How To Cook a Wolf is a restaurant creation of Seattle's celebrity chef Ethan Stowell, where the cuisine is inspired Italian or Italian-inspired, depending on how you view it. (©Geoffrey Smith)

Seattle for Foodies: 9 Great Restaurants

By Ashley Breckel on 09/18/13

Seattle has long been known for the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, but recently, it's also become recognized as one of the top foodie destinations in the country. With a rich culinary scene defined by the region's agricultural bounty, the city's best restaurants have been praised in publications from Bon Apetit to The New York Times. Here, we round up some of the best places in town—the places we locals would send people if they stopped on the street and asked us to recommend a restaurant for dinner.

Altura
This elegant Italian spot on Capitol Hill is known for their menu that changes weekly with an emphasis on what’s local, fresh, and seasonal. Dishes here are simply prepared using Northwest meats, seafood, and foraged items. These ingredients are then paired with Italian elements and cooking traditions to create dishes like grass-fed beef carpaccio, or chitarra—an Abruzzese style ragu of Lopez Island goat and beef. The tasting menu format offers 3, 4, and 5 courses paired with wines, or a decadent seven-course chef’s tasting menu. 617 Broadway E., 206.402.6749

Bar del Corso
The wood-fired pizza here is among the best in the city. Made in a custom built oven, these Neapolitan-style pies have a perfectly thin crust, a slightly chewy inside, and lightly charred edges—just as they should. Chef Jerry Corso cooked and studied in Italy for years, and his pies show it. Crowds flock here for the seasonal flourishes and unique toppings like fava beans, squash blossoms, and nettle pesto. 3057 Beacon Ave S., 206.395.2069

Crush
Renowned chef Jason Wilson aims to arouse your senses with his seasonal dining experience at Crush. Located in an urban setting, the menu here features the wilds of the Northwest that exist all around us—filled with fresh picks from artisan producers, foragers, growers, and fisheries. This is where you’ll experience a modern taste of our little corner of the country. Try the salad made with house-made burrata warmed in olive oil with hazelnuts, sweet peas, and garden veggies, followed by the Monterey Bay squid with lentils, chorizo, and celery emulsion. 2319 E Madison St., 206.302.7874

Café Campagne
Located in historic Post Alley, Café Campagne has had a reputation as one of Seattle’s foremost classic French restaurants since 1994. This Parisian brasserie is right in the heart of the bustling Pike Place Market, making it casual and approachable. Using Northwest products and culinary French cooking techniques, diners are treated to tasty traditional dishes like coq au vin, steak frites, croques monsieur, and tartines. Try the truite aux amandes—sautéed boneless trout with salt-roasted potatoes, almond, lemon, and brown butter pan sauce. Hungry for more? The fresh sausages and charcuterie are all hand crafted in-house. 1600 Post Alley, 206.728.2233

 

How to Cook a Wolf restaurant in Seattle

How to Cook a Wolf
One of Seattle’s top celebrity chefs, Ethan Stowell, opened this cozy wood slatted den on top of Queen Anne hill to high acclaim in 2007, and it hasn’t slowed down since. The ever-changing Italian-inspired menu features rustic fare that takes simple ingredients and transforms them into culinary marvels that somehow remain unfussy. Discover dishes like soft shell crab in a panzanella salad with a tomato vinaigrette, risotto with chanterelle mushrooms, corn and mascarpone, or bucatini pasta with Dungeness crab, black pepper and grape tomatoes—all in one of the most unique dining rooms in town. 2208 Queen Anne Ave N., 206.838.8090

Il Corvo
Mike Easton has had a passion for pasta since his culinary studies in Italy, years ago. Now, he runs this tiny no-frills lunch-only spot in Pioneer Square, where you can find his delectable handmade pastas. With no set menu, the three daily pastas are determined by what Easton finds at the Market that day, and posted on his blog for curious diners just before lunchtime. It is always crazy busy here and we recommend getting in early—sometimes they sell out before closing time at 3 p.m., and you don't want to miss out. 217 James St., 206.538.0999

 

Korean fusion fare at Joule

Joule
Named as one of the best new restaurants of 2013 by Bon Apetit, Korean fusion restaurant, Joule, is run by the husband and wife team of Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang. Presenting a unique and modern take on Korean cuisine, the bold flavors and distinctive dishes here also highlight Korea’s love of beef in unconventional cuts. Order octopus made with bok choy and hot bacon vinaigrette, salmon caviar dip with yuzu crème fraiche, or the famous short rib steak in a kalbi marinade with grilled kimchi. 3506 Stone Way N., 206.632.5685

Salumi
Armandino Batali, father of world-famous chef Mario Batali, founded this uber-popular lunch spot in Pioneer Square. Brave the lines here for artisan cured meats and gourmet sandwiches made with spicy sopressata, Tuscan salami, coppa, lamb prosciutto, smoked paprika salami, and more. Your stomach will be so happy you did. 309 Third Ave S., 206.621.8772

 

Sitka and Spruce restaurant

Sitka and Spruce
Seattle chef Matt Dillon is world-famous for his locally focused, organic, and sustainable fare at Sitka and Spruce. This is a quintessentially Seattle restaurant with its rustic chic atmosphere, fresh Northwest ingredients, and simple flavors. Using eggs, meat, and vegetables from his farm on nearby Vashon Island, Dillon creates dishes like heirloom tomatoes with bacon, snails, aioli, and bread crumbs, or Pacific Coast halibut with cucumber, whey, dandelion and new onion. Don’t miss the sourdough bread baked at his other restaurant, the Corson Building. 1531 Melrose Ave., 206.324.0662