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Downtown Seattle

Definitely would suggest Sitka and Spruce. Although technically in Capitol Hill, it's at Melrose and E Pine street where it's easily walkable from downtown. If you're looking for that trendy restaurant popular with foodies that highlights PNW cuisine with local ingredients, Sitka and Spruce is absolutely the way to go. Your children will also love it as they're adventurous eaters.

I also would recommend taking a Lyft (not Uber as it's filled with ex taxi drivers that aren't as friendly) to Ballard to go to The Walrus and the Carpenter; the other, more extremely popular place with tourists as it's more seafood/oyster centric as out of towners want to eat seafood (especially oysters) when they come to Seattle. Get there before 4pm when they open (arrive at least 15-20 minutes early as there will be a line for sure).

For breakfast/brunch the next day, I would recommend going to Rock Creek Seafood up in Fremont. Also, The London Plane (owned by the group that owns S&S) is amazing as well. They use local ingredients to whip up unique dishes. I hear it's the most instagrammed restaurant in Seattle as it's like if a quaint breakfast place or even a bistro had a baby with a Pier 1 Imports; that's how beautiful the place is with a femininity that both sexes can appreciate. Plus afterwards as The London Plane is in Pioneer square, you can take the Water Taxi to West Seattle/Alki beach for a stroll as taxis come by the hour.

Aug 15, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Kudos to Seatown & Etta's!

Seattle certainly has the best front of the house staff for its restaurants compared to most cities on this planet. It's definitely due to the friendly people that's the opposite of the Seattle freeze.

Aug 10, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Breakfast and Brunch in Seattle: Rock Creek Seafood, Morsel, and The London Plane

Hi everyone!

Although I didn't have the archetypical Seattle Breakfast/Brunch items such as the dutch baby or a smoked salmon eggs benedict, I've still had many great and different interpretations of the Seattle breakfast.

Rock Creek Seafood: No doubt the food's really good. However, what didn't seem fitting as half the people looked like they came out of a J. Crew catalog and the other half from an R.E.I. catalog is a DJ at a brunch. Sudden base beats while you're enjoying brunch? Not exactly fitting. I had the Prawns with Grits dish. Although a tad bit too peppery, it was a good dish that I'm fortunate they brought it from the dessert menu.

Morsel: After seeing Nook on "The Layover" and visiting UW, my friend and I went to Morsel. Albeit small looking, they were very filling as they were extremely rich as I had "The Spanish Fly". Delicious biscuits they were but now it makes me want to try Honest Biscuit or Biscuit Bitch.

The London Plane: As it's one of Matt Dillon's places although co-owned with the owner of Marigold & Mint, it certainly met expectations. I've had the famed Smashed Avocado on Toast which was very delicious. Also eager and worried that it might not be enough, I also ordered a potato salad using different kinds of potatoes. FYI, one dish is good enough. Having a pastry extra is good if you're really, really hungry.

In depth Blog link: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

Aug 03, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Sitka & Spruce (2nd Visit): Delicious Wholesome Food that You Actually Feel Good Eating

Thank you for your complement. Actually, you've taught me a new wine variant, even though it's been around for more than 2000 years after researching it on Wikipedia. I appreciate that :)

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

The Walrus and the Carpenter - Seattle's Top Oyster Bar for Those that Solely Travel for Food

Yes, I noticed that too! Chances are Walrus uses various purveyors in the Pacific NW ( Wa, BC, AK) for their oysters. Taylor shellfish bar was really good but I'm pretty sure they serve the ones they farm. I could be wrong though.

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Sitka & Spruce (2nd Visit): Delicious Wholesome Food that You Actually Feel Good Eating

Right before the Anthony Bourdain show on the 27th, I've visited Sitka & Spruce which was an ideal pre-show meal. With its mantra of not only being extremely delicious and using the bounty of the PNW, you'll actually feel healthy and good after the meal which is great right before watching a man make cracks against Giada de Laurentis, Adam Richman, and Guy Fieri. This is a place I highly recommend out of towners to visit as it's counter-intuitive to the idea that if it tastes good, it's bad for you.

Here's my blog link and enjoy: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

The Walrus and the Carpenter - Seattle's Top Oyster Bar for Those that Solely Travel for Food

Ahhhhh. I probably did. I'll definitely keep that in mind for my next visit. Since you're telling me it's the best in the city, I am even more anticipating a return visit so that I'll be able to try it. Thank you, sir!

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

The Walrus and the Carpenter - Seattle's Top Oyster Bar for Those that Solely Travel for Food

Here's my blog link for more pictures and greater descriptions: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

Along with the oysters, my party and I divulged in their wonderful small plates. Usually, people ask which of the few restaurants they should consider, as they're usually limited, during their trips to Seattle in various food-related forums, such as this one. I definitely recommend putting this on their list, even if that involves enduring an hour plus wait.

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Obviously, I went with the soufflé as I didn't want to be disappointed like last time if you'd read and I too wanted to see if it really was the outstanding classical dish that it was. Yes, that had me go towards the classics. But I have to say that it was pretty exceptional. So yes, I'd say that it was an exception and glad to have tried it.

Aug 02, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

It's hilarious how you think Canlis hasn't changed, otherwise they'd be serving Chops, Calamari, and Onion Rings. Who's the misinformed one now?

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Well, it's my opinion buddy and it's yours if you feel mines or someone elses' opinion is incorrect. By the way, I generally do like Canlis if you'd clearly read my blog. But I share my opinions in hopes of the food at Canlis breaking free of its shackles so that the food can truly stack up with the greats. I also do recall that the owners of Canlis don't really have the intentions of wanting to be the best like The French Laundry, even though that seems opposing as they hired a chef who came from a 2 Michelin starred restaurant. So with that being said, they've seemed to tone down the food in regards to their offerings.

A) I've actually talked with the Seattle editor of Eater via email initially inquiring why she took Canlis off the Eater 38. She told me that the reason she took it off is not only because Eater usually doesn't cover the high end restaurants (but said it left it on previously as it's the only restaurant of its kind in Seattle of being a high end place that uses modern techniques), but also it's because the kitchen hadn't yet gotten used to the new chef coming in. BTW, I did say the dishes were great and I hope you read that part on my blog near the end. But if you'd read my blogpost, my issue was that the food wasn't innovative enough to set new bars that would have heightened its cuisine. Basically, the great food hasn't reached that awe inspiring level that should make it even more delicious. Really, I do want Canlis to succeed and in my own personal opinion, they would by letting the chef have more autonomy in his kitchen. I can imagine you feel the following, but it does make me sad that people say the food is overrated.

B) I'd imagine you've been there before. I'd also imagine you've dined at some of the greatest restaurants around the world. And so have I to a certain degree. No doubt as I've said in my blog review that the food is good. However, I still stand by my words of catering to less experienced palates. The chef certainly has the potential to be innovative but I feel he's adhering to the status quo of the clientele judging from tasting his food. What has let me down was that the food didn't seem innovative enough as that what a restaurant in that league and its current perception should be doing. It should serve out dishes that certainly will make you want to talk about it days after. Haven't you taken a look on Instagram with #Canlis or been around some of these people? I may come off as snobbish but it seemed clearly obvious to me that they're there for solely the ambiance as they've set their priorities for taken selfies of themselves rather than enjoying the food from the lack of food pictures. Plus, they do have some of the more "safer" options such as chicken or steak. I certainly don't doubt they can cook their meat. Regardless, it's highly unlikely that most of those people will return anyways unless if it's a really special occasion. As I've noted in my blog, Canlis really has to take notes from the other successful Seattle restaurants such as Sitka & Spruce and The Walrus & The Carpenter of being original and true to its roots. They clearly don't compromise and yet they still have plenty of people wanting to come while having repeat customers.

C) I've actually said in the beginning that Canlis tries to attract people from out of state. And it does as I sat next to a grumpy pair from Toronto. However, they seemed to keep grumbling among themselves about comparing the place to such NYC establishments such as Momofuku-Ko (if you know, Chef David Chang really isn't the type that would cater to the status quo as in one No Reservations episode, Bourdain talked to the chef of Noma in Copenhagen about how he took off his most popular dish from the menu - the Brussels Sprouts dish). Another point I bring up in my blogpost about Canlis needing to step up their innovation is that they also really need to impress the out of towners, especially the epicureans who travel to cities around the world solely for food.

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Hi, Once again, thank you for sharing your experience with the tasting menu, sir.

Yes, exactly. It is great how we're both able to share Canlis' current lineup to inform the rest of the Chowhounds. I definitely went to the other top food destinations in Seattle as that's what out of town Chowhounds usually inquire about on this site. I'll certainly be posting them soon, although it'll take a bit of time as it takes me 2-3, maybe even 5 hours like I did with the Canlis review for me to write each of the review.

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Oh no worries, and thanks for the birthday wish. I will be sharing my blog posts on this site about the following Seattle restaurants: The Walrus & The Carpenter, Sitka & Spruce, The London Plane (Breakfast), and Rock Creek Seafood (Primarily Brunch), and Morsel (Breakfast)

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Hi there, the blog link has more pics and better descriptions. Anyways. What I had was the Foie Gras (Although the foie gras ban has been overturned in my state of California, but because of the initial ban, it's definitely a habit of mine to order it), Salmon, the duck for two (other companion tried it), Artichoke w/ Dungeness crab (should have said "Dungeness Crab on the menu instead to entice more customers), and the Soufflé.

My friend had the Peter Canlis Prawns (sans butter due to his lactose intolerance), Halibut, the shared duck, and Blueberry sorbet (once again, his dietary restrictions). Even without the butter, the Peter Canlis Prawns were still very delicious. If you or someone else is coming to Canlis for the first time and wants to try a classic dish, I would highly recommend that.

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Thank you, I do appreciate that :)

My recent visit to Canlis with the new Chef (a la carte menu)

Hi everyone, I just want to share my experience at Canlis from my blog: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

I feel Canlis with its current staff has the potential of truly being Seattle's top restaurant. Even with that being said, I do feel that the food was potentially restrained in order to not alienate some of those with less experienced palates. Like with the other popular restaurants such as Sitka & Spruce and The Walrus and The Carpenter to which I'll be covering soon, they aren't willing to compromise and I wish Canlis would take similar steps in order to truly become Seattle's top high end restaurant while giving actual credibility to the food as isn't that what restaurants should be known for? A lot of people trash Canlis of being overrated, so I hope sooner or later they're able to get back on their feet to prove them wrong.

Aug 01, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

For Italian sandwiches in Seattle (Porchetta, Salami, Other Cold Cuts): Salumi > Meat & Bread

Hi everyone!

I've just got back from Seattle and will soon add more posts for the places we've been to.

However, I just want to say my opinion for those wanting to know which place to go for if you're in the mood for a Porchetta Sandwich or any other style of Italian sandwich. The two shops that seem to be usually compared are Salumi and Meat & Bread.

Hands down, Salumi was my favorite. Meat & Bread on the other hand? Well this is the following I've posted as my review for Meat & Bread on another popular restaurant review site...

"The Porchetta Sandwich and the Chickpea salad were like models. In that sense, they only looked pretty but were really bland & boring in soul, will take lots of your money and can also make you sick.

The Salsa Verde and the porchetta looked succulent. However, when eating it, it was very bland where the vibrancy just stopped at the looks while it being very greasy. It was very disappointing how the Salsa Verde didn't contribute much flavor as the majority of the flavor was given solely by the mustard provided on the side. The cracklin' didn't provide much as well."

Here is my more in-depth review of Salumi vs. Meat & Bread: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

Jul 30, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Recommendations - Three Days in Seattle

With those dietary restrictions, the gluten-free and pescetarian, definitely the trendier mid-range restaurants shouldn't have an issue catering to them, particularly the ones by the restauranteurs Matt Dillon and Renée Erikson. For lunch, I would recommend: Sitka & Spruce (Matt Dillon's flagship restaurant), Taylor Shellfish Bar, and Terra Platta in Capitol Hill. For dinner, I would recommend: The Walrus and The Carpenter (a Renée Erikson restaurant) (Ballard), The Whale Wins (another one of Renées restaurant) (Fremont), Rock Creek Seafood (Fremont).

If you want a seafood restaurant on the waterfront, Elliott's Oyster House has opened again after a near 6+ month closure after finishing the reconstruction of the seawall.

" CANLIS " - Another Year; Another Chef; Another Dining Experience!

My apologies. Really, bigger portions? Usually, each dish on the tasting menu is usually smaller than the ala carte option as the tasting menu has more courses. Or, you meant the items on the ala carte menu having larger portions?

Jul 17, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

" CANLIS " - Another Year; Another Chef; Another Dining Experience!

Hi, Charles.

I remember from another post related to Canlis about them finding a new chef before signing on Brady Williams that you'd wish for someone with Japanese-French (or just Japanese) cooking experience. I guess he has that sort of background.

Otherwise, thanks for the report. I heard from another post how the tasting menu isn't that great. But I understand that you might have had not that much choice in order to entertain your party as you have to order the tasting menu for the entire group.

I will be actually coming up to Canlis for a meal with a friend a couple of days before the Anthony Bourdain show on the 27th. We are definitely going for the a la carte option. I will soon after type up a report of that experience.

Jul 16, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

" CANLIS " - Another Year; Another Chef; Another Dining Experience!

Highly agree. There are those that would be more than happy to drop $500 on a ridiculous Ed Hardy t-shirt. I know I know, the PC response of how people can spend on their money on what they wish. Even with that being said, some of those people would be flabbergasted and prejudiced about you or someone else spending $300 per person on a meal to which they have an extremely hard time contemplating because they haven't yet had a high-end food experience or just completely apathetic to gastronomy, one of life's pleasures. They don't get how not only should the food be way on another league but also you come to dine for a life-changing experience provided by the spectacular service which is definitely worth the price (I keep thinking of people who are close minded to gastronomy saying "too much!" and "I would never spent that kind of money for food" in my head from past experiences as they're the types that wouldn't ever consider eating at a high end place if I hadn't mentioned it).

I know my opinion can be polarizing and blunt but it's how I feel. Also, I do love shopping for clothes as the debate between foodies and fashionistas is quite common. It's not that I don't get clothes but even if it's not my taste, Ed Hardy seems really gaudy and tasteless.

Jul 16, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Worms in Cod?!?

Yes, last year, there was a huge story of a guy finding a worm/nematode in a Costco/Kirkland packaged "Fresh Wild Pacific True Cod". The VP of Quality Assurance and Food Safety for Costco/Kirkland says not only are they prone to such parasites, but they're harmless when cooked but a concern (possibly dangerous) when eaten raw, even though they generally do a thorough job of removing them. Here's the link:http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/m...

Jul 15, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

10th anniversay - not Canlis or Herb Farm

I've actually never been to Gastropod. I now gotta look it up as it sound really interesting, thanks!

Jul 13, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

10th anniversay - not Canlis or Herb Farm

Hi edub,

If you still want to go to Canlis for your trip, I would also like to add that you can eat at the bar at Canlis, although you'd probably wanna choose a different date other than your 10th anniversary. Although they have a separate bar menu, I hear you can order the full menu but I'd call and double check just to make sure; also ask if they accept walk ins.

Jul 12, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

10th anniversay - not Canlis or Herb Farm

I had to place my reservations 2-3 months ahead for my reservation at the end of July this month for Canlis. With a lot of tourists wanting to come to Seattle for the summer as it's a great time to visit, lots of places is going to be booked.

For lunch, I just want to throw in the recommendation of Sitka & Spruce for lunch. As I had responded to someone else, it's amazing how it's open for lunch as the majority of trendy mid-range restaurants are primarily open for dinner. It's one of Matt Dillon's restaurants as like Renee Erikson for The Walrus and the Carpenter and The Whale Wins. Also, you can swing by Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar next door in the same building (Melrose Market) for a few of some of the PNW best oysters since they're the major purveyor of oysters for most of Seattle's restaurant where you don't have to pay the middleman a premium.

About your question between Whale and Westward, Westward is certainly more Mediterranean influenced (Greek particularly) whereas Whale is more Western European influenced along with that from the local product as well. The other reason why I mention Sitka & Spruce is that the food of Matt Dillon is primarily focused on the PNW ingredients even though there's Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/European/American influence making it a very unique restaurant on its own. I've definitely been to Sitka and Spruce for lunch and it was amazing! I'm also planning to go for dinner as well before the Bourdain show at the end of this month. Here's my blog link of my time at Sitka & Spruce if you're considering lunch over there: http://themetropolitanlounge.blogspot...

Jul 11, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

10th anniversay - not Canlis or Herb Farm

Yes, it definitely had that reputation decades ago since its opening. However, ever since the arrival of Eleven Madison Park trained chef, Jason Franey, there's been a huge revamp of the cuisine utilizing modern gastronomic techniques while keeping some of the stuff like the steaks for those liking the old Canlis items. The shift is going even more of that direction with the new chef, Brady Williams while trying to do his best not to alienate the old clientele.

If you want to try some of Canlis' old menu, that's what their tasting menu is for, albeit with modern preparation. However, if you want to try some of their newer items (which I highly recommend), I would go for their prix-fixe a-la-carte 4 course menu for $100 which I have to say is a great value for a restaurant of its league (great food, attentive service).

Jul 11, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Adieu, Elysian. Thanks for the Sellout

Lol, what a great analogy!

Jul 09, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

Canlis with a kid?

I've set next to a table with toddlers. They were more than well behaved and are much tolerated at Canlis. Also, they have a kids menu as well just incase if he's not as adventurous but that's not likely since you've mentioned that above. Otherwise, they're more than willing to accommodate a child without a hint of pretentiousness.

If you look up #canlis on Instagram and tap on the link of photos related to the geographical location of Canlis (there should be a marker with "Canlis" above the picture if the poster shared the location of where the photo was taken), you'll see kids eating at Canlis and they're having a great time while looking really dapper and dressed up :)

Jul 09, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

One dinner in Seattle- Sitka and Spruce or...

I'd definitely recommend Sitka & Spruce for the most exposure of the best PNW cuisine Seattle has to offer. Plus, they're open for lunch which is unheard of for a trendy restaurant in Seattle as most are only open for dinner. They have amazing small plates for lunch.

Westward seems fun, especially in terms of location. However, their food and service might not live up to expectations. Also, they don't offer much and don't really open for lunch as the earliest they open is around 3pm on certain days.

Most of Renee Erikson's restaurants (The Whale Wins, The Walrus and the Carpenter) aren't open for lunch.

Taylor Shellfish has some amazing oysters but you can always stop by quickly for a few oysters after Sitka and Spruce as they're in the same building.

Jul 09, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle

10th anniversay - not Canlis or Herb Farm

On another note and I of course respect your opinion and wishes, have you dined at Canlis? Yes, it's very formal (jacket required but won't get you kicked out, just having your table placed away from the window). However, out of all the "hoity-toity" restaurants I've dined at, Canlis has the warmest and most attentive service I've ever encountered while without a whiff of condescension. In addition, they memorize your name, from the person who will greet you when you walk into the door through the main waiter who will be serving you, and will address you as Mr./Mrs./Ms. [last name]. Be that as it may, it's not to say that there is no snobbiness at Canlis which I have to say primarily comes from its clientele. Some of the people that dine there come off as the people who think they know food but order the "safest" things on the menu and would rudely openly mock other patrons as I had sat next to a rude group moaning and making fun of me for me overly apologizing to a waiter that I had felt his drink recommendation wasn't satisfactory (felt bad, but he didn't charge me for the drink, BTW).

Sorry, I understand that you don't want to deal with a stuffy atmosphere. It's just that Canlis has provided me the best service of my entire dining experience throughout my life. Because of that, I'm actually planning to go back again. But that's just me. I just wanted to share my experience with you if by the slightest chance you might want to reconsider it. Thanks and I hope you get to choose an awesome place for your 10th anniversary, regardless if it isn't at Canlis.

Jul 09, 2015
mlbartender in Greater Seattle