July 8, 2020

Pleasers for all palates

Dear Alix,

I’m in charge of making a reservation for a group of high school friends (6-8 of us) at the end of this month. As the foodie that you are, I would love your suggestions. I have my favs…many are yours…but this is an eclectic group. They tend to leave the reservation making up to me and then say this or that about it afterwards. Some are adventurous eaters like us, but some are pretty simple and would be happy with a plate of pasta or a burger at a good price. Help, AC, help! People are traveling from south, north and east…So thinking a fairly central locale…no Ballard or West Seattle.

Any of these?? Marjorie, The Saint, Dinette, Spinasse, Sitka & Spruce, Anchovies & Olives (Capitol Hill); Cicchetti (Eastlake); Harvest Vine with its cozy downstairs or Luc (Madison Valley). Or something “safer” like: Cantinetta (Wallingford), Brad’s Swingside Cafe (Fremont) or Cafe Lago (Montlake)?

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Dear Group Palate Pleaser,

I think that those are some great restaurant ideas, and several are my favorites as well though I agree that if this isn’t a pork belly crowd many of those will be a tough sell. A few thoughts:

I agree with the coziness factor of the downstairs at Harvest Vine, but might be a bit of too offbeat. (Have you seen what he does with eels??) And I must admit, Luc isn’t my favorite yet… I think that they might really like Dinette, and being on Cap Hill right off the freeway it’s a great location. Mexican is a good idea, too, but rather than The Saint, I might suggest El Camino in Fremont. A little more fun and less hipster, I’d say. Spinasse is the best pasta in the city, in my opinion, but I’d lean more toward Tavolata in Belltown for this crowd.

How about doing the slightly upscale version of pizza? Usually a versatile crowd pleaser, and Seattle has its share of great options. Maybe Serious Pie downtown or even better, the Capitol Hill location of Via Tribunali. I would also suggest upscale or maybe just interesting burgers, but maybe for the next go-around as the two I have in mind aren’t quite open: The Capitol Hill brick-and-mortar location of mobile food vendor, Skillet, and its famous burger with cambozola and bacon jam; and Uneeda Burger, the brainchild of Scott and Heather Staples of Quinn’s and Restaurant Zoe fame, opening soon in Fremont.

Good luck with this crowd of pals, and let me know what you choose – and how the post-meal commentary goes.