2576 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
For many years, Canlis has been known as that place with a killer view. In fact, Canlis is the one place that is a sure bet when you want your evening to go just right, celebrating that special birthday or anniversary. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Canlis brought Chef Jason Franey (one of Food & Wine’s 2011 Best New Chefs) on board. Since his arrival, Franey has been wowing diners with his signature dishes like ramp and ricotta tortellini, the must-have king salmon and, if you feel like splurging, the Muscovy duck (for two).
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Wiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart
1509 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98122
Pop-up restaurants are all the rage. You never quite know when or where a pop up will appear and often times by the time you catch word, the pop up has already moved on. But where most pop ups rely on the mercy of other venues and property owners to lend out their space, chefs Wiley Frank and Poncharee Kounpungchart (PK for short) have claimed their own parcel of land on a busy (and trendy) spot in Capitol Hill. These guys are serving up some seriously authentic Thai street food. Before having their own place to call home, Frank and PK popped up at various venues around the city. But now you know exactly where to find them and they will not disappoint. With dishes like khao soi gai (curry egg noodles, stewed chicken, ginger, pickled mustard and fried shallots), sala bao neua buay (braised beef cheeks in a steamed bun with pickles and fried garlic) and Thai tea to wash it all down, you will see why this pop up is staying put.
Madison Park Conservatory
1927 43rd Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
Being named one of the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine could put an undue amount of pressure on some. But that’s certainly not the case with chef Cormac Mahoney who nabbed that prestigious title earlier this year. People from all over the city flock to the Madison Park Conservatory to be dazzled by Mahoney’s latest creations. And it’s safe to say that after checking out his deviled eggs with dungeness crab followed by the hearty double-cut pork chop with fingerlings, olives, cocoa nib and orange gremolata, you’ll see what all of the (deserving) commotion is about.
1531 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
If you’re looking for some of the best Italian fare in Seattle, then hop on your vespa and head over to Spinasse and its newly-opened Italian sibling, Artusi, next door. One of the reasons you’ll find the best and freshest Italian cuisine at this “old world meets new world” joint lies squarely on the shoulders of chef Jason Stratton who, two years ago, was tapped by Food & Wine magazine as one of the Best New Chefs. Seeing sheets of fresh pasta draped over wooden rods as it is prepped for the evening’s meal might be enough to draw you in, but it’s Stratton’s way with the pansôti con noce (ravioli stuffed with winter greens and walnuts) and pulcino con fagioli borlotti (roasted young chicken with stinging nettles and borlotti beans) that will make you want to fly your il Tricolore.
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Ballard Pizza Company
5107 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
With so many successful restaurants under Ethan Stowell’s chef apron, you would think that he would be content enough to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor. But Stowell just happens to be one of the hardest working and most humble chefs working in this city. Earlier this year, Stowell opened the doors to his latest venture, Ballard Pizza Company, where you can get fat slices starting at $2.50 with toppings that are just right including guanciale speck and fennel salami to eggplant and Taggiasca olives. If you’re looking for a nice, leisurely sit-down meal, Stowell has you covered with his four other joints spread across town. But if you are looking to grab a quick and satisfying slice before or after a night on the town, look no further than the Ballard Pizza Company.
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Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.