I landed in Seattle from London and felt a strange, immediate sense of homesickness. While I grew up about a four-hour drive south of Seattle, I always feel quite comfortable in this part of the state, most likely because of the food and music scenes. Seattle takes seafood seriously, which is one of the things I love best about visiting this unique city.
One of my standard stops is Matt’s in the Market on corner of First & Pike, the dining room view punctuated by the iconic Market sign. This is not a cheap table, mind you, but the focus on local, sustainable ingredients and the subtlety of the flavor combinations brings me gladly back each time. I started with an arugula salad with fresh Dungeness crab and a citrus vinaigrette – clean and simple. For the main course, I chose my favorite seared scallops. And for dessert, the salted caramel pot de crème with mini donuts. The starter and main were exceptional as always, but the dessert was a bit overpowering in sweetness, a bit uncharacteristic of Matt’s usual fare.
Later in the week, I visited Matt’s sister bar, Radiator Whiskey. You’ll know it by the raucous noise coming out of the space just a few steps from Matt’s door. Opened in 2013, Radiator takes pride in its whiskey and bourbon choices and cocktails. I started with a “Showgirl:” bourbon base with amaro and rhubarb bitters served in a Gatsby-style cocktail glass. This concoction would definitely appeal to an Old Fashioned lover with a unique, modern twist. Another standout was a special bourbon cocktail that day served with a sherbet-rimmed glass.
My Scottish friend back in London had one thing to say after her first visit to Radiator: Tots! These are not the tater tots you remember from school lunch. Radiator elevates the standard fried potato bundles of goodness by serving them in a large cast iron pan covered in gravy and topped with a fried egg. It’s a great combination of comfort foods and absolutely delicious. Rounds of drinks? More like keep the tots coming. For a main course, we tried the pork shank which is so generous it could easily feed two to three people. Needless to say, after a few rounds at Radiator we were feeling festive. Naturally this meant we turned the place into a bit of an impromptu karaoke bar, singing along with the 90s classics played over the speakers in the bar. (Yeah, sorry about that, guys! 🙂 )
For breakfast and lunch, I discovered newbie deli Homegrown. Touting itself as a sustainable sandwich shop, I was impressed with the variety of local, organic choices. For breakfast, I had their egg and avocado substituted as a salad instead of a sandwich, accompanied by a cappuccino made with almond milk. A perfect healthy start to the day and no guilt for this Paleo princess!
Finally, after researching restaurants to partake in with a foodie friend of mine, I made a reservation for dinner at RockCreek Seafood & Spirits in Fremont. Another restaurant making seafood the star, the standouts were the Hawaiian Tombo tuna crudo and Dungeness crab chile relleno to start and black cod for a main. The menu changes daily based on the fresh, seasonal ingredients. Unfortunately I was gabbing too much to take photos so you’ll just have to take my word on it!
Matt's in the Market 94 Pike Street, Suite 32 (First & Pike) Seattle, WA 98101 +1 (206) 467-7909 Homegrown South Lake Union 208 Westlake Ave N Seattle, WA 98109 +1 (206) 467-5391 Radiator Whiskey (First & Pike) 94 Pike Street, Suite 30 Seattle, WA 98101 +1 (206) 467-4268 RockCreek Seafood & Spirits 4300 Fremont Avenue N Seattle, WA 98103 +1 (206) 557-5732
© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2014.