It's All About the Atmo


The critic holds forth on the perfect restaurants for Valentine’s Day.

By Kathryn Robinson January 25, 2010

I’ll have seconds, please!

Being a restaurant critic, I can sometimes get a little overheated about restaurant food. Imagine. But for occasions like Valentine’s Day, who’s kidding who. It’s all about the atmo, cowboys.

For instance, there are restaurants I wouldn’t necessarily make a beeline for on a regular night; places like that lush nightspot Ibiza in Pioneer Square or the perfectly serviceable new Thai storefront in Madrona, Naam.

But for Valentine’s Day? (It’s on a Sunday this year, so the following recommendations might as well pertain to Saturday…or—who cares?—another random night.) Seeing as how both joints have beds for tables…I might make an exception. At Ibiza, where the fare is Mediterranean, it’s more like chaises…but at Naam a few of the tables rise shallowly from a sea of cushions, with triangular pillows for a little lumbar uplift.

Throw in some Champagne or a couple of sparkly cocktails and things could get festive.

Serafina of course gets my vote for sexiest restaurant in Seattle, with its candlelit Italian soul. Lesser known but every bit as romantic is its foxy little sister just across the courtyard, Cicchetti, where the Venetian tapas (try the pizzas from the wood-fired oven) always hit the spot. The G-spot.


Other little cocktaily small plate joints good for canoodling include the ever-Parisian Sambar and the late-night Licorous.

If a very private table is your dream, how about one of the high-high-high-backed booths at Belltown’s lush Queen City Grill? They’re like studio apartments.

Or that one table, the curtained one near the door, at the winsome little Capitol Hill secret spot Chez Gaudy?

Or Table #19 at Fremont’s bizarro Bizzarro, a terribly intimate little deuce behind a framing post? I can’t imagine a hotter place to twirl pasta and whisper sweet nothings.

Unless it’s home. But there you have to do the dishes.

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