eating well in seattle
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Seven years ago, we packed up a U-Haul and moved 2,000 miles away from Northeastern Oklahoma (where we both grew up). Our parents (who still live in OK), have been up to visit a few times before, but with the all the remodel craziness of the last few years, they’ve been keeping tabs on our progress from afar. Now [...]
Seven years ago, we packed up a U-Haul and moved 2,000 miles away from Northeastern Oklahoma (where we both grew up). Our parents (who still live in OK), have been up to visit a few times before, but with the all the remodel craziness of the last few years, they’ve been keeping tabs on our progress from afar. Now that the house is sorta done and definitely habitable, they came up for a long overdue visit. Now, we always advise that people come in July or August, when it’s bound to be perfect Seattle weather – sunny and 76 degrees. Well, that wasn’t the case this time – but considering that OK has been hit with one of the hottest summers on record, there were no complaints about 65 and cloudy.
Kyle’s parents (and his aunt and uncle!) came for four days and then the day after they left my dad and step-mom flew out for four days. We had a great time with everyone and it marked the first time that people could actually stay in our house (without being relegated to the couch). During the first stretch, Kyle and I took the loft while his parents slept in our room and his aunt and uncle on an Aerobed in the flex room. It was cozy, but it worked!
Even though the weather wasn’t fantastic, we found plenty to do. In addition to hanging out around town and at chezerbey, we also went on a few day excursions. With Kyle’s family, we went to Whidbey island, where we stumbled across an art festival and took Bailey to an off-leash beach so he could work on his driftwood fetching skills. With my parents, we headed up to Mt. Rainier, where there was still 12′ of snow at Sunrise (65,000 ft.)! We even saw a bear! But probably one of the best things we did was eat. Seriously, sometimes I forget how good we have it here (probably because dining out for us usually means hitting up the local taco truck) and having visitors in town is a great excuse to show people our favorite places while also trying a few new ones.
Now, this is the point where I would have shown you a stream of artistically shot photos of what and where we ate, but my iPhone is 3 years old (basically obsolete) and nearly crashes Instragram every time I try to use it (I am stubbornly holding out for a white iPhone 5). So instead, I’m going to talk about the places we ate and show you pictures of Bailey. Because really, I know that’s the only reason some of your read our blog.
Kyle’s parent’s flight was delayed and they were starving by the time we picked them up. Instead of risking it with a long wait, we took them to Tutta Bella in the Wallingford neighborhood. Known for their Neapolitan pizzas and amazing salads, the food is delicious and the restaurant is spacious enough that we were seated immediately. We ordered a few different pizzas, but our favorite was the Gioia; an olive oil based pie with prosciutto, arugula and a fried egg on top.
A few days later, we stopped by Bastille in Ballard for drinks and snacks before going to the nearby Tractor Tavern for a concert. (Ironically, one of the two bands playing was Other Lives, a band from Stillwater, OK. And yes, Kyle’s mom totally rocked out.) Anyhow, Bastille’s slogan is “damn good French cuisine” and it really is. The main dining room is always crazy busy and that’s why we often head straight for the back bar – a dark and cozy space with a full bar and generous menu (the steak frites are always a good choice).
For our final meal of family visit #1, we headed to Ray’s Boathouse. We like Ray’s because you get the quintessential seafood experience while avoiding the downtown waterfront land o’ tourists. Located in West Ballard, the restaurant has a panoramic view of Puget Sound and on nice days the deck is where you want to be. Sadly, the deck was not open when we were there, but we did have some amazing food nonetheless.
After a day to do laundry and recoup, my dad and step-mom arrived. It was a pleasant evening, so we took them to Cicchetti in Eastlake, where we ate outside and they marveled that we didn’t have to worry about bugs. This was actually the first time we’d been there and it did not disappoint. The small restaurant shares a patio with Serafina (same owner) and focuses on smaller, Mediterranean style dishes.
[This is Bailey's equivalent to a kid throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store. He was not ready to go home!]
For lunch the next day, we met up with Kyle at one of our all-time favorite bakeries, Macrina. This is our go-to place for celebratory cakes. In fact, I have somehow convinced Kyle that I require a cake for my birthday, anniversary and valentine’s day. (I’m thinking about adding more holidays.) Everything I’ve had there has been delicious, so you really can’t go wrong.
That night, we went to Delancey. Located in a tiny “microhood” near our house, the restaurant is a little off the beaten path but always busy. Even though it was a Thursday, there was still a wait. (Fortunately, the bar across the street got smart and put in some outdoor seating.) We filled up on thin style pizzas, wine and raspberry pavlova. Our bellies were happy.
[Still not ready...]
On Friday night, we made reservations for Ethan Stowell’s newish restaurant, Staple & Fancy. Located in a renovated brick building on trendy Ballard Ave., the restaurant serves Italian-inspired cuisine with a Pacific Northwest influence. There are a few a la carte options on the menu (which is stapled to a cedar shingle, so Seattle), but the encouraged option is a multi-course fixed price meal. And it was worth it. For a party of four, they started us off with 6-7 small appetizers and then moved on to two pasta dishes, two main dishes and two desserts. It was a great way to try a bunch of different things without the risk of disappointment and hunger. It was our first time at Staple & Fancy and we’d definitely recommend it for a special night out.
[My attempts at stern parenting were blatantly ignored.]
Are you hungry yet? We also managed to cook at home a few times, grilling salmon and halibut (on the deck!) that Kyle caught on his sea-faring adventures a few months ago. (C’mon – you know how he is around the house, is it any surprise that he would DIY our dinner too?)
So there you have it – no new progress on the house, but instead we took some time off to actually live in it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that that’s the whole point of this adventure.