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Oct 29, 2013 01:57 PM

Seattle Suggestions Needed for AVCA Convention and NCAA Final Four

The city of Seattle is going to get an invasion of volleyball coaches the week of December, and I will be one of them, it is the NCAA women's Volleyball Final Four and American Volleyball Coaches Association convention.

The convention itself will be at the Seattle convention center and the conference hotel is the Sheraton that I believe is attached. The matches on Thursday and Saturday will be played at the Key Arena.

So, some questions:
Any recommendations close to the convention center? Close to Key Arena? Looking for non-chain local businesses, restaurants and bars.

I am planning on trying to hit at least one of Tom Douglas' places, which one is the question.

I went to Ivar's about 20 years ago and liked it. Not the one by the waterfront, but the one that is north of the city. Is it still worthwhile?

I learned about Canlis from watching Top Chef, question is: is this a worthwhile trek? Worth schlepping a suit to Seattle?

I went to Elliott Bay Oyster House about ten years ago and got a real lesson in oysters there, is this good idea now?

Looking for a seafood rec for Chinatown, a Cantonese place that knows how to do seafood.

Also looking for a dim sum place rec.

Plus any can't miss places in Seattle.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Close to the Convention Center: Blueacre Seafood. Do this instead of Ivar's Salmon House. Ivar's has changed little, but you'll get a much better meal at Blueacre.

    Close to Key Arena: Toulouse Petit has a great happy hour menu. Arrive slightly before the 4 pm starting time to assure a nice booth in the bar.

    Canlis remains a top tier experience. If it fits your budget, slep a suit, and hope for decent weather so that you can enjoy the view.

    Elliot's is good for oysters, not so much for anything else. A hot spot for oysters and small plates now is Walrus and the Carpenter. It is in the North End so will be a fairly long haul in a cab. They don't accept reservations, so there can be a wait, but it is a great Seattle destination with a strong national reputation.

    There is a cluster of Tom Douglas properties in the Belltown neighborhood, which is midway between the Convention Center and Key Arena. Serious Pie, Dahlia, Lola and Palace Kitchen are all within a couple of blocks of each other. You could pick one for drinks and an appetizer, another for dinner, and another for dessert. In any event, his restaurants are pretty consistent, I would make your pick based on how the menu items appeal to you. I like Dahlia and Lola the best, and they are directly across the street from one another.

    Others will comment on the International District options for seafood, I like Jade Garden for Dim Sum.

    Enjoy your visit!

    1. The place you want to go in the ID (oh, we're far too politically correct for "Chinatown"--it's the International District) is called Sea Garden.

      Dim Sum--during the week Jade Garden is good because it has high turnover. On weekends it can get busy and you'll do just as well at Sun-Ya, Harbor City, or Tea Garden.

      I'd recommend getting your oyster fix at the new Taylor Shellfish, a very short couple blocks from the Convention Center.

      I think you can do better than Ivar's...almost anywhere.

      I'm about the only one around who doesn't love canlis...but I wouldn't shlep a suit. I'd bring your regular clothes and go to staple and fancy, altura, spinasse, or anywhere else.

      1. Some of my cohorts have also asked for recs for other cuisines. Sushi, Thai, Greek, pubs, steakhouses, Italian etc. close to the convention center and to Key Arena. Much thanks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Phaedrus

          Seattle isn't especially known for great Greek food. A couple of good places (Panos Kleftiko, Costas Opa) have closed in the past couple of years, and another (Yanni's) was a target of Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares, which is never a good sign. That said...Lola is Tom Douglas' take on Greek--or Greek-esque--and other Mediterranean cuisines. Might be a good choice.

        2. There are a number of spectacular places near the Convention Center - up the hill to Terra Plata,Taylor Shellfish, Altura...all great choices. Among Tom Douglas restaurants, Etta's and Dahlia Lounge are my personal favorites. Ivar's on Lake Union is what it is...I love it for that but it must be said that the food is not great. Beer and fish and chips there in the summer is fun but not if you are only here for a few days in December. Canlis is wonderful ambiance and views and very good food but really expensive and not better than Altura, Tilth, Sitka and Spruce and a number of other places. Right now I would call Altura "can't miss" but I have not been to Walrus and Carpenter in Ballard.....

          1. Canlis can't be beat. Really special. Great food, spectacular bar, quality service. Expensive, but worth every penny. Suit isn't necessary. Sport coat will do. Taylor Shelfish has the best oysters any where. Harbor City for dim sum! Sushi offers lots of choices. Kisaku in Wallingford is great. Tamura on Eastlake is fabulous. Traditional tatami rooms & Great food at Maneki in the International District.