Best casual restaurant in Seattle for a young couple this coming Valentine's day?
My SO and I are both 21 and we're looking for a great restaurant to share a meal on Valentine's...we do lots of cooking at home but we can rarely afford to eat out! I have been doing research but we wouldn't feel comfortable in fancy dress-up restaurants.
Can anybody recommend a great restaurant with fresh, exciting food that isn't too classy/upscale? We're open to any suggestions, any type of cuisine. We can afford a nice meal but we want to stay in our comfort zone. Any advice is much appreciated!
Most great food in Seattle does not need to be dressed up for. Boat Street Cafe, Revel, Staple & Fancy, Joule, Sitka & Spruce, Le Pichet would all be fun choices. That said, Valentine's Day is a great time to cook at home because restaurants are madhouses that night.
Seriously. Stay home on Feb 14. A lot of places run a limited menu and the servers are slammed. Cook something nice at home (strongly recommend the "meal of the week" at La Pasta- it's a pre-prepped dinner (everything is chopped and measured and very high quality) that can be cooked in less than 20 minutes). Pick it up a day or 2 in advance. Then go out to eat a few days later.
I can't think of anywhere that requires formal dress except for Canlis. The Whale Wins is particularly casual and outrageously delicious- shared plates, so kind of romantic as well.
If you're feeling romantic on the 14th you won't be if you go out.
Stay at home and let everyone else share in the madness of too many diners and too many bookings. Pick another time and go to any of the suggestions that S made. I'll add Rock Creek and Cafe Presse.
If you can skip going out on Valentine's for all the reasons mentioned already, hit up Boat Street for happy hour Tues-Thurs. You don't have to sit at the bar--you can get a real table--it's a romantic atmosphere, they have plenty of food choices, and overall it's a great pick for people trying to watch their wallets. You might look at the various happy hour threads and the recent "best value" thread for other ideas.
Also, for staying in, local stores sometimes have some great deals on special dinner items that people might want to cook for VD. Ie Town and Country Markets (Ballard Market, Central Market) has had lobster for $9.99/lb.
Yeah, you can get a tiny 2-top, gradeschool-sized chairs and frankly cold atmo at BSC. Oh, and minuscule, unseasoned portions. It's a Gulliverian experience I had just last week, unfortunately, $177 for two including 3 HH plates and 1 shared entree.
I'll take Il Bistro's HH any day of the year over BSC.
OP: Look into Il Terazzo Carmine for a nice Valentine's dinner.
Have to agree with the other postings in that the 2 worst nights to eat out are New Year's Eve and Valentines' Day. But I do understand the impulse to do that - just make sure you a) get a reservation and b) check the restaurant's websites to see what kind meal they are serving so you don't end up paying a lot for a prix fixe meal you don't want. We have had wonderful food and service on Valentine's Day (with a reservation) at Nishino and at Nell's. They are very nice but you can go casual and not feel out of place. If you don't mind a wait (they don't take reservations) or you do not want a prix fixe menu or you want top value for your dining dollars, consider Salvatore's. Order from the specials menu. I had a spectacular dish of lamp chops on a bed of lentils and faro there last week that was magnificent and priced at $27.50. That is a bargain in my book.