Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Gourmand’s Weekend Getaway to Seattle

Typical media coverage of Seattle has always seemed warped to me —
the inevitable mentions of Boeing, Amazon, and the rain. How depressing.
The reality of Seattle is something altogether different. I’ve written about Seattle’s amazing neighborhoods, the art, the wine — it’s a city with many charms.
Today, we’re going to talk about food. I truly believe Seattle is one of America’s first class cities for gourmet dining. And I’m going to show you what you need to know to do it in a long weekend.

gourmet seattle weekend A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle

Tours, Markets, Carts, and Windows

One disappointment I have with Seattle food is that often some of my
favorite establishments change or close. Thus, Seattle is one of the
towns where I strongly recommend getting on a food tour or two to guide
to you to the latest and greatest. Savor Seattle
is a great option, and with choices like “hip on the hill” or “booze n
bites,” what are you waiting for? Their guides are really in the know,
so be sure to hit them up for recommendations and tips while en route.

seattle market A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle
Savor does a Pike’s Place Market tour, but actually I think you should wander the market on your own
and see what you uncover. Get some doughnuts from daily dozen, pick up
gourmet gifts and treats to take home at DeLaurenti’s, sample some
cheese at Beecher’s, get chocolate (and chocolate spa products!) from
indi chocolate, or wander into Market Spice at the back of the market
and see what you fancy.

ivars fish bar A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle
The Pacific Northwest also seems to be a fan of the food window.
It’s sort of like a food cart, but the cart is in a building. (I know,
it’s weird. Just trust me.) If you want a food cart, that’s cool; here’s the list
— Ivar’s, on Pier 54, is a classic example. But if you head out into
the neighborhoods, check out Marination Station or Kedai Makan in
Capitol Hill.

pdr 2081 A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle

Sit Down Dining

Seattle is not like Portland – people love to sit down for a fine
meal, completely with linen napkins. (And unlike Portland, people do
actually dress up for dinner here. I’ve lived in both cities, I speak
with confidence.) Canlis is the most famous — reservations required — and probably has some of the best service of any restaurant in the country. And what a view.

6191319556 6e4061c5b2 b A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle
Normally I don’t flock towards celebrity chefs, but Tom Douglas
is a notable exception. All of his Seattle venues I would recommend:
Lola is wonderful, Serious Pie is simple (and more casual — pizza shown
above), Dahlia Lounge for brunch.

wine essentials A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle

Pour Yourself a Beverage

Looking for a cold one? Seattle has all that and more. Wine is easy; Purple Cafe is one of the most well-known (perhaps for its beautiful wine staircase), but honestly I find this place just meh. I prefer The Tasting Room or Fonte.

MG 52331 A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle
Seattle has some great beer, too, though I have to
say most breweries in Seattle don’t have the best food, nor service.
Pike Place Brewing and Elysian are the two best for brews, though I also
like having a beer at Six Arms in Capitol Hill (photo above), an
extension of the McMenamin’s chain of locally-owned restaurants.

seattle downtown hotel view A Gourmands Weekend Getaway to Seattle

Foodies Need to Sleep

After all those calories, you’re going to need safe refuge, and Seattle has your back. Four Seasons Seattle
is one of the best hotels in the Four Seasons network, with an amazing
on-site spa and very comfortable rooms, all just a couple of blocks from
Pike’s Place Market. Rooms have a great view, and if the weather has
you down you have not only one of Seattle’s best restaurants in the
lobby but also chocolate and salted caramels from Fran’s, all available
to you without having to step foot outside.
is a relatively new hotel to the Seattle scene (for those in the know,
it used to be a Red Lion). It’s a sleek, sexy hotel — ask for a
west-facing room if you can, the views (above) are wonderful. Right on
5th Avenue, the hotel is steps from all the shopping hot spots and is
also home to the up-and-coming Frolik restaurant, which I think has some
strong culinary talent in the back of the house. Frolik has a wonderful
outdoor terrace (see lead photo, above).
Wine lovers will want to hang their hat at Hotel Vintage Park,
part of the Kimpton brand. With wine-themed rooms, a free wine happy
hour, local wines in your minibar, and a great Italian restaurant (so good we held an event there), you’ll be a happy camper here.

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