While we have tried to make specific comments in the brief reviews, ratings, from K KKKK, are overall ratings, most heavily influenced by the food, but also factor in ambiance, décor and service. Our $ estimates are based on one dinner with a cocktail & tip. $ under $15; $$ from $16 to $30; $$$ from $31 to $50; $$$$ above $51. Keep in mind that in Seattle, as everywhere, restaurants and clubs can open and close, change hours, credit card policies, and even move with very short notice. Many restaurants are closed Sundays and Mondays, or even Tuesdays. We recommend calling ahead to address any special needs, and please feel free to mention Chuck Klein Productions.
Andaluca Downtown, 407 Olive Way (Mayflower Park Hotel), 206-382-6999 $$$ KKK The Mediterranean influence aint just on the menu at Andaluca
its one of the most romantic dining rooms in Seattle. Share savory small plates like scallop bruschetta, skewered lamb or vegetable meze, and save room for the house paella or the juicy beef tenderloin garnished with Spanish blue cheese, grilled pears and a marsala demi glace. Ask for a booth when you make your reservation. Breakfast,lunch and dinner 7 days (it is a hotel restaurant).
Anthonys Pier 66 Waterfront, 2201 Alaskan Way, 206-448-6688 $$$ KK Anthonys now counts 18 venues in their empire, but the Pier 66 location and Anthonys Fish Bar (fast food) downstairs are our favorites. Yeah, its a tourist destination, but you are a tourist, arent you? The sunset view is amazing and the seafood is better. Go with fish tacos or fish n chips downstairs and whatever the salmon special is upstairs. Lunch and dinner 7 days.
Assaggio Ristorante Downtown, 2010 Fourth Ave., 206-441-1399 $$$ KKK Even if the food wasnt great, wed come to Assaggio for the hugs owner Mauro Golmarvi dishes out. Luckily, the Northern Italian foods warm and welcoming, too: saltimbocca, osso buco, hearty pastas and antipasti. Dinner Monday-Saturday, lunch Fridays.
Axis Belltown, 2214 First Ave., 206-441-9600 $$$ KKK Axis offers a hip crowd, eclectic menu and excellent wine list. And we do mean eclectic its the only place out West where weve ever seen fried pickles on the menu. Other treats include Black and Blue Hawaiian Ahi, Cabernet Marinated Flank Steak from the wood-fired grill and Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Ravioli. From 5-7, Axis offers a prix fixe menu that includes 3 courses for only $19.95. Dinner 7 days.
Barbacoa Queen Anne, 2209 Queen Anne Ave. N, 206-352-6213 $$ KKK Billed as border cuisine, the Tex-Mex and barbecue flavors served up in this 30-seat winner are lip-smacking good. If youre feeling Tex, go for the tender brisket with amazing buttermilk-battered onion rings. If youre feeling Mex, we suggest the Enchiladas Verdes. Either way, plan on a fresh and tasty margarita. Dinner and lunch Tuesday-Sunday.
Beths Café Green Lake, 7311 Aurora Ave. N, 206-782-5588 $ KK Home of the 12-egg omelet. Yup, 12 eggs. They serve lunch and dinner here, too, but we dont know anyone whos bothered. Warning: Its a little dive-y (we like our breakfast funky.) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
BluWater Bistro Lake Union, 1001 Fairview Ave. N, 206-447-0769 $$ KK Its one of the only places in Seattle where you can have a smoke with dinner (after 10pm), but non-smokers love this place, too. Its got a lake view, a lively crowd, good bistro food and friendly service. Boaters dock right outside and pick up dinners to go. Dinner and lunch 7 days. The Greenlake location has everything but the boaters: 206-524-3985.
Boat Street Café University, 909 NE Boat Street, 206-632-4602 $$ KKK Who knew youd find charm like this under a bridge?? Chef/Owner Renee Erickson serves French bistro fare like Salad Nicoise and baguette sandwiches at lunch and liver patés and roasted chicken at dinner. Weekend brunch is a big winner, too. Dinner Wednesday-Saturday, lunch Tuesday-Friday, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Brasa Belltown, 2107 Third Ave., 206-728-4220 $$$ KKK North meets South. Northwest U.S. meets South Mediterranean, that is. Award-winning chef-owner Tamara Murphy blends the flavors of both cultures in this understated, beautiful space. We love dishes from the wood oven, the long bar menu, the comfortable round booths and variety-packed wine list. Dinner 7 days.
The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House Downtown, 1212 Second Ave., 206-224-7000 $$$ KKK This is our kind of place. Every day, they offer dozens of oysters on the half shell (and a knowledgeable staff to help choose,) and an entrée menu chock full of dry-aged steaks and fresh fish. Theyve got a nice selection of single-malt scotches and microbrews, too. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Cactus Madison Park, 4220 E. Madison St., 206-324-4140 $$ KK Cactus pioneered the tapas bar concept in Seattle in 1991, and theyve won the city over with a menu of tasty Spanish, Southwestern and Mexican foods like zarzuela (Spanish seafood stew), poblano chile rellenos and an enchilada layered with chicken, chorizo, blue corn tortillas and green chile sauce. The vibe is fun inside and on the deck (no worries, theyve got heat lamps.) According to our friend Brad, they probably have Seattle's best Mojito! Maybe thats another reason for the fun vibe. Dinner 7 days, Lunch Monday-Saturday. In Kirkland: 425-893-9799.
Café Campagne Pike Place Market, 1600 Post Alley, 206-728-2233 $$$ KKK Campagnes little brother bistro offers a more casual dinner option, and is a great spot for lunch. A perfect lunch on the terrace: paté or escargots with a goat cheese salad. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday, weekend brunch (starts at 8!).
Café Flora Madison Park, 2901 E. Madison St., 206-325-9100 $$ KKK This is the most elegant vegetarian restaurant weve ever seen, and the foods great, too. You know we like our meat, so we think our stamp of approval here counts extra. The global menu includes vegan options and brunch is outstanding. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday, weekend brunch.
Café Juanita Kirkland, 9702 NE 120 Pl., 425-823-1505 $$$ KKK Juanita doesnt sound Italian, but excellent Northern Italian is whats on deck at Café J. And we mean excellent. The food and wine are superb here and the décor is warm and inviting. Chef Holly Smiths innovations like tagliatelle with grilled sardines, sweet cherry tomatoes and Taggia olives succeed spectacularly. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Café Lago Montlake, 2305 24th Ave. E, 206-329-8005 $$ KKK When youre in the mood for pasta, you know it. And in Seattle, fresh pasta means Café Lago. Try the light (really!) lasagna built with super-thin noodles, creamy risotto, béchamel sauce and tomato-full marinara or gnocchi in pink vodka sauce. We like the wood-firedpizzas, too. Dinner 7 days, weekend brunch.
Campagne Pike Place Market, 86 Pine St. 206-728-2800 $$$$ KKKK This elegant, innovative country French restaurant has won local and national acclaim (and awards) over the years with a mix of heavenly food, stellar wines and impeccable service. You might start with a foie gras terrine or whitefish caviar and fingerling potatoes, but dont fill up before trying the sweetbreads served on zucchini, onions, pistachios and delicate raisins with curry cream, or a grilled King Salmon on gnocchi and pancetta in sorrel cream and king oyster mushrooms. Bonus: They serve a hearty bar menu until midnight on weekends. Dinner, 7 days.
Canlis Lake Union/Eastlake, 2576 Aurora Ave. N, 206-283-3313 $$$$ KKK After 50 years, elegant Canlis still offers the most gracious service in Seattle and is at the top of every food- and wine-lovers list (including James Beard, Bon Appetit and Wine Spectator). The Northwestern menu is outstanding, offering Washington beef (try the Kobe style), wonderful seafood dishes like Dungeness crab cakes, and seasonal sides. The view of Lake Union is unbeatable. Reservations and jackets recommended (no reservations needed for the live piano lounge). Dinner, Monday-Saturday.
Cascadia Belltown, 2328 First Ave., 206-448-8884 $$$$ KKK Award-winning Chef Kerry Sear celebrates Northwest ingredients with dishes like spring sweet pea soup with duck proscuitto and caramelized spice-rubbed King Salmon at high-styled Cascadia. Seven-course tasting menus are defined by names like Wild & Gathered or Decidedly Northwest and theres a bargain $25 three-course tasting menu. Vegetarians will be very happy with their options here, too. Dinner Monday-Saturday.
Cassis Capitol Hill, 2359 10th Ave. E, 206-329-0580 $$$ KKK This country French gem offers some of the best pommes frites weve ever had
and weve had our share. The seasonal menu remains true-to-bistro, even in warmer months, with lighter-style dishes like halibut poached in balsamic vinegar with a watercress salad. Year round, theyve got wonderful patés, frisée salad, smoked fish and cheeses. Weather permitting, ask to for deck seating. Summer Hours through Labor Day: Dinner- Wednesday-Sunday. The rest of the year: Dinner 7 days. NOTE: Cassis owner Jef Fike expects to open a lunch/dinner/latenight downtown spot called Bandol in June 2003.
Chez Shea Pike Place Market, 94 Pike St., 206-467-9990 $$$ KKK Utterly romantic, Chez Sheas 12 tables can be hard to come by, so reserve early. Wonderful service, an intimate setting and divine food make this the ultimate date destination in Seattle. The four-course prix-fixe Pacific Northwest menu changes with the seasons, but never disappoints. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Try Sheas Lounge next door for a lighter, more casual dinner.
The Cloud Room Downtown, 1619 9th Ave. (Camlin Hotel), 206-682-0100 $$$$ K The Cloud Room oozes old-style swank and offers a good view of the city, but that view comes at a hefty price. The lounge is an ideal place for cocktails and nibbles before or after a show at the Paramount Theatre and theyve got live piano music most nights. Breakfast and dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Cutters Bayhouse Pike Place Market, 2001 Western Ave., 206-448-4884 $$$ KK Cutters bar is great for solo dining and the seafood is always fresh, no matter how many are in your party. Panoramic views of the city, the mountains and the bay attract a lot of tourists and plenty of locals, too. Lunch and dinner 7 days.
Dahlia Lounge Belltown, 2001 Fourth Ave., 206-682-4142 $$$ KKKK Chef/Owner Tom Douglas put Seattle on the food map when he opened Dahlia Lounge, the first of this three super successful spots (he also owns Ettas Seafood and Palace Kitchen). Douglas puts a Pacific Rim spin on Northwest cuisine with spectacular results. We love their signature crab cakes, creative ceviches and the roasted duck entrée, and were crazy about the coconut cream pie. Reservation recommended. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Daniels Broiler Lake Union, 809 Fairview Place N, 206-621-8262 $$$ KKK This steakhouse has three locations in Seattle, to give you an idea of its popularity. If you need more enticement, Daniels was the CitySearch audience favorite for Special Occasion Dining in 2002. Fans rave about the all-star beef, the wine list, the gorgeous view, the piano lounge and the chocolate-dipped strawberries. The Bellevue location has a cigar lounge, too. Reservations recommended. Dinner 7 days. Bellevue 425-462-4662, Leschi Marina 206-329-4191.
Earth & Ocean Downtown, 1112 Fourth Ave. (W Hotel), 206-264-6060 $$$ KKKK Its in the W Hotel, so you already know that its hip and stylish. Luckily, theyve got an award winning chef, too. Johnathan Sundstrom wows with Northwest creations like tuna carpaccio with crème fraiche and paddlefish caviar; shepherds pie filled with oxtail, mushrooms and onions; and wild striped bass with wild leek-stuffed pasta, creamed nettles and roasted morels. Pastry Chef Sue McCown wins her own awards with different treats every day. Dinner Monday-Saturday, breakfast and lunch 7 days.
El Gaucho Belltown, 2505 First Ave., 206-728-1337 $$$$ KKK This steakhouse/supper club delivers the goods with old-school service from beginning to end. Your martini is perfect, your waiter knows how to pamper you, the steaks (we like the baseball cut sirloin) are sublime and the room is posh. They toss a mean Caesar salad, too. If you ask the sommelier for recommendations, youre likely to uncover amazing bottles that arent on the wine list. Reservations recommended. Dinner 7 days. They opened a second location in Tacoma, if youre headed that way: 253-272-1510.
Elliotts Oyster House Waterfront, 1201 Alaskan Way (Pier 56), 206-623-4340 $$$ KKK Watching the ferries go by while eating Kumamoto oysters and Dungeness crab (served steamed, chilled or spicy) on the deck at Elliots is pretty much heaven in Seattle. The Progressive Oyster Happy Hour is a riot at 3pm oysters are 50cents each, but the price goes up every half hour until 6pm. Lunch and dinner 7 days.
Ettas Seafood Pike Place Market, 2020 Western Avenue 206-443-6000 $$$ KKK Ettas is where to eat your Seattle salmon. Other superfresh seafood options include light-as-a-feather fried calamari, hearty halibut and roasted oysters. Its casual and a great perch for people watching. Sunday brunch is great and theyve got the outrageous coconut cream pie from Dahlias Lounge. Dinner and lunch 7 days.
Eva Green Lake, 2227 N. 56th St., 206-633-3538 $$$ KKK We like the food, we like the room and we like their prices. Given Evas popularity, they could get away with murder, but the excellent New American cuisine and wines are remarkably well-priced. Favorites include the sea salt rubbed King Salmon with Walla Walla onions and grilled chicken breast with roasted mushrooms and coconut curry. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Fandango Belltown, 2313 First Ave., 206-441-1188 $$$ KKK First, get those annoying movie ticket commercials out of your head. Then, head over to Fandango for a refreshing mojito and spicy Latin American flavors from Christine Keff, the brains behind Flying Fish. If you want to get the most tastes for your buck, they offer a family-style 10-course meal for $25 a person (min. 4 people). Reservations recommended. Dinner 7 days.
Flying Fish Belltown, 2234 1st Ave., 206-728-8595 $$$ KKK Flying Fish has been winning awards since 1995 and is a perennial favorite for innovative Pacific Rim seafood dishes and late night dining. Chef Christine Keff delights with Thai coconut soup with mussels and rock shrimp, grilled escolar, and a Vietnamese Curry of shrimp, scallops, calamari and shitake mushrooms. Dishes are grouped by size small plates, entrée portions and sharing platters, which makes Flying Fish ideal for groups or solo diners. Reservations recommended. Dinner 7 days, until 1am.
Gelatiamo Downtown, 1400 Third Ave., 206-467-9563 $ KKK Bring your sweet tooth straight to Gelatiamo. Their gelato cant be beat and the whole place feels authentically Italian, with everything from the machines to the floor tiles imported from the motherland. Coconut and chocolate are the most popular flavors, but dont be afraid to try their seasonal specials. The best news: Gelatiamos goods contain less fat than Häagen-Dazs. Monday-Thursday 7am-6pm, Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm.
Geneva First Hill, 1106 Eighth Avenue, 206-624-2222 $$$ KK Swiss-owned Geneva serves fine Continental cuisine amidst old-world charm and elegance. We love the seared duck foie gras, lobster bisque, and buttery spaetzle. For a taste of Switzerland, try Bündnerfleish (thin slices of cured dried beef), Jaeger Schnitzel or Veal Bernoise. Reservations required. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
The Georgian Downtown, 411 University St. (Four Seasons Hotel), 206-621-7889 $$$$ KKK If you needed to entertain royalty, you could do it at theoh-so-fancy Georgian. If not, dress up anyway and splurge on a memorable, refined Northwest meal. The gorgeous, elegant room complements the fine cuisine, as does the comfortable terrace and the gracious service. Reservations required. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Harvest Vine Madison Park, 2701 E. Madison St., 206-320-9771 $$$ KKKK Spectacular tapas is worth the inevitable wait (even post-expansion). Use the extra time to work up a serious appetite. When offered fresh grilled anchovies, spicy sausages, tasty cheeses, smoked salt cod salad, grilled venison, we want to try everything and anything Chef-owner Joseph Jiminez de Jiminez sends our way. No reservations. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
I love Sushi Lake Union, 1001 Fairview Ave., 206-625-9604 $$ KK One local sushi addict describes the place as, so good it is not right. But we dont find anything wrong with freshest-of-fresh sushi and quick, attentive service. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday. Bellevue location: 425-454-5706.
Il Fornaio Downtown, 600 Pine St. (in Pacific Place), 206-264-0994 $$ KK Its a chain, but dont let that stop you. We really like the Italian tastes at the casual bistro downstairs (antipasti, thin-crust Neopolitan pizzas, gnocchi) and dinners upstairs in the ristorante (lobster ravioli, veal chop). Theres also a caffe serving coffees and pastries. Between the three spots, breakfast, lunch & dinner 7 days.
Il Terrazzo Carmine Pioneer Square, 411 First Ave., 206-467-7797 $$$ KKKK The best Italian in Seattle. The menu doesnt change much from year to year, and thats ok by us. The traditional fare is delish, service is expert and its just fancy enough for client dinners (but not too fancy). Reservations recommended. Dinner Monday-Saturday, lunch Monday-Friday.
Jaks Grill West Seattle, 4548 California Ave., 206-937-7809 $$$ KKK Jaks might be the easiest steakhouse ever. The beef and service are on par with the fancier places, but its casual and priced really, really reasonably. Where else can you get a USDA Prime, corn-fed 21oz. Porterhouse with salad, veggies and potato for $29.95?? No reservations. Dinner 7 days. Issaquah location: 425-837-8834.
Kaspars Queen Anne, 19 W. Harrison St., 206-298-0123 $$$ KKK Within walking distance of Seattle Center, Kaspars has a long-standing reputation for being the kind of place that spoils you. Swiss chef/owner Kaspar Donier delights with his Continental preparations of local ingredients, Kaspars brother Markus reigns over an impressive wine cellar and the service is wonderful. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Kingfish Capitol Hill, 602 19th Ave. E, 206-320-8757 $$ KKKK Kingfish is full of the sister-owners family legacy, from the mouth-wateringfamily recipes to the old-time photos on the walls to the air of elegance that follows the sisters through the lively place. The buttermilk fried chicken and collard greens at Kingfish rival any weve tasted in the south and the red velvet cake is even better. We have no idea how the gorgeous staff stays so svelte! No reservations; expect to wait. No credit cards. Lunch Monday, Wednesday-Sunday, dinner Monday, Wednesday-Saturday.
Lampreia Belltown, 2400 First Avenue, 206-443-3301 $$$$ KKKK This is our favorite fine dining spot in Seattle. Chef/owner Scott Carsberg is the master of simple, simply amazing cuisine. He takes the best of local ingredients and creates intensely flavored dishes like poached veal fillet with thinly sliced purple asparagus, Sonoma foie gras with figs, and an artichoke salad with poached eggs. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
*La Rustica - West Seattle, 4100 Beach Drive SW, Seattle 206-932-3020 $$$ KKKK - Authentic Italian from the Pellegrini's, also owners of Umbria Tops in food, decor and hospitality. Situated 1/2 block from the beach on Puget Sound, this cozy place is known for an impeccable mediterranean wine list, foccacia with herbs and olive oil, leg of lamb (four stars), osso bucco and perfect caprese salad. Top off with tiramisu and italian coffee. There is also an outdoor seating area for those beautiful Seattle sunsets. Hard to get a table in the late evening hours.
Le Gourmand Ballard, 425 NW Market St. 206-784-3463 $$$$ KKKK Combine exquisite French sauces with Seattles freshest ingredients and you have Chef Bruce Naftalys wonderful menu at Le Gourmand. The room is intimate and inviting and the service is excellent. Choose from three- or six-course prix fixe menus and dont skip dessert. Reservations recommended. Dinner Wednesday-Saturday.
Le Pichet Pike Place Market, 1933 First Ave., 206-256-1499 $$ KKK A true bistro, Le Pichet works well for a reasonably priced dinner with friends. Its cozy and comfortable and you cant go wrong with the authentic French fare. Its also a fine place to do a little wine and cheese tasting, with terrific wines starting under $5 a glass. Breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days.
Library Bistro Downtown, 92 Madison St. (Alexis Hotel), 206-624-3646 $$$ KKK New American comfort food and Northwest fare successfully merge on the menu in this lively book-lined space. Whidbey Island clams, bourbon-cured pork chops and doublewide onion rings, these are a few of our favorite things. Drinks are a strong suit here, with creative cocktails and a wide selection of single-malt scotches. Breakfast and dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Macrina Bakery & Café Belltown, 2408 1st Ave., 206-448-4032 $ KKK If your idea of breakfast leans more towards the carbs than the bacon & eggs side of things, do yourself a favor and start the day at Macrina. Baker-owner Leslie Mackey supplies some of the best restaurants in town, but we think she holds back the best breads and pastries for her own place. Breakfast and lunch, 7 days. Theres another Macrina in Queen Anne, 615 W. MacGraw St., 206-283-5900.
Marjorie Belltown, 2331 Second Ave., 206-441-9842 $$$ KKKK Marjorie opened in January 2003, and we cant wait to try the eclectic menu thats the talk of the town. Owner Donna Moodie describes the place as casual and vibrant and a glance at the opening menu uncovered influences from far and wide, such as Jamaica, Sri Lanka, China, Italy, Vietnam and Moodies young son Max (Maxs Noodles are prepared with butter, parmesan and absolutely no vegetables.) Dinner 7 days.
Matts in the Market Pike Place Market, 94 Pike St., 206-467-7909 $$ KKK Matts is for those in the know, and we should know better than to tell everyone about it its tiny and youre guaranteed to wait a while. Were not sure how they do it with only two-burners, but they turn out amazing fish dishes. Lunchtime is for catfish sandwiches and oyster po boys and dinner offers serious seafood. Dinner and lunch Tuesday-Saturday.
McCormick & Schmicks Downtown, 1103 1st Ave., 206-623-5500 $$$ KK The fish couldnt be fresher and the service is consistently excellent, though its not the most exciting place for seafood in Seattle. The wood and brass room is comfortable for lunch or dinner, and we like the Dungeness crab cakes. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Metropolitan Grill Downtown, 820 Second Ave., 206-624-3287 $$$$ KKK When a local refers to the Met, theyre talking steak. The clubby room hosts the power scene in an otherwise pretty mellow city. Favorite steaks include the Prime Porterhouse and the Prime New York Peppercorn, and the mashed potatoes rock. nner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Mistral Belltown, 113 Blanchard St., 206-770-7799 $$$$ KKKK Zagats #1 for food, Mistrals French Moderne cuisine is worth every penny. Chef William Belickis creates amazingly intense and distinct flavors in his unique tasting menus, and this is a wonderful spot for a long, relaxing evening. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Mortons of Chicago Downtown, 1511 Sixth Ave., 206-223-0550 $$$$ KKK Seattles outpost (#50 in the chain!) is just as good as the original in Chicago and serves the same outstanding Midwestern-bred beef. We like the wine cellar atmosphere and the dessert soufflés (order soufflés when you order your entrees to time things right). Dinner 7 days.
Nells Green Lake, 6804 E. Green Lake Way N, 206-524-4044 $$$ KKKK Choose Chef-owner Philip Mihalskis tasting menu and savor inventive dishes like lobster broth with Dungeness crab and fennel, seared foie gras with Cipollini onions and Balsamic jus, and Kobe beef with leek risotto and shaved black truffles. The well-priced menu usually finishes up with a wonderful cheese selections and an amazing dessert. Dinner 7 days.
Nishino 3130 East Madison Street, 206-322-5800 $$$ KKK Sublime sushi is the main draw here, but cooked dishes like baked dungeness crab or tara saikyoyaki (broiled black cod with miso sauce) are also great. For a truly exciting meal, make a reservation for the chefs omakase menu.
sampling the best the kitchen has to offer. Dinner 7 days.
Ovio Bistro West Seattle, 3247 California Ave SW 206-935-1774 $$$ KKKK The simple décor takes a backseat to the decadent food at this hot newcomer. The eclectic menu changes regularly, but weve heard raves about the short ribs, lamb chops and crispy fried chicken with bacon cheddar mashed potatoes. Warning: it can get loud, so it may not be a best bet if you need to talk shop. Reservations recommended. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Palace Kitchen Belltown, 2030 5th Ave., 206-448-2001 $$$ KKKK The Palace is the source of baked goods for all of Tom Douglass restaurants (Dahlia Lounge and Ettas Seafood), and its got its own strong New American flavor to boot. An inviting U-shaped bar dominates the space and is a perfect place to enjoy festive cocktails and a big appetizer menu. Simply prepared roasted meats like Carolina ribs and peppered venison shine. The kitchen is open until 1, and they dont take reservations for parties less than 6. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday.
Palisade Queen Anne, 2601 W. Marina Pl., 206-285-1000 $$$ KK The view from Palisade is absolutely stunning and the indoor saltwater pools set a tranquil scene, but the South Pacific cuisine doesnt always keep up. Sunday brunch is your best bet. Dinner 7 days, Sunday brunch.
Paseo Caribbean Restaurant Fremont, 4225 Fremont Ave. N, 206-545-7440 $ KKK It aint fancy, and its hard to find, but Paseo serves up a knockout Cuban sandwich. Other favorites are the roast pork dinner and jerk chicken. There are only a few seats, so be prepared to take out. Lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Saturday.
Queen City Grill Belltown, 2201 First Ave., 206-443-0975 $$$ KKK Simple grilled fish dishes, a mammoth wine list and really friendly service have created a loyal following for Queen City Grill. Its a comfortable place, especially if you request a cozy booth. Dinner 7 days.
Red Mill Burgers Phinney Ridge, 312 N. 67th St, 206-783-6362 or Interbay, 1613 W. Dravus St., 206-284-6363 $ KKK Their Verde burger with roasted peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and red onions is the very best burger in Seattle. They offer veggie burgers and grilled chicken breast sandwiches for the health-minded, too. The goods are served fast-food style and they dont accept credit cards. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Restaurant Zoë Belltown, 2137 Second Ave., 206-256-2060 $$$ KKK Chef-owner Scott Staples sense of hospitality warms up the room immediately. His inventive New American cuisine includes a wonderful sweetbread appetizer, great fish entrees and a tasty hangar steak. Reservations recommended. Dinner Monday-Saturday.
Rovers Capitol Hill, 2808 E. Madison Street, 206-325-7442 $$$$ KKKK This fantastic French spot might just be home to the most expensive dinner in Seattle, but oh, is it worth it. Chef Thierry Rautureau creates three prix-fixe menus nightly: five courses for omnivores, another five for vegetarians and an eight-course splurge, thats likely to include Rautureaus signature starter of scrambled eggs with caviar and crème fraiche. Reservations required. Dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Ruths Chris Steak House Downtown, 800 Fifth Ave., 206-624-8524 $$$$ KK Ruths serves the tenderest USDA prime beef around. They claim the enormous portions (12 to 22 ounces) retain more juices in cooking, but we think the additional butter has something to do with it. Dinner 7 days. Another branch opened recently in Bellevue, 425-451-1550.
Salumi Pioneer Square, 309 3rd Ave. S, 206-621-8772 $ KKKK Armandino Batali, father of NYCs Mario (and therefore, our hero), offers the absolute best Italian sausage, sandwich and pasta lunches at his tiny salumeria. You probably wont get a seat at the lone communal table, but takeout works for us. Rumor has it that theyre opening a small private luncheon room this summer; given Salumis runaway popularity, you should probably reserve today. Lunch Tuesday-Friday.
Sazerac Downtown, 1101 4th Ave. (Hotel Monaco) 206-624-7755 $$$ KK Breakfast at Sazerac oozes Nawlins decadence. Sit yourself down for Pain Perdu in bananas Foster sauce or Eggs in Hell with andouille sausage and spicy Creole sauce. Lunch and dinner at Sazerac keep the Big Easy feel going, but dont quite measure up to that first meal of the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days.
727 Pine Downtown, 727 Pine St. (Grand Hyatt), 206-774-6400 $$$ KKK A big perk for Hyatt guests: The sophisticated décor and inventive Northwest cuisine put 727 way ahead of most hotel restaurants. We love the beet and blue cheese salad starter and the spicy roasted duck with brussel sprouts and parsnips. You can also order yummy snacks in the lounge. Breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days.
Shiros Sushi Belltown, 2401 Second Ave., 206-443-9844 $$$ KKK If youre a lucky fish, Shiro himself will prepare a special meal for you at the sushi bar. Hes a master sushi chef and you havent had yellowtail until youve had it here. Dinner 7 days.
Shuckers Downtown, 411 University St. (Four Seasons Hotel), 206-621-1984 $$$ KKK This is how the Four Seasons does pub-style seafood; and they do it right. We love their hearty clam chowder, pan-fried oysters and the microbrew-battered fish and chips. Lunch Monday-Saturday, Dinner 7 days.
Six Seven Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way (Edgewater Hotel), 206-269-4575 $$$$ KK Eating at Six Seven feels a little like dining in the middle of a futuristic forest. Bark-covered pillars integrate with video screens, raw wood, stainless steel, glass and slate just over Elliot Bay. Seattle-native Chef Hans Reisinger offers Pan-Asian-inspired treats like seared tuna with vegetable tempura and Sweet-Hot Garlicky Salmon.
SkyCity at the Needle Queen Anne, 400 Broad St., 800-937-9582 or 206-905-2100 $$$ K A million dollar renovation and a chef who hails from the Culinary Institute of America are not enough to upgrade SkyCity from a room with a great view to a room with a great view and a great meal. The Pacific Northwest food has improved substantially, but it had a long way to go and its still overpriced. The 500-foot panoramic views of Seattle, however, remain unbeatable. Go for a cocktail. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Friday, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
*Stumbling Goat Bistro - Phinney Ridge, 6722 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, 206-784-3535 $$ KKK - Don't let the local independent bistro look fool you. It's red walls and velvet drapes are intentional. Owner and actress Erin Fetridge delivers substance and style with menu of Northwest seasonal soups and salads, hand selected fresh local meats and seafood - all with fresh herbs straight from the garden. Signature dishes include a red beet and stilton blue salad and pan-roasted chicken. Finish with fresh gelato and herb inspired desserts.
Third Floor Fish Café Kirkland, 205 Lake St. S, 425-822-3553 $$$ KKK Take a quick trip to the Eastside and enjoy a view of Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline with your seafood. Nightly 5-course tasting menus are a deal at $50 and might include house-smoked salmon, fresh grilled fish and shellfish and a big, fat dessert like the signature Frozen Lemon Soufflé. Dinner 7 days.
Union Bay Café Laurelhurst, 3515 NE 45th St., 206-527-8364 $$$ KKK This upscale, family-run restaurant attracts an eclectic crowd with an ever-changing Italian (mostly) menu and value pricing. On any night, youll find carefully prepared soups, inventive pasta dishes like blue cheese and spinach ravioli, and hearty meat dishes like a perfect veal chop or ostrich steak. Dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Wild Ginger Downtown, 1401 Third Ave., 206-623-4450 $$$ KKK Probably Seattles most popular restaurant, Wild Ginger serves up fantastic Pacific Rim cuisine in the vaulted dining room and delish meats-on-sticks at the satay bar. We love the house special duck preparation, squash and sweet potato stew, tuna bruschetta and the crunchy pickles that come with satay dishes. Reservations recommended. Dinner 7 days, lunch Monday-Saturday.
* Much thanks to our friend, Brad Halverson, for his additions. We can always count on him to send us in the right direction for good food.
**Food lovers note: If you have some extra time, The Herbfarm in Woodinville (206-784-2222), Ark Restaurant in Nahcotta (360-665-4133), Salish Lodge & Dining Room in Snoqualmie (425-888-2556) and Shoalwater at the Shelburne Inn in Seaview (360-642-4142) are all worth the trip.