Date Night in Seattle

Dear Jen,

Going out to dinner with the hubby this coming Saturday but we can’t figure out where to go. Need something yummy, but also need to break out of our routine of Serafina (though that’s a lovely routine to have). Could also use reco on an adjacent happy hour or cocktail.

Location: open.

Inspiration, please! And thank you.



Chef Dustin putting finishing touches on his tostada creation (housemade tortilla, cabbage slaw, radish, cilantro, green mole aioli, and um...ox tongue. Delicious.

Dear E.,

If you want to stay close to your ‘hood (assuming you’re in Ballard), you could always grab a cocktail and some oysters at Walrus and Carpenter (Ballard) and then walk to the adjoining restaurant – Ethan Stowell’s Staple and Fancy (Ballard).  I am not crazy about Staple, but I tried Staple on their opening day and I feel like it sometimes takes a restaurant a few months to perfect their menu.  Cool space, though and many of my food enthusiast friends (especially my meat-loving pals)  think Stowell’s newest restaurant is the bee’s knees.

For a date night, I dig prix fixe places where you don’t have to order from a menu.  Food and drink just come at you:

1) Art of the Table (Wallingford) – This prix fixe place is my current obsession.  I  seem to be frequenting  Art of the Table at least once every other week theese days.  I went there last week and had a sturgeon dish that was so good it gave me the chills.  I complimented chef and co-owner Dustin on the dish and he self-deprecatingly said, “Oh, my friend Gene caught the fish yesterday from the Columbia River.  I just picked it up from him.”  The fish was served with micro greens that are grown in his other friend’s garage a few blocks away from the restaurant.    Gotta’ love a place like that.

2) Elemental (Wallingford) – This is where my main squeeze and I spend most of our date nights.  We are talking about innovative Pacific NW food (chef Laurie is always experimenting and switches up the menu every week) paired with a lot of wine and cocktails.  Co-owner Phred knows more about wines and liquor than anyone else I know.  It is super hard not to walk outta this place without getting hammered;-)  The only downsides – They don’t take reservations and some people dislike the their-way-or-the-highway service.  I like it.  Trust them.

3) Sea Breeze Farm’s La Boucherie (Vashon Island) – A display case of meat greets you as you walk into this kick-back restaurant.  My friend ended his two-year vegetarian stint after eating at La Boucherie. If you are one of the suckers who stand in line every weekend at the University or Ballard Farmers market to purchase their high quality meat, pate, milk, butter, etc., you can probably guess the food is out of this world.  They get all of their produce either from other farmers on the island or they trade with other vendors at the farmers markets.

Oh, and I know someone recommended Crush to you.  Personally, I have a minor beef with Crush because last time I went, the waiter was patronizing (explained to me that sturgeon was a fish – no sh** Sherlock) and just odd (accused of me of stealing cutlery – a cheese knife of all things. If I were to steal cutlery, I would definitely go for a steak knife).  I also wasn’t  a big fan of the patrons, who seemed a bit stuffy.  The food was tremendous though and owner Jason Wilson was extremely apologetic about the knife whereabouts confusion so maybe  I need to reconcile with my ex-Crush;-)

Have fun!


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2 Responses to “Date Night in Seattle”

  1. andre
    May 25, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    George, who owns Seabreeze, is intense and passionate about the food he makes, mostly, animal products. Stop by his farmstand on Vashon and you never know what you will find. Stock, mousse, butter, chops. You just never know.

  2. Jen
    May 25, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    Andre – Love George’s passion, too. Here is how he explained meat to my vegetarian friend – “Think of meat as vegetables processed by animals because the animals at SeaBreeze only eat vegetables.” Sold:-)

    Thanks for the tip on checking out George’s farmstand on Vashon. I am excited to check out his mousse.

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