Thanks to those of you who proferred suggestions for my recent trip to your beautiful city. In return, I provide below my report:
Armandino's Salumi, lunch: made a bee-line for this place upon landing at Sea-Tac, found a parking spot right across the street and a not-too-long line inside. Had a phenomenal sandwich of the finocchioni (sic) salami that would have been better only had I asked for it to be served on a baguette rather than the too-soft-for-my-taste roll. Still, the flavors were excellent, and the price could not be beat.
Seven Star Pepper, dinner: per a poster's recommendation I had dinner at this place, on 12th and Jackson in the International District. Per his suggestion, I had the Sichuan-style Dungeness crab, and to go with it I ordered a dish of kou shui ji (not sure of the English name, it's a cold chicken dish with chilies and sesame seeds). Both were phenomenal, and though I never would have thought it possible, I actually ate the whole crab order by myself in one sitting. Per my request, they made it very spicy, and kept coming to my table to make sure I was OK.
Ray's Boathouse, dinner: I did not choose this place myself, but was directed toward it by others and went with two other people. The view would probably have been nice had we got there a bit earlier, but as it was it was too dark to see anything. The oysters on the half shell were good, but nothing spectacular, and the crab salad was only fair. My entree of Alaskan white salmon (new to me) was very good, as was the bed of mashed potatoes it was presented on. Dessert of blood orange sorbet was too grainy as presented, but as it melted it got better. Too pricey for what we got though.
Union, dinner: Stumbled upon this place one evening during a walk around the Pike Place/Pioneer Square area. Surprised to find it so empty on a Thursday night, but corollary was that we got very attentive service. Amazingly small portions (not that the waiter did not warn us), but very tasty. Not sure I'd go back though.
Etta's, dinner: For my last meal before catching the red-eye home I decided to try this place, despite some trepidation that a celebrity chef might result in a bad price-quality ratio. Sat at the seafood bar and had the best waitress in a long time look after me. Ordered three oysters on the half shell to start (at $2.50 each, was afraid that already the price issue was against me) but they were among the best I have had, and the mignonette was really delicious. Then I had the smoked and rubbed Alaskan king salmon with corn pudding, which was also excellent, and though I really did not think I ought to (and am not really fond of coconut) was persuaded to finish with the triple coconut cream pie, which was also excellent (though way too big). The fact that all this, with a glass of wine, only came to $60 with tip, was a real surprise.
All in all, I was very pleased with the meals in Seattle, and the crabs I brought home have turned into two very good dishes, too! Thanks!!
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