Salvatore, that's about 20 feet, and a good longshot bet in this old-school red-sauce place. The man can cook.

            1. re: mrnelso

              I ate at Salvatore tonight with my family. Yes, that man can certainly cook.

        2. Thanks to all for the input. Have a reservation at Toulouse Petite for Thursday Ray's for Friday

          2 Replies
          1. re: beejay045

            Good discussions by equinoise and Mr. Nelson. I personally find Toulouse Petite overrated, but I know I'm in a distinct minority.

            1. re: PAO

              Agreed with equinoise and mrnelso. Don't do the typical seafood places like Anthony's, Elliot'ts, or heaven forbid, Ivar's. Seek out GREAT restaurants that have fish dishes. Personally I'm a sushi (read: raw) eater, and not necessarily a fish eater. However I had one of the most amazing bites of salmon at Altura. Such a GREAT restaurant.