617 Broadway E., Capitol Hill
Altura's Italian-focused, rotating, multi-course tasting menu best suits a special-occasion dinner. The open kitchen atmosphere makes it more of an experience, as do the pairings: You can opt for a traditional wine combination or a more modern matching, which also includes cocktails and beers.
4900 Stone Way N., Wallingford
Probably the best thing about Bamboo Village, besides the fact that they do dim sum all day long, is that it doesn't get as crowded as the other dim sum spots in town. Read: You can always get a seat, and you won't be rushed through your meal, so you can do all the lingering (and deciding you want just one more dish) you like. Fan favorite dishes include the shumai, humbao, and fried taro from the dim sum menu, and regulars rave about the roasted duck with rice. And while it's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing, taste-wise, it's more than worth ordering the mango jello with cream, which arrives shaped like a jiggling fish.
2600 1st Ave., Downtown
Known as Seattle’s first gastropub, Black Bottle remains high on our list for its creative take on different cuisines and its cool atmosphere (white walls, exposed brick, and a minimalist black bar). We suggest going with a group of friends so you can try as many tapas as possible.
2576 Aurora Ave. N., Queen Anne
When it comes to Seattle dining establishments, Canlis is OG, located inside a 1950’s modernist home overlooking Lake Union. A bonus: All the tables have water views, meaning there’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s a family-owned spot that began as a steakhouse, though over the years they’ve tweaked the menu, adding Japanese elements here and there. Don’t miss the stellar selection of sake, and be sure to order the truffle fries. Trust.
1415 N.W. 70th St., Ballard
This pizza spot is the brainchild of husband-wife team, Brandon Pettit, a former New Yorker with a passion for NY-style dough, and Molly Wizenberg of the popular food blog, Orangette, and author of the book, Delancey, which tells the story of the restaurant's Seattle opening. Their awesome pies (margherita, crimini mushroom with mozzarella and thyme, hot salami) are served out of a wood-fired oven, in a minimalist, small space set with wood tables and drop-ceiling light fixtures. While the pizza here takes its inspiration from New York, many of the ingredients—from the veggies to the flour, cream, honey, and ginger beer—are locally sourced.
Ernest Loves Agnes (Closed)
600-602 19th Ave. E., Capitol Hill
Ernest Loves Agnes is the perfect combination of an old-school, white-tablecloth Italian restaurant and the cozy neighborhood standby you can always count on. The seasonal, locally-sourced menu is very traditional, with old-school classics like grilled octopus, meatballs, charcuterie, and homemade pizza (funghi, speck, three meat) and pasta (bucatini with marinara, pappardelle bolognese, ricotta agnolotti). The ambience is casual, with light wooden chairs, old-school floral china, and the kind of bar that's easy to sidle up to after work. For those wondering about the name—it's in honor of the romance between Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurowsky, the nurse who inspired the female heroine in Farewell to Arms.
2020 Western Ave., Downtown
Etta's is one of many restaurants by famed Seattle restauranteur, Tom Douglas. It's situated alongside Pike Place Market, and it has all the seafood staples you'd expect: oysters, Dungeness crab cakes, ahi tuna, and so on—but it's also known in part for its market brunch menu and accompanying house Bloody Mary.
707 S. King St., Downtown
Set in the heart of Chinatown in the International District, with red lanterns hanging from the ceiling, lazy susan tables, and birds hanging in the windows, Harbor City is dim sum straight out of central casting. The space is pretty tiny, so we recommend arriving early on weekends to skip the lines. They do all the classics really well—the har gow, gai lan (steamed broccoli), pork siu mai, and barbecue pork buns all come highly recommended. If you're feeling adventurous enough to order some fried chicken feet, this is a good place to take the leap.
424 7th Ave. S., Downtown
Not far from Harbor City (the other dim sum favorite in the International District), Jade Garden is a Seattle staple. The restaurant is actually really big, so while there's a line on the weekends, it moves fast, and you can use the time to look over the specials, which are written on an old-school chalkboard in gorgeous script, in English and Chinese. Try to snag a seat near the kitchen if possible—there are enough tables that folks in the back usually suffer from a smaller selection from the carts. Food-wise, they do classics like shumai and hum bow really well, and locals say the shrimp dumplings either fried or steamed are what they order late-night (it's open until 3am).
3621 Stone Way N., Fremont
Nautically designed Manolin (named after the Ernest Hemingway character) is awash in cool blues, and centered around a U-shape bar that provides front-row seats to the bustle of the restaurant's talented bartenders and the chefs manning its wood-fire grill. The menu is updated often (the plantain chips stay), with different, refreshing takes on ceviche rotating in among vegetable mains and grilled fish and meats.
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