Magazine article Sunset

Hungry in Seatle: A Diner's Guide

Magazine article Sunset

Hungry in Seatle: A Diner's Guide

Article excerpt

Battle is not the restaurant town it was 20 years ago. While there will always be room on the city's menus for Northwestern classics-treats like alder-grilled salmon and summer berry cobblers-the increasing breadth and diversity of the local culinary talent is giving diners plenty to dig into beyond the traditional hallmarks of Northwestern cuisine.

$ = less than $15 - $$ = $15-$25 . $$$ = more than $25

Dahlia Lounge. Seattle superchef Tom Douglas opened this, the first of his three restaurants (the other two are Etta's Seafood and Palace Kitchen), in 1989. Of the trio, the Dahlia Lounge has always had the strongest Northwestern emphasis, the menu drawing freely from local products-razor clams and artisan cheeses. The restaurant moved to a new, bigger space last year; be sure to visit the Dahlia Bakery next door. U. 2001 Fourth Ave.; (206) 682-4142.

Earth & Ocean. Each night, in addition to the a la carte menu, executive chef Johnathan Sundstrom produces two prix-fixe options: the "grower's menu," a vegetarian lineup featuring products from local farms, and a menu sauvage, highlighting wild and foraged foods, such as squab with morel mushrooms and ramps. Executive pastry chef Sue McCown produces finales that are both whimsical and seriously delicious. $$. In the IN Seattle Hotel, 1112 Fourth; 264-6060.

Le Gourmand. Since 1985, Bruce Naftaly's Ballard restaurant has been offering outstanding food-as deeply rooted in the region as you could hope for The sauce that accompanies the signature boeuf 6 la ficelle (organic Washington beef tenderloin) is flavored with Cabernet pressings from Chinook Wines in Yakima Valley. Poppy seeds in the house-made crackers (served with buttery rabbit liver pate) come from flowers Naftaly grows in the garden alongside the restaurant. $$$. 425 N. IN Market St; 784-3463.

Macrina Bakery & Cafe. Bread and pastries are available throughout the day at this bustling Belltown bakery; at lunchtime the focus turns to light savory fare, including panini, pizzetti, and a mix-and-match meze plate. Weekend brunches are more substantial, including the delicious Macrina fried egg sandwich. $. 2408 First Ave.; 448-4032.

Restaurant Zoe. This appealing Belltown restaurant just celebrated its first anniversary. Pleasers from Scott Staples's menu include grilled romaine salad with apples, bacon, and Roquefort and house-smoked hanger steak. …

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