The spectacular spectacle known as The Ring will be cycling through the Seattle Center Opera House in August. Here are a few places to pre-funk before the show.
Tony Bourdain might not be a fan -- he said so on the Seattle episode of The Layover -- but there's nothing that says Seattle quite like this iconic structure. Zoom to the top for an incredible view, but be sure and read about its fascinating history. It's on the pricey side, but well worth it. Expect long lines in the busy summer months, though you can dodge the crowds if you hit it early or late.
A neighborhood fave that draws diners on the strength of its well-priced, competently prepared fare and friendly service. My standing order includes the pad se-ew (stir-fried rice noodles and broccoli), along with the mussaman curry. If you like it hot, ask for one star higher than you'd normally choose.
The quintessential neighborhood joint, this inviting space is usually packed before and after shows at the nearby Seattle Center, so make a reservation if you're going in prime time. Long time menu standouts include the super-satisfying lasagna and the prosciutto-wrapped chicken, but the offerings shift with the seasons and regulars look forward to chilly weather and the arrival of the cassoulet. The wine list has interesting selections and at least one night a week, there are a number of bottles going for just $20.
There are a ton of Vietnamese soup restaurants in Seattle, but this one stands out for its simple, clean, super-fresh vegetarian offerings. The pho is satisfying, but so are the various stir-fried dishes and the terrific noodle salad known as bun. Banh mi sammies are sold to-go only. Near the Seattle Center, so a good option for a quick pre-show meal.
Talk about eye candy! This gorgeous dining room features various knickknacks and jim-cracks belonging to legendary artist Dale Chihuly. Gotta love the vintage accordians dangling from the ceiling. The food is decent, a mix of updated comfort food fare using Northwest-grown ingredients. But it's easy to get upstaged by all dazzling decor.
A wonderfully sophisticated spot on top of Queen Anne. You can taste the love coming out of the tiny kitchen, the well-composed dishes showing a whole lot of thought. The dynamite steak tartare starter is served with PERFECT housemade potato chips and a zesty herb salad. The 72-hour ribeye steak is cooked sous vide and seared to finish, on a plate with mashed potatoes that are so rich and velvety. It's meat-and-spud combo taken to an elevated level. As was the spectacular sweetbreads on a creamy pool of grits.
Chef Sam Crannell's grandfather's malted waffle is the signature dessert, emboldened with bacon and topped with maple ice cream. It might be too savory to be called a treat for some, but I loved it, especially with an after drink snort of Black Maple Hill Bourbon. Win!