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mbar – Seattle, WA

Friends recently recommended this as a great place for dinner and an amazing view so my husband and I tried it out on one of our date nights.  I think it’s safe to say this will be a new one in our rotation.   And what’s even better is that once the nice weather hits the roof deck will be so on point!

First impression was “wow…we’re somewhere really hip!”.  You’re greeting by a hostess at a podium on the ground floor where they check for your reservation then lead you to an elevator that takes you to the 14th floor.  Once at the top you go down a long hallway and turn the corner where you finally see the space and views.  Something about the whole process makes this place feel very exclusive and cool.  I’ve only experienced this twice before, once at Vue du Monde and the other at our very own Nest at The Thompson.

Everything we ate was memorable and I’d order the exact same thing again.  It’s the kind of place where you want to lick your plates clean.  Their craft cocktails are just as notable.  Perfect place to meet a friend or loved one (or perhaps a future one:)).  Go!

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roasted cauliflower hummus with tahini & rice beans

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black spaghetti with dungeness crab, trout roe, lime leaf, meyer lemon & brioche breadcrumbs

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grilled trout with avocado, sumac, labneh & fenugreek

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the mbar: dark chocolate bar with sesame nougat & tamarind caramel

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Saint Helens – Seattle, WA

Saint Helens is exactly what the North Seattle neighborhoods have needed for a long time. Located right off the Burke Gilman Trail on NE 45th, it’s the perfect location for all the surrounding neighborhood folk to meet.  Whether by bike or car, stop on by anytime of the day.  Summer days and nights will be perfectly spent on the outdoor patio area fit with a fire pit to keep you toasty at night.

Open morning to night, you can stop in for the most perfect coffee and pastry (the scones are to die for), tartine sandwiches, or linger at dinner with some wine and cocktails.  The patio/deck is the perfect summer hangout!

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Goldfinch Tavern – Seattle, WA

Ethan Stowell has added yet another restaurant to his already long list.  What used to be Art Restaurant & Lounge is now Goldfinch Tavern in the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel downtown.  The views are priceless and an added bonus to the great food.  The menu is very Pacific Northwest heavy with oysters, geoduck, and King salmon which I’ll never get enough of even though I live here.  I saw a number of burgers go by the table which looked mouth watering.  Next time:)  Whether you’re downtown after work, meeting an out of town guest, or simply on a local night out, this spot should be on your list of places to try.  I should mention that the portion sizes are very generous.  I ordered the Beet & Dungeness Crab Salad to start and was too full for my entree by the time it came.  At least it’s nice knowing you get your money’s worth.

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Fried Olives – castelvetranos

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King Salmon Tartare – fennel salad, lemon sauce, smoked trout caviar

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Beet & Dungeness Crab Salad – watercress, gribiche sauce, tarragon

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Wild King Salmon – bacon hash, green garlic, mushrooms

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Rocky S’More Sundae – hot fudge, graham crunch, house-made marshmallows

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Deru Market – Kirkland, WA

I don’t mean to be a 206 snob but I will say I don’t go across the bridge all that often.  Deru Market is one reason that will have me willing to pay the bridge toll time and time again.  Located in the North Kirkland neighborhood (Norkirk), Deru Market is the best kept secret of the East Side and the greater Seattle area for the matter.  Chefs Jamie Casady and Jordan Cooper are killing it when it comes to creating out of this world intensly flavored dishes like Fig + Pistachio Meatloaf or the Chorizo + Kale Wood Fired Pizza.  If you can’t stay you can take it all to go or they even will cater your next event.  Their “Farm + Market” items (think beets, cauliflower, kale and broccoli) are all priced by the pound like you’d buy them at a market (except these are cooked, seasoned and ready to eat).  Let’s not overlook the desserts.  I’m not exaggerating when I say their Chocolate Chocolate Cake is THE best cake I’ve ever had!  The slice is humongous and it’s embarrassing how much I can take down but don’t miss it!!!!  If chocolate isn’t your thing, be sure to get a slice of the coconut cake, apple bread, or one of the many scrumptious cookies or muffins.  If you don’t live in Bellevue you’re going to leave being sad you don’t live closer to this place.

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Shaker + Spear – Seattle, WA

Located in the new Palladian Hotel downtown on Second Ave (and Virginia), Shaker + Spear surprised me in a good way.  Without many photos online of the space itself, I didn’t know what to expect but it’s gorgeous with tons of natural light and well chosen interior design details.  I especially like the chandelier above the bar as well as the bar stools themselves.

We started with cocktails at the bar and then moved onto wine and dinner once we were seated.  Between four of us eating family style, we were able to order quite a bit which is always fun when trying a new place.  Overall I was very impressed from start to finish from the moment we walked in to the moment we walked out (being the last to leave means you had a great time right?!).  I would suggest making reservations if you’re planning on going Thursday – Saturday at least!  *Not pictured are the delicious oysters we had served with rose bitters and tarragon.  Yum!

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Special that night – ROASTED CARROTS, pickled jalapeños, kimchi puree

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GRILLED OCTOPUS, salsa verde

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TEMPURA SQUASH BLOSSOMS, foie mousse (on the side because I don’t care for foie)

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YELLOWTAIL, local mushrooms, english peas

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ROSEMARY COULOTTE STEAK, spring garlic, fava beans, avocado chili puree

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WHOLE FISH CHEF’S WAY (DORADE), panzanella salad

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HALIBUT, black garlic, asparagus, baby artichokes, pak choi

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BRULEE CARROT CAKE, cream cheese ice cream, ginger syrup

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HOUSEMADE COOKIES

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MINT DARK CHOCOLATE SEMI FREDDO, chocolate crumb, cacao nib, micro mint

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ROSEWATER RHUBARB, pistachio meringue, preserved lemon ricotta, orange

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Tray Kitchen – Seattle, WA

What a fun place!  First impression is that it resembles Revel decor wise, but that’s a compliment in every way.  I even noticed some artwork from Electric Coffin (good work guys!).  I went with four girlfriends (two of which had been before) and we ordered like crazy.  It’s hard to say no when they come to your table with a tray full of delicious looking plates that all seem to be calling your name.  There’s a menu with a la carte dishes in addition to the cart items if you please and boy did we!  Everything was cooked to perfection, tasted so fresh, and all had a unique burst of flavor.  I’m excited to go back and try different things.  I’d say this is definitely one to put on your list of places to try.

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Blue bird farm farro, asparagus, snap peas, pea tendrils, house made ricotta cheese

Blue bird farm farro, asparagus, snap peas, pea tendrils, house made ricotta cheese

Charred octopus, white beans, baby arugula, lemon

Charred octopus, white beans, baby arugula, lemon

Kale Salad, black sesame yogurt, sunflower seeds, almonds, apple - Shaved Brussel Sprouts Asian Caesar, togarashi with Chinese donuts

Kale Salad, black sesame yogurt, sunflower seeds, almonds, apple – Shaved Brussel Sprouts Asian Caesar, togarashi with Chinese donuts

Duck Confit fried rice, maitake mushroom, leek, soy cured egg yolk

Duck Confit fried rice, maitake mushroom, leek, soy cured egg yolk

K.F.C. (Korean Fried Chicken wings), pumpkin seeds, Korean chili sauce

K.F.C. (Korean Fried Chicken wings), pumpkin seeds, Korean chili sauce

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Chinese doughnut cannoli, raspberry cream, chocolate, candied ginger - Dark chocolate mousse, toasted marshmallow

Chinese doughnut cannoli, raspberry cream, chocolate, candied ginger – Dark chocolate mousse, toasted marshmallow

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