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There’s great food everywhere you turn in the Emerald City
Begun as a labor of love, Delancey is the most loved pizza place in town. At this cozy, neighborhood charmer, chef Brandon Pettit churns out toothsome pizzas and roast radicchio from the wood-fire oven. Salads are plucked from the farmers market. Finish with a salted chocolate chip cookie, inspired by Pettit’s wife, food writer Molly Wizenberg — who just penned a delightful book about Delancey. Whittle away the wait with a hand-crafted cocktail at adjoining bar, Essex.
Packed since its opening in 2011, Revel lives up to its name. Conviviality abounds at this Asian street food joint, the casual cousin to Rachel Yang’s and Seif Churchi’s Joule. Fans go gaga over Yang’s Korean comfort food — savory pancakes, short rib dumplings, and homemade noodles. Inside, Revel hums with chatter and the clamor of the open kitchen while outside offers a twinkle-light patio.
8) Le Pichet
Take a culinary trip across the Atlantic at this lovely little bistro. Le Pichet looks, feels, and tastes Parisian thanks to its savvy co-owners. Chef Jim Drohman studied cooking in the City of Lights, while Joanne Herron has tasted her way through France’s boutique wineries. Regulars and newbies alike adore the Gallic fare: brandade, pâté de campagne, and one of the best roast chickens in town. Like a classic French café, Le Pichet is open all day from 8 a.m. until midnight.
7) Cascina Spinasse
Behind glowing, lace-curtained windows, Seattle’s best Italian ristorante beckons. Chef Jason Stratton’s Piedmontese fare is equally rustic and exquisite. Tuck into homemade pastas, like the butter and sage Tajarin, pan-seared quail, and roasted endive. The candlelit room oozes romance, especially with a bottle from the well-curated Italian wine list. Apertivos at Stratton’s adjacent bar, Artusi, are a must.
6) Bar Sajor
Seattle’s historical heart, Pioneer Square, has gone from dodgy to delicious thanks to a slew of restaurant openings. One of the tastiest, and prettiest, is Bar Sajor — helmed by 2012 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Northwest, Matt Dillon. A farm-dweller and avid forager, Dillon is beloved for his eclectic, locavore cooking, which shines in Bar Sajor’s wood-fire-only kitchen. Savor a Mediterranean-inflected menu — smoked yogurt, charred eggplant, and Chuletón de Buey (Spanish-style steak). The gorgeous space — zinc bar, white-washed walls, soaring windows — complements the equally beautiful plating.
With the bonhomie of a booze cruise and the caliber of a luxury yacht, Westward is waterfront dining at its best. Chef Zoi Antonitsas cooks up Mediterranean-infused Northwest cuisine, with avgolemono and za’atar spicing up the oceanic menu. Inside the James Beard Design Award-nominated space, nautical details and a whimsical boat bar get you in the seafaring spirit. Outside on the patio, savor the Seattle skyline from Adirondack chairs.
4) The Herbfarm
Located just outside of Seattle in a converted garage, The Herbfarm offers a seasonally-inspired dining experience that celebrates the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Each unique, nine-course meal features the freshest ingredients from forest, farm, and sea, and is paired with five or six wines; the themed menus change with the season about every two weeks.
3) Dahlia Lounge
With roughly a dozen restaurants and bakeries in and around Seattle, Tom Douglas is one of the busiest chefs in the country — and his flagship Dahlia Lounge, opened in 1989, remains one of this region's best eating places. His seafood (curried clams with chickpeas, Neah Bay black cod with flageolets and smoked almonds, Hood Canal oyster stew, etc.) is impeccable, while his oxtail ravioli, chicken confit, and rotisserie-roast five-spice duck are authentically satisfying. The eclectic menu here mirrors the cultural diversity of Seattle, and the freshness and quality of the raw materials pay tribute to the gastronomical diversity of the Pacific Northwest.
2) The Walrus and the Carpenter
A whimsical name for a pretty straightforward restaurant, The Walrus and the Carpenter is a relatively new addition to the hip Ballard dining scene. At the raw bar, bearded men peddle eight different kinds of oysters from ice-filled metal baskets while diners take in the industrial-chic interiors along with their steak tartare or geoduck chowder. Renee Erickson, the chef and owner of Boat Street Cafe and Boat Street Pickles, embraces the artisanal, locavore ethos typical of the Pacific Northwest but is also heavily influenced by French cuisine, as evidenced in dishes like her duck rillettes, and she has created a menu of Francophile bar food to enjoy while you on a fancy cocktail.
Canlis is a true Pacific Northwest landmark. It’s been open since 1950, serving fresh, seasonal dishes that are more polished than cutting-edge in a rustic-modern space whose use of native wood and stone evokes forests and streams. Canlis was revolutionary when it opened due to its stunning architecture and trailblazing menu of upscale Northwest cuisine (which founder Peter Canlis essentially invented), and it’s still blazing new trails while keeping the classics, such as the famous Canlis salad, on the menu. The menu offers both classic and contemporary dishes; for instance, Wagyu steak tartare, sautéed prawns, or grilled lamb loin in the first case; roasted cauliflower with maitake mushrooms and Champagne vinaigrette, hamachi sashimi with Granny Smith apple and serrano pepper, or 14-day dry-aged Muscovy duck breast for two in the second.
10 Easy Recipes from the Asian Noodle Aisle
You’ve conquered the ethnic foods aisle at your neighborhood grocery store and you want more—more variety, more fun, more choices when it comes to cooking dinner. But when you hit the noodle aisles at Uwajimaya (Chinatown–International District, 600 Fifth Ave. S 206.624.6248 uwajimaya.com) it’s hard not to panic. They’re endless. With the help of the noodle-buying team at “Waji’s,” we combed the store’s four (!) noodle aisles for the best fresh, frozen and dry brands, and concocted easy ways for experienced home cooks to use the noodles for weeknight dinners. The recipes are designed for people who are comfortable with approximations. There’s everything from a warm Korean-inspired beef bean-thread noodle bowl to quick sesame soba for kids, to a lip-smacking rich pork-neck ramen. We’re not claiming authenticity here—just giving you a few new ways to explore Seattle’s most famous Asian grocery, one delicious, inexpensive dinner at a time.
SHIRATAKI (Japanese yam or tofu noodles)
Buy: Shirakiku (white yam noodle), $2.49, refrigerated
Seen in: Grocery carts of women who have been told by Dr. Oz that they should make their Italian favorites with these fibrous (zero-calorie, zero-carb!) yam noodles (or their new relatives, tofu shirataki)
Recipe: Quick green curry noodles
Drain and rinse noodles (don’t mind that fishy smell—it doesn’t kill the experience once they’re swathed in curry), then simmer sliced carrots, onions and/or mushrooms in a mixture of coconut milk (a full can) and Thai-style green curry paste until soft. Add shrimp, tofu, pork or chicken and noodles, and simmer for a few more minutes. Shower with chopped cilantro and lime juice before serving. Serves 1–2.
KWAY CHAP (rice flake noodles)
Seen in: Thai recipes, such as pad kee mao or the northern Thai noodle dish guay chap
Buy: Golden Pak, $.99, dry
Recipe: Rice flake pad see ew
Pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl, let soften 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then drain. In a hot wok, separately stir-fry, in a few tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil and garlic: 1 head chopped broccoli, one egg, thinly sliced raw pork shoulder or loin. Set each aside as you work. Sauté noodles in wok until they curl, then add cooked ingredients back in. Season to taste with soy sauce, a splash each of rice vinegar and fish sauce, salt, pepper and/or chili sauce. Serves 3–4.
FRESH BANH PHO (Vietnamese rice noodles)
Buy: Sincere Orient Food Co., $1.29, refrigerated
Seen in: Vietnamese pho, a broth-based soup served with noodles and meat
Recipe: Easy pho ga (chicken pho)
Cook noodles in boiling chicken broth for a few minutes, then transfer noodles to bowls. Add raw, very thinly sliced chicken (meat will cook in broth) and garnish with bean sprouts, Thai basil, sliced jalapeños and onions, Sriracha chili sauce, lime wedges and hoisin sauce. Serves 3–4.
FRESH RAMEN (Japanese egg noodles)
Buy: Sun Noodle, $3.99 for two-pack, refrigerated (also available frozen)
Seen in: Japanese ramen, stir-fries
Recipe: Ramen with homemade pork neck broth
Cook 2 packages of noodles according to package directions with the flavor packets, then add sliced cooked pork, half a hard-cooked egg (with a soft center, preferably), sliced scallions and cooked greens, plus soy sauce, shichimi togarashi (a zesty seven-spice seasoning blend common to Japanese tables), sesame oil and/or miso for flavoring to taste. Serves 4. For a pork-neck broth recipe that yields pulled pork for topping ramen, click here.
PANCIT BIHON (rice stick noodles)
Buy: Excellent, $1.59, dry
Seen in: Vietnamese banh hoi—they’re the noodles used inside fresh spring rolls
Recipe: Filipino pancit bihon
For this lemony take on stir-fry, pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl, let soften 10 minutes, then drain. Sauté chopped onion, carrots and garlic in canola oil until soft. Add thinly sliced raw chicken and bell pepper or cabbage. Add chicken broth to cover, simmer until cooked through. Add soy sauce and noodles, salt and pepper, and cook until noodles absorb half of broth. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
CHOW MEIN (Chinese egg noodles)
Buy: Wan Hua Foods, $1.99, refrigerated
Seen in: Chinese-style pan-fried noodles, lo mein and chop suey
Recipe: Pork chow mein
Stir-fry thinly sliced cabbage, celery, onions and grated carrots in vegetable oil and set aside. Add more oil, then stir-fry thinly sliced pork (from the store’s “hot pot” section) with finely minced ginger and garlic. Set aside. Place noodles in the pan, add chicken broth to cover halfway and cook until the pan is dry. Return vegetables and pork to the pan, season to taste with oyster sauce, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a splash of Shaoxing rice wine. Serves 4.
SAIFUN (bean thread noodles)
Buy: L&W, $2.99, dry
Seen in: Chinese and Southeast Asian stir-fries
Recipe: Warm Korean-inspired beef noodle bowl with shiitake mushrooms
Pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl, let soften 10 minutes, then drain. While noodles cook, sauté raw, very thinly sliced rib-eye steak and shiitake mushrooms in vegetable oil with lots of chopped garlic and ginger. Stir in a large handful of spinach until wilted. Add sauce made with equal parts soy sauce and sesame oil, season with chili paste. Serve over noodles with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serves 2–3. For the full recipe, click here.
SOBA (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
Buy: Hakubaku (organic), $3.39, dry
Seen in: Kake soba, served in warm broth with condiments, or mori soba, served cold on a bamboo lattice with dipping broth
Recipe: Cold sesame noodles for kids (and grown-ups!)
Cook noodles according to package instructions, rinsing with cold water as directed. Dress with equal parts soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar (stop there for picky kids), plus grated fresh ginger, minced garlic and chili oil, if desired. Serve plain or top with scallions, toasted sesame seeds and grilled tofu or chicken. Serves 4.
HONG KONG SHRIMP NOODLES
Buy: Noodle House, $1.79 and $2.79, dry
Seen in: Hong Kong–style wonton soup. These wheat-based noodles have tiny flecks of shrimp roe, hence the name (and flavor)
Recipe: Quick Hong Kong–style shrimp wonton noodle soup
Simmer 4 bundles of noodles in seafood or shrimp broth until the noodle bundles break apart naturally, about 3 minutes. Add frozen shrimp wontons or dumplings, cook 3 minutes more. Serve with sliced scallions. Serves 4.
UDON (Japanese wheat noodles)
Buy: Shirakiku “Sanukiya” frozen five-pack, $5.59 (also available fresh)
Seen in: Japanese udon soup or stir-fries
Recipe: Quick shrimp udon soup for one
Cook a package of noodles according to directions, using the flavor packet, and drop a handful of raw shrimp and vegetables in with the noodles. Garnish with scallions and fish cake season with shichimi togarashi. Serves 1.
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Where to Get Great Brunch Dishes in Seattle
Comforting brunch food could be just the ticket after a long, dreary winter. Restaurants are now open for indoor dining at 50 percent, but there are also a slew of newly constructed outdoor patios around the city, as well as places offering a range of egg dishes, chicken and waffles, biscuits, vegan options, mimosas, and more for takeout. Here are some of the top options for daytime diners.
Though all the restaurants and bars on the list offer takeout, a number have resumed limited outdoor or dine-in service as well, per current state mandates. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in Seattle, please visit the King County COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
In Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea , Santiago is the wise fisherman and Manolin his young apprentice. In my culinary retelling, the mentor is played by Renee Erickson , Seattle’s preeminent chef and restaurateur. The acolytes are a quartet of owners, all of whom worked at Erickson’s The Walrus and the Carpenter and The Whale Wins (both former Hot 10 spots).
At Manolin, chef Alex Barkley and partners Joe Sundberg , Rachel Johnson , and Patrick Thalasinos prove they have learned well. The welcoming nautical-themed space is centered around a U-shaped bar, behind which bartenders shake sunny Caribbean-inspired cocktails while Barkley works the wood-fired grill. Rockfish ceviche with strands of deep-fried sweet potato arrives bracingly tart. Arctic char comes lightly smoked and served atop house-made sour cream, a major upgrade from smoked salmon and cream cheese. Small plates encourage sharing, but you’ll want the grilled halibut for yourself. What makes the dish is a 26-ingredient mole, a riff on the Oaxacan sauce that the chef calls a “happy accident”—the kitchen needed to clean out the fridge and threw stuff into a blender. It’s the best bit of culinary improv since someone sprinkled salt on chocolate. What’s not an accident is the thought that has gone into Manolin. It just goes to show that the most lasting lesson that can be taught is how to be your own master.
Here Are Seattle’s 10 Great Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Apparently next Wednesday is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. I know, we don’t care either: It’s always grilled cheese day in our hearts.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Beecher’s nutty Flagship Cheddar makes one legendary sandwich, in variants with smoked turkey, Dungeness crab, or a simple cheese duet with Beecher’s Just Jack. But our favorite in this flagship Pike Place Market location is the Flagship Cheddar with basil and tomato: An iconic classic in an iconic space (with a few stools for eating-in and watching the cheesemakers at work).
Something about the thinner bread and the golden product makes “toasted cheese” a more apt descriptor for the stunners at these fantasy-themed haunts, filled with cheese blends like Emmentaler with Jack, or dill havarti with mozzarella—and some lovely meaty elements. (Like the Voldemortadella, the demonic lovechild of a grilled cheese and a muffaletta.) The original truck, often around South Lake Union, now has a tiny bricks-and-mortar sibling in Interbay. The sauce bar and the fact that you can add bacon to anything tops up the charms.
The latest darling of Southern food aficionados is Cycene in Pike Place Market, whose Double Grilled Cheese mingles pimento cheese with American cheese to most winningly gooey affect, with a nice pimento spank. Another variant subs out the American for Swiss, then adds pickles and thick sheets of ham. We say go for what you feel like this lunch counter is rocking everything.
Okay so now we’re just brazenly cheating: This slathered biscuit at Tom Douglas’s biscuit emporium in South Lake Union isn’t a grilled cheese in the slightest, and really isn’t a sandwich either. But can we help it if the ham, egg, Beecher’s cheddar, and apple mustard biscuit fires on all the same cylinders? The cheese comes melted all over the ruffles of ham, the apple mustard grabs you by the lapels, and the biscuit makes such a tenderly satisfying base you may question all other sandwiches, forever.
We adore this careful cocktail bar on Phinney Ridge for its tidy cozy senses of place and, frankly, for their exquisite New York white cheddar on Columbia City Bakery potato bread. The grilled cheese sandwich comes with a frothy serving of tomato soup, a brilliant light compliment.
Grilled Cheese Experience
Another grilled cheese truck—this one you see in front of the library downtown—has two claims to fame: a long list of sandwiches (a half-dozen of which are offered daily), and parmesan bread. (Three claims to fame if you count the grilled mac and cheese.) The bigger combos can be pretty sloppy so grab lots of napkins or order something on the plain side, like the Classic (made of three local cheddars). The very popular Bluesy Chick marries blue cheese with Mt. Townsend smoky jack, over house-smoked chicken.
Melt at Bar Sue
Serving after 6pm inside Pike/Pine’s affably dingy Bar Sue, Melt is the province of seasoned restaurateurs, and can taste like it. Most people know the mac and cheese, which comes in six varieties of Bechamel-smooth goodness. But the grilled sandwiches, most made with Havarti and many with meats like Hawaiian-style pulled pork or roasted turkey, can rock just as hard. We particularly like the purist’s favorite: havarti with Tillamook cheddar, red pepper aioli, and greens.
Where else can you get such a socioeconomically confused beast as the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, where brie and American cheese bond with a little cheddar in a brioche with bacon jam and, if you wish, a fried chicken thigh? It’s precisely this out-of-the-box mingling of fine cuisine with American grub that gives Skillet its patented disarming appeal. Because we have to admit it: Nothing goes gooey like American cheese.
Porkchop and Co.
The daytime headliner at this airy, down-to-earth Ballard haunt is a whole porkchop shoved between slices of bread—but diners’ preference runs to the Apple Melt, in which gruyere and Beecher’s Flagship cheddar mingle inside craggy slices of grilled sourdough. As if that weren’t already delectable enough, carmelized onions and pickled apple slices show up with unexpected, very welcome notes of sweet and sour—glorious against the sturdy savories of the cheese.
So a croque-monsieur isn’t technically a grilled cheese, topped with Bechamel and finished in the oven, but the meltiness of this French classic is a goo-lover’s wildest dream. Nobody in town makes it better than the little spot of Paris on 12th, Café Presse, where both the croque monsieur and the croque madame (the latter with an egg) kill it every time, with (among other things) gruyere that cauterizes into sweet little blisters across the top.
Updated 4/12/2018: Oliver's Twist now only has one location after its Magnolia bar shuttered this year.
10 U.S. Restaurants Offering Tableside Preparations
Sample everything from steak tartar to Bananas Foster.
Chops/Lobster Bar, Atlanta
Michael's Gourmet Room, Las Vegas
The Bazaar, Los Angeles
Want to impress a dinner date? Order the LN2 Caipirinha at The Bazaar in Los Angeles. Created and served tableside, this frozen version of the Brazilian cocktail is a mix of Cachaca (a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice), fresh lime juice and sugar which is transformed by liquid nitrogen into the Caipirinha.
El Gaucho, Seattle
Not all Caesar salads are created equal and the one made from scratch at El Gaucho in Seattle is to-die-for. At your table, the server will whip up the freshest Caesar salad you&rsquove ever tasted from crisp, grated romaine hearts and Parmesan Reggiano cheese, lemon, minced garlic, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, an egg, homemade croutons and cracked black pepper.
Deer Path Inn, Lake Forest, Illinois
Portabella mushrooms with spinach and goat cheese, roast duck with cranberry wild rice and garlic accented escargots are some of the famous dishes at Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest, Illinois. But the most popular house specialty might be the filet of Dover sole, which is sautéed at your table with lemon butter sauce and almonds.
A.G. Kitchen, New York City
Fresh guacamole prepared tableside is always a crowd-pleasing theatrical act with a delicious payoff. And one of the experts in that presentation is A.G. Kitchen in New York City which offers a tropical variation that includes such ingredients as pineapple and pomegranate.
Inspired by the informal Japanese dining style called izakaya, Zuma Miami specializes in flavorful small plates such as pan-seared prawns and black cod dumplings and chilled soba noodles with lobster in soy-ginger dressing. The most popular crowd-pleaser, however, might be the vegetarian rice hot pot which includes wild mushrooms, tofu and Japanese vegetables served tableside in a cast-iron pot.
With at least sixteen locations around the country, Sullivan&rsquos Steakhouse is a high-end operation offering first class lunch and dinner fare with craft cocktails and addictive appetizers to match. They also offer a few table side specialties and the headliner is their impeccable BLT salad which is made with arugula, tomatoes, crisp bacon, blue cheese and a sweet basil vinaigrette.
Commander's Palace, New Orleans
Located in the heart of New Orleans&rsquo historic Garden District, Commander&rsquos Palace has been a legendary gourmet destination since 1893. Some of their signature dishes include turtle soup, pecan smoked redfish cake and a rich seafood stew. But save room for their desserts, especially their spectacular presentation of Bananas Foster Flambe for two.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
First founded in 1981, Del Frisco&rsquos Double Eagle Steakhouse has expanded to several locations around the country and offers fine dining with an emphasis on chops and seafood. Carnivores will particularly savor the excellent steaks, especially the ribeye cut which is sliced and served table side.
The 15 Best Places for Breakfast Food in Seattle
/> Soxinly: Get the donuts and Tom's Big Breakfast! Its not that big, but very unique and delicious.
/> Chris Miller: The Lola breakfast is delicious. The sausage reminds me of thanksgiving. Yum..
/> cYeNz: Pork sausage was amazing pancakes were light, fluffy and tasty with syrup and clotted cream garlic smashed fried potatoes were delightful. Lola succeeds at the little details.
/> Sofie Gogic: Gluten free French toast is unbelievable for those of us with the intolerance. Just subbed gluten free for the special French toast with nectarine compote, nom!!
/> Hanan Mal: West coast Benedict is perfectly cooked! Roasted potatoes where sweet and crispy. The unlimited fresh toppings for pancakes and french toast is such a great idea! Unfortunately coffee was terrible!
/> Kanin S.: Great place for breakfast or brunch, with unlimited toppings for pancakes and such. Booking is recommended though.
/> Martin Rogers: Best brunch in Seattle and an absolute must-visit if you're in the Columbia City area. The French toast is to die for.
/> Jonny E: My favorite breakfast place. The bacon is awesome. Daily pancake and French toast flavors. Had Orange-Honey pancakes this morning. Bombsauce!
/> Tyler Butler: Best restaurant biscuits I've had, coming from someone who's grandmother bakes biscuits every morning for breakfast. Geraldine can't compete with Kathleen Butler, but she puts up a good fight!