Wish Lists

Five Restaurants Seattle Needs in 2013

Aspiring restaurateurs, take heed.

By Christopher Werner and Allecia Vermillion December 27, 2012

Hello, lover. Image via La Mer Cebicheria Peruana.

The past year saw a number of restaurants come to fill the gaps in our dining fabric—thank you, Shanik, Café Munir, Mamnoon, et al. Here are a few more establishments on our wish list. 

Really good Peruvian. Pollo San Fernando, you are awesome. But how about a stylish destination for ceviche, lomo saltado, empanadas, and pisco. Think Limon, Fresca, or La Mar Cebicheria Peruana. The ingredients are a natural fit with our environs, and Peruvian food is exotic enough to appeal to dining nerds, while still offering plenty of familiar flavors to kids, older relatives, boring eaters, etc. Gaston Acurio, hear my cry. 

Nordic. Considering Seattle's Scandinavian roots, it's a bit baffling there aren't more (any?) opportunities to eat smörgås (or smørbrød or smørrebrød, depending on one's province); the versatile open-face sandwiches are a staple of Nordic cuisine. And come to think of it, when will new Nordic cuisine catch on here? 

A tapas bar. Yeah, we've got Ocho and Pintxo and for special occasions The Harvest Vine. But I'm talking about a standup, drop-in, after-work place—like something you'd encounter across the pond. Pike Place Market, perhaps? 

More fish houses. The number one question I get from out-of-town visitors: “Point me toward a seafood restaurant.” People assume we have one on every corner, next to the Starbucks. But in Seattle, restaurants simply weave really skillful fish preparations into the regular menu without making a big deal out of it. Which is wonderful, but it would be nice to have more chefs make seafood their focus. 

Fine freaking dining. Canlis is stupendous. We heart Canlis. But must Canlis be the only restaurant in town with the chutzpah to demand dinnertime refinement? I can’t afford to eat at a restaurant like this every day—or every month, even. But when it’s my birthday or anniversary or something happens that demands a celebratory meal, it’s nice to have crumbers, tablecloths, and unabashedly elegant service be part of the equation. I'm talking about a restaurant that still feels like Seattle, not a place that's merely expensive and fancy.

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