Some years back, a Portland, Oregon restauranteer that frequently was asked in helping out start up other restaurants was doing an interview with the Oregonian newspaper. One of the questions was "What is the most difficult decision new restaurant owners face that you tell them?" The answer had to do with reducing the size of the menu. They said that it is far, far better to have a few dishes to select from, and make sure to do them well, than to have dozens upon dozens of items which are difficult for the customers to decide from, and none of which are really able to become excellent dishes.
Cellars did not make this mistake. There may be dozens of different cocktails that may be ordered, but the menu is limited to a fairly small number of items which are done well rather than a multi-page fold-out menu that is nearly impossible to read.
Live music happens on some nights, and during other nights there is a DJ that sets up shop inside. Thursday nights are Brazilian music nights.
The personality of the restaurant changes a bit from the lunchtime crowd to the evening crowd, which I think is fairly typical for most downtown Seattle restaurants, and certainly for those located in Belltown. The lunch food is not fast food but it tends to be items that are simpler and more quickly made. The dinner items are more expensive and the appeal is to a different crowd than the lunchtime in-and-out crowd.
As the name of the place implies, they are reasonably well known for their wine and beer list.
During pleasant weather, the old garage doors on the front of the building are opened to provide a semi-open air environment inside.
Favorite Dish: What I had was the Brazilian Angus Steak for $18. It was very good, but the size of the meal barely filled the plate. I think this is the case with most restaurants in downtown Seattle: the food tends to be quite a bit more expensive than what you will find across the water in Ballard or Fremont (districts of the northern part of Seattle that are known for their restaurants). Most people will probably want to order at least one appetizer due to the size of the dinner.
El Gaucho is, by far, one of the best restaurants in Seattle. I say "one of" because I haven't been to some of the others (like Canlis), but it's definitely the best fine dining experience I've had in Seattle. I've tried both more than once, and El Gaucho beats The Metropolitan Grill, which is often ranked as one of the best steakhouses in the country. The steaks at El Gaucho are more flavorful, and the atmosphere feels like more of a treat.
El Gaucho is a place to mind your manners and have a good time. The waiter and the sommelier are very attentive and helpful, and when a lady leaves the table, a tuxedoed waiter magicly appears to escort her to the powder room!
If you want to experience the swank, but don't want to blow your whole paycheck, have a snack in the bar. They sell some wonderful wines by the glass and make a mean martini. And the appetizers are almost as good as the steaks. You can also get a full meal in the bar, without all the pomp and circumstance of the dining room.
Favorite Dish: Chateaubriand for two is to die for! Luckily one of my friends likes it cooked the same way, so we ususally order that. The filet is delicious, as well. Caesar salad is exceptional, and so is the ahi tuna appetizer, both of which are prepared table-side.
One of the special touches that really adds to the meal is the delivery of a fruit/nut/cheese platter at the end of the meal.
If you're into wine and looking for something that isn't on the extensive wine list, ask about it. They often have bottles of wine in small supply that are not listed.
Some of the best food I've found in Seattle. A little on the pricey side, but worth it. I had the Sea Bass special and it was delicious.
Favorite Dish: Mussels as an appetizer was great! We had 3 different deserts, including Mocha Creme Carmel and a chocloate torte, and they were all awesome.
With colorful blown glass hanging from chandeliers, overflowing giant vases, and every inch of wall space covered with framed artwork, the decor at the Icon Grill is way overboard, but that's what makes it so much fun. Basically, it's an over-the-top rendition of a jam packed, art-deco theater. The menu leans heavily toward well-prepared comfort foods, such as a molasses-glazed meatloaf, which locals swear by, and a macaroni and cheese unlike anything your mother ever made. To liven things up, a grilled pear salad. The food here is good and the waiters make it fun, but the Icon is as much a Seattle experience focusing on Northwest speciality items.
Favorite Dish: My date and I ordered a Sundea for desert and they built it for us at our table. The waiter began scooping sprinkles, spattering chocolate chips, and dolloping whip cream all over, as if our desert was a special event, it was really fun.
Icon's Hot Fudge Sundae (Olympic Mountain Vanilla Bean ice cream in a cookie bowl with icon's cone of hot fudge sauce and your choice of toppings).
This restaurant is located right on Union Bay and has a fabulous deck with big wooden chairs to relax in during happy hour for dinner and drinks. We had a pitcher of beer, a couple well drinks, a basket of fries and some wings and our bill only totaled $20 or so. Their happy hour is wonderful, especially on a sunny day. Dinner is also delicious although I wouldn't reccomend the french onion soup a little too sweet for my likings.
If you are looking for a place to celebrate a memorable event head to Daniels for the best steak dinner in Seattle. This place not only has the food and service but the view to go with your dinner. I celebrated my 21st birthday at Daniels Broiler on Lake Washington blvd (200) and was a beautiful building with great service.
See below for the other Seattle Lake Union location.
Favorite Dish: Prime New York was an amazing and boldly flavored steak.
The jumbo prawn appetizer is also delicious.
James Patricks Steak House and Grill
The service is awesome. I have never waited for mopre than 10 minutes for my food and that was on a Saturday when it was ALL packed. The food is so good it was almost literaly melt in your mouth.
Favorite Dish: Baby Back Ribs, so spicy that they even make MY eyes swell up and get all teary.
The restaurant is located in downtown Seattle where you can both see the Space Needle and the Lake Union. The view of the lake is spectacular! The food is excellent, too!
Favorite Dish: Steak and Caesar's Salad
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