The Pacific Northwest is a mecca of great food. One of the things I like about Seattle’s food scene is the range of styles and prices. If you want a great bowl of Ramen for $8, head over to Samurai Noodle in the International District (ID). Looking for fine dining and one of the best wine lists in the country, then Canlis is the place for you.
Here are a few of my favorite food and wine spots in Seattle. This is just the tip of iceberg, but it is a good place to start for a city with a wealth of options.
Chef Matt Dillon’s Seattle restaurants include Bar Sajor, Sitka and Spruce and bar ferd’nand. The newly-opened London Place is another great example of what the Dillon empire has up its sleeve. The London Plane provides a great option for lunch in Pioneer Square, but equally as impressive is the event space, The Little London Plane, located right next door. With seating for 20-30 people this versatile event space is a great option for a corporate luncheon, a small rehearsal dinner or a private wine dinner. HDH recently hosted a BYOB Wine Dinner at The London Plane and found the space, service and food to be top-notch. Call and ask for Meg Viera. Meg took excellent care of our group and was able to accommodate our wine needs/corkage fees seamlessly and professionally.
A newcomer to the Seattle scene, Miller’s Guild recently opened inside the Hotel Max. Having seen Chef Jason Wilson and wine director Jake Kesseff’s work at Crush, I was excited to check out the new spot. I went for lunch and I was hypnotized the moment I walked in the door. Put simply, the place smells like heaven (if heaven smells like roasting meats and smoky cedar). Chef Wilson uses an open fire hearth as the focus of the steakhouse and, while the steak does shine here, the lunch menu has plenty to offer. The wine list is also not your traditional menu for a steakhouse. No, you won’t find a lot of Bordeaux, but rather, your server will recommend Burgundy or Barolo. The woody smoke in the air would also match well with an aged Barolo.
In a town known for being casual, Canlis is a stronghold of fine dining. Canlis is a Seattle institution and a destination for food, wine and architectures devotees alike. A family-run restaurant since the 1950s, the restaurant boasts exemplary service, numerous awards and one of the best wine lists in the country. I recommend ordering the duck (you’ll want to split it or come extremely hungry). The wine list is seemingly endless and packed with gems from recent to mature vintages. Canlis is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion; every little detail is taken care of and you will feel very special. They also have several great private spaces in the upstairs. There is a small, intimate private dining room and a large open room that could be configured into a large dinner or walk-around wine-tasting. Canlis is the kind of place everyone should be lucky enough to visit at least once in their lifetime.
It would be a shame to visit Pacific NW without popping some oysters down your gullet. The best oysters I have ever had in Seattle were at Ballard’s Walrus and the Carpenter. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one privy to the magic of this little spot. You’ll have to be willing to come early or to wait, or perhaps both. But I promise you it’s worth it. The staff is knowledgeable, the oysters are fresh and the space is elegant and stylish. The wine list also has interesting options that won’t break the bank. We enjoyed Dagueneau on my visit, a nice pairing to the oysters.
There are no frills to be found at Samurai Noodle. Samurai churns out delicious Ramen for less than $10 per bowl. I suggest the I.D. location (there are three locations total). The tiny space is quite fun and you are able to look right into the kitchen at huge pots of boiling broth that seem to be working on something similar to a Solera system. Tonkatsu is my go to at Samurai but everything I’ve had here is delicious. Usually when I go to Samurai I want to order another bowl while still finishing my first. Resist this urge and pick up some of the house-made noodles. I may have brought noodles from Samurai back to Chicago on the plane with me…
I hope you enjoy one of these spots during your next visit to Seattle. Eater Seattle (and Eater in general) is a great resource when looking for restaurant ideas.
I would love to hear your comments on other favorite restaurants and wine lists in Seattle. Happy eating!