The dining promotion formerly known as 25 for $25 went up a five-spot a few years back, changed its name to Dine Around Seattle, and firmly fixed itself upon the November and March calendars of Seattleites who wish their favorite restaurants weren’t so spendy.
It consists of three courses for $30, every Sunday-through-Thursday in March, at 28 joints across the region. Some do 15-buck lunches too. Great way to sample the places you’ve been hearing about but haven’t made it to yet.
It’s also a good way to stay current on the many joints enjoying new energy in their kitchens. That’s why I want to check out Ponti under the new leadership of returning superstar chef Alvin Binuya. I want to go back to creamy ART at downtown’s high-end Four Seasons Hotel and find out exactly chef Kerry Sear has tweaked the dining program.
If I feel like driving I’ll head east to Snoqualmie’s Salish Lodge & Spa Dining Room to see what the new team out there is cooking up. (That new team includes Matthew Mina, the hotshot who won the coveted top toque post at The Hunt Club only to leave about 15 minutes later.)
Or maybe I’ll stick closer to home, casting my gimlet eye upon joints whose owners are distracted at the moment building new projects. Tom Douglas is busy completing his ownership of downtown, with new restaurants to work on in Pike Place Market and South Lake Union, so I want to make sure Lola and Dahlia Lounge and Etta’s Seafood aren’t feeling the inattention.
Ditto Steelhead Diner, that local Northwest comfort-food spot in Pike Place Market, whose owners Kevin and Terresa Davis are currently morphing the burnished husk of Oceanaire into another seafood destination called Blueacre.
Where I’ll go the other 14 nights? Good thing I have another 19 spots to choose from.