My husband had a last-minute business trip to Seattle this past week and I got to go with him (we live in the San Francisco Bay Area). We hadn’t been to Seattle together for at least ten years so it was basically all new to us. We didn’t have time to consult Chowhound, though I was armed with the latest Zagat. We were staying in the First Hill area and here is my food report on most everywhere I ate.
Palace Kitchen - Some local friends took us here and this trendy downtown spot did not disappoint. We shared a dungeness crab and as an entree I had some great Idaho trout, something you don’t usually find on menus in SF. My husband had the excellent pork loin. With two bottles of wine and various cocktails, the tab was around $300 for four people. Had a wonderful Syncline pinot noir and I made sure to buy a bottle of their mourvedre at a wine shop at the Pike Place Market for a souvenir. Would definitely go back here again.
Le Panier - Had a jambon sandwich on my own at this delightful French bakery in the Pike Place Market area. Bread was excellent, behind-the-counter service charming.
Hunt Club - Even though I love fun and trendy places like Palace Kitchen, I also enjoy quiet, intimate restaurants and this one fits the bill. It was also a block away from where we were staying. I had an excellent tomato soup and a steelhead salmon entree. My husband had Bolognese pasta, which was cooked perfectly. Expensive, but felt like we could have been somewhere in Europe. Located in the Hotel Sorrento.
Imo Asian Bistro - I’d walked my feet off from First Hill to Capitol Hill then down East Pike to downtown and then to Pioneer Square in exploring the area and needed a quick lunch fast. This place was nothing special, especially compared with some of the great Japanese food you can get in the Bay Area, but it seems to be popular with local office workers. I had a lunch special with chicken kara-age (Japanese fried chicken), which was unfortunately doused in teriyaki sauce and made unlike any kara-age I’ve ever had. Also had gyoza, which were also deep fried and greasy. Would not return.
Vi Bacchus - Had much better luck with this apparently newish izakaya and sushi bar in Capitol Hill at dinner, which I’d read about in Zagat. We didn’t order sushi, but had a number of small plates (takoyaki, mussels, butter enoki, and much more that I can’t remember) and all were quite good, though again don’t compare to izakaya fare in the Bay Area. Still, they are on the right track and offer lots of different sakes as well. Nice Japanese-style service (waitress speaks Japanese) and the chef is from Japan. Was also convenient to where we were staying. Seems popular with a young crowd.
Sun Ya Seafood - We first checked out the food court at Uwajima-ya in the International District for lunch and found the choices looking pretty abysmal with virtually no real Japanese food in sight that we could locate. We decided to comb Chinatown and ended up at Sun Ya Seafood for dim sum that we found quite tasty with all the usual choices, including bbq pork, har gao, shu mai, potstickers, etc. Definitely the real deal.
Geneva - Our last dinner was at another quiet, intimate space right near our hotel that Zagat described as lovely but that few seem to know about. Indeed, we were able to walk in on Saturday night without a reservation. This is an intimate, elegant, old-school type of place that you don’t find much in San Francisco anymore and we enjoyed it, though the food was a bit on the heavy side (much like the food we had a long time ago in Geneva, Switzerland!). This is a continental restaurant with some German accents on the food, along with beautiful flower arrangements, a tasteful chandelier, and interesting artwork on the walls. I had a very creamy tomato bisque, and scallops with linguine as my entree; my husband had the halibut cheeks special. Nice professional and unobtrusive service.
Passed by Andaluca at the Mayflower Park Hotel downtown and it looked inviting and the description in Zagat sounded wonderful. Will have to get there on the next trip.