With a hilly topography and a coastal setting, Seattle has numerous restaurants offering memorable views. The best continues to be my longtime recommendation of Canlis, overlooking Lake Union and the distant Cascades. But on this most recent visit, I tried two others, serving two different styles of seafood.
Located above the more formal Ray’s Boathouse and a short drive from the Hotel Ballard, this restaurant is an ideal choice for lunch on a sunny day. Its terrace has sweeping, unobstructed views of the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound. We opted for a window table inside, to avoid the cool autumn breeze. I loved my plump Mediterranean mussels (raised nearby at Taylor Shellfish Farms), bathed in a rich and spicy Thai-style broth of coconut milk and red curry. And the delicious local sablefish (black cod) had delicate and moist flesh glazed in sake kasu, accompanied by grilled bok choy, honey-soy sauce and scallion oil. A spicy and floral Bodhizafa IPA from Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing Company paired perfectly.
6049 Seaview Avenue NW. Tel. (206) 782-0094
This highly regarded sushi restaurant opened in Pike Place Market in late 2015, just across from the entrance to the Inn at the Market hotel. One of its windows overlooks the iconic red neon “Public Market” sign, as much a symbol of Seattle as the Space Needle. (Most tables lack this view, alas.) Nevertheless, the restaurant draws nightly crowds eager to try the sushi of Shiro Kashiba, who trained with Jiro Ono, the Tokyo chef highlighted in the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” We opted for the Peak menu, which included an appetizer, a salad, 13 pieces of nigiri, four pieces of a roll, miso soup and sweet tamago (egg) for dessert. The sushi itself was clearly of high quality and unimpeachably fresh. Still, I left unimpressed. On the first plate of nigiri, the chef had been generous with the wasabi, which obscured the subtlety of the fish. On the second plate, I especially looked forward to the aburi (flame-seared) fatty tuna, but it was more cooked than seared. It did not compare to the superlative aburi sushi I enjoyed at Miku in Vancouver, for example. For all the hype, the sushi here is just a notch above average.
86 Pine Street, Suite 1. Tel. (206) 441-8844