Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Seattle Restaurants 2012

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The Best Restaurants 2012 list is out according to Seattle Met!  This is actually a post more for me, to keep a record of where I still need to go eat.

Wow I still have a lot to check off, let's see (click on their names to see more info):

☑ Sitka and Spruce - I just went here a couple of weeks ago!  Very impressed with their "hay baked ham" for this season, my gawd, it had a lot of soul to it.  Spendy place but well worth saving the pennies for!

☐ Revel - Okay so technically I haven't been like INSIDE this place, but I have been to it's sister bar next door Quoin, where you can order food from Revel!  Does that count? Probably not but the drinks and food were super tasty!

☐ Canlis - Okay so this is probably one of the most expensive restaurants in Seattle, and based upon the fact that it's such a formal setting (like formal as in our grandparents and parents age concept of formality - must wear a jacket, tie, etc.), there is a good chance I will never go here.  I don't like a whole lot of pomp and circumstance when I eat, even if it's some of the best food in the world!

☐ Spur Gastropub - Have not been here yet.  Know nothing about it: note to self, check it out.

 Skillet Diner - Been to the one at Seattle Science Center, and of course numerous times to their food truck, but not the one on Capitol Hill.  I'm still counting as a "yes". Amazing burgers!

☐ Madison Park Conservatory - Still have to go here!  I can vividly remember the food porn I saw posted on Flickr awhile back.

☐ The Walrus and the Carpenter - Nope, haven't been!  I've only seen the outside while heading into Staple & Fancy next door, which incidentally was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had, ordering the prixe fixe menu to have the chef cook us whatever he wanted.  It should really be on this list. 

Blind Pig Bistro - I swear I hear about this place every week!  Anyone wanna come with me??

☑ Tamarind Tree - Sweet!  Finally another place I have actually been.  This place really raises the bar with Vietnamese fare and will bust your palette wide open with it's amazing aromatic and flavorful food.

 Dick’s Drive-In - Okay I'm not sure why this place is on their list, as it's a drive-in burger joint and not really a restaurant per-say  but hey, they make some wicked little burgers, fries and shakes that serve a purpose when you're coming home late after the bars or just need a quick bite.  And no, it does not cater to the "local" and "free range" diet.

☐ Delancey / Essex Bar / Pantry - Wait...how come I've never heard of this place.  Looks like a great Ballard find!

☑ Homegrown - Update: Had a 1/2 Turkey, Bacon and Avocado sandwich on gluten free bread with a mushroom soup, delicious!  Even the gluten free bread was good, reminding me of a scone actually...I was pleasantly surprised.  I was on an elimination diet, hence the change in bread.  Definitely a nice little spot for lunch and I love that all their ingredients come from our state or one state over in Oregon!

☑ Tilth - One of the best brunches in town!  Went there for a birthday only once and we definitely need to go back.  I mean just look at this french toast!

 Paseo - The fact that I haven't been here is pretty deplorable actually, with all the high praise it's given. 

☐ The Herbfarm -  I think I've wanted to go here ever since I moved to Seattle from Vancouver, Canada.  It's just one of those dining experiences that you have to save up quite a stack of dough for, but knowing what you will receive, makes it all worth it according to my friends who have been.

☑ Sutra - A tiny little gem that was probably one of the most interesting vegetarian places we've been to.  My hubby is veggie, so we're always on the lookout for special places like this.  When we went, we shared a table with another couple (seating is extremely limited but encourages meeting new people).  Delicious!  Highly recommend it.

☐ Brave Horse Tavern - Still haven't been here, but I've got a gift certificate for any Tom Douglas restaurant and this is going to be my choice this time. :)

☐ Rione XIII - ALMOST went here, but is the last on my list of Ethan Stowell restaurants to try.  All of his restaurants have been pretty outstanding to say the least.

☐ Bar del Corso - This place looks amazing with my favorite style of pizza; Neapolitan!  Looks like it's doing really well on Beacon Hill.

☐ Shiro’s Sushi - Voted if not THE best sushi place in Seattle currently, probably in the top 5.  I know it's gotta be good as I always see a line starting outside at 5pm because they don't take reservations.

☐ Full Tilt Ice Cream - I think between my husband and I this is a match made in heaven; he loves pinball with a passion and I love interesting ice cream flavors!  

☐ Cascina Spinasse / Artusi - Need to go here.  Looks friggen delicious and the perfect setting for date night!

☐ Ray’s Boathouse - Probably doesn't get more Seattle than this place, I still haven't been here...they literally have NOTHING for vegetarians so I will have to kidnap one of my "paleo" friends to dine here.  And no, salad is not enough.

☑ Matt’s in the Market - I went here SO long ago, I can see from pictures online it is quite a different setting now, but the food was spectacular so I definitely need to put this at the top of my list.

 Restaurant ZoĆ« - Update: Went here New Year's Eve!  Outstanding and very accommodating to special dietary needs.  Highly recommended!  The server even got a hint from a conversation that we had about bourbon, and gave my husband a surprise shot of it with a candle at the end of dinner for his birthday.  How nice was that!

Okay time to save up and cross things off the list, hehe.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Korean BBQ Time!

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Ka Won Korean Restaurant

So I hadn't been to a Korean BBQ place for let's seeeeee, like 30 years, and recently was determined to end this decades long streak!  After polling a few people as to their favorite places, a couple of friends and I decided to make the long drive up to Lynwood where a lot of Korean restaurants reside and chose Ka Won for their table top BBQ experience.  Just the very thought of it, as we drove for nearly 45 minutes, brought up many memories of specific types of tastes that my mouth remembers...nutty, spicy and sweet.  I guess a whole lot of umami, too, although as a kid I didn't know what the heck that meant!   I will always remember the fun I had with my parents going to our favorite place in Vancouver, B.C. at Broadway and Commercial, and getting to sit in those special private seating areas, grilling our own meat and drinking some kind of simple soup with scallions and bean sprouts.  It's really those two things, meat and sprouts, that I remember the most.  The restaurant hasn't been there for a long time, but every time I go by there even today, I think of eating that amazing food.  Ka Won did not disappoint.

Ka Won Korean Restaurant

I haven't had beef like that for a looooong time, just melting in my mouth with it's sweet glaze, nicely caramelized on the grill.  We ordered 2 combination plates (way too much for 5 people!), which included fatty pork, beef, some sort of huge mushroom stems, onions, and squid, which the waitress cooked for us as she put it "because you never been before right?".  Well, a couple of us had, but we let her do it anyway, haha!  It was pretty funny that she assumed we didn't know what we were doing.  It also came with salad which had the MOST delicious sweet sesame soy dressing ever!  I was pretty obsessed with it, and I know, it's only salad but it was so yummy!  I mean, I'm assuming it was sesame, but who knows...it had a small spice to it too.  Anyway, back to the meat, holy moly I had to stop myself from gorging.  We also had a side plate of Japchae, which are noodles made from sweet potato and one of my favorite Korean staples - I must say they did a great job on it!  Just that plate alone could have fed us all a full meal.  And of course we had all the little plates of pickled treats that Korean meals are typically coupled with that you can eat alone or with your food, surrounding our already crowded table.  I made a conscious choice not to completely go over the edge with my portions, so I left full, but not dying.  It's a good strategy, even if you can't finish everything.  What a meal I tell ya!  We will definitely be going back.

Ka Won Korean Restaurant
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