This week’s Friday Five link-up hosted by Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC, and Mar at Mar on the Run is about Food & Drinks. Since I so rarely write about Seattle restaurants and Valentine’s Day is this weekend, I thought I’d share five restaurants I love in the rainy emerald city. While the five are probably fully booked for Sunday, these are great spots for locals and tourists alike to experience anytime of year.
Lola is an old favorite in my house. We first discovered it when we flew up from Santa Monica to pick up Le Mops from his puppy home. After an overnight with our new puppy at Hotel Andra, we ordered room service from Lola. We also had lunch from Lola before heading to the airport. After we moved to Seattle, Lola became a regular night out for us. We just had our anniversary dinner there last night. It’s a Seattle version of Greek comfort food. We usually order several mezes and skewers, Halloumi cheese and Lamb are a favorite. This is a Tom Douglas restaurant, who is kind of the king of Seattle restaurateurs and chefs, so if you’re visiting Seattle you should eat at least one of his places. Their specialty cocktail menu changes often and always features unique and tasty choices. Make reservations or you’ll be eating at 9 pm!
Spinasse & Artusi
While Spinasse and Artusi have two different menus, they are connected, so I figured I’d combine into one. Up on Capitol Hill, Artusi is the appertivo bar for Spinasse, but serves a menu worthy of a trip to the hill all on its own. The menu has changed at Artusi a couple of times and many of our favorites (tripe) have disappeared, but it still delights each visit. Spinasse, while losing its head chef a while back, has maintained a standard Italian menu that I crave.
Elliott’s Oyster House
I have to say I have never eaten dinner at Elliott’s; I have eaten at the bar several times and lunch at a table (where you don’t get bar menu or happy hour pricing). This is one of those old Seattle staples, that always seemed kind of tourist trappy, so I avoided it for years. Now that I’ve discovered that the location may be ideal for out-of-town guests, the food far surpasses any tourist trap and most of the restaurants in Seattle. I’ve run into a couple of weekday lunch servers who can’t offer much info on the large oyster menu, but I assume they gain that knowledge before being scheduled for dinner. This is fresh seafood served a variety of ways with delicious sauces when needed.
I’m a huge fan of Michael Mina, from his days at Aqua in San Francisco, so I was thrilled when one of his brands opened in Seattle. This is one of our regular spots, and we often find ourselves at the wine dinners. With no family invites on the table, we even spent Thanksgiving at RN74 this year, followed up by a Champagne dinner a few nights later. This RN74 has my favorite bone marrow, but the truffled mac & cheese (served as a side to the chicken) can’t compare to Bourbon Steak in San Francisco.
Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky
I can’t always eat chicken–it sets off my endometoriosis–but when I do, it is at Ma’Ono. Pre-order the chicken to assure one is available for and always order all the sides (all of them!). They also do a gluten-free fired chicken (requires at least 24 hours confirmation), which I shared with friends, and was just as delicious. They also happen to do the best Loco Moco I’ve ever eaten, which is saying a lot. And let’s not forget the Whisky. Their whisky menu doesn’t quite rival Kickin’ Boots, but its close, and I never leave unfulfilled.