Seattle >Food & Dining > Queen City Grill
2201 1st Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.612517 -122.345669
Neighborhoods: Belltown, Downtown
What a GREAT place! – With the holidays (and the holiday spirit) upon us, my wife and I decided one recent evening that I would meet her after work for dinner at one of the downtown Seattle’s fine restaurants.
We had originally planned to dine at a restaurant that has been a part of the Seattle scene for several years but which we have somehow managed to miss. Unfortunately, we’re still missing it but fortunately, we’ve discovered another delightful dining spot.
Based on the glowing recommendation of two colleagues, we abandoned our original plan and headed for Queen City Grill. Were we ever glad we did!
Leaving the car parked, we hopped a northbound bus to the edge of Seattle’s ride-free zone, then walked a couple of blocks to the restaurant. I must admit that, upon arrival, the “seafood” sign on the awning gave a moment of pause, as neither my wife nor I was really in the mood for fish. We needn’t have worried; the menu at Queen City Grill was not huge, but had great variety.
Adding to that, we were still in time for “happy hour” which, at QCG, extends to tables as well.
We started our evening with cocktails: she, a vodka martini and I, a Maker’s Mark Manhattan. The vodka martini was on the happy hour special; my “call” Manhattan was not. Regardless, both were well prepared at the bar, then poured tableside by our waiter.
After sipping our beverages for a few minutes, we decided to order a couple of the appetizer specials: the bruschetta (Roma tomatoes, garlic, basil and goat cheese) and the Oaxacan prawns. The bruschetta was delicious, but the prawns were remarkable! Their smoky flavor from the grill was accented by a jicama and red onion salad and a delicious dipping sauce of herbs and cumin. Our waiter told us the chef was from Oaxaca, so the dish was likely quite authentic. Authentic or not, I can confirm it was delicious!
With the appetizers and the proffered bread and butter having taking the edge off, my wife and I decided to split the roasted beet salad (sautéed beets, mixed greens, Rogue River blue cheese and candied pecans) and the rack of lamb. The salad, with its (type of) vinaigrette dressing, and the lamb (cooked a perfect medium-rare) were both exactly what the doctor ordered. And the kitchen split both items for us, giving us perfect portions of salad and lamb with mashed potatoes and green beans. As it was, we each got three chops; six would have clearly been overkill. Our waiter brought two glasses of a 2007 Argentine Malbec, which accompanied the lamb perfectly.
While we opted for the lamb, Queen City Grill does have abundant seafood (crab cakes, halibut, trout, and tuna), chicken, duck, beef, and risotto to choose from. And with a capacity of around 75 people, the atmosphere is cozy and intimate – just the thing for passing a cool, damp, Seattle winter evening.
We will definitely be back!
Wasn't great and overpriced – Didn't enjoy the food here too much, my husband and I agreed it reminded us of a bit like hotel food(we travel a lot), the ribs were gresy and our stomachs didn't feel great the next day.
All good except... – Bar is nice but service in the booths can be gruff. Please get some real olives.
Owner Is Self Described 'Huge A-hole' – I have been going to queen city grill for over 25 years... not a regular, but stop in when I'm in downtown seattle... had always enjoyed the atmosphere of a venerable old place.. was in last weekend, by myself, having a cocktail ($12 and overpriced) at the bar....a fellow walks by and rams into me as I'm sitting there...I figured he must be drunk or high....then shortly after, he rams into me again..I now tap him to get his attention and said that an 'excuse me' is the normal etiquette.. he then got loud and said that he was the owner of the place, and could have me thrown out....he then left for a few minutes and returned with two goons dressed in black and seemed to get great pleasure out of the show of force... I said that I had a tab ($12) and he looked at the bartender and told him to return my card (I'll check my statement as I've seen postings on other sites stating that they alter your check after it's signed!) I asked this man what his problem was an he said "I'm a huge a-hole!"(cleaned up for this site) I said I wasn't sure about the size, but I agreed with the second part... I then just got up and walked out...was this really the owner? he obviously had enough juice to have two bouncers come up and throw me out... if he was an owner, I can't imagine treating any customer that way...this man was completely self-absorbed and unconscious....he also obviously believes that he is more important than his customers... a fatal flaw in the hospitality/ service business that he's in!
Best Happy hour in Belltown – My fiance and I recently moved to Seattle and with our pocketbooks being a little tight, we have been trying all of the happy hours around town. Queen City Grill has the best one in Belltown for sure and possibly anywhere.
We have been in twice now and have tried the shrimp, bruschetta (spelling?) , and the AMAZING kobe beef sliders. The only thing better than the quality and of the food was the price. For just $5 each these are the best quality happy hour items that i have seen. To make it even better, we saw their info on the table about facebook and twitter and saw that they offered the kobe sliders for free just for telling them we saw it. What a deal!
We still have not been in for dinner and are waiting until we get a little more settled into Seattle to splurge. We will however go back again for happy hour especially since they have the best bartenders and staff that we have seen so far in town. I am not sure exactly what is in it but the Flatliner drink is out of this world although just a little pricey. Maybe they will think of putting it on the happy hour menu (hint, hint...)
The only thing about queen city we didnt like was the parking issues. It took us awhile to find a place and it was pretty expensive. I know this is a problem everywhere down there but coming from a smaller town we have never had to deal with parking before. It would be nice if they would do parking validation for customers.
Perfectly prepared seafood – My wife and I were amazed by the quality and more the selections that were offered at Queen City Grill. My wife had the halibut and I tried the Cod. I have to say the this was the first time that I had tried Cod and it was perfect. The sauce was understated and the fish itself was obviously very fresh. My wife's fish was a similar flavor which was the only drawback. We had wanted to try a couple completely different types of fish and didnt realize that they were both similar fish flavors.
Other than that, the service and food were both perfect. For a romantic night out I would highly recommend it. The owner came over and talked to us about the place and gave a little history on the restaurant.
Next time I think we will try the salmon because the table next to us had it and it looked really good.
Favorite Happy hour in town – I love the queen city grill! Nice relaxed atmosphere very attentive and helpful staff. I went here for some dinner and drinks with a buddy the other night. As we were looking at the menu and couldnt quite decide what to get, we started talking with the bartender Cheresa. She made some suggestions and then said she could have the chef whip us up something that wasnt on the menu. Well, there is a big suprise, having the chef make something that isnt on the menu??? We said ok, and shortly thereafter she was bringing out a few dishes. I dont remember exactly what all we had, but the greens that came were so delicious I was in heaven.
Ask Cheresa to make you a mojito with the different types of mint they have. They have pineapple mint, chocolate mint and another one that I cant remember. But damn good food and service!
Worst Food Ever – I ate at the Queen City Grill last night and had the worst food ever. I will never go back. The food was over priced and not thought out. My daughter could have made better food. Don't go there, you will regret spending the money.
Raw Fish- bad service – The atmosphere is great at this place, however, the service is really bad. My meal, a fish, came half raw. When I noticed it, I tried to contact the waiter. No chance, we tried to 10 minutes to get the waiter's attention then we gave up. He finally came to get the plates and did not even bother to ask whether something was wrong as I had not eaten hardly anything. Will never return to that place.
We were invited in with the following admonition: "if you don't love your meal, it's on the house" – Looking for a Belltown eatery we were reading the menu on the door when one of the owners invited us in. How could we go wrong? We didn't go wrong--what a great meal we eventually had. We were aware of the boistrous group in the bar all evening long...we were in Belltown after all!! Excellent wine suggestions by a savvy server. My husband ordered the chicken and I ordered crab cakes. The server explained that there would be a short wait as his meal would take longer to prepare than mine. Waiting to be served your meal can stretch out...our server treated us to a complimentary glass of wine (not a bad idea and definitely soothes the customers' anxieties). The food arrived and was very delicious and well worth the wait. The chicken was tender and flavorful--crabcakes in a sauce to die for. Great veggies and plated beautifully. Good job, Queen City Grill.
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