Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Invading Seattle


Recommended Posts

Looks like I will be coming to Seattle for the World Golf Championship at Sahalee...I will only be in town for 2 nights...one will be near the golf course...which I hear is way out in the suburbs...the questions are...1)Any good restaurants out that way...especially sushi? 2) If I get to spend the 2nd night in the city...where to stay...not too far from the airport as I have a 6:15 am flight out...but, would also like to be near good dining...last time I stayed at the Inn at the Market and 3) If I have only one dining experience in Seattle...where should it be? Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy, that's a tough one.

Yes, the golf course is way out there, about 30 miles east of Seattle (it's the Mt. Si course, right?). It's near North Bend, which was the town featured in Twin Peaks, if you ever watched that. The place with the pies had a fire; not sure if it's back in business. I don't know what there is to eat out in that direction these days; anyone?

For one meal in Seattle, I will make an obvious (so obvious people are groaning right now) recommendation: Flying Fish or Etta's. They feature the types of seafood most closely associated with Seattle (salmon, dungeness crab, and so on) done well. If you want to feel like you had a real Seattle meal, these places are tops.

Of course, to me a real Seattle meal is Thai food; if you don't have good Thai food where you're from (where are you from?) let me know and I'll steer you in that direction. Lunch, maybe?

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mamster,

Unfortunately my daytime hours have to be spent at the golf course, unless we have a rain out...as for the location...I was told it was somewhere near Redmond...it is our first tourney at this site...so it is all new to me. I will know more tomorrow after I talk to the Tournament hq.

Although I do love the fresh seafood I would prefer whatever you would consider the better overall "dining experience", including food, atmosphere and wine list...(believe it or not we get live dungeness here in Las Vegas, and I cook them at home relatively frequently). And as a side note I will be in Vancouver for 5 days the following week for the tournament there (and not to insult Seattle, but, I am sure I will consume a lot of seafood there as I have friends who live about 5 blocks from Granville!)...I love all types of food (Thai included) so don't be shy! I hope a little more info helps...and thanks in advance for the advice! :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I remember correctly, you will be between redmond and issaquah. If you drive north a few miles you will be in woodinville where some of the better eastside dining is.

Some purported great places are:

The Herbfarm- Very pricey price fixe dinners, you need reservations. This place is really a seattle institution.

The Barking Frog- "Casual Upscale", I have heard very good things about this place and it is probably one of the better bets on the eastside. Fairly expensive.

My favorite Eastside dining experinece is at Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. Really great northern Italian cuisine influenced by local ingredients. A must try if you can make it over to kirkland.

Good Luck, and tell us how you fared!

Ben Schielke

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi southern girl!

My vote would also go to Flying Fish, 2234 1st Ave., Seattle, (206) 728-8595 . Excellent seafood with a Pacific Rim East meets West kind of thing goin' that represents Seattle very well. Be sure to try the fried razor clams if it's on the menu if you haven't had them before (yummy!). To see a sample of their menu (although it changes daily) to get a better idea if it's what you would like, Click here

Unfortunately there are not many good dining choices near the airport. However, I have heard good things about a Thai place near the airport called Bai Tong, 15859 Pacific Highway S. Seattle, WA Phone: (206) 431-0893. I've heard rumors that it's a favorite of the Thai Airline crew when they are in town. For more info Click here . Does anyone have any other knowledge of this place, ie mamster, girlchow, etc?? I've always wanted to go there, but am usually busy picking up someone up or dropping them off at the airport.

Others here are more familiar with Eastside dining and downtown sushi spots than I am. I usually go for sushi in West Seattle at Mashiko's, which is very good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sahalee is east of Redmond, so your close choices would be Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue or Woodinville. Cafe Juanita is a fine choice, as would be the Third Floor Fish Cafe in Kirkland. Herbfarm is fantastic, but it requires ressies way in advance and be prepared to pop ~$250 per person for a 9 course all night dinner (includes wine with each course). The food is blissful, and he (jerry traunfeld) also uses all northwest ingredients. Barking Frog might be a good choice, although I've not eaten there yet, its right next to the Herbfarm.

I'd save your sushi craving till you get downtown, and go to Shiro's. Try to sit at the counter. Or, as a couple other people have suggested, Flying Fish. Its a great example of Northwest/Asian fusion cuisine. Have the softshell crab appetizer, mmmmm!

oh, btw, I thought Snoqualmie was the town used for Twin Peaks...

Born Free, Now Expensive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to Barking Frog in Woodinville under the watch of Stephene Desgaches (spelling?) and was completely underwhelmed. I haven't been since Tom Black took over. Anyone have a more recent analysis?

The atmo at BF was really casual (with a slacker wait staff to match), but the pricing was definitely upscale -- which I find a clashing concept. My big problem with Barking Frog is that it touts itself as "the place" for NW wine, but had no sommelier on staff on my visits NOR a server or bartender who could answer any wine questions (errrrrrr). Lame. The food was just OK, although I didn't feel the quality matched the $25-$35 entree pricing. For that kind of cash, I'd hit something more reliable like Cafe Juanita in Kirkland or I'd go to the Third Floor Fish Cafe (both in the same price range). Also, there's Szmania's in Kirkland (very nice for dinner) and Marina Park Grill in Kirkland. All of these places are within a 15 minute drive of the course (or thereabouts) and will run in the $25-$35 range for entrees. Oh, if you want to check out another course in the area, go to the Golf Club at Newcastle (south of Bellevue). They have a very good restaurant on site called the Calcutta Grill. The view is really breathtaking.

As for "one meal in Seattle," I'd also stick with the recs of Flying Fish or Etta's for dinner. Or, how about Matt's in the Market, it's small and more casual than Flying Fish or Etta's, but it might give you that real Seattle experience you're looking for. Really, though, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a great meal in Seattle. Just ask around when you hit the golf course. You're bound to find a foodie. As for sushi in Seattle, click on the recent sushi thread on this board. There are plenty of recs there.

BH (et al), Bai Tong on Hwy 99 is really decent and would make a fine meal if you're staying near the airport, although it really can't compare to some of Seattle's top restaurants. Still, the story about the Thai Airlines employees is true and the food is reliably good. My one beef with Bai Tong is that the servers kind of rush you out of there when it's busy. I hate that.

Also, if you're eating near the airport (but it sounds like you may want to stay in the city), I might recommend Spencer's Steakhouse at the Hilton right near the airport. It's a steakhouse with very good steaks (I think they're choice cuts, not prime) with flawless service. The atmo is sort of hotel-ish in an icky kind of way, but that's because the restaurant also must serve breakfast and lunch and a steakhouse atmo is just not suitable for breakfast and lunch. Spencer's is not much compared to Seattle's prime steak offerings (El Gaucho, The Met, Daniel's, Ruth's Chris, Morton's, etc), but it's all I could recommend near the airport.

Unfortunately, there isn't much in terms of eating near the airport. Under no circumstances should you allow anyone try to talk you into eating at 13 Coins near the airport. The food is bad. In fact, I'd recommend staying in the city, eating somewhere great and then getting up at the crack of dawn to make your flight. You'll be much happier with the food selection.

Hope you have a great visit!

A palate, like a mind, works better with exposure and education and is a product of its environment.

-- Frank Bruni

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Southern Girl, glad to hear you're making it to Seattle! Definitely save your sushi experience for when you're downtown. If you want sushi close to the Inn at the Market (that's where Tony Bourdain stayed when he came into town on Valentine's Day), definitely go to Shiro's and you must sit at the bar. Make sure to bring your cell phone, you can give them your number and then get a drink half a block south at Wasabi Bistro. Or you could just sit at their sushi bar and order their tempuraed Seattle roll, smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese in a standard roll and then the whole thing is deep fried. Very tasty. I should note that you really should go to Shiro's instead of Wasabi.

But if you want to go to the most interesting and I believe the best in town, go to Mashiko's in West Seattle, 4725 California Ave. S.W., www.sushiwhore.com. And of course, sit at the bar. Hajime's style is most similar to Nobu in New York and I believe other locations (disclaimer, I've never been to any Nobu, but if you sit at the bar at Mashiko's, you can see a Nobu cookbook). Anyway, Hajime loves to do sushi outside of the norm and I haven't found anyplace in Seattle that can do better albacore, or do a better omakase. Oh yeah, anywhere you go, ask for omakase (chef's choice). If you're lucky they'll still have sawagani, the fresh river shore crab the size of a quarter that's deepfried whole and eaten whole, a lovely experience.

I'll leave your Eastside dinner to others with better experience. By the way, what days of the week will you be in the Seattle area? Are you doing the last two days of the tourney, Saturday and Sunday? If Sunday is your second day, you'll want to call ahead to the sushi joints to see if they're open:

Shiro's: 2401 Second Ave., 206-443-9844

Mashiko's: 4725 California Ave. S.W., 206-935-4339

Wasabi Bistro: 2311 Second Ave., 206-441-6044

Have fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Downtown, you could also try Saito's for sushi. It is newer, has a great sushi and hot Japanese food menu. This is where the Japanese fans of our esteemed baseball players go - and the players. Also, some of Seattle's other men in blue (cops at lunch) for whatever that is worth.

Cafe Juanita is a great call on the eastside, as is Matt's in the Market for the fresh nw seafood experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SG, so obviously you've be deluged with recomendations at this point, but I have to get my two cents in, just the way I am.....

If you're out at Sahalee and get a serious Sushi jones, there's a good little hole-in-the wall place in Redmond called Kikuya. It won't make you forget Nobu, but very few places will after all. Out that way I definately second (third, fourth, fifth?...) the Herbfarm. Spendy, but definately a unique experience. Could be tough to get reservations with all the hoo-ha going on around the WGC though.

For sushi in town, I really MUST assert the supremacy of Nishino in the Madison Park neighborhood, just east of downtown. I know this is going to start a $#!^ storm of controversy, but I've been to most of the places mentioned and they don't hold a candle....

Airport....in my book, Spencer's is as good as any steak place in town and you can be to the airport from there in mere moments. If you're into funky Italian, there's a little-known place north of the airport called Filiberto's that does a nice job with pizzas and other S. Italian standards. There is in fact a sushi place near the airport called Atami. Can be good, but is notoriously uneven. I would skip it unless you happen to be in a "give me sushi, or give me death!" kind of mood.

Maybe I'll run into you out at Sahalee, I'm volunteering for a couple days.....

Enjoy your visit....

OK, OK, so I didn't read the thread too carefully the first time through....

You were actually asking about where to stay near the airport, not where to eat....well the deal is that either you stay downtown, or you stay actually at the airport, there's nothing in between (except my house). If you must stay at the airport, then, the Hilton is the newest and nicest and is where Spencer's is located. If you can, I would reccomend dining in town if possible. I know the Hilton has a shuttle to downtown if you're going to be without car.

As far as best overall dining experience in Seattle....the Herbfarm, which I mention above, is a serious contender. In-town, I would go for Le Gourmand, Campagne or Dahlia Lounge.

Quick, stop him before he recomends again!!!!!!

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or, how about Matt's in the Market, it's small and more casual than Flying Fish or Etta's, but it might give you that real Seattle experience you're looking for.

Bee-uutiful day at the Pike Place Market today! Sunny & blue skies, couldn't ask for better weather!

I had my first meal at Matt's at the Market. girlchow.. it was just as good as you and everyone has been saying it is...even better. We arrived at 1pm and got a seat immediately next to the window overlooking the market. We started with a soup: pureed carrot, ginger and nectarine soup served cold...deelish & complex in flavor. I ordered one of the off menu entree specials: Pan Roasted Halibut with olive-lentil cake, & tomato coulis w/green beans. This dish was more successful than I had even hoped for. I'm not normally keen on lentils (especially when dining out), but I trusted Matt's and they didn't dissappoint. There was not a preponderance of lentil flavor, but the olive flavor really shone through (I love olives so that was very nice), and I liked the grilled onions in it, too. The cake was in the shape of a crab cake, with good texture. The halibut was fresh, moist and rich in flavor, w/ slight carmalization...yummy! These items were served with a light tomato coulis and served over fresh steamed green beans.

Mr. H. ordered the other entree special: Seared Skipperjack w/ black beans and corn salsa. This was another successful dish in our opinion. The skipperjack is similar to tuna, only darker in color. The bites I had of his were very yummy. A couple of beers (Bitburger Pilsner and Islander Maritime Pacific Pale Ale) quenched our thirst and went well with our lunch.

On the way out, we walked through the market, and I picked up a couple of Spring Rolls from Saigon Restaurant to eat later on tonight (as I heard that is one of Tom Douglas' favorite places). We also stopped at Macrina bakery for a fresh loaf of potato bread (which is the bread they served today at Matt's). I think I can also get it at the Admiral Thriftway, but I just wanted an excuse to stop at Macrinas. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blue Heron,

Congrats on making it to Matt's. But, a table? Hope you took note of the open "kitchen". Hasn't been mentioned in awhile, if at all, how incredible it is that they produce meals such as you described, on two portable burners and with one oven. Cooking can be part of the show, and the counter seats give you an opportunity to catch the snide comments. Of course, on a hot day, those open windows could be appealing. Thankfully, the place got air conditioning last year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, yes! On the way out, I asked him where the rest of the kitchen was, in the back? (there was no back, of course). I was in awe that they do such an incredible job with such a tiny space. I think sitting at the counter would be much fun! I was also surprised how pleasant the room temp was. The windows were open and it was very comfortable (even being on the 3rd floor on a hot day).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, now I'm curious about Matt's at the Market...I tried a Google search to find a menu...no luck...anyone have a link? I'd also be interested on more comments about experiences there. Thanks. Also, does one need a reservation to sit at the counter, or is it first come first served?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matt's at the Market

94 Pike St Corner Mrkt Building Ste 32

Seattle, WA 98101-2066

Phone: (206) 467-7909

For a review, Click Here

For citysearch review,

Click Here

Although they do not officially take reservations, when I asked about it while I was there, they said if you call 15-30 minutes ahead of time at lunch they will hold a table for you if they have one, and a call about 30 minutes ahead will hold a table for dinner, if they have one open or one just going to open. They only have about 6 tables total, and a counter space, it's a really small place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Mamster...what is the hee hee hee? Do you A) Not like the review B)Not like the style of the reviewer C) Completely Agree with the review D) None of the above. As a nonresident I don't have a clue (not that I'm saying I ever have a clue anyway!?!?!) and I am considering going to Matt's...so please 'splain. :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had to guess, I will say that mamster is hee heeing because I included a citysearch review?...and they are not exactly the most reliable (reviewers are anonymous).

And of course mamster being a Seattle Times restaurant reviewer ...well, is that what you meant mamster by hee hee hee? :rolleyes:

mamster, have you been to Matt's at the Market yet? I wish girlchow was around....she really likes Matt's and has talked about the place before. For the one and only meal in Seattle, I'm not sure I'd pick Matt's...I might choose one of the sushi places mentioned, or Flying Fish since it has a lot of Pan Asian fusion with Northwest ingredients that is very nice. However, the Pike Place Market is a landmark in Seattle, and is really nice to go to if in town. And Matt's is a great place at the market....Decisions....decisions.... Good Luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blue Heron,

Thank you for the clarification...I knew City Search was, to put it politely...more mainstream...I didn't know of Mamster's qualifications!

I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a cancellation at the Herb Farm...but, if not...you are right...decisions, decisions, decisions! :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I had to guess, I will say that mamster is hee heeing because I included a citysearch review?...and they are not exactly the most reliable (reviewers are anonymous).  

Matthew's washing dishes, so I asked him and he said Blue Heron is correct; Citysearch reviews are dumb, so he was amused that BH distinguished between "real" reviews and Citysearch reviews.

I thought maybe he was making some joke about Matt's at the Market and the fact that we have a Matthew and a Matt who are members of the PNW board. Apparently I was thinking too hard. But it does seem like mamster and klink should meet for lunch at Matt's some time.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry for the crypto-giggle. I've never been to Matt's but have heard only good things. I never call myself "Matt," but if I did, I would have challenged that other Matt to a duel back when I worked in the market.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have to put in the reccommendation for Mistral on 1st and Blanchard in Belltown. It is my absolute favorite place to go in Seattle. It is a price fixe dinner only ( ~$75 for seven courses or $90 for nine) and is wonderfully prepared.

Chef William is very personable and I have never recieved anything but the best service from him.

The food is simply amazing. Every dish I have had there has been executed perfectly. I cannot reccommend them highly enough.

Mistral's Web site

Enjoy!

Ben

Gimme what cha got for a pork chop!

-Freakmaster

I have two words for America... Meat Crust.

-Mario

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey all:

I'm also thinking about visiting Seattle in a couple of weeks. If I go, it looks like I'll have three nights to eat (late on Friday, anytime on Saturday, early on Sunday).

Unfortunately, I haven't had any luck convincing anyone that they want to go on this trip with me, so if people could comment about any of the places mentioned in this thread (or others) in terms of their appropriateness for dining solo, I'd appreciate it a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi jordyn,

July 31-Aug. 4 is Seafair in Seattle and quite an excellent time to be in our area. There are lots of activities including hydroplane races, Blue Angel performances, navy ships to tour, etc. But onto the food...

I can't speak for all restaurants, but the ones I've been to, I've never seen a problem with dining solo. The sushi bars are particularly condusive to solo dining, and I do it myself occasionally. Matt's at the Market has a counter and I noticed a couple of solos there when I was there, too.

What type of dining experiences are you looking for, and maybe we can give you a better idea. ie are you looking more for fine dining (expensive) places, NW Seafood, waterfront view dining, singles hangouts, good ethnic places, etc?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...