Last week Eater National’s Bill Addison, who has to be the fullest guy in the country, came out with his list of the 21 Best New Restaurants in America—and it included two Seattle places, Bateau and Salare. (“New” in this case means restaurants that opened between May 2015 and May 2016.)
Worthy choices both…the provocative part being his inclusion of two Seattle places on a national list of just 21. Only San Francisco and Chicago were likewise represented. "It was, honestly, probably the biggest surprise of my year's research to find two Seattle restaurants that I felt resolutely had a place on the list," Addison told Eater Seattle.
Nothing against Seattle, he explained—indeed, more like the opposite. New York, after all, had just one on the list, and plenty other big cities, none at all.
As for food meccas like Portland, our neighbor to the south whose boutique innovation gets regular national airplay? Just one: the “dream dinner party” Han Oak.
What’s up? I got on the phone with an insatiable Portland palate of my acquaintance who agreed that yes, Seattle probably has the edge right now in terms of groundbreaking chefs, galvanizing restaurants, and that bugaboo known as consistency—a product of more money in this town, speaking very generally, to support more substantial projects.
So while being the more “establishment” of the two cities may feel deflatingly stodgy to Seattleites, who love nothing more than tasting trips to Portland for grasshopper sushi and fried chicken doughnuts—it does impart the substance and staying power needed to create genuine significance.