Restaurants with waterfront views
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Take a classic-restaurant setting. Add water. What do you get?
A list of rooms-with-a-view royalty that wows the out-of-towners and feeds our taste for the great outdoors by bringing it indoors, too.
Each of my dinners at Anthony's Pier 66 began with the same quiz. Over the phone, when I made the reservations I was asked if I'd been to the restaurant before. Even when I said yes, I was told that valet parking is provided 300 feet north of the entrance and check-in is upstairs. At the table, the server inevitably asked, "Where are you from?" Us: "Seattle." Server: "Is this a special occasion?" I was tempted to say, "Yes, you are being reviewed!" The persistence of these questions makes me think that Seattleites have relegated this Elliott Bay fish house to "tourist destination" status. They shouldn't.
2201 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
Among Seattle's first-echelon restaurants with a dramatic setting, elegant piano bar and refined yet not-stiff atmosphere. Enjoy fine steaks, ahi tuna, chicken, salads and more. A top closer: Grand Marnier souffle.
2576 Aurora Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109-2299
Classy joint. You could order a seafood special or gargantuan lobster tail, but really - indulge in a porterhouse, peppercorn-studded New York steak, or bone-in herb-crusted prime rib. LBJ-era appetizers: escargot gratine or oysters Rockefeller.
809 Fairview Place N.
Seattle, WA 98109-4419
A great place to be a tourist, especially if you're not. Savor the Pacific oyster sampler, Copper River king salmon, mussels in buttery wine broth with salty fries, fine smoked salmon, swordfish, wines and desserts.
1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56
Seattle, WA 98101
Part restaurant, part bar, part Northwest native museum and part of restaurateur Ivar Haglund's legacy, this reproduction of a tribal long house is a Seattle institution beloved by diners who don't mind institutional fare.
401 N.E. Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105-6818
An ode to the South Pacific, with footbridge to dining room over a saltwater pool. Scenic surroundings outside complement seafood chowder, cedar-planked salmon, tropical sauces, Hawaiian game fish, wood-fired steaks and shellfish. Sunday brunch.
2601 W. Marina Place
Seattle, WA 98199-4331
When Ponti opened in 1991, there was much to love: the comfortably intimate bar; the Ship Canal iew; a lengthy world-roaming wine list; private dining rooms for special events and a beautifully landscaped waterfront terrace whose Mediterranean ambiance was everything it was intended to be. Those qualities remain a draw, as does the handsome dining room and an eclectic menu highlighting seafood.
3014 Third Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
This beacon on Shilshole Bay has earned its reputation as a James Beard Award-winning "America's Classic," a fine-dining destination and a top-rated tourist attraction with a spectacular waterfront view. Long a lure for local sustainable seafood — river-specific salmon, Chatham Strait sablefish, Southeast Alaskan halibut — its menu now reflects the best of our local farms and fields as well. An extensive menu, creative cocktails and smart service keep things lively.
6049 Seaview Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107-2658
Panoramic Seattle skyline view, renowned Sunday seafood brunch, great service, live music, fun drinks, plus food that's consistently good enough. Picks: oysters, tuna, mussels, chowder, crab, halibut, smoked salmon, fish and chips.
1936 Harbor Ave. S.W.
Seattle, WA 98126
28201 Redondo Beach Drive S.
Des Moines, WA 98054
The Space Needle's most recent redo incorporated the rotating restaurant. Same great views, and finally, some good food, at times. Seafood stars, though there's more. Try clam chowder, lobster bisque, Dungeness crab cakes and pan-seared halibut.
219 Fourth Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109-4601
205 Lake St. S.
Kirkland, WA 98033
Matt Janke's diminutive aerie made its debut in 1996 and swiftly became one of Seattle's worst-kept secrets. Recently expanded, it now boasts a full bar and spacious open kitchen — plus that stunning view — and remains casual and intimate, an idiosyncratic reflection of its owner. The brief menu relies on pristine product — farm-fresh produce, wild-caught seafood and humanely raised meats. Best bets include steamed clams and mussels and Don & Joe's lamb burger. Open for lunch and dinner.
94 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Been around a while? You've probably eaten at Maximilien. Perhaps you were once a regular, paying homage to tiny, tender snails and a heart-breaking view of Elliott Bay, visible from every creaky, mismatched wooden seat in the house.
81 A Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
A classic Seattle hideaway and hangout. The rooftop terrace is the spot in summertime. The place is kitschy but never obnoxiously so. The Door delivers homey, uncomplicated fare and a comfy, campy bar scene, with theatrical flourishes galore, especially during weekend evenings.
1919 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
This big, boisterous, family-friendly restaurant on the lake is good for a quick sandwich or for a splurge. The eclectic menu is grounded in American comfort food, but there's a sushi bar, too. Open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Sunday.
11830 19th Ave. S.E.
Everett, WA 98208
1519 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101-1526
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