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doyenne's picture

Seattle guide (post #56652)

For those of you fortunate enough to be going to MeanieFest, here is an article from the Sunday NYT concerning what to do in Seattle. Maybe some of you will find it interesting.

The New York Times

September 29, 2002
Seattle: An Insider's Address BookBy CATHARINE REYNOLDS


Ferry whistles and gulls still sound the mood music of the Emerald City, though grunge has given way to a wired vitality that pulses from the Olympics to the Cascades. Locals' engaging blend of proud frontier know-how and sleek urbanity, of Polarfleece-meets -Manhattan style, is evident in these addresses.


Thirty years on, Seattle's coffee culture has become America's, but the city still cherishes a handful of nonchain coffeehouses, each with its own fanatic following. Slacker chic prevails under a portrait of Walter Gropius at Bauhaus Books and Coffee. Capitol Hill residents play chess and work on laptops as they sip coffee or excellent hot chocolate. 301 East Pine Street (206-625-1600).

A world away, black is de rigueur for the Pioneer Square gallery hoppers who like to rendezvous at Zeitgeist Art and Coffee. Tables are laden with auction catalogs and Illy espressos (and not-bad sandwiches). 171 South Jacks on Street (206-583-0497).

Armandino Batali, father of Mario of Manhattan's Babbo, found his true calling when he retired from Boeing to make salami. Lunchers line up outside his vest-pocket Salumi from 11 a.m. to nibble anise-flavored finochiona and cured coppa while waiting their turn. Whether you choose the day's special -- say, gnocchi with anchovies, basil and gently sauteed yellow cherry tomatoes -- or the nutmeg-scented meatball sandwich, you will have to find a place at the convivial communal tables with diners who number themselves among the blessed. 309 Third Avenue South (206-621-8772). Lunch only. Wine and beer. Takeout available. Closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Around $10 a person.

Agua Verde Paddle Club and Cafe offers one of the best vacation packages in town. Join escapist academics and their laid-back companions in a mighty margarita, a taco of barbecued lamb and a chocolate flan in this brightly painted building on Portage Bay. Then paddle the afternoon away in one of the restaurant's rent-a-kayaks (from $10 an hour). 1303 Northeast Boat Street (206-545-8570). Closed Sunday (except for takeout). $8 a person at lunch, $15 at dinner.


Pike Place Market is the country's oldest farmers' market in continuous operation. Climb to the top floor of the Corner Market building, where Matt's in the Market cooks up what's best from the stalls. The trick is to call about 30 minutes in advance and put your name on the waiting list for the 23 places -- 9 of them at the tiled counter -- to devour hot sandwiches like the sensuous roasted portobello, smoked provolone and mushroom ragu combo. Meals are seasoned with bonhomie and good wines by the glass. 94 Pike Street, No. 32 (206-467-7909). Closed Sunday and Monday. $14 a person at lunch, $23 at dinner (this and restaurant prices below include a glass of wine).

Tuck into generous portions of toro sitting elbow to elbow with the Seattle Mariners' Japanese superstars at Saito's Japanese Cafe and Bar, a hopping sushi bar in the heart of cool Belltown. Teacups illustrating the sushi choices enliven the sleek decor. Try the ikura (salmon roe), anago (sea eel) and tako (octopus). 2122 Second Avenue (206-728-1333). Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday. $11 a person for lunch, $28 for dinner.

Crisp manzanilla, conversation and tapas -- what more could a sybarite want? Patience. All Seattle seems to be eager for one of the Harvest Vine's 26 seats. But the piquillos stuffed with Dungeness crab, the tortillas and the venison skewers -- indeed, any of Joseph Jimenez de Jimenez's platitos -- are worth the wait. And his wife, Carolin's, flan -- Que rico! 2701 East Madison Street (206-320-9771). Dinner only; no reservations. Closed Sunday and Monday. $50 a person.

No Seattle visit would be complete without a stop at one of Tom Douglas's four canteens. There are the Dahlia Lounge and Etta's Seafood, but those entranced by kitchen action opt for the less expensive Palace Kitchen. Watch a free-range chicken being roasted over applewood and then sauced with Bing cherries and cocoa salt ($19). 2030 Fifth Avenue (206-448-2001). Dinner only. $23 a person (reservations for parties of six or more).

If you need an extra fix of Douglas's signature coconut cream pie, with its toasted coconut overcoat, duck into the Dahlia Bakery, 2001 Fourth Avenue (206-441-4540). Closed Sunday.

The cognoscenti ignore Malay Satay Hut's strip-mall location and Tiki-lounge decor. Instead they bring a crowd and order roti canai (tender folded flatbread with curried dip). If Malaysian cuisine is unfamiliar, trust the owner, Sam Yoo, to chart your course through the tamarind and chilies, lemongrass and galangal, selecting perhaps a delectable mango tofu salad, a fried pompano, kangkung belachan (water spinach stoked with dried fermented shrimp) and the curried lamb, redolent of tomato, garlic and ginger. The desserts may be an acquired taste. 15230 Northeast 24th Street, Redmond (425-564-0888). $6.50 a person at lunch, $12 at dinner. The original Malay Satay Hut in Seattle, which burned down in 2001, recently reopened at 212 12th Avenue South (206-324-4091).

Oceanaire Seafood Room gives the city a white-tablecloth showcase for its seafood. This is the place to try local oysters, from Olympias through Puget Sound Kumamotos and Wescott Bay Belons. In season, try the subtleties of salmon with a selection that includes king salmon from the Copper River, the Taku River and the Oregon coast. More complex dishes, like the ''angry'' lobster, spiked with orange zest, serrano chilies and basil, succeed as well, even if the portions are extraordinarily large. 1700 Seventh Avenue (206-267-2277). Closed Saturday and Sunday lunch. $23 a person at lunch, $50 at dinner.


A local-boy-made-good, Tom Skerritt ("A River Runs Through It", "Steel Magnolias"), is among the backers of the high-design Alibi Room, the heartland of the local indie film scene. Though Alibi serves meals all day, it comes into its own late at night, when clients chill out with tall glasses of Elysian beer and small plates amid smoke and sounds from hip-hop through reggae to underground electronic. 85 Pike Street, No. 410 (206-623-3180). Around $22 a person.


Ever since Klondike gold diggers outfitted themselves there, Seattle has been famed for outdoor gear. But with its gunmetal-wet weather, who would have thought it would become the home of Solumbra, the first fabric to offer an S.P.F. of more than 30? The full range of functionally styled (mesh panels under arms, vents) clothing for men, women and children is available at the Sun Precautions Store, including a fashion-forward women's big shirt in brilliant heron-blue ($74.95). 4105 East Madison Street (206-322-7057). Closed Sunday and Monday.

Carol McClellan stitches leather clothing behind the plate glass of her Belltown storefront atelier. She made her name creating for rock musicians, but today takes on more classic custom work -- pants that truly fit ($1,180) or a flirty pale blue ''eyelet'' blazer in supple suede ($1,200). She's even experimenting with romantic styles in fine fabrics, appealing to those breaking out of the city's prevailing ''waif-wear.'' 103 Battery Street (206-956-8484). Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and by appointment.

The pristine white walls of Flora and Henri typify the simplicity of the classic styles at this "children's clothier" -- even if the garments amount to investment dressing for the newborn-to-12 set, with items like a navy crepe romper suit costing $48. Everything is in natural fibers, with many items made exclusively for the firm in Europe. 717 Pine Street (206-749-9698).

There is no evidence that is eroding the trade of Seattle's myriad bookstores, from the famed Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 South Main Street (206-624-6600), with its frequent authors' readings, to cozy, idiosyncratic secondhand dealers like Twice Sold Tales. Night-owl note: the latter stays open all night Friday, reducing prices 25 percent after midnight. 905 East John Street (206-324-2421).

Ragazzi's Flying Shuttle features "hand-woven wearables" and jewelry by some of the Northwest's leading artisans. This can translate as a black-and-white knit jacket with asymmetrical lapels from Panache ($690) or stunning jewel-toned scarves like Laura Hunter's (from $147), ties by Michael Murphy (from $59) and bold, face-framing earrings (from $90 -$1,000 and up). 607 First Avenue (206-343-9762). Closed Sunday.


A bland brick building conceals the Inn at the Market, built around an inner courtyard, an island of serenity in the bustle of Pike Place Market. Paintings by Northwestern artists and Biedermeier furnishings compete with the views from its 70 recently renovated rooms and suites. Spring for a room with tall windows overlooking Elliott Bay. Doubles from $190. 86 Pine Street (800-446-4484 or 206-443-3600; fax 206-448-0631). The beloved Campagne restaurant (206-728-2800) and its less formal offspring, Cafe Campagne (206-728-2233), are alongside.

The hip Ace Hotel in Belltown plays on its origins as a flophouse.

No marble vanities in its 30 loftlike rooms; stainless steel does the job. Forget eiderdowns; blankets recycled from the Armee du Salut, a k a the Salvation Army, are as warm. The white walls, hardwood floors and minimal furnishings are very up-to-the-minute and plenty comfortable, though late at night it would be a mistake to imagine that the neighborhood is fully gentrified. 2423 First Avenue (206-448-4721; fax 206-374-0745). Doubles with in-room sinks and shared bath $85, with private bath from $130.


Even those who never pick up a trowel delight in the woodland garden, arbor walk and perennial beds at the rambling Heronswood Nursery. If you do have a green thumb, be prepared to carry an infant Hakoneclhoa macra ''Aureola'' (a golden ornamental grass, $8) or another find tenderly aboard the plane. On the Kitsap Peninsula an hour- and-a-half drive-plus-ferry from central Seattle, this gardeners' mecca is open by appointment most weekdays (a quick phone call will do it) and closed weekends; during March through June, the shipping season, it is open by appointment every Friday and Saturday; there are also three ''Garden Opens'' a year -- in spring, summer and fall -when visitors can tour the nursery without an appointment. 7530 Northeast 288th Street, Kingston (360-297-4172). Web site:

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Jangomango's picture

(post #56652, reply #1 of 1)

Thanks for posting this - I read part of it on Sunday and then couldn't find it again.