Thanks for all the help on this board! I spent a couple of days in Seattle and here's what I ate:
Day 1 (Sunday)
I arrived on a Sunday afternoon. After checking into my hotel I wandered down to the Pike Place Market for a bit of snacking. I grabbed a BBQ pork bun from one of the little Asian vendors and some Beecher's spicy mac and cheese. Both were quite tasty. Then also a mini cheesecake from The Confectional. It was a perfect size for a little snack! I also stopped in La Buona Tavola—a shop that was obviously built to be my kryptonite. Truffles and wine! I ended up buying a little container of truffle salt to bring back home. Yum!
After that I wandered a bit and happened into The Tasting Room, a cool little wine shop owned by 5 different wineries. I chilled for a bit and bought some wine tastes. I'm from Virginia—an up and coming wine region with some famous viogniers. I was surprised to find one there that I really liked, as I've been unimpressed with most of the California versions I'd sampled.
After a little rest in my hotel room, I went to Long Provincial for dinner and sat at the bar. The bartender was super friendly and guided me to starting with the squid sate. Ohmygod yum! It came with a salt and peppery sauce, plus a spicy sauce, and the squid itself was flavorful from the grilling. I loved this dish. Next I got 12-hour braised pork flank cooked with coconut meat, caramelized with sugar and fish sauce and hand-crushed black pepper. This dish also had lots of great flavors. All in all a win!
The next day I woke up a bit late for my conference so just grabbed a coffee and breakfast sammy from Seattle's Best. For lunch, I returned to the Pike Place Market and got a cup of cioppino, a crab cocktail and some raw oysters from Jack's. I didn't realize when I said yes to sauce on the crab cocktail it would mean it would be doused in cocktail sauce, but no matter, it was still tasty. The oysters were great too—much less briney than those we have in VA. As I wandered, one of the guys at the fish market also gave me a taste of the famous smoked salmon. Holy good! I had no idea it would be as flavorful as it was. Because I rationalized myself into believing my lunch was semi healthy, I also grabbed a connoli from Pike Place Bakery—we don't have these much in Richmond so it was an extra special, delicious treat.
Later for dinner I went to Le Pichet. Holy awesome. First, I loved the atmosphere. So cute and tiny with a warm bistro feel. The bartender was super friendly and I felt totally comfortable dining at the bar by myself. I started with a boulevarder cocktail. I had just been looking at the recipe for this classic drink, so I was excited to sample one that had been professionally made. It was quite tasty! I will have to try and re-make at home. Also, loved the little amuse bouch. A couple little pieces of bread topped with spready cheese and local pear slices. Nice touch. Next I got the chickpea salad—little crispy chickpea balls were served over cantaloupe with a tomato vinaigrette. I loved this salad. Great mix of flavors and textures. For my main course, I went with a nightly special—house-made blood sausage over roasted chestnuts, brussels sprouts and some kind of barley with a calvados sauce. Amazing! It was warm and perfect for the season. So many great flavors. I was far too full for dessert, but also loved that they gave me two house-made salted caramels with my bill. This place was great. I would love to return.
The next day I got up early and hit Sweet Iron. I couldn't believe this place wasn't more packed. My waffle topped with bacon, brie and basil was insane. I think I'm going to need to try and recreate at home.
For lunch, I wandered to Taylor Shellfish Farms where I got a cup of oyster stew and a dozen raw oysters. First, the oyster stew was amazing. The perfect consistency and the right amount of flavor, and plenty of oysters! Loved. I ordered a dozen Pacific oysters, but they ran out and also gave me three Shigoku. Both were awesome. Again, much lighter in flavor than those we have in VA.
My conference ended on the early side, and I was a little hungry, so I snuck down to the market one last time for a potato and cheese pastry from Piroshky Piroshky. Again, this is more of the ethnic food I really miss living in VA and it was super filling and homey. Nice snack.
For dinner that night, I stopped in Zig Zag Cafe. Low and behold the super nice guy who'd sat next to me the previous night at Le Pichet was Ben, Zig Zag bartender extraordinaire. He was so nice and friendly. I planned to have a drink or two here and move on, but had so much fun I stayed for dinner too. Ben kept asking me what types of cocktails I liked and then would make me something similar but with a unique twist. I was really impressed by his knowledge of different liquors and cocktails and their history. Hanging there was so fun! Again it was great too because I felt completely at home as a girl traveling at home. Everyone sitting at the bar was friendly and Ben kept checking in on me and it was great! He made me one cocktail, Blackbeard's Delight, that wasn't on the regular menu, but it featured Angostura Bitters, Angostura Rum, Pineapple syrup and some other good stuff I can't remember. It was not too sweet, but deliciously spicy and my favorite concoction of the night. For food, I got the baked polenta over braised greens with IPA-infused pot liquid, which was awesome, and later the grilled cheese, which featured an amazing blend of cheese and arugula. So good. I completely see why I was told this is a must-visit Seattle spot. As I left, I mentioned I'd be coming back to the West Coast to go to San Fransisco in a month or so, and Ben even wrote down his favorite bar and bartender there. Nothing like going above and beyond : )
All in all, great trip—I felt like everyone was so friendly and I felt right at home. Can't wait to come back some time!