We're swimming into the heart of wild salmon season in the Pacific Northwest, with runs up and down the West Coast going on from spring until fall. Here are a few spots that do right by that delicious fish. (P.S. Anytime a menu says Atlantic salmon, it's farm-raised and you should avoid it.)
A stellar spot for oysters, this seafood palace on the Seattle waterfront features dozens of bivalves from up and down the West Coast. If you're feeling lost, ask the savvy servers for guidance. The rest of the menu is filled with well-prepared dishes that showcase seasonal selections. The first run of halibut in the spring is a real treat and the kitchen does a fine job with salmon of every stripe. Sit outside during the summer months and watch the ferries come and go.
This is one of those dream spots where you want to order one of everything. At lunch that includes a dynamite oyster po'boy, the sloppy good barbecue pork sammie and a pork belly banh mi. Evenings should involve seafood, letting the kitchen showcase whatever is fresh and in season. All meals should be prefaced by the crab-topped deviled eggs and an expertly crafted cocktail.
The fish sandwiches are really fresh at this counter cafe in the historic Pike Place Market. That's because the source for the ingredients is mere feet away. The crusty baguettes are from Le Panier, just down the block. Come early to avoid the lunch rush.
You can't beat the location, right on the waterfront. Especially pleasant place to hang out on the deck on a summer's day. The wine list is stellar, especially when it comes to selections from Washington. Just wish the food was better and not so expensive.
As the name suggests, seafood is king at this bustling restaurant that's part of the Tom Douglas treasure chest. But there's also plenty of turf, too. Crabby Hour offers some fine bites at prices that won't bust your budget. And the Hangtown Fry at brunch is a tasty reason to roll out of bed for weekend brunch. Save room for dessert!
Whether you're in the mood for one of the best burgers in Seattle or an elegantly composed vegetarian entree, the Palace is king. The menu is ever-changing and inventive, though mainstays are the whole trout and rotisserie chicken cooked on the apple wood fire grill. Love the dramatic feel of the room and the free pistachios at the bar. Go late when the kitchen rolls out breakfast for the post-drinking crowd.
Sure, it's expensive. But, hey, have you seen the view? The revolving restaurant high on The Space Needle doesn't get the credit it deserves for putting out some very fine food. The farm-to-table mission is evident all over the menu, but especially on the all-Northwest wine list. Bravo! Reservations are essential.
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.
Not surprisingly, the food is truly gorgeous, thoughtfully sourced and presented well... artistically. The seafood is especially good. The chef team takes great care with veggies, too. Don't miss the cheese and charcuterie buffet served in the lounge, a screaming deal when the clock hits 9, it's half price.
A handsome downtown dining room that does righteous by all things from the sea. Hit the oyster happy hour, indulge in some locally sourced Dungeness crab. Or, slide into one of the comfy seats and study up the lunch/dinner menu. Chef Kevin Davis has Southern roots and he often shares. If they're on the menu, don't miss the fried green tomatoes.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in the Pike Place Market neighborhood. Great food and prices and the location is terrific, too. Standouts include the daily specials, the crack-your-own crab and amazing meat from the rotisserie. You cannot make a bad choice on the dessert menu. It's all good.
Farm-to-table in its mission, this Belltown spot stumbled a bit in the beginning, but a new focus has diners cheering. One of the brunch faves remains: the chicken and waffles rocks.