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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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Naka – Seattle, WA

When my husband and I went here last month, we had the choice of two menus, the a la carte menu or the kaiseki menu (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner).   With the kaiseki menu we then had three choices, the Tasting Menu (5 or 7 courses I can’t remember), the Naka Kaiseki (10 course tasting menu) or the Chef Kaiseki (15 course menu which requires a weeks notice).  We went with the Naka Kaiseki because why not?!  We were also told that the chef’s intention was to eventually limit the menu to just the kaiseki one and have the a la carte become the bar menu.  Looking at their site right now I see they’ve made that transition.  I hope this doesn’t discourage people from trying this restaurant because the tasting menu was outstanding.  When you hear 7-15 courses, I think most people think that sounds like a lot but some of the courses were just one bite.  Very simple clean food so we both left feeling satisfied and not the least bit full, refreshing actually.

The presentation was stunning and the flavors were outstanding.  I highly recommend Naka if you appreciate great Japanese cuisine.  The bill can get a little steep so it’s the perfect place for a special occasion.  I should also mention that we enjoyed the wine pairing as well and the pours were very appropriate seeing there were 10 courses to be had.

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Stateside – Seattle, WA

I feel like even just 6 or 7 years ago when my husband and I moved back home from San Francisco, we felt like Seattle had some serious catching up to do in terms of the restaurant scene, but today I think a lot of cities need to catch up to us.  I’m happily floored by the chefs that have emerged and all the different cuisines that are popping up.

A French Vietnamese restaurant, Stateside’s chef/owners have planted themselves in the heart of Capitol Hill’s restaurant scene (at least the one on the west side – there are many) and have created such a fun environment.  Tropical wallpaper mixed with reclaimed wood tables, it’s a good mix and a great backdrop for some pretty awesome food!

We started with the Crispy Duck Fresh Rolls (duck rolls wrapped in fresh herbs and rice paper) which were very good.  Fresh flavors from the herbs, great texture from the crispy duck…all in all I would get these again no doubt about it.

Next were the Chili Cumin Pork Ribs (a bit spicy or extra spicy).  We chose a bit spicy but I think I’d go extra spicy next time.  I just wasn’t sure what to expect so we played it safe.  The ribs were perfectly cooked…the meat was so tender and moist.  The spices were great…different than your normal ribs but I like the change.  The fresh cilantro on the side is a great addition too!

The Green Papaya Salad was calling my name – sooo good if you like green papaya salad.  Long beans, tomatoes, lime, chili, dried shrimp (didn’t even notice them) and beef jerky…whaaaa?!  Crazy right?!  No…amazing!  They do note that it can be made vegetarian.  Unless you are one don’t do it:)  Everything about this was perfect.  Slightly spicy, fresh, crunchy peanuts on top…YUM!

The Master Stock Crispy Chicken (free range chicken poached in aromatic stock, then fried crispy) sounded too good not to try.  And different.  It came with three dipping sauces (I can’t remember them now sorry) and was topped with scallions and something fried like tempura bits but I can’t recall that either – my apologies.  Great dish!  The flavors are so different and well matched that I’m having a hard time describing them.

Last for the savory was the Bun Cha Hanoi (pork patties and belly in caramel fish sauce marinade.  imperial rolls, rice vermicelli and herb plate).  Delicious!  I loved this and think i could eat it quite often.  Everything is served separately which allows you create your bite.  Just thinking about this meal makes me hungry:)

Last but not least was dessert.  The only tragedy here is that ever since having a baby I’ve completely lost the ability to remember anything worthwhile therefore I need to write everything down and I didn’t in this case.  SO…I have no idea what it was we ate but I can tell you this…it was the most incredible dessert and I would go back for just it.  I realize I’m not helping you out here but at least you can reference the photo and see if anything looks similar on the menu.

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Agrodolce – Seattle, WA

Located in the old 35th Street Bistro spot in Fremont, Agrodolce has knocked it out of the park!  The atmosphere is welcoming and charming and our server couldn’t have been more enjoyable which was very refreshing.

The food was to die for!  I seriously would go back tonight for the exact same meal I ate last night.  We started with the burrata with beets, a citrus honey gastrique and mint…as delicious as I expected!  For my main course I chose the ricotta ravioli with roasted garlic, green garlic and stinging nettle.  Everything about this dish was perfect!  You would have thought I had licked my plate based on how clean it was at the end of the night.  Do yourself a favor and go get this before they take it off the menu.We also got the seared broccoli, kale and brussels sprouts to share…all of which I would order again.  For dessert we got the rice pudding fritters with a citrus honey, vanilla dipping sauce and powdered sugar.  Nothing to complain about there!

Something notable about Agrodolce is how organic the menu is.  It took us a bit to realize that the few things on the menu that are unlined are those ingredients that are NOT organic.  Just to be clear, there are hardly any.  Pretty impressive!  Not to mention on the reverse side of the menu there are vegan and gluten free options.  This isn’t something I’ve seen yet in Seattle but I think it will soon catch on.

Overall, Maria Hines has outdone herself and I can’t wait to go back!

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