by Lorna Yee - 28 Reviews - 8 List
Seattle is a hotbed for great restaurants, and there is no better mix of high-end, low-end, and everything in between than in the bustling downtown core. Whether you're looking for the best pizza joint in the city, the freshest Pacific Northwest seafood, a luxurious haute cuisine menu, or a little French bistro to romance that devilishly handsome lover of yours?we have it all here, in our round-up of best downtown restaurants.
Updated: August 17, 2010
Chef William Belickis offers a casual bar menu at this sleek downtown hot spot, but for an unparalleled fine-dining experience, you won't do better than a reservation in Mistral Kitchen's Jewel Box. This semi-secluded area is where the food shines, with a menu that changes daily depending on the day's freshest ingredients. Expect items like hamachi crudo with shaved radish, foie gras mousse, rack of lamb with the silkiest pomme puree, and pancetta-wrapped rabbit loin. (Don't forget pre-dinner smoked Old-Fashioneds courtesy of one of the city's most talented bartenders, Andrew Brohrer, and desserts by arguably Seattle's most talented pastry chef, Neil Robertson.)
Tom Douglas is the indisputable king of the downtown core, with three restaurants and a bakery all located within mere steps from one another. Our favorite of the three is Serious Pie, where you'll find the crispiest-crusted pizzas in town. This New Haven-style pizza arrives bubbling and golden from the oven, with a smattering of well-chosen, appropriately portioned (read: not too stingy) toppings. Perforated pie plates allow the air beneath the crust to circulate, guaranteeing sog-free bites til the end. Try the Yukon Gold potato with pecorino and rosemary.
This casual sister restaurant to higher end Campagne serves up rustic, hearty fare. At brunch, try their oeufs en meurette, a decadent dish of poached eggs in a red wine and foie gras sauce, with a whole basket of burnished fries for swiping up every dribble. The lamb burger at lunch is renowned, and the duck confit salad with chicken liver toasts is a classic. At night, the restaurant dims and becomes a veritable den of romance (so you better order a second bottle, and linger just a while longer).
With large, sun-catching windows, a semi-open kitchen (with bar stools, so you can get in on the cooking action), and a second-story view of Pike Place Market, it's no doubt that Matt's is one of our picks for best downtown restaurants. The lunchtime sandwiches are delicious enough to inspire incredible bouts of patience in even the most harried customer. (One taste of the catfish sandwich or the popular grilled rare tuna sandwich will make you a believer.) At night, the restaurant becomes a seafood mecca, with simply prepared, fresh fare that's quintessentially Seattle.
Oft praised for being the most authentically French restaurant in town, Le Pichet definitely has the ambiance down pat?zinc bar, a black-and-white tiled floor, skirted servers, and absinthe displayed prominently are just some of it's many charms. With house-made charcuterie, a revolving list of bistro specials, tartine sandwiches, beef tartare, and a well-selected cheese list, you'll feel right at home whether you're dining solo, or splitting a pichet of wine with a dear friend. Don't leave without trying their signature chocolat chaud.