There's really nothing like a good chunk of cheese or a mound of it shaved on top of a pile of pasta or a plate of ooey-gooey following a great meal. Yes, we HEART cheese!! We dig the local stuff, crafted with care, and the imports made in faraway lands where cheese making traditions go back centuries. Yay cheese! Here are some cool places to score some incredible cheese.
Got a special occasion to celebrate? There's no better place. The setting is cozy and welcoming and chef Holly Smith's ever-changing menu is challenging, only because every single thing is worth ordering. Truly one of the absolute best restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
Even if you're not a beer drinker, you've gotta like The Pike. The massive watering hole has got a ever-changing cast of characters who frequent the place at Pike Place Market, folks drawn by the tasty, local-focused pub fare and the award-winning ales, stout, even Barleywine. Try the charcuterie plate with a house sampler of brews and you're bound to find a few faves. And guess what? The Washington-centric wine list is impressive, too.
Love this sweet shop, featuring all sorts of dairy products, but the real draw are the eggs. Local, free range, hen, duck, quail, even goose. Cash only.
A little slice of Europe in the middle of Pike Place Market, this newly expanded space is packed with incredible food, especially the housemade sausages and exceptional potato salad, red cabbage and cheese you won't find anywhere but The Continent. In 2013, the deli will begin offering dishes that can be enjoyed while sitting at the brand new counter. Don't be surprised if the German-speaking ladies who run the place offer you a wiener!
The team from Spur and Tavern Law has done it again at this stylish place in Belltown. The fried chicken makes for memorable date night, crispy and seasoned vibrantly, it's terrific for sharing. You've never had cracklings like these before, made from ham stock, whipped into a crunchy cracker-like with some gastro-genius wizardy. You cannot stop eating them.
Chef Chris Keff made the leap to the now-hopping neighborhood in 2010 and the new stylish space is a suitable showcase for her considerable talent. Seafood is the star, but there are plenty of turf options, too. A great happy hour in the bar, but you'll have to compete for a seat with the hordes of Amazon workers.
A lovely room, this Capitol Hill restaurant doesn't get nearly the attention it did when it first opened. But that's a good thing because these days, you might actually be able to get a table. James Beard award winning chef John Sundstrom's menu is challenging because there are so many must-try options. Let the excellent servers guide your choices, as items change often. If it's offered, do not miss the burrata. The kitchen also does an exceptional job with seafood. Oh, and pork. Come to think of it, I've never had anything less than a stellar meal at Lark.
You've probably heard Oprah loves Beechers Mac-n-Cheese. Well, it's served at this retail/production place in the heart of Seattle's most delicious landmark Market. Tourists love to gawk at the cheese being made and then pick up some of the finished product. If you like it hot, try the No Woman cheese, with veins of Jamaican jerk seasoning giving it some heat.
If you think paella is the only export from Spain worth eating, you've got to go spend some time exploring the Spanish Table. This outstanding store has tons of cool spices and pantry essentials not found anywhere else in Seattle, from smoked paprika salt to a stellar selection of cheese and charcuterie. Plus, the wine department is out of this world in terms of depth and value. Ask the helpful staff for suggestions. It's a must visit, especially if you're at the Pike Place Market. Oh, and they validate parking with a qualifying purchase.
Big, big fan of chef Matt Dillon's big, big flavors. He mines herbs and spices that confound the most seasoned palates, waking them up in the best possible way. Love the ever-changing menu that showcases vividly fresh produce and interesting takes on meats/seafood. The kitchen manages to turn lentils and poached eggs into something you cannot stop eating. Bravo! And, oh, yeah, Matt won the James Beard Foundation's award for best chef in the Northwest in 2012. Well-deserved, and we look forward to more good stuff at his new project launching in Pioneer Square in 2013.
Rione's romantic with a capital R, the gorgeously lit dining room makes for a perfect date night. The ever-changing menu is full of all sorts of interesting choices, inspired by the fare of a neighborhood in Rome. Pasta dishes are especially lovely, but be sure and save room for something sweet at the end of the meal or indulge in a selection of cheese and a glass of well-chosen dessert wine.
Could spend hours in here, looking at all the exotic imports on the shelves and in the cases. Good for pantry staples, picnic supplies (love the antipasti options), as well as pasta cut to order. Head upstairs to check out the extensive wine selection, as well as one of the best collections of bitters sold in the city, and a fine assortment of bulk food items such as dried beans, risotto and nuts.
Tom Douglas' Italian joint in the heart of Amazonia, Cuoco is a carb lover's dream. Step inside the front door and there's pasta being made, tender and toothsome. The filled pastas are brilliant, but the main plates are worth considering, too. The options are ever-changing, but if it's on the menu, get the chicken roasted under a brick. So. Darned. Juicy! Save room for dessert from the outstanding pastry department.