Roll with Jen’s Most Frequented Restaurants

People often ask me – What are your favorite restaurants? The list is always evolving, but as we motor through Spring into Summer, I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time at these five joints.

1) London Plane: When I ran into London Plane owner Matt Dillon the other week, I guiltily confessed to him: “I can’t stop eating here. It’s becoming a problem.”

Where else in Seattle can you order your lunch, pick up chicken stock and pie dough, peruse an assortment of dish cloths, olive oil, and other edible curated items such as Jacobsen’s black licorice, watch the breadmaker form perfectly shaped loaves, buy some flowers, and ogle at the goodies in the pastry case…all in under 30 minutes?

Daily access to treats such as the famed gateau basque cake, canneles, and croissants is rocking my world (and probably my waistline

Daily access to treats such as the famed gateau basque cake, canneles, and croissants is rocking my world (and probably my waistline)

This high-ceiling, bright welcoming bustling cafe/marketplace in Pioneer Square has been open for less than a month, but already boasts big crowds. My addiction ain’t going nowhere.

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A rare quiet moment at London Plane

 

Bonus: When the pear lassi returns to the non-alcoholic drink menu, get it!

2) Le Petit Cochon (translates to The Little Pig): I like me some pig, but that’s far from the only reason why I frequent chef/owner Derek Ronspies’ second floor Fremont restaurant. In my quest for that Seattle restaurant that can combine a casual laid back vibe with top notch food, Le Petit prevails.

Chef Derek (left) prepping oat cakes with a slab of foie

Chef Derek (left) and his right-hand man, Spencer Coplan, prepping oat cakes with a slab of foie

 

Ronspies is creative with his menu: The Neah Bay black cod served with a kimchi base sauce and rice cakes is so good I gobbled up the last few bites when my man wasn’t looking (note: Derek even makes his own rice cakes, in addition to tinkering with his own soba noodles, and ice cream). The duck spaetzle is still one of my all-time favorite dishes.

And for you more adventurous carnivorous eaters, try the Blood + Foie dish if you have room after chowing down on one of Le Petit’s best sellers: the phat ass pork chop.

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This assortment of mushrooms in an umami broth topped with the perfectly cooked egg could stand up to any meat dish

 

Bonus: Get in on the bar action. Happy hour on Tuesdays-Fridays from 5pm-6:30pm. Check out his upcoming Blue Grass Offal Dinner on Tuesday, March 25th.

3) Little Uncle: This is my lunchtime go-to spot when I crave home-cooked Thai food. Given the popularity of the spot, I reckon this is the mecca for the 9-5ers in Pioneer Square and downtown Seattle.

My favorite dish at the moment? Dom yam wun sen: Cellophane noodles with slices of BBQ pork, ground pork, broth, bok choy, peanuts and lime. Regardless of what proprietors PK and Wiley have on their revolving menu, just order whatever. They won’t lead you astray.

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For those of you who may recall, Little Uncle’s Pioneer square spot is located in the space formerly occupied by Marcus’ Martini Heaven. It’s way cuter now!

 

Bonus: You can now pick up PK and Wiley’s red curry paste, bun jam and their hibiscus lime soda to recreate Pk and Wiley’s brilliance at home.

 

another bonus tip: If you see crab on the menu, run.

Another tip: Can’t make it for lunch? Check out Little Uncle’s takeout and sidewalk seating outpost in Capitol Hill. Also, if you ever see their whole crab curry special on the menu, order it immediately. Hours of Operation: 11am-8pm Tuesday-Saturday.

4) Delancey: Not only does co-owner/executive chef Brandon Petit make the best damn pizza crust and source the best toppings in town for his pies, there’s something uber-comforting in knowing I can step into this Ballard pizza oasis any time of the year, and aside from a new cocktail special or special toppings, everything is as it should be – the same: Petit and his right-hand man slinging pizzas and working the oven.  The friendly staff will be there. I’ll order a jersey salad and most likely the white pie.

I love walking into this Ballard neighborhood restaurant and seeing Petit (right) and his right-hand man slinging pizzas and working the oven

I love walking into this Ballard neighborhood restaurant and seeing Petit (right) and his right-hand man slinging pizzas and working the oven

 

Tip: Worried about a wait? Not to fear. Essex, the bar next door, to the rescue! In addition to superior craft cocktails, you can satiate your low blood sugar drop with plates such as their housemade pretzels (they are put in Delancey’s wood-fired oven and come out warm) and brussel sprouts served with a sriracha vinaigrette and topped with aged gouda.

5) Westward: Josh Henderson’s less than a year old venture on Lake Union, is fun, quirky, and polished all at the same time. Whether you feel like taking a seat at the bar to take in the details of the boat bar dioramas or crave a seat at the oyster bar or outside, views of Lake Union and the city await.

And they just may have the coziest bar stools around

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  1. Roll with Jen Spring is Hereroll with jen - May 13, 2014

    […] you Seattle multi-taskers, at London Plane, located in the cute brick-laden Occidental Square in Pioneer Square, you can order brunch, pick up […]

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