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45th Stop N Shop and Poke Bar – Seattle, WA

Poke bowls from a convenience store?  Yup!  And they’re incredible.  I’ve been known to go multiple times a week.  The menu is simple – 1, 2 or 3 fish (Izumidai, salmon, shrimp, tuna, unagi, or tofu) and from there you decide if you want regular or spicy.  Next you decide if you want rice, salad or 1/2 and 1/2.  Sides included are seaweed, ginger, crab meat, edamame and avocado.  The ingredients are incredibly fresh and the staff couldn’t be nicer.  Not to mention your bowl is made so quickly that the wait time is minimal even when they’re busy.  If you don’t have time to go yourself, do yourself a favor and use Postmates.

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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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Sushi Kashiba – Seattle, WA

I had the pleasure of eating here on my birthday this year…what a treat! This is Chef Shiro Kashiba’s new sushi venture located next to Pike Place Market where the old Campagne used to be.

If you don’t know anything about Chef Shiro, let me give you a quick little breakdown.  Before starting his own restaurants in Seattle, Shiro spent many years working alongside his sushi mentor Jiro Ono (of Jiro Dreams of Sushi), who many consider to be the world’s greatest sushi chef.  He eventually made his way to America, convinced that in the Pacific Northwest he could keep the integrity of the way sushi is made in Tokyo.  He was right!  Fast forward to today – he has opened four restaurants, Sushi Kashiba being the only one he owns today, and has been nominated for the James Beard Award twice.

My husband and I decided to go with the “omakase” menu – chef’s choice sushi dinner.  Overall it was enough food, not too much, not too little.  Everything was outstanding!

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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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The Wandering Goose – Seattle, WA

Why don’t I go here more often?!  This place is ridiculously good.  I was in the mood for a biscuit sandwich this time which didn’t disappoint.  I added homemade sausage to it and ate every crumb on my plate.  I’ve had their Little Gem Salad with fried chicken in the past and that was equally as scrumptious just not as breakfast savory.  Don’t hold back here – let yourself be tempted by the gorgeous cakes and treats – just don’t count your calories.  You’ll want to try them all!

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The Easy – egg & cheese biscuit sandwich with sausage added

General Porpoise – Seattle, WA

My husband for months now has been describing in detail how amazing the filled doughnuts at General Porpoise are however I have yet to have one until just recently.  I typically don’t like filled doughnuts, I’m kind of a purist with mine BUT…I am a total sucker for marshmallow anything so I’ve been salivating thinking about the chocolate marshmallow one.  OH. MY. GOD. THESE ARE UNREAL!  No wonder there’s a line every day to get one (or 3 if you’re me – I’m pregnant – that’s my excuse).  The doughnuts are perfectly soft and sugar coated and the filling is just the right amount such that you get a perfectly balanced bite every time.

If you’re needing an idea for a brunch, shower, or party treat – you can pre-order online!

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Bateau – Seattle, WA

My oh my this place is a beauty!  From the perfect interior design choices to the awesome meat cooler on display, Renee Erickson (along with her partners at Sea Creatures), has opened another stunner.  Bateau is going to get a lot of press and it will all be well deserved.  The focus is grass-finished beef (soon to be from their own farm on Whidbey Island) from Burk Ridge Farms and Painted Hills that is butchered and dry-aged in house.

I have no problem admitting that yes, I’m that person that typically orders fish at a steakhouse.  It’s not that I don’t care for meat but I just gravitate towards seafood most of the time.  Not here.  I couldn’t resist the filet topped with browned butter and preserved lemon (you get your choice of butter – nori bonito, brown butter and preserved lemon, bone marrow or anchovy).  My husband got the ribeye with the same butter.  Both were outstanding!  I couldn’t eat the full 8oz but it was delicious the second day with eggs for breakfast.  The steaks are served a la carte but there are so many great sides to accompany them.  We decided on the frites and aioli, roasted mushrooms and swiss chard.  We also started with the steak tartare (served with homemade potato chips) and octopus.  Both were unbelievable.  The octopus was served so beautifully like I’ve never seen before, sliced into little coin like disks topped with a small dots of burnt lemon, roasted pepper and ink aioli.

You’ll most definitely need a reservation to eat here so get one soon before they get more attention.  Bravo Renee!

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Octopus – burnt lemon, peppers, in aioli

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Steak Tartare – egg yolk, fried potatoes

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Filet – Burk Ridge, Custer, WA, grass finished & dry aged 30 days, 8oz

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Frites & Aioli

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Roasted Mushrooms – egg yolk, toasted garlic

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Swiss Chard – garlic, preserved lemon, créme fraîche

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Boat Street Bread Pudding – rum butter cream

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