First, a few recommendations of places we really enjoyed discovering in Seattle, should you be lucky enough to get there anytime soon.
I've already mentioned Blueacre Seafood, where Sue's husband had made us reservations for the very European dining time of 8:30 p.m. (their flight having arrived from LA not much earlier). Splendid seafood there -- my Black Alaska Cod (generally rebranded as Sablefish up here lately, and one of my favourite fish for its buttery, delicate flavour and texture) on a bed of perfectly complementary vegetables (subtle Asian seasoning, not distractingly so, just the right amount of crunch, i.e. not much). . . Honestly, we chatted far too much to pay much attention to each other's plates, but everyone seemed very pleased, particularly Sue's Monsieur, who'd ordered the Copper River Sockeye. Service was friendly, knowledgeable, and even though the restaurant was obviously closing down around us (we left about 10:30, but it was a Wednesday evening), we didn't feel obliged to leave earlier than when we were ready.
Wandering around the next morning (after a very decent Continental Buffet breakfast at the Best Western Pioneer Square -- hard-boiled eggs, choice of cereals, hot breakfast sandwiches, a waffle-making machine, various baked good, yogurts, fruit), we were tempted by all the goodies at Pike Place Market, so tempted that Pater had to pick up a half-dozen warm doughnut holes. Okay, and I might have eaten one of those. . . Perhaps two. . .
We'd spotted a great neon sign (a chef, holding a fish by its tail) while walking to dinner the evening before, and stopped by Thursday morning to admire the lively mosaic work at Dahlia's, take a quick photo, and check out the menu. It was promising enough that we headed straight back here with very healthy appetites after our roundabout tour to the Space Needle and Gehry's EMP. . .
And then our server, clearing the table of our mains, asked if we wanted dessert. Noticing the weakness lurking behind our not-so-firm "Oh, No, we've had enough"s., she cunningly mentioned that Dahlia's is known for their beignets (made and sold, in fact, in Dahlia Bakery right next door). Can you believe that even though beignets are doughnut holes with a fancier name, and Paul had already polished off half a dozen doughnut holes at Pike Place Market, we were soon sitting with a small plate of these powdered beauties between us, a small bowl of housemade blackberry jam, another small bowl of mascarpone on either side of that plate? I know. If you've been reading here for a while, you believed that all too easily.
And yes, I ate one (at least) of these warm clouds of flour, sugar, and, okay perhaps a little oil. . . .totally worth it! I was most impressed that the accompanying pot of tea I'd asked for, having little hope for anything beyond the all-too-common "tepid water and a teabag," arrived AS a pot of tea -- a cheery red pot in which very good loose black tea was steeping in water that had obviously hit the tea while still boiling. My shibboleth for a restaurant that knows what's what.
You'd hardly think we had room for much dinner after that lunch, but you'd be dead wrong. We went back to a spot we'd gone to for a snack and a beer the previous afternoon -- the spicy watermelon salad, housemade nachos with a variety of salsas and a bowl of beautiful guacamole were very convincing. Casco Antiguo was just around the corner from our hotel, and after our long day walking, that proximity was very welcome. As it was the night before, the cantina was busy but not too noisy, just lively enough. Lots of movement: cooks working in the open kitchen and diners leaning animatedly into conversations, and servers weaving around the table (friendly servers, but not too, and genuinely so -- in fact, part of why we came back the second night was a delightful conversation that first evening about our Canadian difference and the joy of knowing more than one language). We got to try another beer or two (Seattle is a great city for artisan beer!), the guacamole, salsas, and nachos all over again, and then I had a plate of really good fish tacos and Paul had something I can't even remember because I was enjoying the freshness of my fish so much -- and all this goodness was at crazily generous Happy Hour prices. That should have been enough, but I was determined to try the Chicken Molé, so we ordered an Enchilada filled with same and split it. Then lurched home on happy, full bellies, feeling that we had made a very good start at checking out Seattle's food scene.
So, to recap: Blueacre, Dahlia's, and Casco Antiguo, good places to eat if you get to Seattle. All kinds of others we want to try next time -- I've heard several times since we got back that Wild Ginger is a must. Barely scratched the surface, I know, and I'm hardly one to tell you the good places to eat in Seattle. But these were three places we got to and thought were good.
I'm done telling you about our Seattle visit, although I still have a thing or two still to share about Paris last month. Meanwhile, one of our daughters arrives today with her two little ones. We've had temperatures in the 20s all week (a drought situation here on the Coast, actually, with the watering restrictions kicked up another level yesterday), so we've got the wading pool set up in the backyard, and we're looking forward to giggles and cuddles and splashes and pretty constant feeding and lifting and fetching and wiping. They're here for a few days, so I'm not sure how much you'll hear from me. But I'll be reading comments when I get a minute, and I might even post a grandbaby photo or two. . . .