Seattle >Food & Dining > Lampreia Restaurant
2400 1st Ave, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.614328 -122.347837
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Belltown
Fabulous meal, excellent service, warm and friendly. – We went to Lampreia with some friends who also relocated from San Francisco and recommended this restaurant highly. In San Francisco, we made a point of visiting the Chronicle Top 100 restaurants, and frankly we have missed that standard of quality in restaurants here.... until visiting Lampreia. Our meal was sublime! The service was friendly and without the pretense mentioned in the Seattle reviews. All four of us ordered the eight-course prix fixe and we were delighted. For those who truly love food that transcends time and place, Lampreia will not disappoint. Each course seemed to supersede the last! If you love great, imaginative and delicious cuisine, do not miss Lampreia. It is truly an experience you will never forget.
Great special occasion restaurang – I'm glad to read the last two reviewers in July had a great time, as did we. I had read several of the bad reviews. Fortunately good friends took us to celebrate their birthday, and we enjoyed being with them as well as the unique and excellent food. I'm a comfort food, enjoy my own soup or stew at home guy, which means when I go out, I'm looking for a special experience. Of course, the presentation is very arty, but each course tickles different taste buds. The veal chop was especially excellent. The service was friendly, informative, and helpful without being intrusive, even when I asked a dumb question (about salads--they don't serve them). And the chef showed none of the bad humor that some of the earlier reviewers mentioned. We had a friendly visit about an earlier experience we had shared. If you eat out lots of nights, and have become too jaded to have a unique dining experience, go somewhere else. For a special occasion, we found it excellent.
great food – Best restaurant in seattle hands down. Proffessional and informative sevice, beautiful great tasting food, what more could you want. Obviously this isn't an every night restaurant but I nly say that because I would get the five or eight course everytime. Also great wine selection.
perfection – Well I honestly don't know how anyone could give Lampreia a bad review. It was one of the most memorable dinners I have ever had. I took my girlfriend for our year anniversary and decided to go with the chef's five course. Since we didn't know what we would be having I had one of the knowledgable waiters pick a bottle of wine to pair with the whole menu. We told him that we wanted something foreign and interesting. The waiter picked a chardonnay by domaine serene which paired beautifully with our dinner. First we started off with crab wrapped in melon. It was a an interesting light and refreshing way to start. After that we moved to another exquisite dish. A hard boiled egg marinated in beet juice filled with salmon roe and creme fraiche. It was definately the most beautiful and tastiest deviled egg ever. After that we had a corn soup with rhubard and salmon dumplings. The aroma of the soup as it was poured in was a tuning fork for the soul. And then the main course was bass accompanied with whipped potatoes done with pequillo pepper. Simple but great. Dessert was one of my favorite courses as well. Pistacio ice cream with strawberry sauce and caramel. The chef was actually friendly and said good night to me at the end of our evening. The waiters were perfect and attentive but not in a somerthing way, great choice of wine by the way, and the experience was extremely memorable and romantic. I highly recommend Lampreia for special occassions or even every day. It's fairly affordable and worth every penny and more.
Poor ambience, poor service, average food – I know chef Scott Carsberg through a business connection, and on more then one occasion had to listen to him swearing violently at the receptionist in our office because he was unhappy about something or other. No apology, no realization that the receptionist probably wasn't going to be able to help him for whatever problem he had, just angry, diva syndrome and foul language.
The experience at Lampreia mirrors the chef/owner's attitude. The interior is stark and cheerless. The food was definitely "arty" but I can't go so far as to say it was delicious or wonderfully memorable. The waiter was exceedingly cloying: no sooner had we placed a forkful of food in our mouths did he scurry over inquiring after how we were enjoying our "first bites." And he did this at the beginning of every course! He surely meant well but the service was not the discreet attentiveness that a fine dining experience demands.
This just isn't a place where you leave feeling good. The service, food, attitude and above all the mean chef just leave a bad taste in your mouth. Visit Canlis or Rover's instead. Or even Red Robin for a better experience!
Lampreia...Where artistry takes precedence over taste – To celebrate my 50th birthday, my family selected Lampreia. I had never been there, but had read some reviews. If the food had been exquisite, it wouldn't have mattered if I had to park 20 blocks away. It was a fabulous evening just being there with my family. Yet, all the ambiance and artistry cannot make up for tasteless or bad tasting food. Presentation should not take precedence over taste. We had the eight course tasting menu. The service was impeccable, and although it was stiff and snooty, it was fitting for the circumstance. The champagne had delicate fruit undertones that were light and crisp. The bread was fresh, yet uninteresting. The apple/dungeness dish was quite nice. The truffle cream on which the soup was poured was wonderful, yet the soup was disappointing -- lacking in flavor. Most of the other dishes were unremarkable and forgettable. The chicken liver pate was bitter and sour tasting. Awful! The tuna proscuitto with sea urchin had a nice intense ocean flavor, but the overall dish was just okay. The lamb dish was nice. The meal overall was lacking in VEGETABLES. The chocolate mousse and orange frise (sp?) were both very good, but there was no offer of coffee, espresso, tea... NOTHING! I find that coffee enhances chocolate and was VERY disappointed that it was not offered. The mini cookies would have been great with espresso. The cheese dish (baked with honey) was very nice. The cabernet (and all of the wines) were very nice.
Overall, my family made the evening wonderful, not the food. The food was very mediocre. My brother-in-law paid the bill, which must have been about $1,200 for the five of us, possibly more with tax and tip. At those prices, EVERY dish should be exquisitely seasoned, which our meal was not. I did not leave dreaming, thinking, pondering how good the food was. I was not calculating in my mind when the next time would be that I could get back there. The next special occasion will be elsewhere.
Worst fine-dining experience ever! – How could this restaurant be rated 5 stars? The service was slow and untimely. The waiter was very rude to us when we ordered to share (even though it amounted to $800). Our table was unattended for a long time without water in the glass, yet they were eager to clear the dishes that we were still working on. We didn't even get the small plate for individual use, and were forced to use tiny bread dish to serve ourselves. I asked the head-waitress about this inconvenience, and she said that the restaurant was not accustomed to serve food for share. The worst was the chef. When one of my friends stepped outside for a couple of minutes to check the call, the chef came over to our table and asked if he left. We explained that he would be right back, and that there was no need to wait for him if the order was ready. The chef looked angry, rolled his eyeballs, and left us without a word. It was as if we were being sacrilegious to the art he was about to offer or something... we all lost our speech and looked at each other with disbelief. I have been to most of renowned restaurants in Seattle, and usually, the finer the place is, the finer the experience is. The restaurant going is not just about food quality, but the total experience that makes us want to go back. At Lampreia, I felt we had to be A+ student for the "divine art" of chef Carsberg, in order to be treated human. I will never go back there. Never.
Presentation takes precedence over culinary excellence – Lampreia?s food presentation is a visual work of art, but the food, unfortunately, is a secondary consideration. Visual appeal is a part of fine cuisine, but it should not be at the sacrifice of the food itself. Here the cuisine suffers at the expense of visual affectation. A duck dish included smaller than dime-sized dabs of several ?fruit mustards,? which were attractive on the plate, but too insignificant to play a role in augmenting the dish---no great loss, however, as the flavors integrated poorly with the duck and its sauce. The sauteed bass, at $30.00, was good, but rather bland with no saucing and little seasoning, and it was nothing that could not be accomplished at home by a decent cook, albeit perhaps without the elegantly curlicued scallion that served as the artistic garnish. Occasionally, the presentation and cuisine mesh well, as with the Dungeness crab in a roll of paper thin apple slices, but regrettably such success is the exception rather than the rule. Several of the servers were cold and aloof, though ours was friendly and accessible. One other server seemed friendly and accessible as well, though perhaps not for long, as we observed the chef/owner treating him in a demeaning manner. The staff appear to have been brow-beaten into robotic automatons. We also observed the chef/owner behaving brusquely to certain guests whom he apparently deemed unworthy. A dinner here is quite expensive. We would gladly pay a similar price for a special meal at one of the Seattle area?s many fine restaurants---but not here. Not again. We will not be returning.
Skip It! – Since moving to Seattle over 11 years ago Lampreia has been high on our list of places to try. We finally made it there for my birthday last night and I can't remember a single "fine dining" experience where I felt surly, annoyed and hungry by the end of the meal. We spent close to $400 after splurging on the 8 course tasting menu with accompanying wines...which is all good and fine if the food is tasty and interesting. To be fair, the food was very interesting to look at and were little works of art, but nothing was particularly tasty. He used some beautiful crab, but I could have run down to Mutual Fish and bought comparable crab and stuffed myself silly all night for $40. Our waiter was awkward at best and with each course they would drag out a linen lined cart, drop a silver tray with the dishes and then present them to the table. It got to be a bit much after watching this go on for several hours. I also hate going to a nice restaurant where they try to upsell you on things like bottled water or tiny bottles of olive oil. If they think the olive oil is so magical then why not drop two tablespoons on each table and let people try it. To start your meal with some weird olive oil infomercial and then be told "that we will be allowed to take the remaining olive oil home with as a momento of our evening" just made me want to run for the hills. But, I settled down and enjoyed some yummy champagne in anticipation of a good meal. Too bad it never happened. Bland food and we did not have a single warm dish. Two crab dishes, a slice of duck, a pea pancotta, a horribly unseasoned and chewy ravioli with a runny egg center, a duck breast and for dessert two yogurty dishes. The only standout were the petit fours. Sadly, on the way home we ended up buying a few slices of Hot Mama's. There are so many interesting chefs making innovative and tasty food you shouldn't waste your time at Lampreia. I'm still annoyed that we spent so and got so little.
An amazing dining experience, not just a restaurant. – My husband and I had gone to Lampreia a few years ago after reading a review in a "Seattle's Best" book, and we loved it. Decided to go back again for our anniversary this year. We invited some friends, but after they read all of the negative reviews on this site they decided not to go. Too bad, because it's the most amazing dining experience! Yes, we did spend $500 on just the two of us- but we CHOSE to go all out. We had drinks before dinner, the 8-course Chef's Tasting Menu, a good bottle of wine, the extra cheese plate, the madeira to go with it, the $12 bottle of oil for the bread! I can't imagine the types of behaviors talked about by some of the reviewers on this site. Making the reservation was easy as pie, we were a few minutes late, but didn't get an angry cell phone call! The waiters were friendly, knowledgeable, ever present, but not hovering. When I got up to use the ladies room, a waiter quickly stopped what he was about to do and escorted me to the door to the hallway. The 8 course tasting menu was absolutely amazing. Yes, each course looks small on the plate- the presentation is part of the experience for heaven's sake! By the time we got to the end, I was actually uncomfortably stuffed- I think I'll go for the 5-courses next time!! The taste sensations are like nothing you have ever encountered, and the descriptions given by the waiters are brief, factual, and necessary. I wish I had a written description of everything we had to eat last night! If you're looking for a big ol juicy steak, or a traditional seafood dinner with baked potato and side of vegies, then you really should just go to one of the many fine restaurants in Seattle as mentioned by others on this site. Lampreia is most assuredly not that type of restaurant. If you have a sense of adventure when it comes to dining, and can afford to drop some coin once in a while for an out of this world feast, then you must go to Lampreia. We will definitely be back again!
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