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Guys weekend, good place for dinner

I think that by now the OP has come and gone.

Jul 21, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

B'ham fam doing SEA for a day - looking for casual ethnic (probably) dinner

sasha1,

Please let us know where you went, and your impressions of the place...

Jul 20, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

B'ham fam doing SEA for a day - looking for casual ethnic (probably) dinner

The OP mentions La Carta de Oaxaca as a place that is already an old standby. In Ballard, for the stated criteria, I would add Senor Moose.

Jul 19, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle
2

Corkage fees

This is a truly interesting question.

I have a good friend who is a big wheel in the logistics side of the wine and spirits trade. As a result, he has the ability to collect some very special bottles at very attractive prices. Once I was treated to a meal with him in NYC where he brought along three different older vintages of Penfolds' La Grange, and we had a vertical tasting of one of the world's best wines. As I recall, the corkage rate he was charged was around $50 (per bottle). It struck me as high, but he shrugged it off, given how much cheaper it was in the end than the astronomical sum he would have had to pay for the same bottles off of a list at the standard restaurant mark-up. There are different ways to look at it.

My own practice in any city is to check on the charge first, run my own mental balancing act, and then either move foward, or vote with my feet and select another venue.

But it is a balancing act, involving many factors, and I have a hard time getting too upset with any establishment that has corkage at all vs. the many who don't.

You are teasing us by not first revealing the charge that you felt was beyond the pale. Can't wait for the reveal.

Jul 17, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Anniversary Trip-- 4 days in Seattle

#1 Canlis

#2 I defer to others.

#3 RockCreek http://www.rockcreekseattle.com/

#4 is covered by #3, the proverbial two birds with one stone, opening up another slot to fill, which is a good thing since there are so many great possibilities here.

Jul 17, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

One Night in Seattle Before a Cruise

I'm sure the kids would enjoy the show at Benihana, but it is not a restaurant I would choose for a short layover in Seattle (not an "only in Seattle" sort of experience).

I'd recommend Blueacre Seafood. It is a big space and you should have no trouble reserving for a group of that size (with reasonable notice), there is a lot of fresh local seafood on the menu, and they have plenty of options that should please the younger Chowhounds in your crew. It is an easy walk from the hotel.

http://blueacreseafood.com/

Jul 11, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

2 Day trip in Seattle (July 11-12)

The foie gras question arises regularly, a search on the board should arm you with information.

Seattle is not a place where lobster roll is a thing. A decent shrimp roll is available at Pike Place Chowder.

Jul 08, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

One more Dinner for Repeat Travelers

It just seemed to me that since one of you won't touch seafood, two fish-centric restaurants may be a bit much.

Too bad that hubby won't don a jacket. The unique Galatoire's experience is more than worthy of dressing up.

Enjoy your visit!

Jul 08, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

One more Dinner for Repeat Travelers

If husband is not a seafood eater, the logic of eating at Pesche collapses, IMO. Especially when you also plan a meal at GW Fins.

You don't mention Galatoire's as a past or present experience. I would bring that only-in-NOLA-experience to the very front of the line. A very honorable second to Clancy's (which will take you outside the FQ).

R'evolution in the FQ can feel like a theme park, but they do put a lot of good food on the plate, and they have an impressive wine cellar. The non-fish-loving husband may love the Chicago-esque steak section of their menu.

Other suggestions are certain to rain down, please let us know where you end up and your impressions of same after the visit.

Jul 07, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

It is a mildly ambitious, but still a very do-able day plan. After Canlis you'll be tired, but pleasantly so.

Jul 07, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

whats up at Commanders Palace

"They made a big deal about their recent win of the James Beard award, but what I'm discovering in NOLA that many of the most mediocre restaurants here have also won the award."

This is certainly a provocative statement. Care to name names?

Jul 06, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

New Orleans on Weight Watchers -- Unfortunate, but necessary, Help please!!

Part of what makes the Domenica cauliflower app so good is the whipped cheese sauce that comes as part of it. I doubt that the sauce is low cal, and I doubt that the cauliflower shines nearly as brightly without it (and it would be even less of a value at $18).

Jul 04, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans
1

Rare Bourbon

Jul 03, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

August Visit-Filling in the gaps

Muff game at Cochon Butcher is extremely strong.

Jun 30, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Walking distance from the Fairmont Olympic hotel.....

Jeff,

"Italian is my favorite"

A long-ish walk (but a short cab ride) will get you to Spinasse:

http://www.spinasse.com/

It is all REALLY good, but their tajarin pasta is one of the best Italian dishes you'll find anywhere in North America. A gem.

Spinasse has a relaxed atmosphere, I think any solo diner would feel comfortable.

Order the tajarin...you won't regret it.

Let us know the timing of your stay, so we will know when to shut up with our suggestions.

Jun 29, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

There was little if any difference between my own fresh and frozen-on-the-boat. Your experience was different. I accept that, I just bristled at the "au contraire" framing. I've had a bad couple of weeks and am on a short fuse. Sorry.

Main thing: OP should not expect to find "fresh" King Crab from the Bering Sea on the menu anywhere in Seattle, or even in Anchorage. Our varying experiences with that extreme rarity are a tangent.

Speaking of tangents, on a topic upon which I know we are in complete agreement, I thought that the front page story in today's Seattle Times about post-privatization liquor prices in our state was a validation for us both. I only wish they had also discussed the reduction in selection at the vast majority of outlets as well.

Be well, Kaleo. Peace out.

Jun 29, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Thank goodness for Chowhound. Nowhere else can one's own comments about direct personal experiences be so immediately and forcefully invalidated.

Glad you had such superior whole King Crab, Kaleo. Strange that my one fresh experience was not life-changing.

In any event, the OP probably will not have such an opportunity during his or her visit. Aloha and such.

Jun 29, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Back in Seattle for a visit--Dinner near Pike Place?

Place Pigalle is pretty casual as well. One could wear nice jeans to any of these inside-the-Market venues.

I would suggest that the OP eject out of the Market for the one dinner. Maybe hit Ballard and dine at Walrus & The Carpenter. Use the market for the surrounding breakfasts/lunches/cocktails, and see one other vibrant neighborhood scene while in town during a short stay.

Jun 28, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

First time visitor looking for local opinions

Tip # 1 ... it is called The Pike Place Market, not Pike's Place. Likwise Chilhuly Garden & Glass.

Tip # 2 ... "we're game for anything." Too open-ended. As already noted, none of us know where to begin or end. Do some reading of past threads, do your homework here, then let us help you narrow down some possibilities. Chowhound is a great resource, not because every visitor thread becomes "Groundhog Day," where all the information repeats as though for the very first time.

Jun 28, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle
3

One FINAL request for my short mini-chowmeet with Singapore Hound in July

Charles,

The thing about Alaskan King Crab (and Snow Crab too) is that 99.9% of the harvest is cooked and then frozen on the crabbing boats. So eating it anywhere, including in Alaska, tends to be the same experience. Restaurants everywhere are basically just thawing and reheating it.

I've never eaten it fresh anywhere in the Northwest, even in Alaska. Funny thing is I once had it fresh in New Orleans...the restaurant had a connection to fly in King Crab freshly caught from returning boats, but only once in a great while. Frankly, it was not better than the flash-frozen-at-sea versions.

Jun 28, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Walking distance from the Fairmont Olympic hotel.....

Walk a surprisingly short distance to enjoy the best in fresh Northwest seafood at Blueacre.

Jun 28, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Vancouver Hound's first real trip to Seattle -- help an elf out?

Your happy criteria that demands "tasty food, great beers and good cocktails all in one spot" reminds me of the old business cliche that with the trinity of low price, speed, and quality, it is possible to have any two, but never all three.

On Capitol Hill, Quinn's does not (I think) do a happy hour per se, but they do have a great bar menu with a lot of small plates at all hours, with a very strong list of Northwest beers and a good Bourbon list. Tavern Law has a deep bar, good cocktails, and very high end bar food. Within a block of TL you'll also find high French bistro style bites and winr & drinks at Cafe Presse, and a boistrous bar scene with very decent (Mexican themed) food and cocktails at Barrio.

Agree with Kaleo that Il Bistro at the Pike Place Market is a very cozy place to burrow in at happy hour, and you are near other great spots in the Market and nearby (like the Spanish-themed Aragona) if you feel like a little spontaneous hopping. Hopping is good, for at least one night on what might otherwise be a rigidly planned itinerary.

The people at Rob Roy in Belltown understand the art of the cocktail, and watching them shave the correct bar ice is a lot of fun.

If you are willing to have more than one experience, that lean in the direction of cocktails, beer, food, you will have a more successful set of experiences than trying to cover all three under the same roof, at least IMO. Enjoy, grayelf, and please give us a good trip report afterwards!

Jun 26, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Between Seattle & Anacortes?

Zag slightly sideways on 405 and then up to Woodinville and enjoy a meal at Barking Frog.

http://www.willowslodge.com/barking_f...

Wine and beer tasting abound in the immediate vicinity in case you have any extra time, and the valley is beautiful, often filled with folk traveling in balloons on warm summer nights, and major outdoor concerts on the big winery's grounds (Chateau Ste. Michelle).

You'll then have an easy and quick drive south back on 405 south and over the Mercer Island bridge right back into Capitol Hill.

Enjoy your visit-

Jun 24, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

From a 1997 Frommers New Orleans travel guide and the many closed restaurants from that time period.

Katrina was a big blow and a big turning point.

But this is also a reality of all cities. The current mad rush for restauranteurs to expand and multiply is creating a restaurant "bubble" in many places.

The great thing about New Orleans is that almost everywhere else, if you've lasted a single decade, you are already a grand dame (and usually quite out-of-fashion). New Orleans still has many places that have maintained traditions and standards for decades.

For me, the glass of tradition in New Orleans is decidedly half-full, not half-empty, despite the nostalgia of a 17 year old old Frommer's tourist book.

The list of fine places that have joined the party since 1997 would be at least as impressive, IMO.

Jun 22, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans
2

One Dinner in New Orleans

Many of their sandwiches would. Certainly their stellar muffaletta would (I've brought them home on the plane to enjoy next day on several occasions).

And I would bet that the Ritz's concierge would be glad to make it happen. Sending a runner to pick up a couple of sandwiches and keeping them in a fridge for you is not a huge ask in the context of the sorts of things concierges in good hotels pull off on a daily basis. From the Ritz-Carlton credo:

"The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests."

Give the concierge desk a call and have a chat to express a wish. Or not...

Jun 20, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

If you need to be there at noon, and if you need a "lunch-like" meal that must be completed earlier than that, with time left on top to drive and park at the final destination, it will be tough, not matter what we advise.

Getting to one of your already chosen Everett destinations when they open at 11, or else having a more breakfast/brunch style meal en route, are probably your best alternatives.

IMO, if you are making a day trip from Olympia to Everett and back, I'd strongly consider Seattle for breakfast/brunch en route, and/or for a dinner on the way back, and skipping lunch (because you won't need lunch).

Jun 19, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

What to eat in/south of Everett before noon on a Saturday?

Barney's hours:

Hours
Mon 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun Closed

Brooklyn Bros Pizza:

Everett Brooklyn Bros:
SUN-THUR 11am-8pm
FRI-SAT 11am-9pm

Depending on how early you need to be in Everett, all of Seattle's countless options would be your proverbial oyster.

Jun 19, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

One Dinner in New Orleans

You might want to speak to the concierge at the Ritz Carlton for a helping hand procuring some sandwiches from Cochon Butcher (before they close on the day or your arrival) that you could have in hand the following morning. A good concierge lives for such minor challenges, and when one pays Ritz Carlton rates, one may as well take advantage of RC Level service for guests.

Likewise the same desk might be a good source for advice about Chow-worthy but non-dressy restaurants near the hotel that serve late.

Jun 19, 2014
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Gift certificate recs for young newlyweds in Covington?

I have been, and I don't love it. Not even close.

Jun 18, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Gift certificate recs for young newlyweds in Covington?

The options that we've already mentioned are pretty good. I think the original recommendation of Gino's would make a pretty solid date night desitination for newlyweds, without having to drive far.

You can get from Maple Valley to Issaquah (without getting on any freeways) in about 20 minutes (so call it 30 from Covington), and Issaquah has options like the aforementioned Jak's and the excellent Thai food at Noodle Boat. Melrose Grill in Renton is also a solid steak house if the newlyweds can stand a drive of 20 or 30 minutes. But there just isn't much within 20 minutes or less of a Covington address that hasn't already been mentioned.

Sadly, there is little in Auburn or Federal Way that is sufficiently Chow-worthy to be worth the ride.

I'd still lean toward either Gino's in Maple Valley or Benjarong in Covington.

Jun 18, 2014
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle