Image: Olivia Brent
Agrodolce: Chicken with Brussels Sprouts


Chicken with Brussels Sprouts
Maria Hines’s deputy Jason Brzozowy takes a whole chicken, brines it overnight in salt, sugar, spices, and a ton of water, then debones and pan sears it to crispy, finishing it in the oven with a touch of steam. The result is impossibly moist flesh—done quite without a sous-vide machine—which last spring Brzozowy topped with a caponata of garlic and golden raisins, pine nuts and wizened Brussels sprouts leaves, then served over creamy semolina puree. Just a beautiful showcase for Agrodolce’s Sicilian flavors, including its namesake sweet and sour. 709 N 35th St, Fremont, 206-547-9707;



Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer
The most refreshing pause in Pike Place Market is Rachel Marshall’s glassy corner shrine to ginger beer, the beverage she all but invented in this town. The drink is everywhere and here’s why: perfect ratios of lemon, ginger, sugar, and water, for a libation at once so bracing and so settling you think it must contain alcohol. It doesn’t, but those shiny taps behind the counter sure do—magic-ally gushing out kegged, premixed Moscow mules, Dark and Stormies, and other ginger beery cocktails. It’s like a miracle. 1530 Post Alley, Pike Place Market,


Burrata with Tomatoes
Everything chef Nathan Lockwood touches is note perfect in his boutique Italian dinner house on Capitol Hill—not least a simple salted toss of supersweet Sungolds, steaky slices of green tomato, chunks of watermelon, and drizzles of basil oil, with purple basil leaves for brilliance. For resolving all this sweet and piquant? A generous hunk of rich burrata, streaming with cream. 617 Broadway E, Capitol Hill, 206-402-6749;


Kedai Makan

Nasi Goreng with Prawns
This tiny sidewalk stall on Olive Way represents Malaysian food just like a street stand would in Kuala Lumpur, right down to its dazzling nasi goreng. The Malaysian fried rice comes bronzed and crackling, unstinting with chilies and the sweet Indonesian soy sauce kecap manis; order it with prawns, and the brine of shellfish and fish paste is bracing. A runny fried egg rounds out the satisfactions. 1510 E Olive Way, Capitol Hill,

Bar Cotto

Salumi e Torta Fritta
What was conceived as the chic sidekick bar to Anchovies and Olives instantly became my favorite Ethan Stowell restaurant—for its perfect cocktails, its focus on noshes from the region of Parma, and for the fact that one of them is salumi e torta fritta. Order the chef’s choice salumi selection (provided it includes the peppery porchetta and the exquisite soppressata piccante), then tack on the extra $3 for a hot heap of savory beignets called torta fritta. Wrap the salumi around the fried dough pillows and the fat of the meat melts into them, indescribably. 1546 15th Ave, Capitol Hill, 206-838-8081;


8Oz. Burger Bar

Vanilla Malt 
The old-fashioned ripe-sugar fullness of malt sends 8oz.’s vanilla shake into the same celestial orbit occupied by, whaddya know, its fries—sublimely crunchy twice-fried Kennebecs—and its ball-o-beef burgers. Together these three form the Platonic ideal of America’s favorite meal. Even on its own, the thick malted concoction, not too sweet and crowned with whipped cream, constitutes perfection in a frosted glass. 1401 Broadway, First Hill, 206-466-5989;

Image: Olivia Brent
Il Corvo Pasta: Mint Basil Parsley Pesto Pasta

Il Corvo Pasta

Mint Basil Parsley Pesto Pasta
A springtime visit to this tiny, constantly packed, pasta-only storefront in Pioneer Square yielded as one of its three-or-so daily pastas a curly gigli shape washed in exuberant parsley, mint, and basil pesto. Was it spring’s first shoots that made the preparation so vivid? Perfectly toothsome housemade pasta? Both? 217 James St, Pioneer Square, 206-538-0999;


Restaurant Zoë

Roasted Endive Salad
Zoë’s salads, as beautiful on the palate as they are on the plate, have always been one of this crowd-pleasing urban winner’s strongest suits. One I adored earlier this year was built on a scaffolding of roasted endive, lending soft bitter complements to sweet Turkish apricots, chunks of Stilton cheese, picholine olives, crunchy pistachios, and arugula. The harmonies killed. 1318 E Union St, Central District, 206-256-2060;


Marination Ma Kai

Pork Katsu Sandwich
The boozy, cruisy waterside snack shack that the aloha-spirited Marination people have been working up to for years has arrived on West Seattle’s Harbor Avenue. Lest one assume that the full frontal spread of Seattle skyline is the best thing about the place, meet the pork katsu sandwich: a ciabatta roll shoved full of panko-crusted pork steak—half which flops out the sides—lavished with mayo, housemade tonkatsu sauce, and a big scoop of coleslaw. Wear your washables. 1660 Harbor Ave SW, West Seattle, 206-328-8226;



Heirloom Tomatoes with Pickled Watermelon Rind and Arugula
Everywhere you turn these days some wacky chef is pickling watermelon rind—but only the best know how to fully exploit its charms. This fall in the slick and sceney Ballard restaurant bearing his name, vegetable whisperer Jason Stoneburner chunked gloriously ripe heirloom and cherry tomatoes with arugula, spicy basil, plenty of pepper, and bits of the puckery rind, crafting a salad of exceptional contrast and buoyancy. 5214 Ballard Ave NW, Ballard, 206-695-2051;