Kay Smith-Blum

CEO of Butch Blum, Former Seattle School Board President

Does it count that I make people who want to do business with me have lunch at my desk? Seriously, I rarely go out of the store during the day. But we’ve been so excited that Loulay (thechefinthehat.com/loulay) opened nearby. You can get in and out pretty quickly, which is great for a restaurant of that level. I was really impressed with the food; the soups are sensational. And booths! I just love a booth; it feels more private. The seasoned waitstaff understand how to be of service without being intrusive.



Chris Witherspoon
Principal/Director of Client Services, DNA Advertising

Our office is in the Rainier Tower so most of my restaurant choices are in that area. My favorite is Tulio Ristorante (tulio.com). The wine-cellar motif feels sophisticated yet not too stuffy. The atmosphere is lively without being overly noisy, making it the perfect place for a working lunch. The service is outstanding and the menu offers a diverse range of Italian dishes. A few of my favorites include the margherita pizza, the orecchiette, and the risotto.



JJ McKay
Business Consultant, Socialite

Assaggio Ristorante (assaggioseattle.com) has incredible food, it’s quiet enough to where you can have an in-depth conversation, and you always run into people you know. I like that there’s a parking lot next door and that the customer service is beyond wonderful—they greet you at the door and even if they don’t know you, they want you there. You never have an empty water glass, but they’re never hovering. I always get soup, then a pasta or meat. And the desserts are delicious.



Nancy Peppler
Owner of Heffner Management, Modeling Agency

Working in fashion I rarely take lunch. But when I do I walk models down to the bar at the Edgewater Hotel (edgewaterhotel.com). I tell them the cool rock-and-roll stories of the hotel, and they’re always super impressed. And the bar is loungey, so you can sit on couches right up against the window and watch the ferries go back and forth. It’s like being on a houseboat. They serve the menu from the restaurant [Six Seven] in the bar, and I always order the Mom’s Chicken Salad, or, if I’m eating carbs that day, the mac and cheese.


Taylor Winters
Principal, Digital Creative Agency Wintr

We’re at The Whale Wins (thewhalewins.com) once a week. The atmosphere is fantastic, for one thing; the new mixed-use space, and also the interiors, the way they have the ingredients out for merchandising in a new way. It’s a conversation piece, similar to letting people see into your kitchen. And the food is spectacular, suiting any needs, with lots of vegetarian options and local and organic ingredients. I’m not a big red meat eater but the filet mignon is so good. Plus Renee [Erickson, owner and chef] is a good judge of wine, and any excuse to have a great glass of wine…



Michael Young
President, University of Washington

Mamma Melina (mammamelina.com) is close to the university with a great luncheon menu. The cosmopolitan ambience is airy and light, and alfresco seating is offered in summer. A very comfortable place to take someone for good conversation and good food.





Bill Fligeltaub
Trial Attorney

I like Metropolitan Grill (themetropolitangrill.com). Actually like is not strong enough—I love Met Grill. There are a lot of places I could go for lunch, but at the Met I’m treated with recognition and made to feel special. I’m a member of the VIP club, so I can call the day of and they go out of their way to seat me at my favorite booth. I have a couple of quirks—hate large forks, love iced tea—and as soon as I sit down they rush over with the small fork and the tea. My standard order is an entree-size spinach salad, hold the bacon, add a big piece of salmon, well done. Because I’m a vegetarian.



Tom Norwalk
President and CEO,Visit Seattle

I think Blueacre (blueacreseafood.com) is just incredible, great for greeting visitors in a genuine way, and good for parties of anywhere from two to 10. Kevin Davis is a New Orleans boy, so I think he has the best gumbo in Seattle. Another favorite is Shuckers (fairmont.com/seattle/dining/shuckers), where I have a 20-year history, back from when it was the Four Seasons. I love the old-school style of the restaurant, and I love the oysters. I like to sit at one of the window seats along Fourth Avenue.