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Downtown Seattle during the weekend


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#1 John Talbott

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:25 AM

I've checked most of the Seattle threads, such as this on Downtown dining but have another constraint which is my availability to eat principally at lunch and dinner on weekends, that I didn't see addressed - thus this new query. We'll be at the Hilton and Convention Center and have no car so prefer what's within walking distance. Decor and type of cuisine are irrelevant (except that we don't need any French food for obvious reasons); what we're seeking is good food and non-babkrupting prices. Thanks. John (And I'll be glad to reciprocate when you visit the City of Light.)
John Talbott


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#2 DRColby

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:00 AM

John,you must try Union. I believe Sunday evening they have a Champagne tasting menu with Bernard Dumont of R. Dumont et Fil. I am not sure the cost and you should make a reservation.
If that's too much try Matt's in the Market and if that is too much below Matt's, on the ground level of the Market is Jack's, a seafood stand where they will open great oysters for you and you might even be able tosmuggle in a great bottle of wine under the counter to enjoy with your bivalves.
Enjoy oyur Seattle cullinary experience.

Dave

#3 tsquare

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 09:56 AM

Matt's is closed on Sundays.
A sandwich at Market Grill is a good bet - in the Pike Place Market. Chowder too.

Restaurant Zoe will get you wonderful NW dining at prices that are similar to Union. It is walking distance. Pretty much anything identified as Downtown is within walking distance. So is Baguette Box on the edge of Capitol Hill - twist on vietnamese sandwiches. Not French.

I like the crepe stand outside the convention center - but that's a bit French!

#4 MT-Tarragon

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:54 PM

The Tom Douglas restaurants are within walking distance of there. Depending on what you mean by bankrupting, they may not be right. Serious Pie (pizza) is less expensive than Dahlia Lounge and Lola and Dahlia bakery is fine.
M. Thomas

#5 John Talbott

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 09:53 PM

The Tom Douglas restaurants are within walking distance of there.  Depending on what you mean by bankrupting, they may not be right.  Serious Pie (pizza) is less expensive than Dahlia Lounge and Lola and Dahlia bakery is fine.

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Well, we've only been here 10 hours but our meals at Matt's + Boka have raised the question of why the French food critics don't come here instead of Barcelona and Chicago.
John Talbott


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#6 John Talbott

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 07:10 AM

Well, let me start off by thanking everyone for their help, especially Tighe and Scarlett who sent me PM’s that really helped me navigate your great culinary city and for the great threads. My wife Colette and I ate quite well indeed, had a great time and are eager to return..

We were just coming off two weeks in Greece and so were lusting after real Amurican cooking and fresh product, etc., and we got it. I want to confess something first off. I think it was Hhlodesign who was correct in saying essentially that one shouldn’t ask for advice if you’re not going to follow it. However, while everybody recommended Union, the one night we could have gone there, there was a special $170 famous French chef event and that’s three strikes and we were out. Plus, after the trip through the deepest Peloponnese we were not up to ethnic, even great Asian, cuisine. So all Ling’s great suggestions went unheeded. That said, avanti!

We hit the ground running with lunch at Matt’s. Now, if someone had told me it was what we call a “sandwicherie” back home, no matter how upscale, I never would have gone. But that would have been a gross error. We had a fabulous meal. After getting stuffed with carbos on United we were up for light but good - and it was both. Colette had the wonderfully rich gumbo (which the 6 foot plus character of a waiter, I’m sure you all know him, refused to identify the ingredients thereof) and wonderful greens salad and I had the special wild mushroom soup in an almost herb-enhanced clear broth and abalone tuna sashimi “toasted outside/raw inside/as-it-should-be” sandwich. Those items, accompanied by a bottle of a Cote de Roussillon (a fabulous choice) cost all of $53.

Then it was off to Boka, which Tighe had indicated would meet our need for innovative cooking – it certainly did - the menu is fantastic simply to read. They started us off with great bread and two ramekins of balsamic gelée and olive oil butter [sic]. And then we started the serious eating with the pigs in a blanket (like a “zarzuela” or like my “Grandmother made” - you cannot predict what it’ll be, but that’s OK) - great little biscuits filled with shredded BBQ’d pork and a (wonderfully) revisionist cabbage slaw. Then we had a fantastic Shake and Bake Chicken (ditto = not at all like the original) = fantastic breading, moist with chunky mashed potatoes with root veggies and a terrific Franco-derivative beef-based (I guess) sauce. However, Colette complained that while her halibut was top-class product and well prepared, along with small amounts of veggies – including brussel sprouts, its sauce was well made but not exciting. Bill = $110/2. I’m on a roll.

94 Stewart was another revelation; it’s beginning to be repetitive, all this good, inventive food in Seattle. Again the names of dishes are cleverly misleading. My dish, for instance, was called a duck ragu, but it was made with poblano pepper, tomato, feta and pita bread. On the other hand, Colette had a scallop and endive salad with a cheddar and buttermilk dressing and it was that. Both dishes were superb. We couldn’t resist the desserts after viewing them, so more good food followed: a wonderful chewy pecan and a caramel pie and a wicked brown sugar fudge cheese cake. Bill (with wine) = $85.23.

We “had” to eat at Campagne, because that’s where my work gang was having its annual dinner meeting (my cover was that I was at a medical meeting but I really snuck across the hall to the Coffee Fest convention for fun.) Anyway, whether it was the size of the group (10) or day (Sunday) of the week; the meal while good for me (sautéed spinach and sweetbreads with a terrifically tangy sauce and pancetta) was again disappointing for C. (her haricots verts with garlic were very good, but the guinea hen, while good product and well cooked was accompanied by a bland brown sauce). The Costieres de Nimes was good as were the cheese puff balls as amuse bouches. Bill – I dunno, the boss picked it up. Surprisingly, the wine list included very few Northwest wines and many of the wines, in the red category, were quite pricey.

The Dahlia Lounge was a “must,” we were told by several folks, and we can see why. We ate there at lunch with Tighe and had a delightful meal. Colette ordered the salmon with cranberry relish and chopped veggies (brussel sprouts giving it some oomph) and I had scallops with the same chopped veggies - both very good! Tighe had a Dungeness crab cake with watercress, papaya, avocado, mint, chilis and orange hollandaise; quite tasty too! Desserts were great as well: a pear tart with almond cream and caramel sauce, crunchy chocolate “terrine” with peanut sauce and honey ice cream and “made to order” tiny doughnuts with cranberry jam and mascarpone (apparently and deservedly their signature dessert.) The bill = $100 for Colette and me.

Finally, we ate at Zoe. Wow, full house, not too much noise to talk, good chow, nice folk, no complaints. They started us off with good bread (how can Seattle consistently produce better bread than Paris?) and an olive oil/balsamic/cider vinegar thing. Colette, on a scallop roll, had another four Alaskan scallops with roasted beets, chanterelles and black lentils; me - Oregon rabbit pâté with mixed green/black olives followed by grilled spicy octopus with more olives & vinaigrette. Dessert = lemon mousse with ice and cranberries. Total = $103.

Final Score: Seattle 10, Paris 9.5, New York 8, Baltimore 0.5.

Thanks folks. Great Week.
John Talbott


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#7 Maria

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 03:38 AM

I've been gone (from Seattle) an awfully long time. I don't recall a single one of those restaurants.

#8 scarlett

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 12:16 AM

I'm so happy to hear you had a wonderful time here in Seattle! You've hit on some of my favorite restaurants...and some I've been meaning to try. Thanks for the excellent recap

Cheers!
Traca
Seattle, WA

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#9 tighe

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 08:21 AM

As someone who's been something of a self-loathing Seattle-ite, at least when it comes to restaurants, its good to be reminded that I probably shouldn't be so jaded. I'm so glad you enjoyed you dining experiences here, John, and it was a pleasure to have lunch with you.
Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.
- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946