Meet Seattle’s Suppliers of Fresh Seafood:
From sushi spots to Italian eateries and new American fine dining, fresh seafood is a cornerstone of Seattle’s culinary identity. And many restaurants get the freshest fare from a seafood market on the northeast corner of the peninsula — Key City Fish Company, a proud sponsor of Seattle Restaurant Week (SRW).
Founded in 1994, Port Townsend’s Key City Fish Company has almost three decades of stewarding relationships with local fishermen. A commercial and retail fish market that also sources local meats — and has a popular taco stand onsite — its location makes it a perfect liaison between rich fishing areas and Seattle restaurants.
Sourcing local seafood and shellfish from the Hood Canal, or as far away as the fishing port of Neah Bay, Key City Fish Company also has long standing relationships with Washington tribal fisherman and local tideland farmers who operate on a year-round basis. The advantage of Washington-harvested seafood? It’s fresher, and requires less transport from fisheries in Alaska or other parts of the country, reducing both cost and carbon footprint.
At the onset of the pandemic when much of the restaurant industry temporarily shuttered, Key City Fish Company pivoted to emphasize their retail offerings, keeping the lines of supply open for seafood and meats for Port Townsend residents. As restaurants began reopening, Key City Fish Company was right there to supply them again.
Every night at Key City Fish Company, workers filet fish, process orders, pack the company’s refrigerated trucks, and send them out on ferries in the morning, delivering the freshest catch to restaurants and markets from as far south as Tacoma to as far north as Bellingham.
Supporting Key City Fish Company, and the restaurants who source ingredients from them, is an important way to continue to strengthen our local fisheries bouncing back from the pandemic. Read on to find out more about some participating Seattle Restaurant Week (SRW) restaurants who source their seafood and meats from Key City Fish Company.
SRW takes place October 23 through November 5, when over 150 participating restaurants will offer specially curated menus featuring some of their most popular dishes and chefs’ best-kept secrets. See a full listing of participating restaurants at srweek.org.
A culinary destination like no other in historic Japantown, Itsumono (Japanese for ‘regular’) sets itself apart with invees, courtesy of chef Sean Arakaki — Itsumono made a splash with its Nashville karaage friendly spot worthy of a late-night gathering of friends. Since the menu changes often, diners can stay on top of the chef’s specials via Itsumono’s Instagram.
For SRW, check out items like hamachi crudo, made with yellowtail sashimi, and furikake salmon. Vegetarian selections include mapo tofu “lasagna,” with free form pasta sheets, and yuzu cauliflower karaage. Don’t miss the Averna manhattan made with apple brandy.
Chinatown-International District. Dinner is $65.
An intimate, wood-fueled bistro in Sunset Hill, Samara spotlights local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. Heritage breed animals, responsibly sourced seafood from Key City Fish Company, local vegetables, and artisan breads are expertly prepared in chef Eric Anderson’s open kitchen. Samara’s brick oven is fueled by applewood from Yakima, lending a smoky sweet smell to everything it chars and roasts.
Since its debut in 2019, Samara has consistently landed on Seattle’s ‘best of’ lists. Experience it for yourself during SRW with their $65 dinner menu on Wednesday and Thursday, featuring charred mission figs with malted buckwheat and wonderland goat cheese; buttered dungeness crab and charred rice cake; almond crusted halibut; and desserts like toasted s’mores cake. Sunset Hill. Dinner is $65.
Executive chef Sabrina Tinsley (of Iron Chef fame) brings authentic northern Italian cuisine and handmade pasta to the table at Osteria la Spiga. Located in Capitol Hill’s Piston & Ring building — “cool enough for a date, yet warm enough to bring the family” — Osteria la Spiga is a favorite for special occasions.
Tinsley is also an important voice for inclusivity in the restaurant industry. Last year she launched the Future of Diversity Guest Chef Program, which hosts BIPOC chef pop-ups at the restaurant. In addition to the kitchen takeover, Tinsley hosts online Zoom conversations with each pop-up chef, exploring their cuisine and concepts.
For SRW, check out the $35 three-course dinner with options like tagliatelle noodles with white alba truffle butter, their signature hand-curled gnocchi, house-made tiramisu; and the four-course $50 menu with items like milk-braised pork cheeks, and a fish of the day chef special. Capitol Hill. Dinner at $35 and $50.
This Pioneer Square spot has carved out a space for itself as one of the city’s highly-regarded spots for Indian food. Now under the guidance of chef Ashish Bagul, Nirmal’s goes beyond typical classics to regional representations from diverse parts of India, including fresh seafood dishes with ingredients sourced from Key City Fish Company. Owners Oliver and Gita Bangera’s philosophy of “Indian cuisine, re-imagined” is in full effect here.
Nirmal’s brings a plentiful SRW menu this fall, with an impressive selection of vegetarian options. Some selections include Dhingri mutter, mushroom and green peas in a cashew tomato sauce with fennel; Kadhai vegetable masala; and Gulab Jamun, fried dumplings with coconut powder in sugar syrup. Carnivores will delight in the spicy chicken curry; Nizami goat curry, slow-roasted goat with yogurt, chilis, and cardamom; and lamb seekh hussaini.
Pioneer Square. Dinner is $35.
This family-owned trattoria on Ballard Avenue made quite a buzz when it opened in 2016. First of all, it’s comprised of two houses (The Pioneer Houses) believed to be the oldest homes in Seattle. They were moved from the Chinatown-International District to Ballard in the late 1980s. Owners Jeff Ofelt and Wade Weigel bought the houses and transformed them in less than two years into San Fermo.
Now the warm, rustic restaurant is an ideal date night spot, drawing a following for their handcrafted pasta — like the excellent saffron bolognese — chickpea flatbread, and rotating seasonal items like grilled pork chop with fennel puree, and Bucatini Aglio e Olio with manilla clams, poblano pepper and garlic.
For SRW, San Fermo is offering nightly two-course meal specials Sunday through Thursday for $35. The special menu changes daily. You’ll probably want to make a reservation to avoid typically long wait times. Head to SRW’s official OpenTable website to save your spot. Ballard. Dinner is $35.
Finch + Pine’s owner Sara Moran is all about the seasonal bounty of the Pacific Northwest. She spent four years as a fishmonger, and her knowledge of sustainable seafood comes through at this cozy neighborhood restaurant and cafe. In fact, besides seafood, there’s no meat or dairy at this restaurant. Seafood is sourced from Key City Fish Company. Pescaterians, vegans and gluten-free diners can rejoice — there’s plenty of options here.
This spot is known for excellent weekend brunch items like smoked salmon benedict and oyster mushroom hash, as well as weekday tartines, smoked oysters, and seared coho salmon. Leave room for baked goodies like cinnamon rolls made with cinnamon apple filling and tahini sea salt icing.
Finch + Pine offers two SRW menus: a choice of tartine, side dish, and drink (try the Scorpion made with Averna and vermouth) for $20; the dinner menu steps up the game with a choice of starters like oysters or seared albacore, and main entrees like roasted pumpkin risotto and more. Capitol Hill. Lunch is $20. Dinner is $50.
An Eastlake institution for over 30 years, Serafina is known for its classic Italian cuisine, timeless dishes that beckon family and friends together over wine and pasta. Founded by Brooklyn-born Susan Kaufman in 1991, the restaurateur infused plenty of her own spirit into its walls, candlelit corners, and open courtyard that Serafina shares with sister bar Cicchetti.
Experience a truly iconic Seattle restaurant during SRW, when Serafina will offer a $50 three course dinner menu that includes options like eggplant involtini, roasted pork loin, a fresh catch of the day dish, and affogato with vanilla gelato. Eastlake. Dinner is $50.
Marmite (pronounced ‘Mar-meet’) is known for a few things, and one of them is bringing Seattle culinary legend Bruce Naftaly out of retirement. Naftaly is recognized as a chef who introduced the farm-to-table philosophy to Seattle in the 1980s through his French restaurant Le Gourmand, which he ran with his wife Sara. Naftaly’s commitment to sourcing local ingredients continues at Marmite.
Housed in Chophouse Row — where Sara runs bakery Amandine — Marmite takes its name from the giant French stockpot that’s central to cooking up delectable soups like radish and rose, and zucchini and mint.
For SRW, Marmite is offering a $35 lunch menu with items like zucchini lasagna with housemade pasta in a rich tomato sauce; sauteed rex sole with white wine butter, thyme, and fried potatoes; and blood peach beignets. The dinner menu adds the option of free range chicken served in a wine and chanterelle sauce. Capitol Hill. Lunch is $35. Dinner is $50.