Critic's Notebook

Insider’s Guide to Dine Around Seattle, Fall 2016

Starts Sunday, people. Make your plans.

By Kathryn Robinson November 3, 2016

Confit ztqyrg

Rumor has it these confit chicken wings will be on offer at Pomerol.

You’ve been to this rodeo before, folks: The twice-yearly promo, Dine Around Seattle, starts this Sunday, November 6 and continues through November 23, Thursdays through Sundays (not including Sunday brunch). This year participating restaurants—47 by today’s count—will offer multi-course prix-fixe meals at three different price levels: $22, $33, and $44.

Keen-eyed observers of the 16-year institution will note that this three-price-level thing is new. Indeed, DAS launched it out of an awareness that both restaurants and diners wanted creative freedom from the old appetizer/entree/dessert straitjacket. This year it’s shot through with a little more freewheeling inspiration: A cocktail and two small plates for $22, for instance, or perhaps an appetizer, glass of wine, and entree for $33. For the record, I predict this more liberating setup will result in a tastier Dine Around Seattle, as chefs are never at their best in straitjackets. It’ll be different in every restaurant, with lunches (where offered) clocking in along the (usually lower end of that) scale as well.

As ever, tax and tip are extra.

Where to go? We thought you’d never ask.

When You Want to Go to One of Seattle Met’s 100 Very Best Restaurants

Yeah, that’s a thing—a pretty damn collectible thing, if we do say so ourselves—which happens to be on newsstands as you read this. And here. Of the participating Dine Around Seattle restaurants, the ones that earned a berth in our independently and critically chosen Top 100 are Poppy, Skillet Diner, Volunteer Park Cafe, Pomerol, Girin Steakhouse, LloydMartin, and Toulouse Petit. So there’s that.

When You Want Lunch

Some, not all, participating restaurants offer a lunch deal. Of these, I say surefire yum can be had in the lunches at Porkchop and Co., Tanakasan, and Kirkland's Trellis.  

When You Want to Have Fun with a Beverage

The wine list at Woodinville’s Barking Frog and the wine flights at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. The tequila at the Saint. The dizzying array of daiquiris at Rumba. Japanese whisky and sake slushies at Tanakasan. Boozy shakes at Skillet Diner. No telling which, if any, of these libations will be part of the promotion; then again, nobody’s stopping anybody from ordering on the side.

When You Root for the Underdog.

Okay, maybe not underdog…but under-the-radar for sure, with food that, in this critic’s opinion, is frequently underrated. I might put Lecosho, Saint Helens Cafe, and the Korean-fusion jewelbox, Chan Seattle, into this category.

When You’re Curious

Perhaps the best motivator to Dine Around Seattle is curiosity about the places you’ve been hearing people love up. For me those include Bar Dojo and Salt and Iron in Edmonds, and Preservation Kitchen in Bothell. And—God help me—Mama’s Cantina, the mixed-review revival of the late, great Mama’s Mexican Kitchen. What can I say.

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