Best Seattle restaurants?

I’ve been in Seattle for 10 years, but I haven’t really kept up with the restaurant situation. I have a friend in town, a hardcore foodie, and I need to take him someplace interesting. I have some money this week, but it can’t really be the most expensive place in the world.

Any thoughts or suggestions anyone?

I know it’s a chain, but I loved Buca di Beppo (?) when I was there a few years back.

Is Ray’s Boathouse still in business? I think two people could eat there for $100. Or they could 15 years ago anyway.

I don’t know Seattle but some good ideas could probably be found on the Chowhound Pacific Northwestboards. You can search using the search box at the top, or if you want just post a thread and ask. Make sure to give criteria so people know what kind of places to recommend you (cost, cuisine, neighborhood, etc.)

When I lived in Seattle, I used to read raves about a place called The Herbfarm, out in the Eastside boonies, somewhere. I just looked them up online and found their website. I can barely afford to look at the menu.

I used to really like a place downtown called The Brooklyn, but I haven’t been there in thirteen years, at least.

HerbFarm is fabulous and definitely foodie-friend worthy, but it’s incredibly expensive!

Some of my Seattle favorites:


Dahlia Lounge

Purple Cafe and Wine Bar



Thanks, investigating all suggestions. Also had RL recommendations for the Black Bottle and the Five Spot.

Veil’s gone. The Black Bottle is fun, with decent food, but it’s not a foodie destination. The Five Spot? Decent diner food, but no more.

I agree with Lark, but might go to their bar next door, Licorous. A little cheaper off the bar menu, but still awesome.

Also consider Anhovies and Olives, Ethan Stowell’s new place up on Pike/Pine. Maybe Barrio, same area. Barrio is owned by the Purple folks but is worlds better. Maybe Poppy further up Broadway. A Northwest take on thali as conceived by Jerry Traunfeld, long time head chef from the Herbfarm.

Cafe Press or Le Pichet? Same owners, but slightly different takes on French food.

Monsoon, awesome modern Vietnamese. Long Provincial or Tamarind Tree for the more traditional take.

Stand in line at Salumi? It’s got to be done at least once in each lifetime.

Gonna do a Tom Douglas restaurant? I’d go to Lola over Dahlia. It’s his take on Greek/Mediterranean.

How to Cook a Wolf on Queen Anne, another Ethan Stowell place.

Zoë. Nishino. Lampreia. Harvest Vine. Txori. Elemental. Joule. Bistro Turkuaz. Panos Kleftiko. Seven Stars Pepper. Nishino.

Goddamn! Now I’m seriously hungry.

One last thing. Go to Beppo and I will… I will… I will think poorly of you.

Beppo was my last boss’s idea of a fine dining establishment; we had a Christmas party there. I have not gone back.\

Nishino’s my go-to place when I’m flush, but it’s too rich for tonight. I bounced a few off my friend, and he chose the Black Bottle. I’ll see if there’s time to change his mind; Poppy and Cook a Wolf both sound intriguing. Lampreia’s on my list, but I’ve never been THAT flush.

I think Black Bottle or How to Cook a Wolf would be good choices. Cafe Presse too. Poppy leans expensive. I lost my restraint. Sorry. Still hungry.

Seventeen bucks for an order of spaghetti? Correction: an order of spaghetti covered with Ragu?

Okay, this is at the core of Seattle “cuisine.” There is no such thing. It’s like eating at a mall. Even the seafood, and you’d think THAT, at least, was local, all comes down from Alaska.

I went here last week on my way to Vancouver. I love meat, but the green beans were to die for. I should have order two dishes and gorged myself. Great wine selection and ambiance.

Cue Barry Manilow.

At the Buca
Buca di Beppo
Pinocchio lied to Geppetto
And his nose grew
A give-away clue…
He could put out someone’s eye
If he tells another lie
At the Buca
Buca di Beppo…

One of my friends who is an amazing amateur chef has repeatedly recommend I visit Stumbling Goat, though I haven’t yet so I can’t personally endorse it.

I took my lady to Chez Shea for her birthday. The food and the view (it’s just above the fish market on Pike Place) were amazing. It’s pricey though.

Salumi is a lunch favorite of mine. If you’re in to cured meats, I highly suggest it. I believe it’s owned by Mario Batali’s dad.

I had a pretty bad experience at Black Bottle. The food and wine was decent, but the service was unbelievably bad. We popped our own champagne 10 minutes after the server wordlessly placed the bottles and glasses in a pile on the end of our table, because we realized he wasn’t coming back to open them for us. He also completely forgot an entree, and didn’t remove it from the bill when we mentioned it to him. While we waited for him to come back and correct it, we saw him and the cooks taking shots in the kitchen (this is at about 9:30 - 10 PM). When we asked for a manager, we were informed there wasn’t one working that evening.

Hopefully the situation there has improved.

Stumbling Goat is… OK. It’s a great neighborhood place, not a destination. Proabably peaked when Matt Dillon of Sitka and Spruce and also The Corson Building was chef. That’s been a while now.

But . . but . . . their green salad is awesome!

Maybe I should have qualified my recommendation by explaining that I live in rural Iowa, where really good food can be hard to come by. And where the standard green salad is iceberg lettuce with maybe some shredded carrot or a cherry tomato. And dressing (French, Ranch, or Italian) comes in little plastic packets.

Ha! I wasn’t saying I would think poorly of you for going there. Hell, I’ve been there my self. I was ‘threatening’ lissener in case he got the idea to take his “hardcore foodie” friend there. :smiley:

Oops, forgot a few.

Hole In the Wall Barbecue: Meatloaf Mondays, get it hot with a side spike, incredible stuff.

Pecos Pit BBQ: haven’t been in a while, but was a favorite when I worked South of downtown back in '01.

Lunchbox Laboratory: most of their seating is outdoors so go off peak. Lots of character and interesting meats. Be prepared to eat a lot.

We did the Black Bottle. Not great; the lamb was chewy and cold. We were three. They brought the first entree, then ten minutes later the second, then THIRTY minutes later fed the third in the party.

Unacceptable, unless you apologize profusely and voluntarily start throwing words like “comp” and “complimentary” around. Not a word.

Not going back.

That’s genuinely terrible. They’ve really gone downhill. Service was never their strongest point, but I don’t recall anything like that.

Paseo. Agua Verde. La Carta de Oaxaca. El Asadero. Baguette Box. Cascina Spinasse. I need to stop this.

Le Pichet - Lovely, casual French bistro.

Nishino - The best Japanese food in town. Not cheap.

El Gaucho - Swanky nightclub steakhouse. Exhorbitant. Decadent. Delicious.

Poppy - The original chef from the Herbfarm went and started this place, instead. Much more approachable, imo, than Herbfarm.