A Seattle fine-dining destination for over six decades, Canlis has kept up with the times without losing any of the ingredients that have contributed to its remarkable longevity. This culinary keepsake in the Queen Anne neighborhood was the first restaurant in Seattle to serve what is now referred to as “contemporary Northwest cuisine”. It likes to call its cooking “Comfort Geek”, meaning that it combines modern technique with a comfortable, approachable style. The quietly stylish dining room, in a two-story bluff-top building, combines contemporary décor with Asian antiques. Though you’ll find an array of fabulous menu choices, steaks from the copper grill, the Canlis salad and Peter Canlis’ prawns are perennial favorites that have been on the menu since 1950. There’s a comprehensive wine list, including delicious Northwest vintages. Reserve as far in advance as you can.
Of Seattle superchef Tom Douglas’s five restaurants in town, this one, with its vermilion walls, cozy booths and paintings by noted Northwestern artists, is the one to try first: it’s a pioneer of modern Northwestern cuisine, which combines fresh regional seafood and produce with Asian influences. Don’t miss Douglas’s eclectic sampling of local oysters (nothing tastes more like the Northwest!), classic crab cakes and famous coconut cream pie. There is also a wonderful selection of local wines (Washington is now the second-largest wine region in the country), and the waiters know lots about them, so ask their opinion before you sample a few.
Shiro’s Sushi Restaurant
Sushi lovers, whether they’re locals or businessmen from Tokyo, flock to Shiros in Belltown because, quite simply, it serves the best sushi in Seattle. Sushi master and local legend Shiro Kashiba serves only the finest, freshest fish to his customers; you will never taste anything but the best here. For a sumptuous repast, order the chef’s selection of omakase sushi or sashimi. Tempura and other traditional Japanese favorites are also available. One of Shiro’s signature dishes is broiled black cod kasuzuke.
With towering ceilings, floating glass chandeliers and seven-course options, the Fairmont Hotel’s Old World restaurant is one of the city’s most formal establishments. Head chef Gavin Stephenson trained at Le Cordon Bleu and his Northwest cuisine is French-inspired: dishes include grilled halibut chop with a warm morel and pea vine salad, oysters served in a caviar mignonette, and basil wrapped roasted lamb loin. A testament to Seattle’s laid-back vibe: despite the dining room’s grandeur, the Georgian’s dress code does not require jackets.
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